Resources and Information

What You Need Before You Cross The Boarder

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For additional information, please visit:


U.S. Customs & Boarder Protection:


Check border wait times, border cams and information about taking goods across the border by land. For an adult U.S. citizen to cross the U.S./Canada border by land, a passport or one of the following combinations is required: birth certificate and photo ID such as a driver’s license (Costco cards don’t count); baptismal certificate and photo ID; voter registration card, if you live in a state that issues them, and photo ID; valid Green Card for permanent residents of the United States. A driver’s license by itself does not constitute sufficient identification.

In 2009, a passport may be required for all border crossings. Parents who are traveling with children need a birth certificate for each child. If a child enters the country with only one parent, s/he must have a letter from the other parent saying it’s OK for the child to enter Canada.

Remember to bring proper identification for everyone traveling in your group when crossing the US/Canadian border.


If you live in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, or Washington State, and you regularly cross the border, consider applying for a NEXUS card. You will have access to a specialized lane both directions at Peace Arch and Pacific Highway border crossings, and can skip the lengthy queues. The NEXUS card is also an approved form of citizenship documentation for entering the United States. More information about eligibility, cost, and how to apply is available by following the links below.

Information: Apply on line: Border Services Agency.

Blaine Enrollment Center Hours of Operation, Monday - Saturday, 8:00am - 6:00pm, Sunday 8:00am - 4:00pm. Located at: 9901 Pacific Highway, Blaine, WA


Northbound Border Cameras:

Southbound Border Cameras:

Cross-Boarder Rideshare Program:

For more information visit: or or contact: Jack Bell Rideshare, Phone: (604) 879-7433 or Email:

Border Crossing Hours

Blaine (Peace Arch/Douglas) Open 24 hours a day

Truck (Pacific) Open 24 hours a day

Lynden (Aldergrove) Open 8am-midnight

Sumas (Abbotsford/Huntington) Open 24 hours a day

Telephone Numbers

BC Tourist Information: 1-800-435-5622

Canada Border Services Agency: In Canada call: 1-800-461-9999 “0”. Outside of Canada (Central Time) (204) 983-3500 “0”

BC Regional Unit: Ask for Info Officer - (604) 666-0547

Border Unit: (604) 535-9754

US Customs / Border Protection: (360) 332-6318

US Customs / Border Protection: (360) 734-5463, Bellingham

Duty Rates Info: (360) 332-5771, ext.2636


A valid driver’s license and vehicle registration are required. Proof of insurance showing coverage is recommended. You can get this from your insurance carrier. Registration forms for rental vehicles must be carried together with the rental contract indicating

Currency Exchange Suggestions

The best rate is usually through a bank or by using a major credit card. The Duty Free Americas stores, just before crossing into Canada, offer exchange services. And if you’re entering Canada via Interstate 5, there is an exchange bank just after crossing the border. Most Canadian and U.S. retailers accept Canadian or U.S. currency, but at a discount.


Air Travel - Passports are REQUIRED.

Land and Sea - Citizens ages 19 and older must present a government issued photo ID such as a driver’s license, along with proof of citizenship (Passport, Birth Certificate, Enhanced Driver’s License, Naturalization Certificate, Sentri or Fast cards). Nexus cards are for Nexus lanes ONLY going into Canada. Children ages 18 and under are required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. If they’re unaccompanied by both parents or the children are not your own, carry a statement from the parents or guardian that states travel across the border is authorized. “Passport Facts” and new requirements as of June 1, 2009.

On June 1, 2009, Americans will be required to have one of the following to cross the U.S. / Canada border via land or sea.


· Passport ($100)

· U.S. Passport Card ($45)

· Enhanced Drivers License (only available in some states) ($15 in WA)

· NEXUS Card (For NEXUS lane ONLY entering Canada, but is an accepted I.D. entering the U.S.) ($50)

· U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Document

· Active duty U.S. Armed Forces with orders


· Proof of citizenship (Birth Certificate or Naturalization Certificate)

· Enhanced Government-issued photo I.D. (only available in some states)

· Passport ($85)

· U.S. Passport Card ($35)

Non-Americans going to Canada

Passport and/or Visa required.

Legal Permanent Residents Not US Citizens

Must carry a Green Card

Alaska Bound Travelers

Must show proof of sufficient funds for travel in Canada. Must have no major criminal records. A discretionary pass may be granted if the record is minor or in the distant past, for a fee. Call for requirements if transporting household effects or tools of the trade.

Pet Requirements For US & CANADA

Dogs and cats must have certificates issued by a licensed veterinarian identifying each animal and certifying that each dog/cat has been vaccinated against rabies during the preceding 36 month period. Up to two puppies and kittens under three months do not require certification. Pet Food Restrictions - Only U.S. made food in original package can be brought into U.S. Only small amounts of pet food in original packaging with proof of origin can be brought into Canada.


Canadian Residents Re-Entering Canada (Per person allowance) After 24 hours absence: Goods valued at $50. No alcohol or tobacco. If over $50 pay duty on entire purchase. Less than 24 hours absence, no duty free allowance. After 48 hours absence: Goods valued at $400 (Canadian funds), Alcohol: (1.14L), liquor, (1.5L) wine, or 24 cans beer (12 oz.), Tobacco: 200 cigarettes + 50 cigars + 200 gms. tobacco + 200 tobacco sticks. After 7 night absence: Goods valued at $750 (Canadian funds). Including liquor and tobacco limits above.

Canadians Entering USA (Per person allowance) Alcohol: 1 liter liquor / beer / wine (must be 21 years old). Tobacco: 1 carton cigarettes, 2 kg tobacco, 50 cigars (non-Cuban)

Americans Entering Canada (per person allowance) Alcohol: 40 oz. liquor or wine, or 24 containers beer (12 oz.). Tobacco: 200 cigarettes + 50 cigars + 200 gms. tobacco + 200 tobacco sticks, Gifts - no duty up to $60

Other Foreign Visitors Entering Canada (non Canadian & US) May take goods into Canada that will later be taken out of Canada. Alcohol, Tobacco and gift restrictions same as above.

Americans Re-Entering USA (per person allowance) Less than 48 hours: Goods valued up to US$200. Alcohol: 5 oz. of alcoholic beverages or 150 ml of perfume containing alcohol. Tobacco: 50 cigarettes + 10 cigars (non-Cuban). More than 48 hours: Goods valued up to US$800 - once every 30 days Alcohol: 1 litre (33.8 oz.) liquor / wine / beer. Tobacco: 1 carton cigarettes + 100 cigars (non Cuban). May mail gift parcels to friends or family in US worth up to $100 US.

Duty Free Stores

Duty Free Americas - Intended for export only / restrictions apply

Blaine Truck crossing: (I-5, exit 275), (360) 332-5223

Lynden crossing: (Guide Meridian Rd. / Hwy. 539), (360) 354-2481

Sumas crossing: (360) 988-9413

Washington Sales Tax Exemption

This exemption applies only to residents of Oregon, Alberta, Samoa, Guam, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire, North Marianna Islands, Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands. This exemption does not apply to residents of British Columbia unless the merchandise is shipped to the purchaser’s home address outside of Washington, the seller agrees to waive the sales tax and fills out the proper documentation. This applies to tangible goods and personal property only, not for food, accommodations, services, etc., or for motor vehicles. The non-resident must present one picture I.D. showing residency. For information phone WA Dept. of Revenue (360) 676-2114.

“GST”Refund Cancelled

The GST Refund is no longer avalible for visitors to Canada, except for specific tour groups.

Prohibited Items

Food & Plant Items into Canada: There are many restrictions on what food & plant items you can bring into Canada. Allowed - Condiments; Dry goods; Coffee/tea; Canned, frozen & dried fruits & vegetables; Most seafood; Limited amounts of fresh edible meat, poultry and dairy products from the U.S. Prohibited - Most pet food; Most poultry & fresh eggs; Most plants; Many fresh fruits & vegetables. *Call for specific information, or don’t bring what you’re not willing to give up at the border.

Food & Plant Items into US: Prohibited: Most pet food (US made in original package OK), citrus fruit, tropical fruit, out of season produce, garlic, potatoes from Van. Island, corn-on-cob not from BC; All beef, lamb, goat, bison, uncooked poultry, raw eggs; produce & meats from countries other than US & Canada; Hawaiian origin plants & produce; Canadian plants & seeds without Phytosanitary certificates. Allowed - Most commercially grown fruits & vegetables from the US and Canada with proof of origin; Pork and seafood; Canadian & US plants & seeds with Phytosanitary certificate; Most Canadian cut flowers (will require inspection).

Firearms: Handguns are not allowed entry into Canada. Firearms with no legitimate sporting or recreational use, mace, capstan, stun guns and switchblades are not permitted. Sporting rifles or shotguns are usually permitted for sport or hunting. As of January 1, 2001, one must complete a “Firearms Declaration Form,” and there is a $50 fee. For more information or forms call 1-800-731-4000, go to, or contact Canadian Customs. It is recommended that the form be completed in advance. Gun Storage: Dave’s Sports Shop - 1738 Front St., Lynden, (360) 354-5591. Exxon Station at exit 275 in Blaine - they have one locker, you supply your own lock. (360) 332-4341

Direct: (360) 319-4939
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Susan Stecher

Broker, CFP, CRS, CDPE, RFC, SRES, CHLMS, Realtor® Direct: (360) 319-4939
Phone: (888) 319-4939

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