Length of time crossing into Canada using the Sweetgrass entry or the Del Bonito entry. I'm told the Sweetgrass entry has high truck traffic entering Canada and can cause long delays. After looking at the Del Bonito entry with it's longer distance to Cochrane I'm wondering.....??? Anybody out there with any experience ??? Jerry...
Be sure to bring your passport or enhanced drivers license. Entry is not as easy as it used to be.
And leave your gun at home.
And know all the current rules for crossing into and out of Canada.
Current Registration for all vehicles and Insurance card or letter.
Wish me well as I'm hauling up lots of stuff for the tour prizes. Can I say Spare T Parts? Even with NAFTA I may have to pay a 5% tax.
Gene, what entry point will you be using on your trip? Jerry.
Mark, any "rules" that I should be aware of...Jerry.
There was a string of conversation on Fordbarn in the Model A section because there was just a tour up there in the last month. After going back 10 pages on that forum to find it, the string, I gave up. But here are some'
http://index.about.com/index?gclid=CjwKEAjwzuisBRClgJnI4_a96zwSJACAEZKeMJx5H5AMm 3Q9mAi_SDw6FW95bd0QdCIS-WyKEPWLVRoC8cHw_wcB&am=broad&q=us+border+crossing+rules& an=google_s&askid=7180c6ff-e0ee-482f-a5b9-154f2233d8b1-0-ab_gsb&dqi=&qsrc=999&ad =semD&o=4557&l=sem
Jerry, Tim Peterson suggested that the Del Bonita border crossing is off the truck route and has a shorter wait time. At Shelby you can take a left up thru Cut Bank I think and make your way up to the crossing there. I guess it's not much out of the way so I may try that.
See you there and have a Safe Trip!
The Sweetgrass border crossing is usually not terribly busy and is well staffed at this time of year and during the daylight hours of the work week. Del Bonita has one or two people at the most on duty, if they are busy there can be a wait there, too. I would just go through Sweetgrass/Coutts. Have your paperwork ready, don't try to take undeclared guns or firewood, stop where the sign says ARRETT, do not pull forward until the lane ahead is CLEAR and have your passports and paperwork at the ready and you will be fine. Also, have a list of anything you are going to leave in Canada with invoices for anything very expensive as you may have to pay GST to take it in. If it is a gift or prizes for the tour tell them that and have a list with values. Make sure the values are realistic. Those people are no fools. I have only ever had problems once and that was due to not having an invoice and having a border clerk who was having an "I'm important" day. At the worst, you can return to Sweetgrass, leave your merchandise at a storage facility for a few bucks and have one of the Calgary guys come down and pick it up.
If you have Cigarettes, other tobacco, alcohol etc., declare it when they ask. DO NOT try to take a hand gun or ammunition in to Canada. They have NO sense of humor about any of that. If you only have a fifth of whiskey in your motorhome, etc., they will not worry about it if you tell them you have it. You don't want to tell them you do not have any and have them find it during a check.
When you stop at the red Arrett sign, they are scanning your license plate and running it. They already know more about you than you think when you pull forward.
If you are a convicted felon -- if they ask, better tell them. You may get in but you won't get back without a lot of trouble.
That's great advice Stan. Concise and accurate- I've crossed the border lots going into and out of the US, never had a problem yet. Hope everyone has a great time in Calgary!!
I grew up not far from the Del Bonita crossing. In fact I just crossed at Carway/Piegan, the next crossing west, last week. I find the Coutts/Sweetgrass crossing to be busy and the crossing guards there get tired and "snarky". The Del Bonita crossing is open from 8 am until 9pm at this time of year.
Stan is right about Del Bonita. It is a small crossing and you could wait if it is busy. I have never seen it busy and I have crossed dozens of times. The problem is that sometime the customs officials want to visit.
If you have had a thallium stress test for your heart in the last month, bring a note from your doctor. When I crossed at Carway I set off the US customs radiation detectors and had to pull over where they scanned me and my truck with a Geiger counter.
When I arrive at the booth I always turn off the radio, open all the windows, take off my sun glasses and turn off the engine. Don't be cute with your answers. It might not hurt to have your tour registration email printed out and handy. Trailer and Motel T registration is also important.
If you cross at Del Bonita and want to make an extra stop on the way, rather than going straight through the hamlet of Del Bonita, turn left, West, on Hwy 501 and go to Cardston to see the world class Remington Carriage Museum. This "detour" according to google maps will not add extra travel time and the road is paved and little travelled. From Cardston, Hwy 2 goes straight to Calgary.
When you arrive at Cardston you will descend a hill and the museum is at the bottom on your left. Look me up at the tour and I will tell you about splitting the pinion on my T at age 15 and freewheeling down the hill toward Main Street.
Having crossed many times, my rules are simple;
1 tell NO lies, and don't get "cute" in your replies
2 volunteer nothing!!! Keep the answers as short as you reasonably can
If you're staying at a hotel, it might help to have a printout of the reservation as they might be less likely to hassle money spending tourists. Also, they are looking to stop people of certain negative profiles. A model T guy would be about as far from that as you could get.
In the last 33 years in the auction business we have had 3 or 4 auctions of seized vehicles from the US Border. I don't know what Canada does with them but that's what the US does. False registration, transporting aliens into the US illegally, transporting weapons, attempting to transport minor women across the border for nefarious purposes, bringing raw fruit or meat into the US, attempting to transport weapons to Canada, etc. We had one van that was all ripped apart where they cut open the panels the drugs were in. The laws are serious and well enforced.
Robb is right about some of those small crossing stations. Some of the crossings maybe get half a dozen cars a day and the agents are going stir crazy out there.
The only time I have seen a backup at Del Bonita was coming back from Pincher Creek one time when there were about 10 oil field trucks ahead of me.
My friend Myron, who is a professional fiddle player, leaves an amp here, picks it up when he goes south to work, drops it off when he goes home. They have no humor about Canadians coming to the US to work, either. They just won't let you go across the border if they think you are going to the US to play music for money. Same deal the other way. I suppose there are legal ways to do it, tho.
It took us about an hour to cross this am, Friday about 10. There is a separate lane for tucks. It takes about 3 to 5 minutes per car if no problems. We did see many cars turning into the inspection area. They only asked us a few questions and we were on our way.
I went through the crossing on highway 95 in northern Idaho early this afternoon. One truck and 2 cars in front of me, done and on my way in maybe 5 minutes max. Had passports and rabies note from Vet for our dog, no weapons, not leaving anything in Canada, going for the tour, have a nice day.
Piece of cake at sweetgrass this afternoon only had to wait about 40 minutes