US/Canada Border Crossing

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Originally Posted by coopns
Most recently was by myself crossing in to US. I am just your avg Joe at 48 (I think??...white 48 year old male, bald, not dressed up,) and was driving the wife's Infiniti.
Was it on chrome twenty-fos? Typical drug dealer.
Saw a set the other day … pretty sure you could do brake pads with the wheels on the ground …
I used to write stolen from (My name) on all my test instruments and all my tools were engraved. The stolen from has raised eyes on some customs agents until I tell them why. Then most of think it is a good idea. I have copies of list of everything, and I tell them they can have a copy and check it when I come back. Now it is just a pc and some innocent looking plug in cords. Progress. Rod
I haven't had my passport long, but I've been to Canada twice, once through ND towards Banff and the other through the Detroit bridge to Toronto and I've never had any issues, just the typical questions and then a "have a good day." We even joked with the USCBP coming back from Toronto because she was dumbfounded that my friend and I drove 8 hours to Toronto for a 6-hour daycation. I haven't really had issues on the southern border checkpoints either. They usually see my military plates and just wave me through. Just once did I have to get out of the car and have the dog go through because it barked (rather it was barking at the car in front of me but turned my way and barked once....) No real issues though, just let them to their job and you go about your day like how it did 30 seconds ago. Canadian CBP looked like he was extremely bored and hated life though.
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Originally Posted by Pelican
Who remembers when we could cross either border by just showing a driver's license? smile I do!
Well the US has a passport card now and you can just show that.
"Was it on chrome twenty-fos? Typical drug dealer." The wife will be pleased.... LOL Not sure if I should be or not. duh
Originally Posted by coopns
Been crossing the Calais / St Stephen (US/Canada) border two times a year for more then 30 years. Sometimes by myself or with wife and four children. Funny how the agents attitude changes depending on each situation. One time wife forgot all passports. Canadian side tried to guilt us in to can't cross and 5 mins later after some discussion we were on our way. Most recently was by myself crossing in to US. I am just your avg Joe at 48 (I think??...white 48 year old male, bald, not dressed up,) and was driving the wife's Infiniti. He asked the basic questions...where you from, how long (4 days) then he asked me "is that your car?". Never got that before because was always in the minivan. Then asked me to open the back trunk gate which I had nothing but clothes and chips. On the way in to Canada she was busting me about to you have proof that you were born in NY...Proof? My Visa says that. (I did say I was going to visit family in NS which I was ). It was late but she asked I think if I had dirt/mud. I usually just tell the kids to pretend to be sleeping and no problems. Any insights or stories? Just chattin' here...Not mad.
It's interesting to hear border crossing stories from someone in the States. All those questions you were asked when crossing into Canada, I was on the receiving end when crossing into the States. I've learned not to take it personal, I understand if anything goes wrong and if it can be traced back to border security it will be their job on the line. But I do notice a difference in treatment after I've got my Nexus. But then I also try to be as compliant as possible to streamline the process, roll down all the windows and open the sliding door if I'm in a minivan, prepare all the documents, and etc. They usually ask where do I live, how long do I plan to stay in the States for, what do I do for work, and yes, whose vehicle that I'm driving. There is one time I crossed into the State at a land crossing with a friend and she forgot to bring her passport and I thought we would get turned away and I was prepared for it. The officer at the booth asked us to pull over and directed us to the office. When we were summoned the officer at the counter verify her driver's license and asked when was her last in the States and then let us go without issue. We told him we will only be in the States for a few hours (shopping + dinner). It was the Canadian side that gave us problem because she didn't have her passport on her.
Been in and out a few dozen times … never much hassle and I've been places that are …
I visit relatives in Connecticut and Florida 2x per year and make other visits. I've had obscure questions asked over the years by both USA and Canadian border officials, but no biggies. FWIW, avoid hypothetical & silly / stupid discussions of contraband, terrorism, bringing back too much stuff while you wait in line to be checked, the borders have very sensitive microphones aimed to catch words that should prompt a search of you and your car. I had a boss once whose wife worked this job, well before 9-11 and this stuff was in use at most CAN/USA crossing points.
I've been across a lot of borders down to South America, in Europe, and in the Pacific and without fail coming back to the USA is the worst, even as a US citizen. Never had any major problems, but just dealing with the attitudes of the border patrol people is not a good welcome home. Between the USA and Canada is generally quick and easy, but running into one of those off-the-border checkpoints makes me feel like we are under military rule: "Show me your papers!"
Never hassled at border either direction however I drive up lower all windows enough to see in and have passport(s) in hand. Air travel I just say business meeting or visit. Just give minimal and clear information of where I am going and why when asked (typically NS, QC). I guess I did get hassled by US border patrol in NS for early return flight but was answering questions poorly on 3hrs sleep and buzzed. I finally showed the agent my kids pictures and said I just wanted to get home so she could work based on flurry of messages between wife and I. I started telling him their names, ages etc and he let me pass. The good old days in 1990's was simply blowing the crossing in early hours from northern NH <-> Canada since not manned.
Originally Posted by Uphill_Both_Ways
Originally Posted by coopns
On the way in to Canada she was busting me about to you have proof that you were born in NY...Proof? My Visa says that. (I did say I was going to visit family in NS which I was). It was late but she asked I think if I had dirt/mud.
A visa? Dirt? Mud? Maybe the agent moonlights with a mobile car wash and shower parked behind back. Only $500.
I had friends that would go camping every year in Ardbeg Canada and they would have to wash off their vehicles / trailers / campers before they were allowed to re-enter NY
I have to cross the us/Mexico border at least every six months. Normally we (my wife and daughter) have no issues and most border agents are ok. I have on 2 occasions been treated like a criminal by the agents ( I am a US citizen by birth I'm 6 ft tall blond hair and blue eyes) I was polite and courteous but once I was on the US side I parked my car and went into the offices. I asked to speak with the supervisor and filed an official complaint (about 2 months later I received a letter of apology). We as US citizens have the right to be treated respectfully and courteously. I also understand that we are all human and the jobs that those agents have is not easy, especially in the Texas summer, and any person can have an off day. My philosophy be polite and respectful and you will be across in no time, start spouting off about your constitutional rights, arguing etc to the agent and they can make your life miserable. Remember when you drive up to their kiosk THEY have the power not you.
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I cross Calais/St Stephen multiple times a week. All three bridges. Never the same experience regardless of which side or which customs officer.
I live in a border town and cross frequently. I find it ~10x more difficult to get into the U.S. than into Canada; and I have plenty of anecdotes from American friends who'll concur. There is some mandated randomness as far as who gets pulled in for inspection and who gets what questions; and you're also at the whim and mercy of some folks - subject to the same "good days" and "bad days" and occasional descents into unprofessional-ism as the rest of us - in that booth who are not entirely accountable for their demeanour or actions. The best advice for border crossing might apply to the rest of our lives, anyhow: Be prepared, courteous and honest, always.
Originally Posted by Donald
In the late 1960s people (men) went to Canada for one reason. Vietnam.
I have a small handful of friends who are sons of draft-dodgers who settled here in Windsor. The kicker? They're (the sons I know, all born in the early 70's) all dual citizens and can cross the border quite freely.
Originally Posted by Kestas
Decades ago it was a breeze to cross the border. Things have gotten really uptight in the past 18 years. Going to Canada is not much of a problem, though I have run into some shakedown. They are really adamant on not letting anyone in who has had a DUI. These people are persona non grata. Once the leading question was "have you ever been fingerprinted?"
It's interesting you mention that because if you are in law enforcement or security fields you need to be fingerprinted for background checks. I have my credentials for my jobs that will answer the reason why luckily when we cross. Oh and attitude....true, I have never been treated rudely by the Canadian Border Guards...even though I am a US citizen, but I've been treated very rudely by our own crossing's unprofessional and shameful. Does make the US look bad too.
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