Tips for faster border crossings

(NC)—Most of us have experienced delays crossing the border at one time or another. Did you know, though, that by taking a few simple steps to plan ahead and be better prepared, you can contribute to shorter wait times?

Here are some tips to keep the lines moving from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which operates some 1,200 service points across Canada, and processes more than 92 million travellers each year.

Their message is simple: know before you go.

1. Plan your return to Canada and check border wait times on the CBSA website at You can also get tweets for your particular crossing at @CBSA_BWT. The wait times are updated hourly when relevant.

2. Ensure you have the proper ID for yourself and children travelling with you such as a Canadian passport, a Canadian birth certificate, a citizenship card or a Certificate of Indian Status, or NEXUS card. Consult so you know what you need.

3. If you are a member of the NEXUS program, ensure that you always carry your NEXUS card when entering Canada.

4. Declare all purchases honestly and accurately and have your receipts readily available with the total of your purchases. Border services officers may ask for hotel receipts to prove your whereabouts for a specific time.

5. Know your personal exemptions and your alcoholic beverage and tobacco product limits before you leave on your trip. Find out what they are on the “I Declare” section of the CBSA website.

“While the CBSA is committed to providing the best possible service to travellers, it is important for travellers to know and understand their obligations too – working together means working towards better and faster service at the border,” says Pierre Sabourin, vice-president of CBSA’s Operations Branch.


For more information, visit the Canadian Border Services Agency website.