Canada is really similar to the US and from a historic point of view, these two countries were always really casual about back and forth border crossing. However, things are much stricter now than they used to be. The relationship between Canada and US is friendly but you do want to know some things about traveling north as an American.
The Passport Is Necessary
Every single US citizen that goes to Canada requires a passport that is valid or a document of equal value, like the NEXUS card. Casual cross-border trips with just the use of your driver’s license are no longer something that can be done. Leniency can be given to children but only if a birth certificate or copy is presented.
Some Items Cannot Be Brought With You As You Cross The Border
Before you travel you want to educate yourself about what you can actually take with you to the country. As a really simple example, your pet can join you with the proper documents but you cannot cross with fresh fruit. Just as you would need to have your ESTA application with you, documentation may be necessary for some items you want to cross.
Canada is a very popular destination for hunting but there are specific laws that you need to be aware of. You want to avoid some guns as they are illegal and proper paperwork will be needed for all guns, even if they are permitted.
You Can Use Your US Driver’s License
When you first start driving in Canada you think everything is the same as in the US but you do want to dig deeper so you can notice the differences. Your US driver’s license does apply but there are conditions and laws that are different. As an example, the speed limits are going to be different and will be posted in kilometers instead of miles. You can only use cell phones with a hands-free device and you cannot smoke inside cars when a minor is present.
You Cannot Use USD Wherever You Go
In most large metropolitan areas and in border towns you will have no problems using USD but US currency is not accepted all around the country. If you travel to a remote or small town, you need to have Canadian currency on you. In the major malls and close to tourist attractions you will find some exchange options but it is always better to take currency with you as you go for the best possible rates.
Entry Can Be Denied
Whenever this happens it seems that nobody expected it. Whenever referring to suspicious behavior and criminal records, entry can be denied. You have to do a research and see exactly what could potentially get you denied.
Health Insurance Is Needed
In Canada there is a really great health care system but it is just meant for citizens. When visiting Canada, be sure you have travel health insurance and that you are properly covered. It is always best to be safe when it comes to your health.
This article was updated on 8-15-2018