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Visiting the States

Visiting the States

Old Dec 16th 2014, 6:32 am
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Default Visiting the States

Hello everyone,

can anyone shed some light into what we need to be aware of / have before heading over to the States?

We are planning on renting a car and drive from Vancouver over to Mt Baker for a weekend. Do we need to bring our papers and or passports? do we even have to stop at the boarder for checks etc.?

Cheers!
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 10:41 am
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Originally Posted by bigshark View Post
Hello everyone,

can anyone shed some light into what we need to be aware of / have before heading over to the States?

We are planning on renting a car and drive from Vancouver over to Mt Baker for a weekend. Do we need to bring our papers and or passports? do we even have to stop at the boarder for checks etc.?

Cheers!
Mmmm how much fun could I have with this one
Its only an International border crossing staffed by gun toting Mericans why would you need any ID or passports?
If UK passport holders then yes you need to stop and show it. If you are on a work permit I would also take that. You will need to apply for the I94 waiver at a cost of $6 per person which is valid for 90 days. On the way back our more friendlier gun carrying Canadian officers will offer service in both languages and ask a bunch of questions regarding items that you may have bought etc etc.
As its a rental vehicle make sure you can take it into the USA and don't be surprised if either countries protectors of the border use a slobbering dog to sniff around and inside of the vehicle which becomes a great story later on in life to tell the grandchildren.
For absences over 48 hours each person is allowed $800 worth of purchases for their exemption which includes booze or smokes.
BTW if you speak French use it on the Mericans when crossing as they love that Euro culture thing and remind them that you are speaking proper English.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 10:51 am
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian View Post
Mmmm how much fun could I have with this one
Its only an International border crossing staffed by gun toting Mericans why would you need any ID or passports?
If UK passport holders then yes you need to stop and show it. If you are on a work permit I would also take that. You will need to apply for the I94 waiver at a cost of $6 per person which is valid for 90 days. On the way back our more friendlier gun carrying Canadian officers will offer service in both languages and ask a bunch of questions regarding items that you may have bought etc etc.
As its a rental vehicle make sure you can take it into the USA and don't be surprised if either countries protectors of the border use a slobbering dog to sniff around and inside of the vehicle which becomes a great story later on in life to tell the grandchildren.
For absences over 48 hours each person is allowed $800 worth of purchases for their exemption which includes booze or smokes.
BTW if you speak French use it on the Mericans when crossing as they love that Euro culture thing and remind them that you are speaking proper English.
As to your last line...always empathize your Frenchness, Americans love a good laugh.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

"You aren't going to look in the trunk, are you?"
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Originally Posted by bigshark View Post
Hello everyone,

can anyone shed some light into what we need to be aware of / have before heading over to the States?

We are planning on renting a car and drive from Vancouver over to Mt Baker for a weekend. Do we need to bring our papers and or passports? do we even have to stop at the boarder for checks etc.?

Cheers!
I'd leave the boarder at home, he may not have a visa.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Originally Posted by bigshark View Post
Hello everyone,

can anyone shed some light into what we need to be aware of / have before heading over to the States?

We are planning on renting a car and drive from Vancouver over to Mt Baker for a weekend.
Make sure the car rental company knows you are planning to drive to the US and they OK it.

Do we need to bring our papers and or passports?
Passports for sure. As suggested above your work permit is useful as it helps to prove non-resident intent in the US going south and admissibility coming north.

do we even have to stop at the boarder for checks etc.?
Very much so. Assuming you have UK passports you will be sent into secondary inspection to purchase a visa waiver. The cost is $6.00 in US currency only. Expect to be photographed and have your finger prints taken.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Originally Posted by caretaker View Post
"You aren't going to look in the trunk, are you?"
"Whatcha got in the trunk?"
"Oh... You don't wanna look in there."
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 6:33 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Originally Posted by MarkG View Post
"Whatcha got in the trunk?"
"Oh... You don't wanna look in there."
"Can I see your license and registration?"
"Can I shoot your gun?"
I knew someone who said that to a mountie.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

cheers guys! we are permanent residents (through FSW program) so we dont have work permits.

I just have it in my head that they employ the same strict screening process they have at their airports. not that I have anything to hide...!!

I have just checked Enterprise and quote from their website:

'KILOMETRES ARE UNLIMITED FOR TRAVEL WITHIN BRITISH COLUMBIA, ALBERTA, AND THE STATES OF WASHINGTON & OREGON'

So I guess that we should be fine!
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Originally Posted by bigshark View Post
cheers guys! we are permanent residents (through FSW program) so we dont have work permits.
Then take your PR cards.

I have just checked Enterprise and quote from their website:

'KILOMETRES ARE UNLIMITED FOR TRAVEL WITHIN BRITISH COLUMBIA, ALBERTA, AND THE STATES OF WASHINGTON & OREGON'

So I guess that we should be fine!
But still tell them when you are doing the paperwork that you will be driving in WA.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 9:57 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Originally Posted by JonboyE View Post
But still tell them when you are doing the paperwork that you will be driving in WA.

Consider the amount of Liability Cover you have on the rental insurance. Crash in to a Yank and you could be bankrupt!

Also consider travel insurance.

One unusual thing - if you rent a car from Vancouver, there is a fair chance that it will be on Washington State plates anyway. I've had that on two occasions, but both were in the summer.

It is apparently often a result of people going on Alaska cruises from Vancouver who fly in to Seattle and do a one-way rental to Vancouver.

Last edited by withabix; Dec 16th 2014 at 10:01 pm.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 10:05 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

U.S Border official: "Have you ever told a lie?"...

[hint: the answer is "yes", or "no". If "yes", & asked to elaborate, "... but not to an immigration official", helps...]
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 11:02 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Originally Posted by bigshark View Post
can anyone shed some light into what we need to be aware of / have before heading over to the States?
Same procedure as at the airport, except they may search your vehicle and they collect the entry fee at secondary inspection (whereas by air it is included in the price of your ticket). You will get sent to secondary inspection, unlike a Canadian.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 11:04 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Answer their questions without hesitation and without a sense of humour, and it should go smoothly.
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Old Dec 16th 2014, 11:48 pm
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Default Re: Visiting the States

Originally Posted by Lychee View Post
Answer their questions without hesitation and without a sense of humour, and it should go smoothly.
This is the best advice. I always answer without any hesitation, and very direct answers and no fluff and rarely have an issue, and the issues I have had are always coming back to Canada.

The last few trips into the US the officers have been pretty pleasant, maybe they have gotten some sensitivity training or something.
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