Crossing the border


The rules for crossing the border have been in a state of flux since the beginning of the pandemic. Consult the latest advisories before attempting any cross-border travel. Currently, Canada requires proof of vaccination status and both residents and visitors must complete all steps on the ArriveCAN App before their arrival.

To cross, you will need one of the following documents.


Canada: If you are a citizen of the U.S., you do not need a passport to enter Canada but you will need it to return into the U.S. Regardless, Canada still requires proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization as well as photo identification, a valid trusted traveler program card (FAST, NEXUS or SENTRI), or an enhanced driver’s license (EDL). If you are a permanent resident of Canada or the U.S, you should bring your permanent resident card with you.


U.S.: Canadian citizens should carry a passport, a valid trusted traveler program card (FAST, NEXUS or SENTRI), or an enhanced driver’s license (EDL).

U.S. citizens should carry a U.S. passport, valid trusted traveler program card (FAST, NEXUS or SENTRI), enhanced driver’s license (EDL), military ID with official travel orders, U.S. Merchant Mariner document, enhanced tribal card or American Indian card. 


Children: U.S. and Canadian children under the age of 16 will need to present a birth certificate or other proof of citizenship. Be prepared to prove that you have written parental consent for any minor children traveling with you. If you have legal custody or if you share custody, have copies of relevant legal documents, such as custody rights. If you are not the custodian, a parent or legal guardian, carry a letter of permission authorizing you to have custody when entering Canada or the U.S. A letter would also facilitate entry if only one parent is traveling with their offspring. The letter should contain contact telephone numbers for the parent or legal guardian. If you are traveling as part of a group of vehicles, be sure that your family is in the same vehicle when you arrive at the border.


Pets: A proof of rabies vaccination is required for dogs and recommended for cats.

Declarations and exemptions:

Review what is allowable to take into the U.S. or Canada before you reach the border. The list changes frequently and can catch the unwary traveler by surprise. Surprises are the last thing anyone needs when going through a border.

Declare everything you’re bringing into the country, even if you bought it at a duty-free shop.

Have receipts for all purchases readily available.

Always declare when you are transporting $10,000 or more in or out of the U.S. or Canada.

Prescription and over the counter medication should be in its original container.


When you’re crossing the border, be prepared to answer the following questions for each person in the car:

Where are you from?

Where are you going?

How long are you staying?

What do you do for work?

What is the value of goods with you?

Do you have any weapons? (None allowed)

Do you have any fruit or vegetables?

    (There are restrictions)

Are you leaving anything in the country?


For more info:

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)


Blaine office: 360/332-5771


Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA)

800/461-9999 (in Canada)