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Old 06-02-09, 01:40 PM   #1
bbbeans
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Expired Passport- Attempt Under the Radar Crossing into Canada?

I am leaving in less than a week from Missoula, Montana for a tour with a couple people. We were considering a ride to Banff.

As of June 1st, 2009 the new rule is that to cross the border by land you need to have an up to date passport, and mine expired in March.

My question is, should I

a) Think of a new route?

or

b) Keep route to Banff and try to "unofficially" the border somewhere/somehow.

I mean there is a lot of room up there and I'll be on a bike.

The other 2 people both have current passports.

Suggestions? Thanks a lot.
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Old 06-02-09, 01:51 PM   #2
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If you like body cavity searches, water boarding and Guantanamo Bay, by all means attempt to sneak across the border.
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Old 06-02-09, 01:51 PM   #3
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you might be able to get out, but getting back in could be problematic... i'd stay stateside, but then again i like my DNA to stay out of Federal databases...

:-)
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Old 06-02-09, 01:56 PM   #4
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Really, really, really bad idea! I know some customs and border officials and they don't find that kind of thing amusing....if you get caught you could be in deep s***.
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Old 06-02-09, 01:56 PM   #5
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I wouldn't try to sneak across the border. You'd have to do it twice, and if something happens you could get nailed. I'd either pick a different route or reschedule the trip. Plenty of other places to go.

FYI expedited passport service is around 2-3 weeks.
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Old 06-02-09, 01:56 PM   #6
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Check some of the expedited passport services-I got mine in a couple days back in 2002 when I had a short notice trip to the UK. Costs a premium, but it is better than the above mentioned full cavity search. I have traveled to and from Canada at least 50 times in the last couple years, and re-admittance to the U.S. is definitely more strict than it used to be.
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Old 06-02-09, 02:00 PM   #7
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A couple of years ago, I was riding around Lake Erie (with passport). On the US side, on a small road near the lake, I was passed by a border patrol agent who slowed to ask me how things were going and where I was headed. He was speaking through the rolled-down window of his SUV while driving along beside me at about 10 mph. It was normal chit-chat that I encounter lots of times while riding fully loaded. It wasn't an investigation or anything.

I asked him what he was doing so far away from a border and he reminded me that he is patrolling the US/Canadian border. My point is that there are patrols along the northern border. I'm sure you're unlikely to see one but I wouldn't take my chances.
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Old 06-02-09, 02:15 PM   #8
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We've had months of warning about the June 1st deadline. There have been radio announcements about the importance of renewing our passports for at least the past 6 months. And the border guards have been preparing for this.

I wouldn't take the chance for a bicycle ride. I don't think you'd end up with cavity searches or anything like that ... but I do think you'd end up with a hefty fine, and it would likely be a lot of years before you'd be allowed back in Canada again, and you'd have a note on your information that will follow you and create suspicion if you ever try to go to another country again.
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Old 06-02-09, 02:20 PM   #9
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Can you get an 'enhanced' driver's license? Some states have those to let people back into the US from Canada/Mexico (that's your main problem, that the US won't let you back, although maybe Canada wouldn't let you in if they don't think you'll be able to get out). If you can get one of those licenses, maybe can get it faster than a new passport.
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Old 06-02-09, 02:27 PM   #10
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My wife submitted an application for a new passport at the local post office on December 27th of last year. She had her new passport 10 days later and that included the New Year's holiday. There may still be time to get your passport renewed.
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Old 06-02-09, 02:41 PM   #11
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Decision Made

Decision made. No passport means I won't go to Canada. I'll try to send the renewal form ASAP.

Thanks for talking some sense into me. I have had a few run ins with johnny law and none of them would I categorize as a good time.

It just seemed like a cool trip.

Too bad there is no more open border.

Thanks for all the replies!
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Old 06-02-09, 02:52 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbeans View Post
I am leaving in less than a week from Missoula, Montana for a tour with a couple people. We were considering a ride to Banff.

As of June 1st, 2009 the new rule is that to cross the border by land you need to have an up to date passport, and mine expired in March.

My question is, should I

a) Think of a new route?

or

b) Keep route to Banff and try to "unofficially" the border somewhere/somehow.

I mean there is a lot of room up there and I'll be on a bike.

The other 2 people both have current passports.

Suggestions? Thanks a lot.
Think of a new route. You could get yourself into quite a bit of trouble.

(edit) Oh, you already did.(/edit)

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Old 06-02-09, 03:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbeans View Post
I am leaving in less than a week from Missoula, Montana for a tour with a couple people.
Sounds like you already have a solution, but for what its worth, the expedited passport services are surprisingly fast. It has been a while, but when traveling to Scotland for a non-bicycle trip, I noticed less than a week before departure that I couldn't find my passport. Found a service on the web and went through all the steps and believe I was with a new passport within three days.

p.s. I agree with others that it would have been a bad idea to sneak across the border...
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Old 06-02-09, 04:12 PM   #14
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Sounds like you already have a solution, but for what its worth, the expedited passport services are surprisingly fast....
High demand for passports has slowed down processing times. IIRC this resulted in pushing back the deadline several times. Waits are officially 4-6 weeks for a standard passport, 2-3 expedited.

http://www.travel.state.gov/passport...sing_1740.html
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Old 06-02-09, 04:29 PM   #15
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Keep in mind that it's two different boarder crossings.

Google is your friend.

http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p.../cis_1082.html

Quote:
U.S. citizen travelers to Canada do not have a passport, passport card or approved alternate document such as a NEXUS card, they must show a government-issued photo ID (e.g. Driver’s License) and proof of U.S. citizenship such as a U.S. birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or expired U.S. passport.
What isn't clear is getting back into the US.

The following indicates an "enhanced driver's license" would be sufficient. (A "passport cards" is the same as a passport for entering into Canada.)
Quote:
Starting June 1, 2009, all travelers must present a Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document such as a passport or a passport card for entry to the United States. While passport cards and enhanced driver’s licenses are sufficient for entry into the United States...
Information about "passport cards".

http://travel.state.gov/passport/ppt...card_3921.html

Information about "enhanced drivers licenses".

http://www.dhs.gov/xtrvlsec/crossing...575704846.shtm

Information about entering Canada.

http://www.cbsa.gc.ca/security-securite/admiss-eng.html

Quote:
If you are a citizen of the United States, you do not need a passport to enter Canada. However, you should carry proof of your citizenship, such as a birth certificate, certificate of citizenship or naturalization, as well as photo identification.
==============

While I would not recommend it, I bet you would not have much trouble getting back into the US. Maybe, you should call the office at the boarder crossing you plan to cross at.

If you do try it, I would recommend being open about it (don't "sneak" anywhere!).

Last edited by njkayaker; 06-02-09 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 06-02-09, 05:33 PM   #16
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I heard on a Toronto radio station yesterday that they're still letting people though for now. Unofficial grace period.
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Old 06-02-09, 06:58 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbeans View Post
I am leaving in less than a week from Missoula, Montana for a tour with a couple people. We were considering a ride to Banff.

As of June 1st, 2009 the new rule is that to cross the border by land you need to have an up to date passport, and mine expired in March.

My question is, should I

a) Think of a new route?

or

b) Keep route to Banff and try to "unofficially" the border somewhere/somehow.

I mean there is a lot of room up there and I'll be on a bike.

The other 2 people both have current passports.

Suggestions? Thanks a lot.
Get hold of your U. S. Senator and ask for the staff person that deals with passports. Explain your issue and request their help.
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Old 06-02-09, 07:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
High demand for passports has slowed down processing times. IIRC this resulted in pushing back the deadline several times. Waits are officially 4-6 weeks for a standard passport, 2-3 expedited.

http://www.travel.state.gov/passport...sing_1740.html
Note that I was referring to expedited service by a company such as this one[*]: http://www.rushmypassport.com/ rather than going normal route but paying post office for expedited service.

I used this type of company once for a rush on a lost passport and a few times for help getting visas for countries that sometimes have awkward rules that you want to get right. You pay some more, but they seem to be able to get things surprisingly quickly. I don't know if that applies in current climate or not.
[*] I know nothing of the particular company I picked, it was an example that came up in google search.
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Old 06-02-09, 07:07 PM   #19
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yahoo had an article yesterday about this. its so new that the dont expect 100% compliance till about october-november... so i say ride on.
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Old 06-02-09, 08:39 PM   #20
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Uh, if you're a US citizen and you are found on US soil what's the big deal?
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Old 06-02-09, 09:06 PM   #21
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Border guards generally don't have much of a sense of humor while on the job. Be smart and don't F!@# with them.
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Old 06-02-09, 09:06 PM   #22
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Uh, if you're a US citizen and you are found on US soil what's the big deal?
US citizens smuggle things, too. And Homeland Security seems to have a thing about domestic terrorists lately.

So, you know, if the border patrol wants to make it a big deal, they're certainly capable.
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Old 06-02-09, 09:08 PM   #23
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Uh, if you're a US citizen and you are found on US soil what's the big deal?

You're having trouble following the conversation ... he was thinking of sneaking across the border into Canada at some place other than the official border crossings and then heading up to Banff. Then sneaking back across the border into the US again.

Probably not a good idea. He might not get caught doing that, but if he were there would be long-lasting and expensive results.

Now, however, he has decided to just stay in the US. And to the OP, I recommend the Logan's Pass area ... it's pretty and there are some good areas to cycle.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/1430288...7606589046925/
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Old 06-03-09, 12:26 AM   #24
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Uh, if you're a US citizen and you are found on US soil what's the big deal?
The discussion of this thread centers around the concept of leaving US soil officially, by entering foreign soil and THEN trying to re-enter US soil officially. That is where the difficulty arises: no one may re-land on US soil without US Border control "official approval and permission". Don't believe me?? Try it and let us know what happens without "official approval and permission". :-)

I suggest to you that no one can land on Canadian soil without official "approval and permission" from CCRA types either. I have seen folks at the border (Canadian soil side) waiting for a friend being detained by CCRA at the Canadian port of entry (Emerson, MB - actually at West Lynn, MB). I have also read about US fellows arrested in Gretna, MB and Altona, MB for entering Canada illegally (aka without "permission and approval").. They took their chances and then were arrested - and charged under Canada's Criminal Code for being in possession of things illegal to possess in Canada and under the Canada Customs Act for failing to declare and ..... They took their chances - and lost out :-(

While an individual Border Control agent may be lenient, that is their discretion and they DO NOT need to be lenient.

Last edited by tmac100; 06-03-09 at 12:37 AM. Reason: Extra info added..
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Old 06-03-09, 12:29 AM   #25
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I have heard unofficial grace period, even on the news today, and hey, theres always the game of playing dumb and not realizing it was expired.
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