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Crossing the Canadian / US Border

in Blaine, Lynden, and Sumas, Washington State

 

 

We offer this border crossing information between Canada and the United States as a courtesy.  However, we can’t guarantee the accuracy of our information.  Regulations and security levels change daily and we don’t always keep up on them.

 

Use the links at the bottom of this page for border crossing information on the US Customs and Border Protection web site of the department of Homeland Security to get current, accurate US Border Crossing information.

 

Visit the Canada Border Services Agency web site, links below, for crossing into Canada.

 

In general, it is one to three minute process to cross the border if you have the proper documents, are truthful, and answer all the questions honestly. 

 

The biggest problem will be the lines at the border crossing.  Avoid rush hour crossings and weekends if you don’t like lines.

Travel Tip:  All citizens now need passports or

 

                      An enhanced Washington State Drivers License. 

                      (This is not a normal Washington State Drivers License.)

                      (Some other states also have enhanced driver’s licenses.)

                      Canadians need a passport entering the U.S.

 

                      Air and ship travel requires a passport

 

 

Children also need a passport.  Grandparents, single parents, or friends need identification and verifiable permission from parents to take children across border.  

 

ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH AND NEVER JOKE WITH BORDER CROSSING OFFICIALS!  This is one place where your rights are very limited.  When you prove you are a citizen they still have the right to search your car and belongings.  Any illegal drugs are an instant loss of your vehicle and jail time, even if the driver doesn’t know the passenger has it.  Do not give rides to others, which you do not know, when crossing the border.

 

Non-citizens have no rights and may be refused entry. The best approach is to respond to all questions asked truthfully and volunteer no information.  Talking too much can be very counterproductive.  Jokes will probably make your crossing take much longer and make it more difficult. 

 

You must have receipts for all items purchased in Canada that you are bringing back into the United States. 

 

 

Canadian Border Crossing Information

http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/menu-eng.html

 

British Columbia web cams

http://www.borderlineups.com/

 

 

Washington State Department of Transportation
Border Web Cams & Crossing wait times

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/border/I5_PeaceArchPark.htm

 

USA Border Crossing Information

Below are some links you might find helpful on the US Customs & Border Protection web site:

 

 

US Customs and Border Protection –

Dept. of Homeland Security

 

US Customs and Border Protection – Identification requirements

What documents are required.

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go/

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/

 

Traveling by land

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go/land_travel/

 

ID and Entry for Non-US citizens

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/

 

Know before you go:

http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/

 

US Embassy – Vancouver BC, Canada

http://vancouver.usconsulate.gov/content/index.asp

 

Information for Canadian Visitors to the United States from the US Embassy

US Embassy - Vancouver - Canadian Visitors to U.S.

 

Canadian Embassy – Seattle

http://geo.international.gc.ca/can-am/seattle/menu-en.asp?lang_update=1

 

Identification needed for Canadian Citizens crossing the US Border

http://www.voyage.gc.ca/main/sos/ci/cur-en.asp?txt_ID=852

 

 

 

Travel Tip:  Bring lots of reading material, snacks, and use the bathroom before arriving at the border crossing in case of long border waits.  Most of the time the wait is only 10 to 15 minutes but on weekends and holidays it can be up to 3 hours.

There are 4 border crossings into British Columbia
from Western Washington

Blaine, WA  International (Peace Arch crossing)

This is the main passenger car crossing on Interstate-5 into Canada.  No commercial trucks are allowed at this crossing but RV’s are allowed.  This border crossing connects with BC Highway-99 which takes you to Vancouver, BC via Deas Island Tunnel under the Fraser River. This crossing is open 24 hours a day.

 

Blaine, WA – Truck Crossing – Exit 275

Passenger cars are also allowed at this crossing and often this crossing requires less waiting time than the Peace Arch crossing.  This crossing connects to BC Highway-15 and there is easy access to BC Highway-99 (Canada’s side of Interstate-5) by turning left (west) onto 8th Avenue one (1) mile north of the border and traveling west for one (1) mile.  It also connects with Trans-Canada Highway-1 about 12 mi. north of the border. This crossing is open 24 hours a day.

 

Lynden, WA

You can access this crossing by taking the Meridian St / Lynden Exit 256 in Bellingham and heading north on Meridian Street.  Do not turn off this road to Lynden, the crossing is north of Lynden on the Guide Meridian (Meridian Street in Bellingham is the same road is Guide Meridian outside the city) about 2 miles north of Lynden.  This crossing connects with BC Highway-13 and seven (7) miles north BC-13 connects with Trans-Canada Highway-1.  This crossing is open from 8:00 AM to Midnight seven days a week.

 

Sumas, WA

To access this border crossing take Interstate-5 Exit 256 in Bellingham and head north on Guide Meridian Road (WA-539) for 12.6 miles.  Turn right (east) on the W. Badger Road (WA-546) to Sumas, WA.  This crossing connects with BC Highway-11 which connects with Trans-Canada Highway-1 two (2) miles north of the border.  The City of Abbotsford, BC is just north of this crossing.  This crossing is open 24 hours a day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BorderCrossing.htm