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Crossing into Canada


Any info on crossing into Canada ? I know we can’t bring fresh fruits or veg.  What about the wine and alcohol we have in RV? If we declare it all, is there a duty tax? 


Nomad II
Nomad II

Best to check the Canadian customs website as the rules change. A few notes:

 - Bear spray is allowed. Mace/Pepper spray is not.

 - If you have any felony on your record, check first. 20yr old DUI's catch a surprising number of people who get turned away. If not recent and otherwise have a good record, you can get it expunged but need a lawyer and not cheap (not a problem we have but meet and heard of several).

 - Just because someone was allowed in with ***** or they didn't as about ******, doesn't mean you will get away with it and if you get caught lying, expect to have your rig torn apart to confirm you don't have more.

We crossed into Canada 4 times last year on our Alaska trip and they were friendly and polite. Only thing we lost were 3 eggs but that was crossing back into Montana.

Tammy & Mike
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just crossed into Canada last June. No duty tax but do declare it! About the fruits , I had all of them! a complete produce market but was allowed to bring in after a lecture jij

Explorer II
Explorer II

We just went into Canada a few months ago.  I always check online to find out the most recent restrictions.  They are pretty easy to follow.  NO, you don't have to have a Passport.  You can get through with an enhanced driver's license, at least you can in the state of Washington.  Again, check with customs.  We have passports and they do make things easier.  We really like the Canadian White wines and usually stock up when coming back.  There is a "limit" and you can check with the customs website.  We always go over, but not by a huge amount, and have yet to be charged any extra.  The penalty is rather small so being a dozen bottles over would not be a big expense.  I want to say something like 20 cents a bottle.  Again, check with customs.  This will be posted there.

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Just to make it clear upon this post - The US Government enacted the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Inititive) which requires that ALL United States Citizens returning to the United States obtain a passport or passport equivalent -


Enhanced Driver License is a passport equivalent -

The last I knew if memory serves me right, only four US states participate with the enhanced driver license program (Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, New York) with a 5th US State later on applied to participate in the program (Vermont)....


There are four differences between a :

1 -real ID or real ID driver license
2 -enhanced driver license
3 -passport card or equivalent
4 -passport book

1 - The purpose of the real ID or real ID driver license is maintaining a central federal database for permitting domestic US air travel, access to US federal gov't buildings and has no bearing what so ever for international travel....

2 - The enhanced driver licenses are only allowed to be issued from Continental US states that directly border with Canada, with the option to participate....

When the program first started under the WHTI (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative managed under the US Dept of Homeland Security), only four US states first optioned to participate (WA, MN, MI, and NY)...and later on I believe VT joined to issue enhanced driver licenses....

Enhanced driver licenses that are issued from these 5 US states are both equivalent with the same characteristics as a valid passport card while also real ID compliant....

3 - A passport card (also managed under WHTI), permits entry to all land and sea ports of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands only....To my knowledge it cannot be used for air travel, however the last I knew there was an added exception a couple years ago to start permitting restricted air travel to only four int'l airports in Canada with the US passport card to and from the United States via Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and I think either Edmonton or Montreal....

4 - A US passport book's purpose is designated for all forms of air, land and sea travel at all ports of entry (international) while it is also domestically real ID and passport card compliant....

The last I knew, Real ID's and passport cards are valid for 5 to 7 years (unless recently changed) as US passport books are still valid for 10 years at a time....

The one factor upon real ID's, enhanced driver licenses, passport cards or equivalent, and passport books all have in common are :

They all establish both proof of identity and proof of citizenship.

For the record, I first obtained a US passport in 2006 to be future compliant when the US government announced their new required travel rules between countries, and since they added the real ID initiative in the mix later on - a US passport book supersedes any restricted real ID and passport card compliant measures as there is no need for me to obtain any other form of ID as I have a US passport book (valid for 10 years) and a standard driver license (now valid for 7 years)....

Here is a twister in the mix upon the WHTI rules strictly between 'typical' United States and Canada citizens .....

Only citizens of Canada can enter the United States without bearing a passport, as all US citizens and other foreign citizens are required to bear a passport or equivalent to enter or re-enter the United States....

A citizen of Canada that wishes to enter the United States without a passport must show established :

-proof of citizenship (a birth certificate or equivalent) AND
-proof of identity (a government issued ID or driver license if operating a vehicle)

Not under the WHTI rules :

Only citizens of Canada and the United States can enter Canada without bearing a passport....

A citizen of the United States that wishes to enter Canada without a passport must show established :

-proof of citizenship (a birth certificate or equivalent) AND
-proof of identity (a government issued ID or driver license if operating a vehicle)

However, any US citizen when entering Canada will always be asked to present a passport or equivalent mainly because the government of Canada fully knows that US citizens are required to bear a US passport or equivalent when re-entering the United States....

If a US citizen wishes to enter Canada with just a gov't ID and proof of citizenship - there are some exceptions depending the circumstances that a CBSA or immigration officer of Canada will determine at their discretion, however if one declares that they are taking a long vacation in their RV to Alaska while planning to return to their origin destination in the states - I wouldn't really count on any Canadian official permitting entry as more likely they will inform that US citizen to obtain a travel document.

Not under the WHTI rules (which is US law) :

Citizens of the United States that re-enter the United States without bearing a passport or equivalent CANNOT BE DENIED ENTRY....

-One will automatically be referred to secondary inspection and...

-One will be going thru additional screening measures until CBP officers are satisfied establishing -proof of identity and proof of citizenship on an individual....

More likely when it comes to dealing with CBP re-entering the United States under those circumstances, one will wish they had a passport.



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Only residents of some of the border states can get an enhanced license that works for crossing. Everyone else is required to have a passport.

John & Kathy
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You can apply for a nexus card.

Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Passport is still required in your possession and to present it on demand

John & Kathy
2014 Grand Design Reflection 303RLS
2014 F250 SBCC 6.2L 3.73

Nomad II
Nomad II

Best to go to the Customs website. These rules are pretty much always in flux.

Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

Explorer II
Explorer II

Over the last few years, I’ve seen problems with unpeeled potatoes, uncooked poultry products and fishing bait going into Canada. The poultry is a bird flu control measure.

The rules change in response to things that are going on, so check shortly before you cross for the latest.

John & Kathy
2014 Grand Design Reflection 303RLS
2014 F250 SBCC 6.2L 3.73


In Aug 2023 they only asked if we had any guns or fire wood

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The items they asked me about at the border last time were:

  • Firewood
  • Guns
  • Pepper Spray
  • Bear Spray

I thought it was funny when we returned into the US and they asked us if we bought any liquor in CA. I told them we'd have to be the world's dumbest smugglers to buy overpriced liquor in Canada and smuggle it back into the US where it's cheaper.

The border agent laughed, and then he confiscated my firewood. 😂

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  • Must have a valid passport to enter
  • Brining Fruits and Veg is ok.
  • Alcohol allowed is limited by quantity by person. Wine Up to1.5 litres each or Alcoholic beverages Up to 1.14 litres each or Beer Approximately 24 cans or bottles (355 ml each) of beer or ale. You can bring more but the duties and taxes are very high making it cost prohibitive.
  • for all other info visit
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If you get a chance watch Happily Ever Hanks on YouTube. They are full time RVers and just had an episode on crossing into the Canadian border 


Good question? I’m looking forward to the replies. What about pets & firearms too?