Summit Treestands
Taking a child into Canada
Bears
Contributors to this thread:
lineman21 05-Mar-19
Whocares 05-Mar-19
Ogoki 05-Mar-19
South Farm 05-Mar-19
Cobie33 05-Mar-19
tobywon 05-Mar-19
Teeton 05-Mar-19
Whocares 05-Mar-19
LKH 05-Mar-19
South Farm 05-Mar-19
bb 05-Mar-19
t-roy 05-Mar-19
South Farm 05-Mar-19
Cobie33 05-Mar-19
Trial153 05-Mar-19
DConcrete 05-Mar-19
grape 06-Mar-19
Teeton 06-Mar-19
Highlife 06-Mar-19
Cheesehead Mike 06-Mar-19
South Farm 06-Mar-19
Ace 06-Mar-19
lineman21 06-Mar-19
lawdy 06-Mar-19
Linecutter 07-Mar-19
deerslayer 07-Mar-19
Rob Nye 08-Mar-19
NoWiser 08-Mar-19
deerslayer 08-Mar-19
lineman21 25-May-19
t-roy 26-May-19
BullBuster 26-May-19
Aubs8 26-May-19
deerslayer 26-May-19
t-roy 26-May-19
deerslayer 26-May-19
DConcrete 27-May-19
Beartrack 27-May-19
From: lineman21
05-Mar-19
I’m planning on taking my 7 year old son with me this spring. Reading the regulations, it says that I only need to take his birth certificate. Wanting to hear from people who have taken kids with them. Should I go ahead and get him a passport? Did you get across smoothly both ways with only a birth certificate? Thanks!!

From: Whocares
05-Mar-19
Also bring a signed letter from his Mom stating what he is doing and its ok with her. I have been asked for that in the past both for my kids and for a grandson. (back in the old days)

From: Ogoki
05-Mar-19

From: South Farm
05-Mar-19
I just called on this myself yesterday as I'm in the same situation...taking my son fishing to Ontario in August...and your son can get into and out of Canada (BY LAND) simply with a birth certificate, NO PASSPORT REQUIRED. As mentioned, if mom ain't with bring a permission letter along just to be safe.

From: Cobie33
05-Mar-19
Have done it several times by vehicle with my son as a youngster and it is exactly as South Farm says. Make sure you go to the court house and get the birth certificate. Having a note from mom is important if asked for it and I get it notarized each time. I have never been asked to present it but always had it. Let the BP Officers lead the conversation and only answer the questions asked. Surrender only the info they ask for. Be courteous but not chatty. Never had a bad experience crossing into Canada or coming back but have had an interesting one.

From: tobywon
05-Mar-19
Great info and good advice. I was just talking to my wife about heading up to visit Montreal for a long weekend with her and the kids in the summer. I thought we all would need passports. Last time I went to Canada, birth certs were all everyone needed, but that was a while ago.

From: Teeton
05-Mar-19
Not trying to hijack this thread but it's been awhile since I've been there. What do adults need to get in and out of Canada these days ??? How about my dog?? Thanks Ed

From: Whocares
05-Mar-19
Passport or passport card. Card only good if driving, not flying. Current proof of rabies vaccination signed by vet. (for the dog) Ontario anyway.

From: LKH
05-Mar-19
I've done it with my driver's license and retired military ID. US side didn't care either. You're a US citizen. They can't keep you out.

From: South Farm
05-Mar-19
Passport card isn't required for (adults) to get into Canada, but it's required to get back into the states. Our law, not Canada's. If you want to chance it with just a driver's license I think you'll find out the hard way that "They" indeed can keep you out.

From: bb
05-Mar-19
When we brought my daughter into Canada, I got her a passport. for what it takes and costs to get a passport, why would anyone not want to get one? especially when it makes the whole process of travel that much easier, not just to Canada. It's the return trip into the US that's the issue. Why risk the hassle? Seems foolish to me to do it any other way.

From: t-roy
05-Mar-19
I would just go ahead and get him a passport anyway. After this year’s trip, he is going to hound you to go every year!

Even if you do get him a passport, you should still have proof in writing from your spouse (great idea from cobie33 about getting it notarized). My 17 year old nephew went with us one year and had a passport. Neither his mother or father was with us. Basically, his grandfather was his guardian on this trip. We never even gave it a thought about having a note from his parents. We were allowed to continue, but the authorities were very close to denying us entry.

From: South Farm
05-Mar-19
You can get one if you want, but the law doesn't require it coming or going. Every penny you can save in one area is a penny you can spend elsewhere...like on Labatts Blue when you get there!

From: Cobie33
05-Mar-19
I believe if your kid is 15 or under when you apply you have to renew the passport in 5 years. If is 16, that's the cut off for the 10 year renewal. My son first went to Canada at age 2. We don't travel to any other countries but there. Didn't want to purchase 3 passports in the time frame when I could spend $30 for the official birth certificate from the courthouse just once and use it for the passport when I send in the application. He will get his passport when he turns 16.

From: Trial153
05-Mar-19
Passport.

From: DConcrete
05-Mar-19

DConcrete's embedded Photo
DConcrete's embedded Photo
I got my little guy a passport. This was in 2017. He was 8 at the time. Manitoba with Desjardins.

From: grape
06-Mar-19
That is a great pic Jeff

From: Teeton
06-Mar-19
Thanks for the reply's guys... It's been a long time since I've been up to Ca. I only live 4 1/2 hours from there. I used to go once or twice a year spring bear and or fishing. The last time I went I was going turkey hunting in Port Perry on the north side of lake Ontario, think that was 2005.. That was the only time I got checked going in, other than just asked a few question and on my way.. You know that big lady comes out with the glove on that goes all the way up to her shoulder. :)

From: Highlife
06-Mar-19
I find if you wrap them up tight in a moving blanket and stuff them in the spare tire boot . No one looks of course if their larger you need to apply differently. :)

06-Mar-19
Also, if you have kids along be prepared for the customs agents to take the kids aside and ask them if they're going voluntarily and if they're actually related to the people they are with. You should also prepare the kids for that possibility so they are not caught off guard or scared. That happened to us when I was bringing my step-sons to Canada.

I go to Canada every spring and I'm wondering how different it will be this year coming back through US Customs now that cannabis is legal in Canada...

From: South Farm
06-Mar-19
Funny you mention that Mike, they did that with my son when he was really young and I remember sitting there praying he wouldn't say something stupid, trying to be funny, like "I've never seen that man before in my life!". Thankfully he pointed at me when the agent asked "who's your daddy?". Funny thing, so did my wife!! LMAO!

From: Ace
06-Mar-19
Lots of good advice here so far.

Right now Lineman's son is thinking of asking for a new bow and fishing rod in exchange for not telling the people at the border that Daddy told him not to say anything, but he has a big bag of white powder stuffed in his underwear. I hope the kid isn't reading this.

I took my 3 boys to Toronto (by plane) one year while I was going through a divorce. The young lady who was grilling me asked where their mother was. Despite what I was wanted to tell her, I said, "at home". She asked if we were married, so I told her "yes, for the time being". Then she said well where is a letter with her permission? I had studied the applicable laws pretty closely and knew it was not required (I had their birth certificates with me). So I told her so, she argued with me until I asked her to call over a supervisor. The supervisor finally relented, admitting I was technically correct. She said "it would be easier with a letter" So I told her the truth, this encounter was still a lot more pleasant than it would have been dealing with their mother, who would think she could exert some control over the situation by delaying or refusing to sign a letter. "I'd still rather deal with you guys than her".

Glad my boys didn't make any wisecracks or jokes, but it was probably because I told them THEY'D get themselves in trouble, instead of getting me jammed up. Nobody wants the guy with fat fingers doing a body cavity search!

So, yeah, Bring a letter, if you can!

From: lineman21
06-Mar-19
Appreciate the advice everyone! I’ll definitely have my wife send a letter with us.

From: lawdy
06-Mar-19
Birth certificate for the child and a letter from parents. Before having a passport, I was given a hard time coming back from Newfy. I was ecstatic and ready to go back to Newfy, but they let me back in.

From: Linecutter
07-Mar-19
If you have a Notarized letter from the child's mother stating she is aware you are taking the child to Canada and she is giving you permission to do so. Be sure to have the address and contact information for her especially if her last name is different than yours, whether you are married or divorced. Along with the birth certificate. All you need is an Amber Alert in progress when you cross the border with your child, and the Amber Alert child looks similar to yours. DANNY

From: deerslayer
07-Mar-19
I work for US Customs.... some of the advice above is wrong. It is against the law to refuse a US citizen entry back into the states. However, the burden of proof is on the traveler and you may be delayed if you have no proof of citizenship.

No passport required for children under the age of 14. Not technically required for adults either, but we prefer it and if you don’t have it we will give you a lecture;) birth cert and driver’s license at a minimum.

Letter from mom does not have to be notarized, but doesn’t hurt either. PM if you have more questions.

From: Rob Nye
08-Mar-19
My son is a CBSA agent. He says passport required if flying up here. He recommends getting a passport either way makes the whole procedure easier. Hope you all have fun on your adventure.

From: NoWiser
08-Mar-19
I took my 6 year old nephew up there fishing 2 summer ago. I had his folks do the passport card because it was cheaper than the real passport. I also had them get a signed and notarized letter giving me permission to travel there with me. We had no issues and had a blast.

This year I'll likely be heading up there with a buddy. We'll have his two daughters, 5 and 2, and my daughter that is 2 years old. I expect that two guys (and no moms) in their 30's crossing with 3 young girls will not go as smoothly as we are used to, but I'm not worried about it.

I've probably driven across the border 50 times in the last 18 years. The trick is to pull up, roll all windows down, and shut your vehicle off so they can hear you. Look them in the eye and answer their questions "yes" or "no". Know what you have with you for alcohol, tobacco, and bait. A few years I made a goal of trying to make a border patrol agent smile. I never succeeded and it led to some not-so-smooth crossings so I gave it up.

Personally, I'd go with a passport card, especially if you plan on more than one trip up there in the next few years.

From: deerslayer
08-Mar-19
For flying, Rob is right. Passport is required.

Another option to consider for proof of citizenship (land border crossing) is a nexus card. It’s free for kids under 14. The beauty of a nexus card is that it doubles as a global entry card.

From: lineman21
25-May-19
Well it couldn’t have went any smoother. Handed the agent my passport, his birth certificate, and a notarized letter stating my wife’s permission. Got the 3 or 4 usual questions and went on my way. Took all of a minute. Thanks for all the advice!

From: t-roy
26-May-19
Good deal, Cole! Post up a few pics from trip as well.

From: BullBuster
26-May-19
I think they need rabies shots....nope, that’s the dog.

From: Aubs8
26-May-19
Hi Justin. Sent you a pm...

Thanks. Mike

From: deerslayer
26-May-19

deerslayer's Link
We get pretty adept at figuring out who's who and if they are up to shenanigans or not. Most folks get processed pretty quickly. Now that T-roy guy might be here a while. "Come on inside and chat with US Customs a while...." LOL

One of my favorite commercials.... (link)

From: t-roy
26-May-19
That’s funny, Justin!!

Hits a little close to home on one front, at least, too!

About 5 years ago, my wife and myself, along with 2 other couples were going through the border checkpoint on our way home from a fishing trip. We handed the agents our IDs and passports and answered a few questions, waiting to be waved through. Three agents came out of the side door at the same time the agent at the gate told my wife to turn the vehicle off, and put the keys up on the dash, then told all of us to put our hands where they could see them. They then proceeded to have us step out of the vehicle and go inside the building. Turns out, one of the guys in our party had the same name as a person on their “most wanted” list! (pretty common name, BTW). After about 15 minutes they let us go back to our van and explained the situation to us. It was a little unnerving to say the least! They were very nice about things, though. I still blame my wife. She had a Vikings jersey on at the time! ;-)

From: deerslayer
26-May-19
Ha!!!

Yeah man, I hate it when that happens. Names like "Robert Smith" are never good when crossing the border! It's usually an "Armed and Dangerous" type list, hence the hands on the steering wheel and cuffs coming out.

Had a 75 year old gentleman one time with a common name like that. Poor guy looked like he was about to have a heart attack when I told him to keep his hands where I could see them. We exercised a little discretion on that one an kept the cuffs in their holster.

More recently we had a guy in-transit to Alaska get sent back around from CBSA due to having a pistol. He didn't understand that he still had to stop and talk to us as well, and just drove on through the primary lane! (Port Runner) Thankfully the new officer was quick thinking and turned on the external port runner alarm. (This thing will blow out your eardrums.) We all ran outside and yelled for him to stop, which by this time the blaring siren had done. (Now keep in mind we don't know this guy is just a flustered, harmless older gentleman coming back to drop off a gun, with a simple lack of understanding about needing to stop at the booth) We surround the car and as the cover officer is giving him instructions. The guy says "I got a gun" simultaneously reaching towards the passenger seat! As you can imagine that was the last thing he needed to say or that we wanted to hear, A few seconds later we extracted him from his truck, got his hands behind his back, and began escorting him into our building. (Now this guy is around 6' 3", 270, around 55-60 yrs old, beard down to his chest, and wearing an iron cross bandana.) We hadn't taken him 25 feet and he almost collapses on us he is so scared. He begins shaking like a leaf on a tree and by the time we get him into our secure secondary room, he has to brace himself on the counter! He then begins crying like a 4 year old getting scolded! I try to calm him down and we get the guy some water as we try to get his story and understand why he blew through the booth. As it starts to come together I realize it was just an honest mistake and this poor guy is about to die of fright. I do my best to calm him down, but 20 minutes later he is still shaking, so bad in fact that I had to uncap his water bottle for him. I finally get the whole story from the guy and then try to explain why we take a possible port runner so seriously. I tell him it was compounded by his "I have guns" comment with a simultaneous reach. The guy looked like an outlaw motorcycle gang member, but was about as gentle and meek as my yellow lab! We finally got him calmed down, and on his feet. He said he completely understood why we yanked him out of his car, and it all ends well. After he leaves one of my officers says "I think we just took 5 years from that guy's life" and I replied "I don't think he had 5 years left to give!" LOL...... I honestly felt really bad for the guy, but you have to pay attention when you cross the border! I'm sure he's been telling that story ever since!

From: DConcrete
27-May-19
I have never really had any problems coming back into the USA. However, the Canadian agents are just flat confusing. One will tell you, go talk to that guy, that guy will say, why are you over here? Get back over there. And I’ll just be nice and say, they told me to see you.

None of them seem to be on the same page with each other. This has been a very common occurrence for me when entering Canada.

From: Beartrack
27-May-19
DConcrete, Justin and I could tell you a few things regarding me and crossing. Ha! Never believe that "go see that guy" is not universal.

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