Crossing the Canadian Border on a Bicycle
The Route I have been laying out crosses the border from the US into Canada and returns. So what do I need to do to be prepared for that crossing?
I have crossed the US-Canadian Border on a bicycle in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York and it has always been uneventful. With the exception of Nova Scotia entry to Canada has always been easy. In 2002, when we entered Nova Scotia my riding partner and I both had long hair and beards (2002) and there seems to be a bias against folks with beards, we had to unpack our bikes and it took about an hour but not a real problem. In 2005, I was scheduled to present at a Governor’s Council Meeting in Halifax and was held at the airport until they verified I was attending that meeting (could have been beard and French surname again). But otherwise I have just declared and ridden across.
Returning to the US has always been more involved and often required some form of identification. Those Rules changed at the end of January.
Here is the latest form the US Customs and Border Protection Web Site:
Q: What is the change beginning January 31, 2008?
A: Currently, upon entering the United States at a land border port of entry, an individual without documentation can verbally claim to be a U. S. citizen. On January 31, DHS is ending this practice such that oral declarations alone to prove identity and citizenship will no longer be sufficient. Travelers will be asked to present certain documentation from a specified list when entering the United States at land or sea ports of entry. (use the links below to see a complete list of what documents are acceptable).
I am planning to bring my passport with me when I think I might cross the border, that seems like the simplest solution.
Another question that often comes up:
When you look at a map you see lots of roads crossing from the US into Canada, can I cross at any of those points. The answer is generally yes. Most of these roads have a 24 hour crossing, but some are only manned during the day. I have occasionally tried to cross and found the crossing closed but that is rare during the day.
I called the Vermont Department of Tourism (1-800-vermont) today to verify if the above is still true. In fact it sounds like more crossing are manned 24 hours now.
Enjoy the Ride … Roland