Crossing border from US to CAN

Old May 16th 2009, 2:22 pm
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Default Crossing border from US to CAN

Hi,
a friend of mine is a US citizen and wants to make a short road trip to Montreal next week. She has a copy of her birth certificate. Would this be enough to be let into the country and back into the US or does it have to be an original? Would a driver's license do?

Thanks for any information you could give me on this.
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Old May 16th 2009, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

Originally Posted by kleinluka
Hi,
a friend of mine is a US citizen and wants to make a short road trip to Montreal next week. She has a copy of her birth certificate. Would this be enough to be let into the country and back into the US or does it have to be an original? Would a driver's license do?

Thanks for any information you could give me on this.
American and Canadian citizens entering the United States through land or sea borders must have a passport or other federally approved ID, such as Washington state's enhanced driver's license, starting June 1, 2009.

The new requirement will affect Washingtonians driving home from a Vancouver, B.C., weekend trip; those taking a ferry back from Vancouver Island; or Seattle-Alaska cruise passengers whose ships call at British Columbia ports. The Department of Homeland Security recently announced the ID rule, which is the final phase in requiring more standardized and secure border-crossing ID between the U.S. and Canada

All travelers between the two countries must have a passport after June 1, 2009.
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Old May 16th 2009, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

Would a copy of a US birth certificate be okay? the CBP site says a birth certificate is enough, but would a copy suffice?
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Old May 16th 2009, 3:39 pm
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

Originally Posted by kleinluka
Would a copy of a US birth certificate be okay? the CBP site says a birth certificate is enough, but would a copy suffice?

U.S. citizens who do not have a single document verifying identity and citizenship must present both an identification and citizenship document; for example, a driver’s license and a copy of a birth certificate or naturalization certificate.

btw I have never been asked for a birth certificate.

Last edited by ernieentwhistle; May 16th 2009 at 3:43 pm. Reason: A P.S.
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Old May 16th 2009, 8:55 pm
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

thanks
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Old May 17th 2009, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

To answer the actual question: I wouldn't try it with just a photocopy of the birth certificate. I would completely expect the border staff to have a problem because it would be so easy to fraud.
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Old May 17th 2009, 1:36 am
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

Originally Posted by ESarge
To answer the actual question: I wouldn't try it with just a photocopy of the birth certificate. I would completely expect the border staff to have a problem because it would be so easy to fraud.
A good point,but in most cases of this nature a notorised copy would suffice. But it would be better if you check through the official channels jic.The law regarding this is continually changing.
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Old May 17th 2009, 8:36 am
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

it's not notarised. it's a simple copy. would you advise against taking the chance?
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Old May 17th 2009, 11:18 am
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

Two pieces of identification ( birth cert and another with a photo such as drivers licence or out of date passport) The following is taken from the US State Dept web site. http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1082.html

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: Entry into Canada is solely determined by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials in accordance with Canadian law . Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A valid U.S. passport, passport card or NEXUS card (see below) satisfies these requirements for U.S. citizens. If U.S. citizen travelers to Canada do not have a passport, passport card or approved alternate document such as a NEXUS card, they must show a government-issued photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License) and proof of U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or expired U.S. passport. Children under sixteen need only present proof of U.S. citizenship.
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Old May 17th 2009, 1:47 pm
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

Originally Posted by kleinluka
it's not notarised. it's a simple copy. would you advise against taking the chance?
U.S. citizens who do not have a single document verifying identity and citizenship must present both an identification and citizenship document; for example, a driver’s license and a copy of a birth certificate or naturalization certificate.


The way I interpret the above is that if you have a single document verifying citizenship AND identity (which to me means a passport)THEN you would HAVE to have a birth certificate or naturalisation certificate.
Not necessarily ALL of them.That's the way I see it anyway.

btw if your friend intends to drive in Canada it is most advisable to get a supplementary certificate on their US auto insurance from their agent.
These are re-newable when your policy is due and for me.... at any rate... at no extra charge.

Peter

Last edited by ernieentwhistle; May 17th 2009 at 1:50 pm.
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Old May 18th 2009, 12:50 am
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

Originally Posted by kleinluka
it's not notarised. it's a simple copy. would you advise against taking the chance?
Hi, I thought I'd address this specific issue - though I might be a bit harsh to get the message across.

You seem to be wanting the board to tell you that it'll be fine to take the chance.

No one wants to say that because it's probably not fine. The border staff (both directions) would need to be very convinced before accepting a simple photocopy.

I'd advise your friend to apply for a new birth certificate. Your friend could always try it but I'd be expecting a lot of grief - especially coming back. The US CBP is known for being a problem.
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Old May 18th 2009, 2:37 am
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

Originally Posted by ESarge
Hi, I thought I'd address this specific issue - though I might be a bit harsh to get the message across.

You seem to be wanting the board to tell you that it'll be fine to take the chance.

No one wants to say that because it's probably not fine. The border staff (both directions) would need to be very convinced before accepting a simple photocopy.

I'd advise your friend to apply for a new birth certificate. Your friend could always try it but I'd be expecting a lot of grief - especially coming back. The US CBP is known for being a problem.
Uh, no I simply wanted to know if they accepted photocopies, which they seem to do according to this reply from the US forum (after posting here I realized I'd post there too to get a better response)..

Originally Posted by crg14624
According to the guidance on their web site, a regular photocopy is fine.

http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/...andsea_faq.pdf

Does my birth certificate need to be a certified, original copy?
No, we will accept an, original, copy or certified copy of your birth certificate.

Notice that the guidance doesn't say anything about notarizing it. Notorizing a document like this is quite meaningless. All the notary will do is certify that you signed a statement saying that it's legit. The officers at the border are authorized by law to take statements under oath if they see fit.
Also,
Originally Posted by crg14624

They will always let a US citizen back into the US, even if all their ID is lost. They're entitled to see a judge for a limited review even if the border official thinks they aren't US.
So this thread can be closed. Thanks for the answers guys :]

Last edited by kleinluka; May 18th 2009 at 2:43 am.
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Old May 18th 2009, 4:07 am
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

Originally Posted by kleinluka
Uh, no I simply wanted to know if they accepted photocopies, which they seem to do according to this reply from the US forum (after posting here I realized I'd post there too to get a better response)..



Also,

So this thread can be closed. Thanks for the answers guys :]
You are most welcome.Good luck and I hope your friend enjoys their visit.
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Old Jun 8th 2009, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

A Certificate of Citizenship, or Certificate of Naturalization are also accepted [note: notarized photocopies or notarized fax copies of such certificates are acceptable, but affidavits of citizenship and voter registrations are not).
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Old Jun 8th 2009, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Crossing border from US to CAN

hehe a little late :P she ended up coming with just a copy (non-certified) of her birth certificate which was fine but got grilled quite a bit on re-entry to the US.

since june 1 everybody needs a passport to enter the US anyway (including citizens). thanks for your reply anyhow
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