Canadian border crossing help

Okay so Heading back to Michigan from New England. Wanna take a short cut through Canada. Well the US would prolly be cheaper and quicker but if I go through Canada and I stop off and see a friend of mine up there on the way.
My birth records are in Michigan, I have a Rhode Island driver’s license, an expired Michigan ID (although the names don’t exatly match. my second middle name the grea state of RI decided HAD to be a last name), and I won’t have any money to get a passport till like a day or two before I have to head out. If my mom can get a copy of my birth certificate she could mail it to me, but she don’t think they’ll give her one.
Any chance of doing this?

I think you need a photo ID and your birth certificate. But you could always google.

Looking around I can mail order a birth certificate. Awesome. Thought they were harder to get then that since they can be used as ID.


  1. You still need your driver’s license since the birth certificate doesan’t have a photo on it, and

  2. This will only work this year; starting in 2008, you need a passport. You should get a passport anyway, you never know what might come up.

Too true, as I’m finding out now that I’m 900 miles away from most of my records lol.

I have a Rhode Island driver’s license and it has photo on so it should be good.

Actually, going through Ontario’s probably cheaper and quicker. It’s a good shortcut.

Lots of people still pass with nothing more than their driver’s licenses, but it’s up
to the customs/immigration folks in either country to hassle you.

This wil make life interesting for the people who live on Point Roberts, the American exclave situated just below the southwestern corner of BC.

I’ve been there. Geographically interesting, but otherwise, an ordinary residential neighborhood, from what I saw (several years ago).

I have to believe that they’re well aware of the hassles of border crossing. Doubtless each on a first name basis with all of the border guards, both nations.

Else, they could just truck on down to the local (American) yacht club, and catch a ride on one of those.

The last time I went to Canada in 2004, I crossed the Peace Bridge near Buffalo. The “encounter” couldn’t have been more non-eventful. The Canadian Customs Officer was a girl who couldn’t have been older than 20. She asked for ID. My girlfriend was driving, and I was in the passenger seat. Her 9 year old son was in the back.

I pulled out my DL, and she did as well. We both held them at eye level at least 15 feet away from the officer. No way could she read them. The 9 year old in the back should have had to produce a birth certificate or some other proof that we had legal custody of him. She never even looked at him.

We got the usual questions about the country of our citizenship (USA), place of birth (West Virginia, USA) , purpose of our visit, length of stay, whether we had any alcohol, tobacco, or firearms. (Answers: No, my personal tobacco, and no) and we were on our way in less than 20 seconds.

Returning across the Peace Bridge into the USA we got the same drill. Although the US Customs Officer didn’t even ask for any ID. We got the same country of citizenship, place of birth, and whether we had any alcohol. (No questions about tobacco or firearms) I replied that I did buy a case of Molson Ultra Dry at the duty free shop. He couldn’t have cared less. I think his eyes were glassed over as he asked the questions. He may not have even heard my reply. Ten seconds and we were on our way.

Again, this was May of 2004, so things may have changed…

sweet deal now I just gotta make sure it’s a good day for my friend and plan my route.

Thanks heaps peeps :slight_smile:

Hey, that’s not fair, we had to get passports this year, why do you guys get extra time not needing one?

(Might be a good idea to get one now though, as it’s likely to cause a backlog in applications once it becomes required. When I went to get mine, several numbers would be skipped at a time, presumably because people got tired of waiting and left. I was there for an hour taking the fast line.)

Canada doesn’t care if you have passport to get in. So if you go to Canada, and try coming home to the USA without a passport (when it’s eventually required), what’s going to happen? You’re an American citizen; they can’t deny you entry. Just a trip to the customs and immigration office (you know, where they make you go if you had something to declare)?

Canadian citizens and returning US citizens who are entering the USA by air need passports now. Those entering by sea or land won’t need it until 2008. (Other citizens already needed passports to enter the US; this hasn’t changed.)