Tuesday, 10 May 2016

British Columbia Border Crossings

Travelling between USA and Canada does not have to be stressful if you are prepared. Here are our top 5 tips for making your Border crossing easier with our RV Rental.

1. Check and see if you are allowed to take your rv rental over the border! While most companies in both the United States and Canada allow this, some don't. Others may have a surcharge. Read all the fine print. You don't want to get a double whammy of getting into accident AND getting an additional fine if you break your rental companies contract.

2. Have your documents.
As obvious as this sounds, nothing spikes the ire and suspicion of border guards when you come unprepared! Though citizens of the United States do not need a passport or a visa, they will need to bring proof of citizen and/or photo id. Also its not just about personal id, make sure you have all your vehicle's documentation including proof of insurance! If renting and in doubt, the rental company should walk you through all the vehicle's documentation.

3. Plan your crossing off peak times - know your border wait times! 
Avoid travelling around times around popular public holidays in the US or Canada. Here are the dates to remember:

  • March / April: Easter Holidays
  • May: Victoria Day (Canada)  Memorial Day (USA)
  • July:  Canada Day and July 4th USA
  • August: Canadian Civic Holiday 
  • September:  The Labor Day Long Weekend (US & Canada)
  • October – Canadian Thanksgiving / U.S. Columbus Day
  • November – Veterans (USA) Remembrance Day (Canada)
  • November – U.S. Thanksgiving and Black Friday

June - September average nearly 3 million border crossings per month; so take special time to prepare for summer travel! For more information you can visit the official border USA border site which updates its wait times by the hour: https://apps.cbp.gov/bwt/mobile.asp

4. Know your crossings

Below are the British Columbia Border Crossings - check this page for more information about border crossings for other Canadian Provinces.

Border Canada road / Highway United States Name Hours
British Columbia–Washington

Boundary Bay 56th Street [Delta] Point Roberts 24-hour service year round
Douglas BC 99 [Surrey] Blaine - Peace Arch 24-hour service year round. No commercial vehicles.
Pacific Highway BC 15 [Surrey] Blaine - Pacific Highway 24-hour service year round. Commercial vehicles use.
Aldergrove BC 13 Lynden Daytime-evening service year round (8:00 am–midnight)
Abbotsford-Huntingdon BC 11 Sumas 24-hour service year round
Chopaka Nighthawk Road [Cawston] Nighthawk Daytime service year round (9:00 am–5:00 pm)
Osoyoos BC 97 Oroville 24-hour service year round. Canadian port of entry closed holidays.
Midway Dominion Street Ferry Daytime service year round (9:00 am–5:00 pm)
Carson BC 41 [Grand Forks] Danville Daytime-evening service year round (8:00 am–midnight)
Cascade BC 395 [Christina Lake] Laurier Daytime-evening service year round (8:00 am–midnight)
Paterson BC 22 [Rossland] Frontier 24-hour service year round
Waneta BC 22A [Montrose] Boundary Daytime service year round (9:00 am–5:00 pm)
Nelway BC 6 [Salmo] Metaline Falls Daytime-evening service year round (8:00 am–midnight)
British Columbia–Idaho

Rykerts BC 21 [Creston] Porthill Daytime-evening service year round (2nd Sunday March–1st Saturday Nov. (MST=PDT)
Kingsgate BC 95 Eastport 24-hour service year round. Canadian port of entry closed holidays.
British Columbia–Montana

Roosville BC 93 [Grasmere] Roosville 24-hour service year round

5. What you can and can't bring.

Going into the USA:

  • No Meat Products can be brought from Canada without Permit
  • One Liter of alcoholic beverage can be brought in if over 21
  • Vacuum sealed and canned goods generally admissible

For a complete list of do's and don'ts, visit: https://www.cbp.gov/

Going into Canada

  • 1 carton of cigarettes/50 cigars/14 ounces of tobacco permitted
  • 1.5 liters of alcohol
  • Gifts up to the value of $60 per gift
  • Firearms - allowed with non-resident fire declaration. 
  • Certain firearms restricted (pistols/revolvers)
  • Personal protection devices like mace/pepper spray are no permitted

For more on firearms, see: www.cfc-cafc.gc.ca.

Finally, remember that border crossings are just part of the adventure of travel. If you do a bit preparation, they can even be fun!


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