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  • Starr Wlodarski

Oh Canada! One Thing You Need to Know

Updated: Jan 27, 2023

Our friendly neighbors to the North, home of hockey and Tim Horton's coffee & donuts. I know many to consider Canada as almost an extension of the US, but it is a foreign country and there are requirements to enter either by car, air or sea that need to be taken into consideration. Don't meet the requirements you will be turned back. And there is one issue here that may surprise you.

1. Proper Identification- Since 2009 a current passport is required to enter Canada, no special exemption for Americans. Now if you are driving a state with an enhanced driver's license will work. Flying? Airlines require a passport book, not the passport card or enhanced driver's license.

2. Who's Kid is That? - Kids need identification also, plus if they are travelling with only one parent, grandparents or friends a notarized letter stating that the children are known to be travelling needs to be taken along. Divorced? Custody paperwork should also be taken along. With any country border/immigration officials are on the lookout for abducted children.

3. Don't forget Pet Documentation- Yes even Fido & Fifi need paperwork from your veterinarian on their breed, physical description and are they up to date on their shots.

4. Firearms Without Permits- Certain guns can be brought into Canada, but all the paperwork needs to be done head of time. If you are hunting, you will need a provincial hunting license also. For more info importing firearms.

5. DUI in your history? Yes, you will not be able to enter Canada if you have had a DUI conviction. Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Canada, along with assault and theft. Depending on how long ago your conviction was there are various ways to become rehabilitated in the eyes of the Canadian government. Overcoming Criminal Convictions.

So, what does this mean for travelers? The main issue will be doing Alaskan Cruise tours, since they usually start or end in Vancouver and the roundtrip cruises out of Seattle. Also, Canada/New England cruises. There have been some great Air Canada fares to Europe with connections in Toronto, that could be a problem.

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