Canadian Border Crossing Overview
Crossing the border into Canada can be an uneventful experience or almost enough to ruin your fishing trip. The key is to be prepared. This requires you to be familiar with the current requirements for acceptance across both the Canadian and US borders. This starts with the proper documents for you, your passengers, any accompanying children, pets, your vehicle, and your boat. Entering Canada by air or sea requires a passport. For the purposes of this article, we will be discussing entering Canada from the U.S. by American citizens. Entering by land requires only a valid government issued photo ID (i.e. driver's license) and a birth certificate. A passport or passcard issued by the US Dept. of State is also accepted. However, entering back into the U.S. will require a passport or passcard - not just an ID and birth certificate. The obvious conclusion is that a passport is the document of choice for any international travel as it is recognized as proper ID worldwide. Make sure to check requirements when traveling with minor children and pets. It is imperative that you check with all appropriate governmental agencies regarding border crossing requirements and documentation for the most up to date information.
Certain products and commodoties are prohibited, restricted, or limited. These would include tobacco products, liquor, firewood, live bait, firearms, food products and even pet foods. It is a good idea to prepare a list of restricted or limited products and their quantities that you are traveling with. This list can be presented to the Canada Border Services Agency if requested. Make sure you have proper vehicle registration documents and proof of insurance that is valid in Canada. Ask your insurance agent for documentation showing that your vehicle insurance is valid in Canada.
Traveling in Canada
Canada requires the use of seatbelts for all drivers and passengers. Radar detectors are prohibited. Canada uses the metric system for distance and volume measurements. This means that speed limits will be posted in Km per Hour. Gas is sold by the liter. Temperature is measured in Celsius degrees.
US dollars are generally accepted as currency throughout Canada and are typically worth a little more than Canadian dollars. When making purchases with US currency, the valuation conversion will usually show in the amount of Canadian change you will receive back or the lesser price you will pay using US dollars. US credit and debit cards are also widely accepted. You will notice on your bill that the credit card company will automatically make the conversion, but be aware that many credit cards will charge an additional fee for international use. Check with your credit card company prior to your trip to avoid any surprises when the bill arrives.