Canadian crossing questions - Fiberglass RV


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Old 02-04-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
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Canadian crossing questions

I've found some info on this but a lot of it is older dated so I thought I'd ask. I'm possibly traveling to Canada this summer. I'll be getting the passport card. I know that going and returning are separate issues. I'm wondering about 2 things:

1. I have two dogs and I have read that all I need is proof of rabies vaccination. I assume that means a printout from the vet? Any other possible hangups?

2. Is there a limit to a vacation stay? I may be there 2 months. Do I need a full passport for that or will the card be enough?

Sorry for the questions.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:36 PM   #2
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In British Columbia rabies vaccination is no longer required my dog had one just for travel into the US. I don't see any hangups with the dog.

Stay 2 months or four its all the same here. Canada is still very relaxed for entry wish I could say the same about the boarder into the US .

The biggest issue at the boarder coming to Canada is weapons many travel with guns and they are not allowed in Canada.
Having said that there is a permit available that allows US folks to carry a gun across the boarder as some are on there way to Alaska.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:54 PM   #3
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Be VERY careful about trying to take food across the border. Both human and pet. If you try to take something forbidden across (even innocently) you will find yourself on a "permanent" check list. We have at least one member on FiberglassRV that it's happened too. It is not a pleasant experience from what I understand.
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:41 PM   #4
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Thatnks for the replies. I would assume fresh fruits and vegetables are an issue, but pet food? Is there anywhere that I can look and find a list of forbidden items?

I've crossed the Border several times, but the last time was around 92-93. Even then the US side was the biggest problem. Now I'm sure it's worse. I really want to avoid these gotchas that don't seem to be documented anywhere.

I know about the guns.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:11 PM   #5
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Their rules keep changing especially around pet food. We would often buy dog food in the US as it was cheaper and we live near the border. At times we could not bring over stuff with beef in it and some other meat at another time. Last year they said a new rule was that your dog had to accompany you when bringing over dog food! The border guard we had did laugh and said they they weren't enforcing that!
I would maybe call and check nearer your trip at the crossing you will go over at. I know when we go to the States they occasionally ask and want to see the original packaging so don't put it in a different bag. I have never found a list to check on.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
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Living in vancouver, for a few years only 4 minutes from the border, I've crossed hundreds of times. I always travel with my dog. I have never once been asked to provide paper work or been asked anything about her. HOWEVER, you are required to have their vaccination record with you. Including rabies. (see link below). I keep my originals in the car at all times. If I lost them I can always get another copy from my vet. The last thing you want is your "best friend" being denied entry while you're miles from home or worse not being allowed reentry.

If researching ignore anything that is not on a government websites. Regulations on both sides change frequently. I used to import animals as part of my career and have found contradictory information from different branches of government from both the US and Canadian sites. Border guards aren't always up to speed. (how can you expect them to be considering volume and changes). Word of advise…Don't correct them.

Pet food is one that has changed to allowing small amounts in original packaging traveling with the animal if you can prove the origin of the product. Despite this I have still had dog food confiscated due to the officer not being up to speed.

Various fruits/veg and beef/chicken are restricted depending on origin and where you plan to travel.

Easiest thing to do. Do all of your personal pet and human food shopping once you've crossed. Not only will this ensure you won't loose anything it'll make for a happier border guard when you answer "No" to the question and you will be far more likely to be waved though.

Sorry this is long winded but one important quote for a Gov. of Canada site. I'd think this applies for traveling north or south.

"Even prescription drugs and syringes used for legitimate medical purposes come under intense scrutiny. Carrying medicines in their original containers and carrying a duplicate of your original prescription, listing both the generic and trade names of the drug, is recommended..... In general, personal importation of a 90-day supply of medication is allowed, but only if the drug is not available in the United States. For further information, please visit the Web site of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Importing Domestic Dogs

Import Policies - Pet Food - Animals - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

After all of that, I think you'll find it pretty easy. Someone will ask you where you're from, where your going, something personal and wave you through. They themselves may or may not be polite
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:50 PM   #7
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You seem to differentiate between a 'passport card' and a 'full passport'. I live near the border and cross frequently. You need a full passport to enter the US but other forms of ID will get you into Canada. Those are the rules. Having said that, if you are a US citizen you will be allowed entry back into the states if you don't have a passport but they will not make it easy and you'll regret not having a full passport.

Because you don't have to have a passport to go from the US to Canada, and you don't stop at the US border on you way out of the states, many people find themselves across the border without a passport based on poor information or incorrect assumptions. Make it easy; get a passport.

Good luck and enjoy your stay in Canada
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Old 02-04-2012, 08:15 PM   #8
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A passport card and a passport are two different things. A passport card is:

"Valid when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda at land border crossings or sea ports-of-entry. Not valid for international travel by air." see http://travel.state.gov/pdf/ppt_pptCard.pdf

I have a passport card and I take it with me when traveling in Europe. I leave my passport in the hotel safe and take my passport card with me for identification purposes, if needed. Thankfully, I have never had to present it.

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Old 02-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #9
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Passport

The last two years we have been asked to produce our Passports (Passcard) by the Canadian Customs when entering Canada and again by US Customs
when reentering the US . " Warroad Minnesota -- Sprague Manitoba Canada" The Canadian Customs are far more courteous and much friendlier than US Customs . The last 2 years US Customs have X- rayed our vehicle and boat . I have made about 35 trips to Canada fishing and there are five questions Canadian Customs always ask 1) What is the nature of your visit ? 2) How long will you be staying ? 3) Do you have any firearms? 4) Do you have any alcohol ? 5) Do you have any tobacco? It's worth the trip cause Canadian fishing is some of the best in the world , the lakes and scenery are beautiful and the Canadian people are great!
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:52 PM   #10
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Shirley true story for you.

I travel to the UK metal detecting holiday's as do many from the USA.
One fellow out of the Eastern US lost his passport 2 years ago, it was the worst experience of his life and took 10 day's to get back home.

He went to the US Embassy and was treated like any refugee for day's till they were satisfied he was an American stood in line just as anyone else.

It cost him thousands of dollars over and above the trip.
It was that trip that others said they now keep a photo copy of their passport separate. If he had had that he would have been home in a day or two.
Others that go over now keep a photo copy on their computers that they can access.


PS he is a policeman in a major city and it did not help at all still considered a refugee till proven other wise.

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Old 02-04-2012, 11:07 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
The last two years we have been asked to produce our Passports (Passcard) by the Canadian Customs when entering Canada and again by US Customs when reentering the US . " Warroad Minnesota -- Sprague Manitoba Canada"
I am familiar with that border crossing! My family lived in Sprague when I was born and we moved away a couple of weeks after my 9th birthday. I learned to swim at the beach in Warroad.
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:00 AM   #12
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Folks that live in New York, Vermont, Michigan, and Washington can also get an Enhanced Drivers License at their DMV that can be used like the Passport Card. I believe the option is open to any border state but only those four states have set up programs. Raz


U.S. Passport Card and Enhanced Driver License (EDL) - Rules & Regs on ID for Crossing into the US at DMV.org: The Unofficial DMV Guide
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Old 02-05-2012, 06:26 AM   #13
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passport is something that really helps, specialy to get home.

rabies cert. is needed, but when i travel with my dog i carry all his vet info, for his safety. so a got a small folder and have all his records in there, sort of a doggy pawsport.

just leave all guns at home.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:59 AM   #14
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Lost Passport

These days when you purchase your passport you can optionally get the small credit card version to serve as 'passport proof'. Though they are not identical in purpose they provide identification information and may serve to speed the process.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidSo View Post
I've found some info on this but a lot of it is older dated so I thought I'd ask. I'm possibly traveling to Canada this summer. I'll be getting the passport card. I know that going and returning are separate issues. I'm wondering about 2 things:

1. I have two dogs and I have read that all I need is proof of rabies vaccination. I assume that means a printout from the vet? Any other possible hangups?

2. Is there a limit to a vacation stay? I may be there 2 months. Do I need a full passport for that or will the card be enough?

Sorry for the questions.
Last time we crossed to take our Escape trailer to the factory in Chilliwack, B.C.,(in Sept. 2011), we were asking for our passports, our vehicle registration, our dogs international handwritten health certificate from our vet ( costs $50 here and is good only for 30 days), the dogs rabies and shot records, and of course about foods and our dog food. The is the most extensive list we have ever had to provide but lucky for us we had it all. So I think the point is that they can ask for all these things but don't each time. Just be prepared. On they way back thru the border coming home we were the lucky random winner of a physical search of our truck and trailer while we were in the building with our dog, leaving our truck and trailer keys with the border officer. We have crossed many times and not ever been subjected to this amount of scrutiny. Everything was fine it just added an hour or so to our travel time. I think they just wanted to have a really good look at our few months old Escape trailer!
As an added note, I pay for the handwritten international health certificate for my dog each time because if they "demand" it one time and I don't have a current one it was explained to me ( by the border patrol officer), that technically they could quarantine my poor old dog for up to 6 weeks and that would kill both of us, so I pay the price to insured against that.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:23 PM   #16
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All the responses are much appreciated, thank you! My biggest fear is getting caught on technicality that I had no way of knowing, especially where my dogs are concerned. It does seem that the experience is totally in the hands of the border agent, right or wrong, legal or illegal. My trips into Canada years ago were some of my best memories, but the world has changed. I may rethink my plans.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:44 PM   #17
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I understand completely. Here in Vt we are about 2 hrs. from the border and haven't been to Canada in years. There is a town right on the border, Derby Line. The border runs down the main st. and through houses, public buildings, ect. The two sides share a fire dept. When all this stuff started the firemen from Canada were not allowed to come put out the fire in the U.S. People who happened to cross the border while walking down the street were harassed. I know lots of folks on the forum cross the border all the time but.... Raz
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Old 02-05-2012, 05:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidSo View Post
All the responses are much appreciated, thank you! My biggest fear is getting caught on technicality that I had no way of knowing, especially where my dogs are concerned. <<<<<<.
Don't fret! Yes, it's not encouraging that various border officers can ask various questions and not always apply all the regulations or maybe not even know them all BUT; even if they did it is easy to stay on the safe side.
1. Have a passport or passport card.
2. Have current certs from the vet.
3. Have no firearms. If you are going to bear country, have pepper spray and a horn.
4. Have no food. For some items, it may cost you few bucks more to purchase it on this side of the border but, our food is as tasty as yours and AFAIK a good steak is even cheaper here than there...
5. No more than 200 cigarettes and 40oz of liquor per adult. Booze and smokes are expensive here but, don't bother bringing any beer. It is more expensive but, it actually tastes like beer

IMHO, if you go by above, the worst at the border that can happen is that you will be delayed by extra half of or full hour by a random, more in depth check (usually on US side) which will leave you wondering, "why me?" but than, you will get to enjoy Canada where...
The world maybe has changed but scenery in Canada (mostly) remained the same and people definitely remained the same, still overusing "thank you" and "you are welcome" and actually meaning it!
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Old 02-07-2012, 03:58 AM   #19
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I travel back and forth at least 6-7 times a year
We often bring back groceries to Canada, and have never had a problem.
Going back to the US is probably more rigorous in what is allowed, and what isn't.
Don't take meats, veg or fruits to the states, don't bring milk, apples or guns to Canada.
Pepper spray, mace or stun guns are also a no-no.
The large bear size pepper sprays are allowed(only if they can't fit in a pocket)
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:38 AM   #20
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I am from Michigan, and we have passports, and have photo copys
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