US Canada Border Crossing Rules Explained
Many US citizens are not experienced with crossing the US-Canada border. Maybe they are unemployed and watching the Olympics on TV every day, witnessing the beautiful weather and friendly people of British Columbia. Thinking of visiting? There are a few things to know before you try to cross the border!
BC Bud for the Win!
Everyone knows BC has the best pot. In fact our "BC bud" is so good, you might not be able to stop yourself from trying to bring some home. Unfortunately a hockey bag of maryjane crossing the border into the US is an International incident in the War on Drugs. So just to make sure we don't have any trouble, we will deny entry if you have a history of conviction for drug possession in the US.
Arrested in the US? Stay in the US!
Any arrest and conviction is grounds for rejection at the Canadian border, not just DUI. Any felony and most assaults including domestic, will get you denied. Think about it... if you beat your wife senseless when you were home in the US, why should we trust you with our innocent and trusting Canadian women?
No Five Finger Discounts in Canada
Shoplifting is Easier in Canada. We trust people up here. So when you walk around our shops browsing, we are less likely to catch you stealing than the armed bodega owner is back in the US. Therefore, we ask our border guards to reject anyone with a history of conviction for shoplifting in the US. Looking for five finger discounts? You won't find them in Canada!
DUI = Don't Underestimate Interrogation
Canadians may be gentle and friendly, and encouraging of an open-minded approach to living peacefully, but we still have computer databases and we do check your background! If you have a history of DUI you will not be allowed to enter. We have enough of those people up here already and don't need any more. A DUI in Canada is a felony. If you read this article and think you'll take your chances, you should know security is tighter than it was when that article was written.
We Can't Shoot Back!
We don't have as many guns in Canada as you have in the US. Our shopkeepers are not armed. We don't shoot guns into the air to celebrate holidays because, well, we like our rain to be made of water. Therefore, if you own a gun in the US our border guards will know that and ask you if you have any weapons in your car. And then they will watch you carefully. Watch your eyes, your lips, your tell-tale facial wrinkles as you answer. Yes, a knife is a weapon. If you lie, we will catch you, and it wont be fun.
Thinking of Drinking? Don't Drive!
Keep in mind you may have been able to skoot your way around DUI checkpoints in the US thus far, but we have pretty sneaky checkpoints up here, too. Your iPhone app won't keep you one-step-ahead of the mounties up here! And if you test 0.08 or higher, refuse to take a test or breath out through your nose instead of the breathalyzer? Deportation... you get documented and dropped on the southern side of the nearest border. And no, you can't come back to get your stuff from the hotel.
$200 May get you "rehabilitated"
We may be sensitive up here in The Great White North, but we're not stupid. If you have a DUI conviction over 5 years old, and no criminal history since, we may accept a $200 cash donation to "look the other way". Don't bribe the border guard cause that'll just get you arrested. You need to fill out a "donation" form inside.
Car Insurance is Not Enough
In the US, bad drivers simply need better insurance. But we Canadians learned from the last guy that crashed into our car and skipped back into the US that it's not real easy to get US insurance companies to pay Canadians. Reckless driving? Dangerous driving? Negligent driving? It's enough to get you denied entry at the border.