Most Canadians reside not far from the US border. 90 percent of Canadians live within 100 miles (160 km) of the border and this is mostly due to climate, settlement patterns, transportation, etc.

How many US states border Canada?

There are a total of 13 states that border Canada: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Alaska. Canada is a country located to the north of the United States. The US border with Canada has been changed a number of times in American history.

The Canada-United States border is the longest international border in the world at 5,525 miles and with more than 100 crossings. Not all of the border crossings are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year-round. People can cross them by land, ferry, and international airports.

Who can cross the Canada-US border?

People who are allowed to cross the Canada-US border are either citizens of the United States or people who have a visa that allows them to stay in the United States for an extended period of time. Citizens of the United States must have a passport or other document that proves their citizenship. People who have a visa that allows them to stay in the United States for an extended period of time must have a valid visa, passport, or another document that proves they can stay in the United States.

What ID is needed to cross the US border from Canada?

Depending on whether you’re traveling by land, air, rail, or boat to cross the border with Canada, different kinds of documents are needed.

For American Citizens

American citizens who are arriving by land or sea are required to produce one of the documents below to enter the country.

  • Passport
  • United States Passport Card
  • Trusted Traveler Cards – NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST
  • Global Entry Card
  • Enhanced Driver’s License or Enhanced
  • Identification Card – EDL / EIC
  • Military ID or Merchant Marine Document
    • Must be traveling on official orders or maritime business, respectively
    • Family members over 15 years old must still present passports
    • Enhanced Tribal Card
  • Children under 15 may present a passport as well, but there are also the following options:
    • Birth certificate (original copy)
    • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
    • Naturalization Certificate
    • These rules also apply to children aged 16-18 if they are traveling with a group (school group, sports team, etc.).
  • Closed-loop cruises (which begin and end at the same U.S. port)
    • You can re-enter the US with only a birth certificate and government-issued photo I.D. But remember to still bring your passport with you in case your cruise visits other countries.

American citizens arriving by air must present one of the following documents to enter the country:

  • Passport
    • A passport card is not allowed.
    • Children must have their own passports as well
    • Check that it’s not expired!
  • NEXUS card
  • Merchant mariner card or U.S. military identification card
    • Accepted only if you are traveling on official business

Non-citizens entering the United States

If you’re a citizen of another country entering the US, you will need one of the documents below.

  • Valid Passport
    • The United States often requires visitors from certain nations, including Canada, to submit passports that are current at the time of border crossing and valid for up to six months after the date of their intended departure date.
    • You’ll probably be subject to a second inspection if your passport has expired. The border agent will have the last say regarding your admission to the United States.

Canadian citizens may use:

  • Enhanced Driver’s License or Enhanced Identification Card – EDL / EIC.
  • Trusted Traveler Cards – NEXUS, SENTRI, or FAST
    • Lawful permanent residents must provide their Lawful Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) or another acceptable form of identification as verification of their status as lawful permanent residents.
    • Children who are Canadian citizens and are under 16 years old may utilize a birth certificate or other documentation of citizenship. The birth certificate is available as an original, certified copy, or photocopy.
    • As long as they’re traveling with a group, it also applies to kids under 19 (school trip, sports team, etc.).

You may need to get a visa depending on your country of origin and your reason for traveling. Visitors from Canada and Bermuda, in addition to visitors from the 39 countries in the Visa Waiver Program, do not require visas.


Requirements to cross the United States-Canadian border by car:

  • Driver’s license: The driver of the car must have a valid license.
  • Vehicle registration: Border officials are often on the lookout for stolen vehicles, or people trying to avoid duties on vehicles purchased out of the country.
  • Proof of insurance: It’s recommended that you bring your vehicle’s insurance paperwork.

What is the wait time at the US-Canada border?

The wait times can range from no delays up to 20 minutes, specifically on both the commercial and traveler flows at Sweetgrass–Coutts Border Crossing in Montana. Updates on wait times can be researched online.

The Ambassador Bridge connects is the busiest international border crossing in North America based on trade volume.

How long is the southern US-Canada border?

The southern US-Canada border measures 8,891 km (5,525 mi) long. Meanwhile, Alaska shares the longest border with Canada of any state. The 1,538-miles (2,475 km) long border is shared with Yukon and British Columbia.

What established the border between the US and Canada?

The Oregon Treaty was signed by representatives of Great Britain and the United States, and it resolved a long-running disagreement with Britain over who has authority of the Oregon area. The 49th parallel, which runs from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Georgia, was designated as the border between the US and British Canada by the treaty. With this, the British retained control of Vancouver Island and the right of navigation along a portion of the Columbia River, while the US officially took authority of the future states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.

What large lake system is located on the border of the US and Canada?

The series of deep freshwater lakes known as the Great Lakes includes the Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario and is situated in east-central North America. Except for Lake Michigan, the lakes serve as a natural border between Canada and the United States, a frontier that was established by a boundary-waters treaty of 1909. It is a source of pride and understanding for both countries that there are no fortifications or warships along the boundary.