Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

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Marty Bufalini
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Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Marty Bufalini » Fri Apr 26, 2019 6:41 pm

I live in Detroit across the river from Windsor, Ontario. My cousin lives in Windsor. He wants to use my car for his wedding this July. Do I need to clear this with Ontario authorities? If so, who? Will my lack of seat belts be grandfathered in? Etc.?

Thanks

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Oldav8tor
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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Oldav8tor » Fri Apr 26, 2019 8:39 pm

Marty,
I've taken my 1952 Willys Army Jeep into Canada a couple of times. Canadian policy is that the vehicle doesn't have to have any equipment that it wasn't built with. In each case the Canadian and US border agents hardly batted an eye. About the only deviation from the usual script was an occasional "nice Jeep."

A fun trip is to cross the Bluewater Bridge from Port Huron to Sarnia, drive south along the St.Clair River to Sombra and take the ferry to the USA to Marine City. Unfortunately, that ferry is closed with an uncertain future so you'd have to go farther south and cross via the Walpole Island Ferry to Algonac. The drive back up the US side of the river is also very scenic - I plan to take my T on such a trip when I get it put back together and operating to my satisfaction.

Make sure you take your passport or enhanced driver's license.
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Playswithbrass
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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Playswithbrass » Sat Apr 27, 2019 7:13 am

Marty as you know Detriot is north of Canada however no matter what weather you are having it will be snowing here.
Expect the customs officer to inspect you car for snow tires and if not equipped will send you packing home.LOL

Come on over you may need to show the ownership and insurance papers. Cheers pete


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Tiger Tim » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:46 am

Your best bet would be to call the Canadian customs office next week and verify, it would be silly to get turned away or have your T seized just because you took forum advice as gospel. Take notes on the call and get the agent’s badge number at the end so you have a reference later. If you will be with your car the whole time it will likely be no big deal but if your plan is to leave the T with your cousin for a stretch while you return home you may need to jump through some extra hoops just to assure them you’re not secretly selling it (they want their tax money if you sell it - US is the same way).


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Playswithbrass » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:56 am

Tim you are over reacting. How do you think we all get to the Old Car Festival. We tour regularly in Michigan and lots of people in Michigan tour with us in Ontario.There is not a problem cheers pete


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by tom_strickling » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:58 am

Some 200 plus Ts will be going to Canada this summer for the MTFCI tour in July. I have heard no mention of having to do anything special to cross the border with my car.


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Dan Hatch » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:46 am

Passport to get you back in to US ?

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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Oldav8tor » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:06 am

Dan - I quote: "When traveling between Canada and the United States, it will be necessary to pass through Customs and Border Protection at the border. ... A Passport, Passport Card, Enhanced Driver License, Enhanced ID Card (EDL/ID) or NEXUS Card is REQUIRED to cross the U.S./Canadian border by land and sea." For me, a passport is the easiest - it's good for any kind of international travel as well as the ID requirement for domestic flying.

Used to be the border agents didn't even ask for ID - they'd ask a few questions like "how long are you staying" and that was it. Since 911 everything is changed.
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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by walber » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:44 am

No difference from driving a modern car. You will need the passport or enhanced drivers license but otherwise it is a piece of cake. You might want to do a quick check with your insurance agent (or read your policy - who really does that?) to see if they provide coverage in Canada or need an temporary rider. Again, that should be easy.

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Spot On Tim

Post by FreighTer Jim » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:45 pm

Crossing into Canada & coming back is different for a US Citizen than crossing into the US & coming back as a Canadian Citizen.

Historically - Canada is concerned with tariff collections and the US is concerned with smuggling.

I stopped crossing the Canadian border when US Customs became a real pain in the @ss coming back.


FJ


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by John Codman » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:28 pm

I agree with FJ. The US Border Patrol and/or TSA is a PITA compared to customs in virtually every other country that I have visited with the exception of Russia. I'm sure it's the policy, not the individual officer that is the problem. I simply don't understand why you can drive across the border from Germany into France (a couple of old friends) at 105 KPH and then have to jump through a series of hoops to cross what was once the longest unguarded border in the world. In fairness, when I used to fly my Comanche from the US to Canada I never had any significant issues on either side. Once when landing in London, Ontario I asked the customs officer if he wanted to look inside the plane. He said "Nope, if you were carrying something you shouldn't, you wouldn't have landed here." He was right, of course.


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Dean Kiefer » Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:53 pm

A drunk driving ticket (DWI) will keep you from getting into Canada. My nephew found that out the hard way. He was going there on a fishing trip with a bunch of guys. He had to stay at the border for a week while they had a good time.


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by yukonjack » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:10 pm

Dan Hatch wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:46 am
Passport to get you back in to US ?
Yes, that's what they want you to believe...although I had a conversation with US CBP about that before I submitted my passport for renewal last year. He told me that, in reality, they cannot deny a US citizen re-entry into the country; but without "proper" ID they put you through the wringer first. I was allowed to cross the border for the time that my passport renewal was being processed using a photocopy of pages 2 & 3 of my old passport. So in spite of what you read, they can make exceptions to the rule.


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Dave Frost » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:06 pm

Be sure and stop at the duty-free store on the way up to buy your Canadian friends some cheap liquor. They will thank you. If going over the bridge fill your gas tanks, cheaper on the USA side.


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Marty Bufalini
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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Marty Bufalini » Sat Apr 27, 2019 5:27 pm

Wow! Great advice all around. Thanks.

I'm going to play it safe and call Canadian customs Monday.

I'll let you know what they say.

Marty


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Les Schubert » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:08 pm

Having crossed the border many times here are my rules;
Volunteer nothing!! DONT get “cute “
Tell NO lies
Keep the answers as short as possible!!

Have a good trip


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Jerry VanOoteghem » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:47 pm

Marty,

They basically don't care what you're driving. Just have all your documents in place. However, you maybe should tell your insurance company you'll be travelling in Canada.


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Dave Frost » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:28 pm

Great advise Les. Went up there with a group of guys all on motorcycles and they made us take our sunglasses off so they could see our eyes. Didn't appreciate when asked if we had anything to declare and one guy answered "I declare I'm here to have a good time". Next thing I know the whole group of us is doing the Canadian Macarena in our underwear in the customs station. No sense of humor I guess. Had to wait on their border dog to give us a good sniffen. Funny thing was, dog was a small dirty, ugly poodle. Spent many a looney and twoney in Windsor, fun town when you're young and dumb.


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Gonenorth » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:36 am

Been back and forth across the border more times than I can count. Most went smooth, some didn't. One time I got detained at the border and ultimately turned around when (being honest) I told the Canadian border folks I was going up fishing for a few days and helping my friend who owned the fishing camp move some boats to the lake and clear some brush at one of the launches. I was denied entry because I "was doing work that a Canadian citizen should be hired for". Made no difference that I was volunteering my services without pay. Had to head back home.

You might want to remember to declare all gifts (even wedding gifts, bring receipts) and be mindful of the gifting limit. Bring along your title and insurance card. When asked the purpose of your visit; tell them you are attending a family member's wedding. If they ask about the car, explain briefly that you were requested to bring it. Show them any documentation IF they ask. Also make it clear at the end of your stay it is coming home with you. Don't offer any info they don't specifically ask for. Sometimes it depends who you have in the booth asking questions. Everyone has good and bad days. I would go when it's moderately busy. Might have more of a wait, but you will generally get less scrutiny when there's a line that needs to get moving.


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Pete Ratledge » Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:54 am

Gentlemen, My wife Mary and I plan to attend the MTFCI tour in July up in Prince Edward Island. We have updated our passports. I will check with our insurance Company's for my truck and Model T to see what there policy is. I am a little confused on the money difference up there. I have heard that our dollar is worth more and I have heard that their dollar is worth more. Where is the best place to exchange money? Do credit cards work well up there? When we cross the border, are we allowed to have Beer, water and soda's in my truck? Do I need owner ship papers for my Model T?
Thank you, Pete Ratledge


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Dave Frost » Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:26 am

Pete, checking today $1 Canadian equals $0.7425 American. Most shops will gladly take American money. Check with your bank about a money exchange. Unless things have changed you need to buy beer at the duty free station on the way up or buy it in Canada. Bet off buying at the border. Case of beer was $40 in country the last time I was up there. Each person was allowed to bring one case of beer or one bottle of liquor into Canada. Another tip is to NOT drink and drive up there. Unlike this country, they are serious about impaired driving there. Cabs or Uber are the way to travel if you plan on having a drink or two with your meal.


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Harry Lillo » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:38 pm

One document that gets checked occasionally at the border, both ways, is your trailer registration.
If your trailer is insured you may want to bring that document as well.
There is mandatory automobile insurance in Canada. This would be for your tow vehicle and Model T.
There is no mandatory insurance requirements for trailers in Alberta.
Harry


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by yukonjack » Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:02 pm

Pete Ratledge wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 7:54 am
Gentlemen, My wife Mary and I plan to attend the MTFCI tour in July up in Prince Edward Island. We have updated our passports. I will check with our insurance Company's for my truck and Model T to see what there policy is. I am a little confused on the money difference up there. I have heard that our dollar is worth more and I have heard that their dollar is worth more. Where is the best place to exchange money? Do credit cards work well up there? When we cross the border, are we allowed to have Beer, water and soda's in my truck? Do I need owner ship papers for my Model T?
Thank you, Pete Ratledge
Hi Pete,

Right now, your US dollar is worth about 25% to 30% more in Canada; the Foreign Exchange Rate is constantly variable so giving a hard and fast rate is not possible, but vacationing in PEI will be somewhat of a bargain. You'll have a hard time buying Canadian dollars at US banks, even in the border towns...Canadian banks are set up to buy and sell US cash (although I'm not sure how much they will do for non-depositors); note that they charge a premium on FOREX transactions though. Credit cards work fine in Canada; if you have a card with preferred rates you may actually find that the credit card company's exchange rates for foreign purchases are the best you can get anywhere. If you're going to rely on your credit cards while traveling anywhere (even inside the US) its good to notify the credit card company of your plans, as they'll sometimes shut off your cards when they see unusual charges to protect you from theft. When I came to Canada to work in 2007 I got the best deal purchasing Canadian cash through AAA and it was delivered by FEDEX right to my door before I left. Also note that if you're crossing the border with more than $10K, you're supposed to declare it.

The advice about making sure you have current paperwork on the trailer is right on; I've had the guy come out of his booth a couple of times to and get down on his knees to compare the VIN number on the trailer to that on the registration certificate. Due to bio-security concerns they will take fresh fruit and vegetables away from you...also I got turned back last fall because the vehicle on my trailer had too much dirt on it, but after a trip to a carwash back in Maine I made it into Canada without a problem. The duty on alcohol is, I think, 80% of the value as converted to Canadian dollars; I have no idea on tobacco. And if you're traveling with pets they may ask to see a current rabies certificate.

Weapons would best be left home..."weapon" is kind of a generic term (it could be a rock if that's all you have and you're being charged by a bear!), but Canada Border Services has a list of specific items that they classify as such. Call or check their website FMI.

Hope this helps, Jack


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Pete Ratledge » Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:54 am

Hi Jack, Thank you for your information. It will be very helpful.
What do you do with Canadian money,if you don't use it? I don't think that I will be crossing the border with 10K, HA-HA. Do you mean that I will have to pay duty on the case of beer that will be in my truck? Registration and insurance cards for my Truck,Trailer and Model T,will be all I need,not titles.
Also, someone told me to check with my Health and Vehicle insurance company's to see if they will cover me up there. I may have to purchase a rider policy.
Thanks again,
Pete


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by Rich Bingham » Mon Apr 29, 2019 9:27 am

Thanks to all for the great information posted here on "international travel". Sad how the world has changed. I haven't crossed the medicine line in 50 years - back then my advice would have been simply, "point 'em north" ! :D
"Get a horse !"


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Re: Need Advice on Taking My Car into Canada

Post by yukonjack » Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:40 am

Pete Ratledge wrote:
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:54 am
Hi Jack, Thank you for your information. It will be very helpful.
What do you do with Canadian money,if you don't use it? I don't think that I will be crossing the border with 10K, HA-HA. Do you mean that I will have to pay duty on the case of beer that will be in my truck? Registration and insurance cards for my Truck,Trailer and Model T,will be all I need,not titles.
Also, someone told me to check with my Health and Vehicle insurance company's to see if they will cover me up there. I may have to purchase a rider policy.
Thanks again,
Pete
Pete,

I've seen signs out at the duty free store on the I95 border crossing that they will change your money, but I've also heard their exchange rates don't favor the customer. I've never been in there, so don't have any first hand experience.

Regarding beer, maybe the rules are different if you're entering as a visitor, but as a Canadian resident I have to pay...I usually buy a 30 pack of Schaefer in Maine for just under $17 US, with the exchange rate and duty at the border the case costs me ~$40 CAD. $1.35/can sounds like a lot, but its a bargain compared to prices in a liquor store on this side of the border...we used to pay $15/six-pack in Whitehorse!

The regular gasoline price posted at the pump around here in New Brunswick at the moment is around $1.40 per liter, which is very roughly equal to a quart. Pump price in Houlton, Maine is around $2.80/gallon...so even with the exchange rate its way cheaper in the US. If you have jerry cans full crossing the border they may nick you, but you don't have to declare the fuel in the vehicle's tank.

I don't know what other people here think, but personally I would never carry an original title certificate for the vehicle I am traveling in...you'll be very safe in PEI, but the world in general is a dangerous place and I wouldn't want to make a car thief's work any easier. Anyway, if it were me and I wanted to be able to show ownership, I would carry a photocopy.

Jack

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