When will US Canada Borders open?

May 7, 2012
969
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
Canada has permitted citizens of the US to cross the border with an enhanced drivers license.
John, there use to be 4 Canadian provinces that made EDLs available (BC, ON, PQ and MB) now there is just 1, MB - Manitoba. Low demand has been cited as the reason to discontinue.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I think I understand your intent, but this is not entirely true.

Canada has permitted citizens of the US to cross the border with an enhanced drivers license.

Europe established the EuroZone so that citizens of the listed countries did not need a passport to travel inside the EuroZone.

And listening to the news passports appear to be unnecessary to come into the US along our southern borders.

With all the changes we may be going retro and passports will again take on a higher level of importance. Or... Maybe we just micro chip everyone in the next Vaccine booster shot....:yikes:
It's interesting about what Americans 'need' to get into Canada. Their law does not require a US citizen to enter with a passport. But that same person with need one (or one of the many forms of national ID now) to get back IN to the USA. So as a matter of practicality they make you show it, so they know you can get back in.
 

DArcy

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Feb 11, 2017
1,255
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
While we often think of the Government as one entity, many of the departments are siloed. Medicare knows I got the vaccine because they paid for it, but I doubt the State Department (folks who issue Passports) know what Medicare knows and until I actually use the passport/nexus card/Enhanced License, Homeland security doesn't know where I've been or what I've done.
Beyond even those levels, it is Canadian Border Security that lets you in to Canada. Medicare would need to share the information outside the country. Admittedly, I don't know much about passports and there may be a way for the State Department to attach this information to your passport that can be shared with foreign entities.
Lots of handshaking would be required to get this information where it needs to be.

And all of this discussion is presuming the vaccination has a significant effect on reducing transmission of the virus.
 

DArcy

.
Feb 11, 2017
1,255
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
It's interesting about what Americans 'need' to get into Canada. Their law does not require a US citizen to enter with a passport. But that same person with need one (or one of the many forms of national ID now) to get back IN to the USA. So as a matter of practicality they make you show it, so they know you can get back in.
While it is true the law does not state a passport is required to enter Canada, proof of citizenship and personal identification is. A passport is the generally accepted document for showing these requirements. A NEXUS card is another means. They are more concerned with your entry when reviewing your documents although it is true they are also checking to ensure you can get back out if you are not a Canadian citizen.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
While it is true the law does not state a passport is required to enter Canada, proof of citizenship and personal identification is. A passport is the generally accepted document for showing these requirements. A NEXUS card is another means. They are more concerned with your entry when reviewing your documents although it is true they are also checking to ensure you can get back out if you are not a Canadian citizen.
I don't know if you are 100% right about that 'proof' of citizenship part. Before 9/11, both countries would allow you to enter with a drivers licence. After 9/11 the USA changed its law, Canada did not (let me know if I recently become wrong on this). So according to the law, you only need a DL to get in, but as we both stated that are really looking to make sure you can get out!
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,854
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
While it is true the law does not state a passport is required to enter Canada, proof of citizenship and personal identification is. A passport is the generally accepted document for showing these requirements. A NEXUS card is another means. They are more concerned with your entry when reviewing your documents although it is true they are also checking to ensure you can get back out if you are not a Canadian citizen.
Many years ago we had a Hungarian exchange student. Took him off to see Niagara Falls and to cross into Canada. We had his passport and when we tried to enter Canada we were refused entry. Canada was more than happy to allow him to enter, but the country did not want to get stuck with him as we forgot to bring the student visa with us. The always very polite Canadian border agent said, the US would not let him back into the country. We turned around saw the falls from the American side and missed all the cool tourist traps Niagara Falls, Ont.
 
Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
John, there use to be 4 Canadian provinces that made EDLs available (BC, ON, PQ and MB) now there is just 1, MB - Manitoba. Low demand has been cited as the reason to discontinue.
I have a MN one. Michigan, New York (Washington?) do them as well. The people at the DMV simply HATE them, the amount of paperwork is crazy - it is bona-fide proof that you are American, Minnesotan, are allowed to drive, and actually LIVE at the address stamped on it.
 
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Jan 11, 2014
7,854
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
NY has 3 levels of ID, the standard ID, Enhanced ID, and Real ID. All three let you drive.

The Standard ID license lets you drive, but you can't use it to board an airplane or enter a federal building.

The Real ID can be used to board a plane or enter a Federal Building.

The Enhanced ID can be used to cross the border between the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean by land or sea. (Wonder how that works driving in from Antiqua?)
 

DaveJ

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Apr 2, 2013
378
Catalina 310 Niagara-on-the-Lake
Well, I'm learning things today, and we all know that what you read in these forums is correct. In my world I thought only passports were needed to come into Canada, apparently not true. As for Nexus, yes I have one, but I equate it to a passport and figured that info could be added to my file and accessed by the boarder guard if necessary. Enhanced ID or EDLs, again your info is on file and can be accessed at the border. Now whether all the agencies can get together and add the info in a timely manner.....I doubt it.
Something I didn't mention above, after getting the jab, I would hope that a negative test result is required before the travel restrictions are allowed. Again, just my thoughts, lots of people in high places are making big $$$$ figuring this out. :)
Cheers
dj
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,854
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
Well, I'm learning things today, and we all know that what you read in these forums is correct. In my world I thought only passports were needed to come into Canada, apparently not true.
In the case of my exchange student, the issue wasn't Canada not allowing him in without a visa to Canada, it was we didn't have a copy of his US Visa. Thus, when we tried to return to the US, the US wouldn't allow him to enter without his visa. Canada was fine with him visiting, just not with him getting stuck there because the US refused reentry.
 

DArcy

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Feb 11, 2017
1,255
Islander Freeport 36 Ottawa
I don't know if you are 100% right about that 'proof' of citizenship part. Before 9/11, both countries would allow you to enter with a drivers licence. After 9/11 the USA changed its law, Canada did not (let me know if I recently become wrong on this). So according to the law, you only need a DL to get in, but as we both stated that are really looking to make sure you can get out!
Ya, we used to travel with just a drivers license but that all changed after 9/11. The CBSA site says this about entry from the US:
All international travellers must carry acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) when entering Canada. A passport is recommended because it is the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification document for the purpose of international travel. International transport companies, such as airlines, must make sure that travellers have proper, valid travel documents. If you do not have the proper documents, you may be delayed or unable to board the plane. What you need will depend on where you are from, how you are travelling, and what documents you are travelling with. Consult entry requirements by country.

And the entry requirements by country says "U.S. citizens must carry proper identification such as a valid U.S. passport. " which then links back to the earlier page. The federal Canada web sites are really challenging to get good information out of. So they don't rule out enhanced drivers licenses however the border officer has to be familiar enough with your particular state issuing the document to accept it. A passport shows citizenship as well as personal ID so is the best document to use.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
11,385
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Ya, we used to travel with just a drivers license but that all changed after 9/11. The CBSA site says this about entry from the US:
All international travellers must carry acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) when entering Canada. A passport is recommended because it is the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification document for the purpose of international travel. International transport companies, such as airlines, must make sure that travellers have proper, valid travel documents. If you do not have the proper documents, you may be delayed or unable to board the plane. What you need will depend on where you are from, how you are travelling, and what documents you are travelling with. Consult entry requirements by country.

And the entry requirements by country says "U.S. citizens must carry proper identification such as a valid U.S. passport. " which then links back to the earlier page. The federal Canada web sites are really challenging to get good information out of. So they don't rule out enhanced drivers licenses however the border officer has to be familiar enough with your particular state issuing the document to accept it. A passport shows citizenship as well as personal ID so is the best document to use.
yea that's what I thought.

Regarding the multitude of US-issued IDs, I have found personnel on both sides VERY well versed on them, Book Passport, Passport Card, Enhanced DL, Real ID DL. Old School DL. I have them all (except no valid old DL) and it's nice never being caught out. From a border crossing perspective, there is no difference between a Real ID DL and the old ones. They don't let you back into the US! ;^)

The first time I used my EDL I was a little curious how the crossing guards would react to it; it does not say anything about being valid for crossings, and the only real difference is the small american flag that overlaps your picture to indicate citizenship. But I needn't have worried. Was accepted without a second look.

Like both the passports, the Enhanced DL has an RF-ID chip in it, so can be used for any tracking and and verification service (like VAX?) that can be accessed on the back-end via the net. The Real ID DLs do not have RFID.
 
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Nov 8, 2007
1,397
Hunter 27_75-84 Sandusky Harbor Marina, Ohio
We do have NEXUS cards. But that doesn’t help with the COVID issues. Sounds like Pelee and Leamington are unlikely this year. We do plan a week in the Thousand Islands where Canada is only a few hundred yards away. That may have to do it this summer.
 
Jan 11, 2014
7,854
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
We do have NEXUS cards. But that doesn’t help with the COVID issues. Sounds like Pelee and Leamington are unlikely this year. We do plan a week in the Thousand Islands where Canada is only a few hundred yards away. That may have to do it this summer.
Unfortunately, all the nicest places in the Thousand Islands are on the Canadian side. :confused:

To get there from Lake Erie, you have to go through the Welland Canal or down the Erie Canal. One means entering Canada twice and the other means unstepping the mast twice.
 
Jul 1, 2010
871
Seaward 25, Catalina 350 Erie, Pa
if the boarder opens, heading to the north channel/georgian bay, greatest sailing on the globe :cool:

30,000 islands
We'll be right behind you. If not, we'll spend time exploring more of Lake Michigan. Should be a win either way.
 
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May 7, 2012
969
Hunter e33 Maple Bay, BC
I thought I was on top of this stuff. But obviously not. There are a few hoops to jump through but are identical to land and air entry points. So it wouldn’t be feasible for an afternoon trip over. But if you were say wanting to head to Desolation Sound for a few weeks it maybe something to consider. As of Monday, Aug 9th:

Fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents and French citizens and permanent residents of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon (SPM) are eligible to enter Canada by boat for discretionary purposes and can come on land, anchor, moor, or come alongside another vessel in Canada.

Waggoner Guide

Now if y’all would simply reciprocate. . .