Travel Tips for Crossing the Canadian/U.S. Land Border

Check out these travel tips, handy apps and websites to ensure you have all the correct documentation and information to reduce your wait times at the border:

1. Know before you go

  • Make sure you have the correct travel documents to enter the U.S. and to re-enter Canada:
    • For current U.S. entry requirements, click here.
    • For current Canadian entry requirements, click here.
  • Plan ahead and check border wait times. Avoid crossing during peak travel times like weekend evenings.
  • Consider crossing at the least busy port of entry in the area.
  • Taking your dog or cat along? They need to be three months of age or older with a valid signed and dated certificate from a veterinarian verifying vaccinations against rabies.

2. Have the right type of travel insurance

  • Now more than ever, it is critical to know what your travel cancellation, interruption and medical insurance will and won’t cover.
  • You may want to consider additional insurance beyond what’s covered through your group benefits or credit cards.
  • For more information on travel insurance, click here.

3. Check Current Border Wait Times website

  • Avoid wait times at the 26 busiest Canada/U.S. land borders. Wait times are updated hourly.
  • For current wait times, click here.

4. Calculate Duty & Taxes with an Estimator

  • If you’re a frequent shopper, quickly decide just how good a deal you’re getting once you factor in the duty and taxes. Check in advance what you might have to pay on specific purchases, such as electronics.
  • App estimator – click here 
  • Website estimator – click here 
  • Declare all purchases and have your receipts readily available.
  • Make sure any purchases or items coming into Canada are not on a list of prohibited goods.
  • After being away for 24 hours, you can bring back tax- and duty-free goods valued at $200 CDN. After 48 hours, you can bring back $800 CDN worth of goods.
  • There are no personal exemptions for same-day, cross-border shopping trips. You might have to pay tax and possibly duty on your purchases.

5. Use the Canborder apps

  • The e-Declaration feature allows you to create a declaration for up to five travelers with the same place of residence.
  • Cross the border quicker with border wait time data, geolocation and mapping services.
  • Use the trip planner to provide turn-by-turn directions to the border.
  • For more information on Canborder, click here.

6. Get the latest Travel Advice & Advisories for Canadians

  • Get useful information for Canadian travelers, including travel advice and advisories on destinations, travel documents, travel health and more.
  • For more information, click here.

Book with a TICO Registered Travel Agency 

To verify if a travel agency or website is TICO registered, check our online directory.  

Take the TICO Traveller Quizto see what type of traveller you are.  

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For more travel tips and information, visit the  Smart Traveller Guide. All travel agencies and websites located and operating in Ontario are regulated by TICO. Registered travel agencies and websites provide additional consumer protection for your travel investment that may not be available when booking with travel agencies and websites based in other countries or provinces. For more information about  how TICO helps, click here.  Any questions can be directed to or 1-888-451-TICO (8426).