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Traveling from the US to Canada

rotarykid

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Location
Piedmont of N.C. & the plains of Colorado
TDI
1997 Passat TDI White,99.5 Blue Jetta TDI
bikeprof said:
AMEN on that one...

Having a cell phone is bad enough!
Most cell phones(unknown to most persons...) already have a GPS locator chip IN them, and most people have a cell phone.

And then have a chip in the driver license, NO :mad: !

I though this country was the country of the free and ...(what else...?), I forgot since it is NOT available any more :( .

I think I will stop there:rolleyes: .
It is not so easy but you can go into the main menu of the GPS equipped cell phones and disable the automatic GPS . I did as soon as I got my current phone as it makes the battery last longer when the GPS is off .

The GPS is automatically re-engaged when you dial 911 which causes the phone to go into 911 mode . The GPS disables again once you get out of 911 mode .
 

bikeprof

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Location
Pagosa Springs, Colorado(YEAH!)
TDI
1996 Passat B4 Variant white, 1996 Town & Country 3.8 LXI
rotarykid: That is something that I want to do on my cell phone.

I will get it on first order when I get to the T-Mobile outlet(this wednesday).

:D
 

kcfoxie

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Location
Raleigh, NC
TDI
'12 6-spd JSW
I had absolutely no idea it was this complicated to drive into canda. based on what i'm reading, my speeding record likely would prohibit my entry. Then we encounter foreign road signs and taxes, I think I'll have to wait for TDIFest to come back state-side, such a bummer :(

PS: While we aren't winning this year, don't forget Carolina took the cup home last year. I'd proudly display my Hurricanes flag out the back passenger window (I am, of course, from their US Home State). Sorry, couldn't resist... I had a lot of fun with my Canadian coworker who kept chanting "Lets go Oilers" when he'd pass my cube last year ;)
 

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
kcfoxie said:
I had absolutely no idea it was this complicated to drive into canda.
Not really...

Montreal is one of the finest restaurant cities in the world...

Truely unique in this hemisphere...

Worth a longer visit than only for the Fest... stay a week !!!



Yuri. (only slightly biased... :) )
 

kcfoxie

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Location
Raleigh, NC
TDI
'12 6-spd JSW
I have a friend in Montreal I could stay with.. but I'm not certain that with my pending school zone speeding ticket, that I could get into Canada at all. Plus the TDIFest is the same weekend as my usual trip home to Memphis (ironically, it's 768 miles to Memphis and 873 miles to Montreal, only a 105 mile difference between the two!)
 

Radman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 13, 2001
Location
Montreal
TDI
2014 Audi A6 TDI, 2014 Touareg TDI
A speeding ticket is not an issue. If you have a criminal record then you may have a problem. Otherwise no problems. I frequently go to the US and have a speeding ticket on my record. It is not an issue, customs does not even see that info. You are panicking too much. Relax and come to the Fest. It is guaranteed to be a good time!
 

kcfoxie

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Location
Raleigh, NC
TDI
'12 6-spd JSW
I'll keep it in mind, I've always wanted to go up North :)

Say, when you stop for fuel.. can you use a US credit or debit card? Will they take US cash? (Probably a good question to ask now in my planning stages). Also, are the pumps going to be easy to figure out "Diesel" from the other fuel types, even if they are in French? (I've never left the USA before.. which is why this excites me!)
 

PlaneCrazy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jan 3, 2000
Location
Province of Quebec, Canada
TDI
Gone...
Diesel is diesel in both English and Quebec French, so no problemo. US credit cards will work. Cash too probably but you won't get the best exchange rate.

873 miles; too bad you have an A5; in an A4 you'd just about be able to make it up here on one tank, or at least make it to the border, tank up on cheaper fuel on the US side, visit our fair city, then head back, tank up again on the US side and make it home...but I guess you'll end up having to tank somewhere around Albany or so if you come up that way...
 

Radman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 13, 2001
Location
Montreal
TDI
2014 Audi A6 TDI, 2014 Touareg TDI
We are not some foreign country in the far east LOL! Yes your credit / debit cards will be fine and Diesel pumps are easily identifyable. Montreal is a very nice city. lots to do and see. If you are young and enjoy the nitelife you can party all nite long. Drinking age is 18+. Most places do speak english as well.
 

kcfoxie

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Location
Raleigh, NC
TDI
'12 6-spd JSW
I've never been; so I didn't know :) You guys are talking about french road signs, and I'm thinking "great, I failed spanish, how am I going to figure out the fuel signs!"... and the only reason I asked about the cards was due to an expense issue that one of my coworkers had when in the UK (which I realize is farther away than Canada). You guys are playing mythbusters for me, and I appreciate it ... I know you probably think I'm a moron, but like I've said the farthest North I've been is Maryland, I've been within 100 miles of the US Boarder, but never crossed it!

Regarding the fuel; we'll see. I have to make a trip back to Memphis to get a pair of cats (brother and sister) from my parents; since I've been seeing 490/500 miles to the light, and still haven't put more than 13.4 gallons in the car at any given point in time (and I haven't attempted venting, which I don't know if the A5 can do because of their wonderfully limiting Auto Diezel filler neck), so I'm hoping that 60MPH + cruise would net closer to 600 miles on the highway... and if I can figure out how to vent the tank and get those extra litres in there, even better.

So this begs the next noobie question: Is it illegal to carry 3-4 gallons of diesel in an approved fuel canister over the boarder?
 

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
kcfoxie said:
Is it illegal to carry 3-4 gallons of diesel in an approved fuel canister over the boarder?
You don't need to do that... plenty of Diesel available everywhere... just remember that Quebec prices are often higher than in Ontario or in the U.S... With the range of the TDI's, just make sure to fill up a bit before entering Quebec, and that should hold you a good way towards your next destination...

Credit Cards make shopping easy, although having a bit of local currency is always a good idea... just ask anyone who used to travel in Europe before the conversion to Euros...

Yuri.
 

Radman

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 13, 2001
Location
Montreal
TDI
2014 Audi A6 TDI, 2014 Touareg TDI
Crossing the border is really not that big of a deal. I sure hope people are not reluctant to come to TDI Fest just because of that? Just have the proper ID and answer the questions (leave weapons at home) and you will be fine. I cross into the US 3 to 4 times a year for over 20 years and never once got hassled. US customs is usually stricter than Cdn customs in my experience. But since you are US citizens you should not have any issues.
All this to say that you should not avoid coming just because of customs etc. Airport security is more of an issue than customs. Please come enjoy the Fest! You wont be disappointed!
 

kcfoxie

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2007
Location
Raleigh, NC
TDI
'12 6-spd JSW
ok; well I think I have no more excuses. Now I just need to figure out hotel and the US-costs and start squirreling monies for it.
 

ANIMAL

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2005
Location
Ont
TDI
06.5 Jetta PKG 2 Silver 5 spd
Just a little info on border crossings there are also 2 between Detroit and Pt Huron one at Algonac and one at Marine City both use ferry's to cross the St Clair River, just another option in case Detroit and Pt Huron are all backed up.
 

rotarykid

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Location
Piedmont of N.C. & the plains of Colorado
TDI
1997 Passat TDI White,99.5 Blue Jetta TDI
I've been going to great white north since the late 70s without issue .

Make sure you have at least one good credit card ( visa , mastercard , discover will work in some places but not all have a backup ) .

A good atm card with a few hundred in the bank is also a good idea so you can get some wallet cash Canadian $100 or $200 .

I don't know what the rules are for an atm/cash card are when used as a credit card . Be safe have a good vise or mastercard . Find out what the exchange charge on your cards ( atms included ) before you use them out of the US . Some are better than others , I speak from experience on this one .

Save all your receipts for proof of time in Canada if you plan on buying at the duty free on your way out . If memory serves you must be in Canada for at least 3 days to qualify for duty free now .

Make sure you have any/all prescriptions in current labeled bottles with at least a months supply . Declare any prescription drugs you have in your possession & be ready show them if asked .

Remember in Canada health care is government payed so if you have to go to the doctor or hospital Americans health insurance is not good in most cases so have to pay cash ( credit card will do at some ) for services rendered .

US auto insurance should good , but local rules & laws apply in a crash . Just as it is from state to state in the US . Have proof of coverage handy , I don't know if our policy # printed our registration will work up there .

Turning lane signals are more to international rules . Not so many turning arrows ( 10 years ago ) many of the flashing greens for left turning lanes .


And NC has some rules of the road that are not so common in other states & other countries so do a little research .

Carry a camera , a throw away with flash is good . So if you have a crash take pictures of the cars before they are moved , I speak from experience on this one also .

A French phrase book if you don't know the language might also be a good idea . Over they years I've run into people all over Canada in my travels that don't speak so much English . Canada is a bilingual country , like I hope the US is someday . In the western US many places require a little Spanish to get along today .

Moneys tight currently so I dought that I can make to the great white north this years , but have fun all .
 

rotarykid

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 27, 2003
Location
Piedmont of N.C. & the plains of Colorado
TDI
1997 Passat TDI White,99.5 Blue Jetta TDI
I found this today ; Is this the rule all over Canada ???


"Double speeding jeopardy


The Edmonton Journal

Published: Thursday, April 12, 2007
Did you know that passing a police car stopped at the side of the highway with its lights flashing can earn you a major fine, even if you're simply going the posted speed limit?

The RCMP say they want Albertans to obey the 18-month-old law, known as Bill 39, but insist they are not using it to set up special speed traps aimed at giving out big tickets to drivers who fail to slow down while passing an emergency vehicle.

In recent weeks, the police force in charge of traffic enforcement on the QE2 highway has been seen setting speed traps using two cars. The first catches a regular speeder, while the other can nab a driver who fails to change lanes or to slow down to the required 60 km/


Bill 39, which went into effect in late 2005 in the wake of the tragic death of RCMP Const. Jose Agostinho, requires cars passing any emergency vehicles with lights flashing -- police car, ambulance, fire truck and tow trucks among them -- to slow to 60 km/h if they are in the lane immediately adjacent to the shoulder where the emergency vehicle is located.

While the police insist there is no special effort underway to enforce Bill 39, they also insist it would be within their rights to do so for two reasons: it's the law and it's designed to protect police and other emergency workers.

But it's a bit like catching fish in a barrel -- very lucrative fish.
The fines are astounding, exceeding $500 for a car that was simply travelling the posted speed limit.

The math is simple. A car traveling the posted speed limit of 110 km/h is flagged for going 50 km/h over the speed limit. That fine is then doubled because of the emergency provisions contained in Bill 39.

In effect, just for going the speed limit, one can receive a fine that is tantamount to having gone 100 km/h over the limit.
Conceptually, the law is a good one. But it does raise a number of safety and public policy concerns: Does requiring cars in one lane of the highway to slow dramatically increase the risks of accident?

Does the enforcement of Bill 39 take away resources from the more vital task of catching even worse speeders, those lead-footed drivers who fly along in the passing lane at speeds exceeding 150 km/h.

The way the law is written, these people would never be subject to the double fines because they are in the outer lanes. Yet it is these people who pose the greatest risk to the safety and well-being of all motorists.
The RCMP say all they are doing is enforcing "common sense."

The Alberta Motor Association agrees, saying it welcomes any and all initiatives to curb speeding, including Bill 39.

That's fair enough.

But fairer still would be to remain focused on catching the folks who scoff at speed limits.

And, motorists, do emergency workers a favour and use common sense, so the RCMP won't feel they have to enforce it."
 
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TheGrove

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Location
S Central PA (Breezewood)
TDI
2012 Passat SEL Premium Opera Red - Dieselgate Fix, KermaTDI Tune, 2004 Passat GLS Northern Green-RIP
BTW, when traveling through PA they passed a law that if an emergency vehicle is on the side you must move to the left lane if possible.
 

BuffaloDiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Location
Buffalo, New York
TDI
2001.5 Green Jetta
For you folks sweating this and that about crossing into Canada -- Don't.

I live on the border and it's really not bad at all. Radman was right when he said that airport security is much more invasive than driving into Canada.

Also, don't get caught up in "this port of entry is easier than that one," as it entirely depends on the individual doing the inspection. One tip--when you are lined up, look for the lane that has cars going through rapidly. That indicates the border guard who doesn't ask a lot of questions. If you see a car sitting for more than a minute at the border crossing, then get into another lane if you can do so without looking suspicious. When you talk to the border guard, speak clearly and in full sentences so they can easily tell that you don't have a foreign accent.

As for passports and what not, I have never been asked for more than my driver's license.

If you have speeding tickets or whatever--don't worry. Misdemeanor convictions or worse--I don't know.

And while technically you are supposed to be in the country a set number of days before cashing in on the duty free--if you buy, say, 2 bottles of booze, it's not worth their time to make you fill out the forms and pay the taxes on it.

Here is a webpage showing wait times at the borders. If you have an Internet-capable PDA, you can use it to avoid delays:

http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/general/times/menu-e.html

My personal "border crossing checklist:"

1. Put radar detector in the house.
2. Use windex to clean off the suction cup marks from the radar detector
3. Leave pepper spray, knives, etc. in the house
4. That's it. Relax and enjoy.

Finally, if you have never been to a Canadian strip club, and that is your sort of thing, then GO! They will blow your mind.

I am still on the fence but may wind up going to this year's TDIFEST.
 

Lineman

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2002
Location
New Hampshire
TDI
TDI-less... own a RAM 1500 Diesel now
Border Crossing last weekend

Here is my border crossing experience last weekend when I was visiting relatives. I was driving and traveling with my parents and sister.

We crossed into Canada at the Derby Line, VT / Stanstead, QC crossing on I-91 / Autoroute 55.

The wait was approximately 45 minutes, and when we did finally pull up to the Canadian border agent we were asked for our passports. (I know you don't need a passport, but it is much less hassle for the border agent)

The agent asked us a few questions, and when he asked us where we were going, I mentioned the very small town where my grandmother lives. He then asked "What's going on there?", I replied "To visit my grandmother". My mom yells from the back seat "Nothing!". The border agent smiled. He also asked us what we all did for a living, and specifically asked the women in the car if they have any mace or pepper spray. We were on our way within a few minutes.


On the way back we crossed at the same crossing on I-91 / Autoroute 55. The wait was approximately an hour.

When we finally get to the US border agent who is standing outside the booth putting on rubber gloves, he asks me to open the trunk and asks for my keys. I guess as a security measure they were making everyone turn off their cars and hand over their keys. He then asked for all of our passports and hands them over to a separate agent in the booth.

The border agent looks in the trunk for about 5 seconds and then closes it. He asks what we were doing in Canada, how long we were there, and how we know each other.

He hands me my keys and our passports and we were on our way in a few minutes.
 

elweasel

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Location
Philadelphia
TDI
2006 Jetta Black pkg 2
Which crossing?

Which crossing is better I81 or I87? Garmin has calculated a route, crossing on I81. But I was thinking of going up I87. Is one crossing better than the other? Thanks
 

jettafock

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Location
Catonsville, MD
TDI
2004 Jetta GLS TDI auto, platinum gray, ESP
So what can one expect to happen at the boarder crossing in and out of canada? I have never done this before and was just wondering.
 

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
elweasel said:
Which crossing is better I81 or I87? Garmin has calculated a route, crossing on I81. But I was thinking of going up I87. Is one crossing better than the other? Thanks
If you take I-87, the Adirondack region is very attractive... (but South of Albany there are tolls to be paid...)
If you take I-81, the Thousand Islands region is gorgeous... (Tolls on the bridge...)

Take one coming up and the other when returning...

If you're thinking about catching the I-87 somewhere around New York City, then keep in mind that when driving South you get to pay a toll to cross the Hudson - so stay on the New Jersey side... (Driving North/West there are no tolls...)

As far as what happens at the border... strictly formalities, but they must be performed for the protection of everyone involved... There's no way to predict whether the border guards are going to have a "thorough inspection" day due to some possible threat or whether you're going to have a "Have a Nice Day" type experience... I've seen the two in operation simultaneously at adjacent lanes... no real rhyme or reason that could be gleaned... It does help to have a recent passport, but it's still not mandatory...

Of course, this being a holiday weekend, traffic will probably be heavy in both directions...

Yuri.
 

jettafock

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Location
Catonsville, MD
TDI
2004 Jetta GLS TDI auto, platinum gray, ESP
I plan on hitting the border sometime after 7pm I think tomorrow. Do you think it should be bad then, and what is the avg. wait time to get through?
 

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
"Average" time is impossible to predict... it can take 5 minutes and can take 2 hours...

As far as the U.S. folks are concerned, I believe that the greatest "concern" for the border agents is the possibility that you're coming here to "work" or "sell" something*... If you're just coming to see some friends you've met over the internet, that's fine by them...

Yuri.



* Many, many years ago, a friend was coming up to study music (violin) at McGill University... Since his violin was worth (back then) well over $100,000, they wanted him to post a $40,000 bond to assure that he wouldn't be selling the instrument in Canada... took a few days to clear up that little bit of bureaucratic stupidity...
 
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