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Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

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Washington, DC
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Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

I will be driving to Montreal and Quebec in July. Because I am driving, what is the procedure for going through Immigrations and Customs? When is there usually the longest line and how long does it usually takes? I've never drove between countries, I've only flown. Also, is there anything else I should know before I go?

Thanks!

Vermont
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1. Re: Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

The wait really depends on which state you're entering from. The Vermont border is very quick, maybe 5 to 15 minutes. New York can take much longer. If everyone in your party is a US citizen, you'll only need to show a drivers license. Passports are even better, but not necessary. They'll ask you the purpose of your trip, how long you'll be staying, and sometimes even the name of the hotel. Don't forget to save all receipts and then stop in at the duty free shop on your way back. They reimburse you for most of the taxes you will have paid during your stay.

Delhi, New York
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2. Re: Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

A bit of advice though -- while licenses are usually good, do yourself a favor and bring a passport or birth certificate.

A couple years ago, we went through and they pulled us over and into customs. They almost turned us away because all we had was licenses. And that was like our eighth trip up.

Other times we've had no problems. Now we carry passports or birth certificates to be safe.

Usually, it will depend on who your customs agent at the time is.

As for time, the main one from NY into the province (Champlain) can be long or quick. We've waited upwards of two hours to get in and three hours to get out before. Other times we've been through in 10 minutes. Can be determined by time of day, the weekend, the time of year etc.

There are smaller ones out there. They are usually faster and easier.

Roswell, New Mexico
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3. Re: Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

The main port at Champlain is often congested.

Take the last exit on I-87, and go through the Overton Corners station in Rouses Point, on the same road as the high school. It's where we locals go, and you'll be through flash. The Canuck officials barely stick their head out of the window (of course, we have passports) You'll then be just a sort drive through the country (5 min) from getting back on the Canadian highways, and there will be a rest stop/tourist center just 5 min down the road.

NJ
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4. Re: Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

thanks for the shortcut tip. will try this route next weekend.

last year, I was at the border for approx. 2 hours. painful.

Boston, MA
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5. Re: Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

Hey wondertrev,

What is the exit number of the last exit you mentioned?

Thanks!

Roswell, New Mexico
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718 posts
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6. Re: Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

It's Exit 42. Take it to the east, and head north on Rt. 276. There's a stoplight. You'll pass the high school, and then hit Canadian customs. The US Customs folks will still grill you on the way back, but at least you won't be behind 20 cars.

Fort lauderdale
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7. Re: Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

Yeah I take that customs route once in a while when I bought a little too much lol but just want to let everyone know, make sure when you leave customs that you have all your identification. We drove away Saturday thinking we had everything back and luckily we were not far when we noticed my moms medicare card was missing.

NYC
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8. Re: Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

So its easier to take exit 42 from 87 N which becomes 15 N, and then get on Route 138 E which will take you to downtown? I dont see anything about rt 276 on mapquest.

Roswell, New Mexico
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9. Re: Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

Once you get through the Candians side of customs, you'll drive north a couple of miles, take the first left, go past the golf course, and you'll hit 15N.

10. Re: Driving Through Immigrations/Customs

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