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Tom Servo

Going to Canada - passports needed?

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My sons (17 and 15) want to go to Niagara Falls. I'd like to be able to take them to the Canadian side as well. Back when I went in 1976, you just crossed over IIRC. I've read things both ways :loco: 

What's the straight scoop? I want to take them to the Skylon Tower as that's where my dad took us. We'd be there 4-6 hours, tops.

:help:

 

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3 minutes ago, Tom Servo said:

My sons (17 and 15) want to go to Niagara Falls. I'd like to be able to take them to the Canadian side as well. Back when I went in 1976, you just crossed over IIRC. I've read things both ways :loco: 

What's the straight scoop? I want to take them to the Skylon Tower as that's where my dad took us. We'd be there 4-6 hours, tops.

:help:

 

If you want to get back into the U.S....

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Just now, Bucky86 said:

If you want to get back into the U.S....

The way my boys act sometimes, I'm tempted to leave them up there. <_< 

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minors don't need one but need proof  of citizenship

You need a passport

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16 minutes ago, Bucky86 said:
20 minutes ago, Tom Servo said:

My sons (17 and 15) want to go to Niagara Falls. I'd like to be able to take them to the Canadian side as well. Back when I went in 1976, you just crossed over IIRC. I've read things both ways :loco: 

What's the straight scoop? I want to take them to the Skylon Tower as that's where my dad took us. We'd be there 4-6 hours, tops.

:help:

 

If you want to get back into the U.S....

:yes:

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Just now, IMAX 3D said:

Passport or enhanced license 

We went with the "enhanced license" the last time we went... 

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4 minutes ago, belljr said:

Enhanced Drivers License?? what is that

You need to get some sparkly stickers at a minimum to decorate the border.

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7 minutes ago, belljr said:

Enhanced Drivers License?? what is that

Essentially just a passport for Canada. You pay a little extra for it vs the regular license, but it's all built right into the actual license card itself. Not sure if you could get into Mexico too? Anywhere besides Canada though, you need a passport. So if you're a frequent traveler up north it makes sense. Otherwise just save your money and get the full passport.

Edited by ShamrockPride

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7 minutes ago, belljr said:

Enhanced Drivers License?? what is that

From what I remember (it was years ago), we just had to pay extra when we were renewing our licenses and they did some sort of background check.

My license now says "Enhanced Driver License" right under "Michigan"...  It was like a passport in and out of Canada, eh

Edited by playin4beer

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44 minutes ago, Tom Servo said:

My sons (17 and 15) want to go to Niagara Falls. I'd like to be able to take them to the Canadian side as well. Back when I went in 1976, you just crossed over IIRC. I've read things both ways :loco: 

What's the straight scoop? I want to take them to the Skylon Tower as that's where my dad took us. We'd be there 4-6 hours, tops.

:help:

 

Yes or enhanced drivers license. Most people who live in Metro-Detroit have them as we are so close to Canada.

Edited by Da Guru

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Don't eat there.  They have a special Niagara Falls tax which is total bull####.  Food is pretty crazy expensive. 

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16 minutes ago, ShamrockPride said:

Essentially just a passport for Canada. You pay a little extra for it vs the regular license, but it's all built right into the actual license card itself. Not sure if you could get into Mexico too? Anywhere besides Canada though, you need a passport. So if you're a frequent traveler up north it makes sense. Otherwise just save your money and get the full passport.

Quote

 

The following US states currently offer EDLs: Michigan. New York. Vermont. Washington.

 

I live in PA. <_< 

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1 minute ago, Tom Servo said:

I live in PA. <_< 

Ahh. I live in NY. Didn't know this. Surprised that even with so many border states, availability is so limited.

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3 minutes ago, Sabertooth said:

Don't eat there.  They have a special Niagara Falls tax which is total bull####.  Food is pretty crazy expensive. 

Also, don't let your kids screw around with the railings by the falls.. they are slippery.  I heard of a kid who's mom wasn't paying attention to him and he slipped and fell.

Luckily, Superman was vacationing there at the same time...

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1 hour ago, Tom Servo said:

My sons (17 and 15) want to go to Niagara Falls. I'd like to be able to take them to the Canadian side as well. Back when I went in 1976, you just crossed over IIRC. I've read things both ways :loco: 

What's the straight scoop? I want to take them to the Skylon Tower as that's where my dad took us. We'd be there 4-6 hours, tops.

:help:

 

Passport required. Call the customs office both in the us and Canada to see if they're open to waivers

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http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/ivc-rnc-eng.html#a1a

"If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must carry proof of citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification. If you are a U.S. permanent resident, ensure you carry proof of your status such as a U.S. Permanent Resident Card."

Sounds like you can get away with bringing your birth certificate plus your photo ID.

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1 hour ago, ShamrockPride said:

Essentially just a passport for Canada. You pay a little extra for it vs the regular license, but it's all built right into the actual license card itself. Not sure if you could get into Mexico too? Anywhere besides Canada though, you need a passport. So if you're a frequent traveler up north it makes sense. Otherwise just save your money and get the full passport.

Also I believe the enhanced license is only good if you drive over, I believe if flying in you need a passport.  Not sure about boat or train

and yeah you probably can get over and back with a license and birth certificate, but not without a lot of hassle

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We just went through the process for my kids,13 and 11. Should get them in mid-August if all goes well. Headed to Montreal late summer.

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3 hours ago, belljr said:

minors don't need one but need proof  of citizenship

You need a passport

My daughter, who does not have a passport, is going with my inlaws next month.... she needs all sorts of documentation to do it. Birth Certificate, SS Card, notirzed letter from me that it is for her to do it.  

How long has that been a thing?

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Little known secret.... Just show them a Tim Horton's receipt and they'll let you back in. Helps if you give them some Timbits. 

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Better go before they start building their wall.

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1 hour ago, Jaysus said:

My daughter, who does not have a passport, is going with my inlaws next month.... she needs all sorts of documentation to do it. Birth Certificate, SS Card, notirzed letter from me that it is for her to do it.  

How long has that been a thing?

About 17 years 

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Have a passport card for America Jr. entrance and return.

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1 hour ago, Jaysus said:

My daughter, who does not have a passport, is going with my inlaws next month.... she needs all sorts of documentation to do it. Birth Certificate, SS Card, notirzed letter from me that it is for her to do it.  

How long has that been a thing?

Right after 9-11.

I travel to Canada all the time for business. I flew there in September 25, two weeks after 9/11. The gal from air Canada asked for two pieces of picture ID which had never been required before. I only had my license and a Costco card. She let me go. When I arrived customs stopped me for 3 hours and finally I had to get my wife to fax over a certified copy of my birth certificate. That had never been necessary before.

Shortly after we switched to the passport only system for all international flights which forced me to get one

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2 hours ago, Politician Spock said:

Little known secret.... Just show them a Tim Horton's receipt and they'll let you back in. Helps if you give them some Timbits. 

I may even throw in a bag of coffee. :D 

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Is it just you taking them? Minors travelling with only one parent require a notorized letter of approval signed by both parents to cross. We have to do this every time my wife or I take one of our kids to Canada for hockey tournaments if we all aren't travelling together:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/visit-canada/minor-children-travelling-canada.html

The below has a a link to a form that can be used:

https://www.ezbordercrossing.com/the-inspection-experience/travelling-with-children/letter-for-taking-child-across-u-s-canada-border/

If both parents are going, disregard. 

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Just get the kids a passport. Never know when an international travelling opportunity might arise for them in the near future. Dont' want the lack of a passport as being an excuse for them to miss out

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25 minutes ago, the moops said:

Just get the kids a passport. Never know when an international travelling opportunity might arise for them in the near future. Dont' want the lack of a passport as being an excuse for them to miss out

This.

We've traveled abroad as a family for the past 4 summers and we not only got passports for the kids, we all have the Global Entry pass. Love skipping the long lines at security and not having to take of shoes/belt/etc. 

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3 hours ago, CGRdrJoe said:

Do you guys recommend switching to canadien dollars or staying with US?

I always use an international credit card with a decent cashback return, you pay a the same currency conversion you would at a bank, get some cash back on it and know you're not going to get caught paying more at some independent place with their own posted exchange. For when I need to use cash, I do exchange some in advance. 

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Yeah I’d plan on using cards as much as you can, maybe exchange a little bit just in case you get in a pinch somewhere, but then be prepared to have a pocket full of loonies and toonies

IIRC some of the gentlemen’s clubs will let you buy fake dollar bills to give the girls instead of having to spin coins at them

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On 7/9/2018 at 1:33 PM, Tom Servo said:

My sons (17 and 15) want to go to Niagara Falls. I'd like to be able to take them to the Canadian side as well. Back when I went in 1976, you just crossed over IIRC. I've read things both ways :loco: 

What's the straight scoop? I want to take them to the Skylon Tower as that's where my dad took us. We'd be there 4-6 hours, tops.

:help:

 

Unless the rules have changed under Trump then you need a passport for flying but driving across border only a license ( no enhanced license here).  A few years back, I was flying to Montreal and didn't realize my passport was expired.  Checked the rules and ended up taking a bus over from NYC.

Edited by Major

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13 hours ago, CGRdrJoe said:

Do you guys recommend switching to canadien dollars or staying with US?

In the airport in the US, I convert $100 USD to Canadian just in case, and then convert whatever is left back to USD when I return to the US airport. But last time, I didn’t use a single dollar of paper money, so I "wasted" the cost of the exchange rate on each end of the deal, but it was worth it for me to have the  insurance of cash if I needed it in a pinch. 

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Double post.  sorry. . 

Edited by joey

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Skylon tower should be a hard pass. Went there 2 years ago and the place might not have been updated since your father took you there. The revolving restaurant was ok, bit pricey for what it was and the outer deck view was easily beaten by many of the hotels nearby. 

Arcade on the bottom was half closed and half broken. That annoyed me more..lol

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On 7/9/2018 at 3:10 PM, Joe Summer said:

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/ivc-rnc-eng.html#a1a

"If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must carry proof of citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification. If you are a U.S. permanent resident, ensure you carry proof of your status such as a U.S. Permanent Resident Card."

Sounds like you can get away with bringing your birth certificate plus your photo ID.

Divers license(w/ your photo on it) & birth certificates for the kids.  If kid has drivers license bring it .  Passport or license they still put your name in the system to check your history.  Lately the 1st question for me has been "have you ever been denied entry into Canada".   Don't LIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got denied once & had to flip a U & go back through the USA side.  He asked how long I had been in Canada.  I said 5 minutes.  2 hours later I was admitted back into the US.

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Stay out of Niagara Falls, NY if you can. Nothing there but crappiness. And there’s a better view of the falls from Canada, anyway. 

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Be prepared to be grilled at the Border, both coming and going...They will ask you a series of 6 to 8 

different questions on both sides...It kind of freaked me out.

Fallsview Casino is pretty nice as far as the Casinos go in Toronto.

 

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7 hours ago, The Big Guy said:

Skylon tower should be a hard pass. Went there 2 years ago and the place might not have been updated since your father took you there. The revolving restaurant was ok, bit pricey for what it was and the outer deck view was easily beaten by many of the hotels nearby. 

Arcade on the bottom was half closed and half broken. That annoyed me more..lol

For what it's worth, I agree with this re:Skylon Tower, it's not a great attraction but it has a place of nostalgia in OP's heart, so maybe that makes it worthwhile.

I've been to Niagara Falls countless times and my opinion is: The falls themselves and the parks around them are obviously amazing. The Maid of the Mist is still super cool to me. The behind the falls thing is worth doing once. Fallsview Drive has some "nicer" touristy stuff and the better casino, where Clifton Hill has kind of trashy touristy stuff. The outlet shops aren't worth your time and Niagara-on-the-Lake is a better destination than anywhere but the falls themselves.

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37 minutes ago, jimmy b said:

Be prepared to be grilled at the Border, both coming and going...They will ask you a series of 6 to 8 

different questions on both sides...It kind of freaked me out.

Fallsview Casino is pretty nice as far as the Casinos go in Toronto.

 

I had the opposite experience on my most recent trip. Waved through into the states, despite clearly having more beer than you're allowed to bring across the border, and saying as much. Coming back into Canada was literally a 5 second stop but it always is.

Disclaimer: I am as white and Canadian as a person can possibly be.

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