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TDIFest 2007 Discussion about TDIFest 2007 that happened in Montréal, Canada.

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Old November 5th, 2006, 17:02   #1
VW Derf
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Default Traveling from the US to Canada

While most of our Canadian members visit the US on a routine basis, the same isn't always true for our southern neighbours coming up to Canada. Therefore we have put together some information to help ease any uncertainty and give people a jump on getting their documentation in order:

Requirements for Entry into Canada

Documentation Required: For native-born US citizens, a birth certificate and Photo ID will suffice, but a passport is recommended. Naturalized-US citizens should carry their naturalization certificate. Resident U.S. Aliens should carry their Green Card.
  • Effective the 8th of January 2007, all persons traveling to and from Canada BY AIR will be required to present a valid passport
  • Persons traveling to and from Canada by land or sea WILL NOT be required to present a valid passport until the 1st of January 2008 at earliest
Here a link with more information:

http://travel.state.gov/travel/tips/regional/regional_1170.html


As time progresses we will update this with relevant information.
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Old November 9th, 2006, 21:44   #2
TDIinRI
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As stated, a passport in not required but recommended. I, however, would like to implore all of you to get a passport. It will make life easier. They cost less than $100, are good for 10 years, and are a form of picture ID accepted the world over!

If anyone has questions about crossing the border and the regulations, please post here. Some border crossings are less busy and less fussy, so ask someone if there is one better than the other for your chose route.

That said, the US border patrol when comming home is much more of a PITA then Customs Canada entering Canada.
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Old November 10th, 2006, 08:45   #3
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I will start a list of common French words used for road signs etc for those coming by car. I will add to this list as more come to mind. If you wish to add anything please PM to me and I will add to the list. Question of not making a 15 page post out of it.

Nord = North
Est = East
Sud = South
Ouest = West
Rue Barré = Road Closed
Droite = Right
Gauche = Left
Arret = Stop
Pont = Bridge
Centre Ville = Downtown
Cul-De-Sac = Dead End

Also note that Right hand turns on Red is NOT permitted anywhere on the island of Montreal. Permitted off island and everywhere else in Quebec.

And for the late nite clubbers, whom may get clubbed when asking this question

Voulez Vous Coucher Avec Moi se soir? = Will you sleep with me tonite?
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Old November 10th, 2006, 12:31   #4
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One thing I noticed about driving in Montreal.. good luck finding streets. Every intersection, the street sign was in a different spot, some were tucked away behind trees, or buildings. Also, Montreal drivers are NUTS.

Do remember to signal when changing lanes, but a cautionary note: the general rule in Montreal; first signal flash is courtesy, second signal flash better get moving. If you are changing lanes and you wait till the third flash to move, they do NOT let you in.

On a side note.. I cant wait!
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Old November 11th, 2006, 07:01   #5
Radman
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Your right! And pesdestrians have NO RIGHT OF WAY! Dont expect drivers to be courteous and let you cross the street. And dont Hog the left lane if your not moving at least 120 KMH. That reminds me to add left + right to my list above!
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Old November 11th, 2006, 12:58   #6
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Having lived in both places, Montreal driving is similar to Boston.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 13:35   #7
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Default Observation from a recent crossing earlier this year

Was driving home from Ottawa after a training class in a Canadian rental, was on a Friday at the Watertown crossing, NO ONE was anywhere near the border except for a few people heading north. Pretty quiet for a Friday summer night around 7:30 PM.

Customs seemed a lot less of a hassle than in Buffalo, could be due to the lack of traffic there. This was even before they determined I was an American citizen (they initially thought I was Canadian due to the car).

I agree with the suggestion on the passports. I had to have a brand new birth certificate plus other documentation, a passport would have been a lot easier and would have saved about 10 minutes plus a funny look. They actually called my company's travel agency to confirm that was the deal (they had the time, no one was behind me).

Also, if you plan on bringing kids and are getting passports for them - when you go to get the passport for them and they are under 14, BOTH parents have to go and sign for them. Also, you'll need the extended form of the birth cert that shows who the parents are, etc - See the website http://www.travel.state.gov/ for details. If only one parent is traveling with the kids, I HIGHLY suggest having passports as that shows that both parents approved of the kids being out of the country. The border has been very sensitive lately about single parent drivers with kids unless they have passports.

If you haven't made a reservation (which is required in most cases) to get yours, do it now.

One thing to keep in mind, the borders get VERY busy around the labor day weekend. The Watertown border area is also the gateway to the Canadian area of the 1000 islands and it gets very busy around there during the Memorial and Labor Day holidays.

IF you plan on crossing in Buffalo, the Buffalo area crossings are much busier - expect delays. My suggestion is if you plan on crossing there is to cross at the Queenston-Lewiston Bridge as it's the least used because it's the farthest north along I290. You will also avoid having to go around Niagara Falls and it actually saves time. Keep in mind that if you come that way you'll have to go through Toronto and that can be a bit hectic also.

If you have Easy-Pass from another state, that works in NY also (PA, NJ people probably already know this).
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Old November 11th, 2006, 13:41   #8
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A word of caution for those that may have a loan for the vehicle you will be driving into Canada. You should call your lienholder and see if you need a letter of permission or not. It's essentially a letter from the lienholder that indicates they are aware that you're transporting their collateral into another country and have their permission to do so. If you need it and you don't have it, the border may stop you from driving the vehicle into Canada.
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Old November 11th, 2006, 15:31   #9
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Default Pelican - thanks for the reminder about another issue - Auto Insurance

To everyone;

Check with your insurance agent and make sure you are covered in Canada for your auto insurance.
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Old November 12th, 2006, 00:27   #10
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US auto insurance policies are valid in Canada. Having crossed into Canada no less than 25 times in the past 3 years, nobody has asked me about whether or not there was a loan on my car!

Crossing the border is NOT that big of a deal. Just be smart about it. Having a passport makes your life much easier though
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Old November 12th, 2006, 01:47   #11
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I like crossing at Detroit . I was up there last summer and crossed to have dinner on the Canadian side and spend some time on the water front . I was over for about 3 hours . Had no troulbe on either side . I've been doing this for over 25 years .

No radar dector use allowed in Canada . If you have one put it away before you cross .

Watch your speed in cities photo radar is commonly used . ( 100 maximum ) is the posted limit in Ontario & Quebec . But 110 to 120 kph is normally ok on the open freeway . Stay with traffic or you might be spending some time & $$$ for your trouble . I speak from experience .

And they do "WolfPack" up there , that is how I was nailed . Many places in the US ban this practice .

I always cross on the bridge and come back through the tunnel . I might add at neither side did they ask for ID .

Just a note if you plan to use duty free , keep your receipts from your hotel & purchases handy when you cross to prove you were in Canada long enough to qualify for it . If not be ready to be forced to pay duty on the American side

Also Buffalo is a good place to cross . I'd avoid Niagra falls in my experience that crossing is allways backed up .

Last edited by rotarykid; November 12th, 2006 at 01:51.
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Old November 13th, 2006, 05:52   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucetmoose
If only one parent is traveling with the kids, I HIGHLY suggest having passports as that shows that both parents approved of the kids being out of the country. The border has been very sensitive lately about single parent drivers with kids unless they have passports.
A minor traveling with one parent needs a notarized letter from the other parent giving approval for the trip. This is independent of the passport.

We have had to do this several times for a hockey tournament and other travel.

A passport only acknowledges that at the time of application, the other parent approved of it's issue.
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Old November 17th, 2006, 09:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnboy00
A minor traveling with one parent needs a notarized letter from the other parent giving approval for the trip. This is independent of the passport.

We have had to do this several times for a hockey tournament and other travel.

A passport only acknowledges that at the time of application, the other parent approved of it's issue.
moreover, if separated/divorced. I would have a copy of the visitation/parenting plan by the court along with you.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 11:05   #14
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Cell Phone Information

I decided to look this stuff up, based on some stuff in the Convoy thread. PM me if you want info for another carrier to be added, if I can find it on the website, or you have it from a phone call.

Alltel

Voice cost per minute: $0.20
Discounted rate: $3.99 per month (Reduced Toll Rate), $0.10 per minute

Cingular

Voice cost per minute: $0.79
Discounted rate: $5.99 per month (World Traveler), $0.59 per minute

Nextel

Voice cost per minute: $0.20
Data cost per minute: "free trial" (?)
Notes: Must call Nextel to activate international dialing privileges, only "internet ready" phones will work

Sprint

Voice cost per minute: $0.65
Data cost per KB: $0.002
Notes: Must call Sprint to activate International Roaming

T-Mobile

Voice cost per minute: $0.49
Data cost per KB: $0.01

Verizon

Voice cost per minute: $0.69
Notes: Has a Canada roaming package (don't know info on it)

Please bear with me as I look more up...
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Old November 21st, 2006, 08:43   #15
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Default Verizon plan for Canada

It was hard to find, but I did find out that Verizon has a "North America" plan, it extends coverage into some of Canada. I saw that the areas around the "401/403" are covered, hard to tell if Montreal is fully covered, they told me Ottawa was but that some areas of Montreal you will encounter roaming. I'm cheesed that they didn't have a better map but here's the latest one:

http://mobileoptions.vzw.com/interna...df/NAC_Map.pdf

And the plan details:

http://mobileoptions.vzw.com/interna...ing_plans.html

Basically, I was told by my local rep (Hi Sara!) from Wireless World in beautiful downtown Marion, NY that you can do an upgrade for a month. She wasn't in at the moment, but will be back later today and I will nail down the final details on what to do and when to do it.
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