Below are the key sites that you should visit to confirm information on this website or to answer questions we may not have covered. These are the official U.S. and Canadian agencies that control this border and everything that goes through it. For general information on documentation, you may want to start with the U.S. CBP “WHIT information page” which maintains a easy to understand website page with information for travellers on the documentation needed to enter the U.S. or Canada.
Canada Border Services Agency – CBSA
The Border Information Service (BIS) is the call center for the CBSA. At this number you can ask any type of question related to crossing into Canada. Unlike the U.S. Border Services, Canada doesn’t publish the phone numbers for it’s ports. They want you to call this information service and they will then transfer your call to the port you need.
You can call the BIS at 800-461-9999 from within Canada, or 204-983-3500 or 506-636-5064 from outside the country. The call center is only open 8am to 4pm. Getting to a live person is sometimes pretty difficult given their menu structure. You need to make at least one, and probably two, menu selections before you get to a point where you can press “0″ to get a real person. The last time we checked, they never tell you that pressing “0″ gets you to a human being.
If you are having problems with Canadian border officials you may want to review a copy of the information they have about you in their files. See our page on requesting your personal information under the the Canadian Privacy Act for more information. Given that the the U.S and Canada are now swapping information, it is possible that any problems with U.S. border officials would be in this file as well.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada – CIC
The Citizenship and Immigration office establishes the rules as to who can cross into Canada. This includes both tourists or someone seeking citizenship and immigration. Their call centre can answer questions in English and French at 1-888-242‑2100 within Canada Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, or you have a speech impediment and use a text telephone, you can access the TTY service from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. your local time by calling 1-888-576‑8502.
If you have questions about Canadian passports you will want to contact Passport Canada. Their website answers many frequently asked questions. You can also call them at (800)-567-6868 or (819)-997-8338.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
You can call the U.S. CBP INFO Center for any type of information related to crossing the border. Their phone number is (877) 227-5511 or (202) 325-8000. The call center is open Monday-Friday, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern Time. You can also email your question to the CBP using a link on their website although we have had users report they never received an answer.
Unlike Canadian Customs, you can always call the U.S. Customs Office at the specific border crossing you will be using. We have the contact information for each port on our website page for that port.
U.S. State Department Travel Website
The State Department website is the definitive source for travel documentation, citizenship, and immigration issues.
If you are having problems with American border officials you may want to review a copy of the information the U.S. government has about you in their files. See our page on requesting your personal information under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act. Given that the the U.S and Canada are now swapping information, it is possible any problems with Canadian border officials would be in this file as well.
Compliments and Complaints about Border Officials
Both the U.S. and Canada have websites where travellers can submit either a compliment for a job well done or a complaint about your border crossing experience.
The CBSA has a webpage where you can submit a compliment or complaint about Canadian border services . Likewise, there is a U.S. Border Patrol compliment and complaint form on their website. You can submit a report anonymously or you can request a reply.
Government Contacts for Importing a Vehicle
We have a complete section of this website devoted to the instructions for importing a vehicle into either the United States or Canada. U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)
U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality
Telephone (Imports Hotline): 202-564-9240
Faxback System: 202-564-9660
Fax: (202) 565-2057
Within Canada: 1-800-333-0371
Outside Canada: (613) 998-8616
Fax: (613) 998-8541
Vehicle Importation: www.tc.gc.ca/eng/roadsafety/safevehicles-importation-usa-index-445.htm
Canadian Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
Within North America: 1-888-848-8240 (English and French)
Outside North America: 1-416-626-6812
Importing information: www.riv.ca/ImportingAVehicle.aspx
E-mail Address: email@example.com