Special Stage Forums banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Haven't been to Canada or crossed the border for 30 years. I was told several years ago to have an inventory of everything being carried in the van and trailer. I'm getting some kind of Canadian insurance ID cards. I assume I should have 2 forms of ID. Any other suggestions? TIA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I'm just crew, so I don't know everything, but here's some of the things I've picked up:

Carry ID for everyone
Make sure you have all the papers for the car and tow vehicle handy
If you have a truck (box, etc.) when you pull up to the window, they
may ask you to turn it off, do so quickly
Go through the regular isle, NOT the commercial isle, they don't like that and will make you back up and go through the right one
When they ask you why you're going to Canada say "An automobile race", do NOT say "we're going to a rally", apparently "rally" equals a political event/protest and they don't like those
I don't think it's legal to carry fuel over the border, so plan on getting your gasoline up there

and a random one, we got yelled at for having a red bull type energy drink, the guy said they weren't legal, so if you have some, keep it out of sight


I'm sure there is more, but I hope that helps

Austin
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
935 Posts
Canadian border is relatively easy, just follow all their instructions in a timely fashion, be nice and you'll be fine. Passports are handy. The fun job is going the other way...

They're right about the "rally" word, UNLESS you're in Quebec, in which case they'll likely give you a police escort across the border...even border guards like rallying in Quebec.
 

·
"Go fast then bah bah bah"
Joined
·
222 Posts
Well Carhart err I mean Powers errr I mean Austin got some of them right:

- Two years ago when we went to Baie the first time Canadian customes made us pull some luggage out and inspected it. Be prepared

- They don't care about the gas issue since I told them I had race gas in my bottles.

- Don't be talking on the cell phone when pulling up to the border either side - they don't like that. Trust me I know :9````

- Make sure you tell them that you are bringing the car and parts (at least a majority of them :p ) back with you

- Last year returning from Tall Pines and going through the US Customs was a breeze for us. Goss got stopped and they made him open his truck. (I think they wanted to Austin to take off the Carharts
since they thought they were toxic waste. Needless to say it almost sparked an international incident!!)

-Tim

Wazoo Racing
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
789 Posts
Behave yourself. Passports are best.

The only hassle I ever had was going to a Tall Pines in the mid-80(s)where they didn't understand the car. Since it was "street legal", I just took it off the trailer and drove it accross.

Do the organizers have a bond?

Cheers.
 

·
Open AWD Extraordinaire!
Joined
·
1,216 Posts
Don't offer anything that they don't ask for.

For example, don't pull up to the checkpoint and immediately hand them your licenses or passports. By all means, have them ready, but don't offer them. It's abnormal.

Anything abnormal sets off flags. Use your driver's license as much as possible as ID because, well... everyone else does it.

Don't get out of the vehicle until you are clear of the checkpoint (even to use their facilities).

Don't bring any beer or the like across, even a single can. If they ask if you have anything, you have to say yes and then they'll debate for about 20 minutes on whether they should charge you duty on a single can of beer.

Be courteous and everything will be fine.
 

·
Slid'n around 'n havin a ball
Joined
·
2,953 Posts
If you do an inventory, they only want items with serial nos. that they could look at and verify.
Look poor, be nice say as little as possible and you'll be fine.
Never put up money, (you'll never get it back) someone will finally let you go, you just need to find that person.
If hassled, start writing badge numbers and names, works for me.
rz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
> - Last year returning from Tall Pines and going through the
>US Customs was a breeze for us. Goss got stopped and they
>made him open his truck. (I think they wanted to Austin to
>take off the Carharts
>since they thought they were toxic waste. Needless to say
>it almost sparked an international incident!!)
>
>-Tim


Man...I wasn't even going to bring that pair of pants this time but you're forcing me on the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,695 Posts
Make sure you take you sunglasses off (all everyone else in the vehicle) - they like to see you eyes. Really!

As already stated - answer their questions in as short and precise answers as possible, not offering any more info than is needed.

And relax!
Had a friend and his buddys coming back to Canada after a summer of following the Greatful Dead around for a summer - living in their van. They stopped the night before - cleaned up - washed clothes - emptied the van of everything. Came to boarder - boarder guard "you look nervous - why are you nervous?" - buddy "I'm not nervous" - guard - "yea you look nervous" - this went back and forth a few more times - finally my friend said "cause you're making me nervous" - resulted in customs tearing the van apart and all 3 guys getting a cavity search! :)
Welcome to Canuck land!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
378 Posts
Aside from the basic questions, and one or two "Get out of the car please, gentlemen, eh?"-s over the years, I have never had a problem going from US to Canada. I have better luck following the advice above: don't get your paperwork out unless asked, and don't offer a passport if you have a license.

I generally make small chat about the rally I'm going to, in French where appropriate, and ask if they've seen any other rally people come through recently. Seems to help keep people friendly if you just act like the dumb American they expect you to be.

On the other hand, I have never -- ever -- had an easy re-entry into the US after a rally weekend. Ever. Ever. I get asked about every dent on my car, every bag of shit in the trunk, every scrap of paper in my wallet, etc. Be ready to unpack everything, and lay it all out, right down to the spare tire. With a smile on your face :)


Anyway, </rant>.

-Isaac
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,258 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Reminds me of a business trip I took to Ottawa many years ago. I got thru okay (flight) but a idiot I was working with (seperate flight) when asked where he was going, said SDL (which was the name of the company we were going to for training). This was in the time frame of the Symbyanize Libration Army (SLA). Guess how many hours he got grilled?
 

·
Dirt surfer
Joined
·
1,367 Posts
Don,

We've had no major probs crossing CDN border, which we do 6 or 8 times a season. Above advice is all good. Main thing is, don't get uptight, and don't volunteer info you aren't asked about. Heck, we even made it across and back no sweat on one trip with a certain driver (here nameless, you know who you are) who forgot his license!

We've found that the guards almost always want to look into our enclosed trailer, often (we think) just to peek at the car. A rally car on open trailer is much more obvious what you're doing. We are hauling open trailer this year.

Going back into US, you're well advised to pause up the road out of sight of the checkpoint for a few minutes and repeat to yourself 50 times..."I am NOT gonna get pissed, no matter how bad they hassle me here." We have had some distinctly unpleasant experiences with self-righteous US guards. I think sometimes they act like jerks to see if they can push your buttons to make you lose your cool, which is a definite Big Red Flag to border guards everywhere.

On the other hand, they are often quite curious about the rally car, which helps ease suspicions. It's been about 70% no prob coming back to US, 20% minor hassles and 10% big fat PITA.

Best of luck, don't make a big thing out of the crossing--people do it all day long every day of the year.

Just be glad you're not crossing with a film crew in tow--I used to be a TV producer, and they Wanted To Check Every Freakin Piece Of Gear We Had. Always. Always. Always. Even with an official carnet (customs form listing brand and serial number of every piece of camera gear) it was routinely a major hassle.

Cheers, see you up there

Dave G
Co-Pilote and Former Professional Border Crosser
LDR


"...Embrace loose gravel, beware big trees..."
 

·
600 /CR !!! R2>
Joined
·
450 Posts
I think I'd search you too Isaac. You look like you're up to no good... :)

I've never had any problems crossing the border in the northeast (or MI, for that matter). Like others have said, drive up, answer questions politely but briefly, have papers ready but don't offer anything unless asked. I've never been asked for anything more than a driver's license but I bring my birth certificate with me (I don't have a passport.) I usually say something like "I'm going to a road rally in the Gaspe peninsula." Of course, I've never had a race car in tow, but my experiences with race cars have been with those who have already told their stories here.

--
JP Rowland jeremyrowland -at- mac.com
http://homepage.mac.com/jeremyrowland
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
183 Posts
If you have ever had a DWI/DUI or were convicted for a felony offense expect a hassle. Otherwise it should be pretty easy going into Canada.

Coming back usually is pretty easy. Occasionaly you will be lucky enough to be selected at random for a vehicle search, when it happens don't get pissed. Smile at them and say no problem, I think that throws them off. If you act nervous, they will keep you there longer. If you get pissed they will keep you there even longer still. Just remember, they are just doing their job.

Rob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
77 Posts
they grow potatoes up there and i guess they're really paranoid about it cuz last year the guy made us open up the van and he went through just about every bag, box, bin, cooler etc. we had looking for potatoes...
 

·
Faster Mabricator
Joined
·
3,611 Posts
Paranoid & hungry border guard theory

>i guess they're really
>paranoid about it cuz last year the guy made us open up the
>van and he went through just about every bag, box, bin,
>cooler etc. we had looking for potatoes...

It was just that particular border control gaurd who had the munchies as a side effect of what he confiscated earlier that day.:9
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top