Entering Canada - What you need to know

Entering Canada - What you need to know

Information on this page comes from Travel.gc.ca, the Canadian Government Website


You must carry proper identification for yourself and any children travelling with you to help confirm your legal right or authorization to enter Canada when you arrive.

All visitors arriving from or transiting through the United States should visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information concerning the requirements to enter, transit through, or return to the United States.

Identification requirements for U. S. citizens and permanent residents

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you must carry proof of citizenship such as a passport, birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship or naturalization, a U.S. Permanent Resident Card, or a Certificate of Indian Status along with photo identification. If you are a U.S. permanent resident, ensure you carry proof of your status such as a U.S. Permanent Resident Card.

For members of a Trusted Traveller program

U.S. citizens

U.S. citizens who are members of the NEXUS program can use their membership card as proof of identification and citizenship when entering Canada by land, air or water. This applies when you are using either conventional or NEXUS-only lanes.  U.S. citizens who are members of FAST may use their membership card when entering Canada by land or water only. When travelling by air, FAST cards will only be accepted as proof of identification when you are travelling to Canada from the U.S.

U.S. permanent residents

NEXUS and FAST members who are permanent residents of the U.S. must still travel with a passport and proof of permanent residence. You may be asked to present these documents to the Border Services Officer (BSO) when you arrive at the border.

No matter your mode of travel, we recommend you carry a valid passport for all travel abroad, including visits to Canada from the United States. A passport may be required by your airline or other transportation authority, since it is the only universally-accepted identification document.

Identification requirements for international visitors

All international travellers must carry acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) when entering Canada. A passport is recommended because it is the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification document for the purpose of international travel.

What can you bring with you?

As a visitor, you can bring certain goods into Canada for your own use as personal baggage. Personal baggage includes clothing, camping and sports equipment, cameras and personal computers. This also includes your mode of transportation, including vehicles, private boats and aircraft.

You must declare all goods when you arrive at the first CBSA port of entry. Our BSOs check goods you are bringing in or taking out of Canada to verify what you have declared. If you declare goods when you arrive and take them back with you when you leave, you will not have to pay any duty or taxes. These goods cannot be:

  • used by a resident of Canada;
  • used on behalf of a business based in Canada;
  • given as a gift to a Canadian resident; or
  • disposed of or left behind in Canada.

The BSO may ask you to leave a security deposit for your goods. Your deposit will be refunded when you leave Canada with the goods. If this happens, you will be issued a Temporary Admission Permit. We will keep a copy and give you one for your records. When you leave Canada, bring your goods and your copy of the Temporary Admission Permit, to the BSO. You will get a receipt and your security deposit will be refunded by mail.

For more in depth information on travelling TO or through Canada visit the Canadian Border Service website at: www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

Border Wait TImes: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/bwt-taf/menu-eng.html

Forms like the General Declaration to enter Canada can be found here: http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/forms-formulaires/menu-eng.html

Helmet Laws in Canada:

Motorcycle helmets must be worn in all provinces and territories in Canada and must conform to the specifications below unless you are a member of the Sikh faith. In BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario those who practice the Sikh faith, have unshorn hair and regularly attend mosque may wear their turban only. Everyone else must wear a helmet under penalty of law.

  • DOT: conformance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 218; Motorcycle helmets (United States of America),
  • Snell M2005, M2010 or M2015: certification in accordance with the Snell Memorial Foundation 2005, 2010 or 2015 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use with Motorcycles and Other Motorized Vehicle, or
  • ECE: approved in accordance with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Regulation No. 22

Tools and resources for the Rider in Canada:

www.canadianmotorcycleevents.com - find events like coffee and ride nights, poker runs, swap meets and rallies right across Canada!

www.riderfriendly.com - find the goods and services you need when travelling through Canada! Register at RiderFriendly.Com for free and also get use our Never RIde Alone Program by Intercon Messaging.Available in Canada and the Continental US, the Never RIde Alone Program is a human contact/tracking program that helps in the event that something does happen to you while on the road. To find out more about this service visit:

ALL Riders can enjoy a 15% discount at Choice Hotels by visiting:  and entering code:

Choice Hotels


With the participation of the Government of Canada.

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Canadian Motorcycle Tourism Association

CMTA Contact Info:

Head Office:

10908-102 St

Grande Prairie, AB, T8V 2X3 

Ph: (780) 933-0182

Satellite Office:

Box 524

Two Hills, AB, T0B4K0

Email support:

General Info:  info@motorcycletourism.ca

Membership/Sales:  exec.director@motorcycletourism.ca

Event Support: events@motorcycletourism.ca

Web Support: admin@motorcycletourism.ca