Crossing the Canadian Border FAQ
Crossing the Canadian Border
Starline Luxury Coaches travels into Canada with regularity. Our neighbors to the north are very friendly, and welcome us, however they do have some special requirements that we need to respect. Please read the following information carefully and be properly prepared.
When heading into Canada, we PRIMARILY use the Commercial Truck Crossing on I-5. Never try to use the PEACE ARCH crossing in a commercial vehicle! Here is some additional information:
How many border crossings are near Vancouver?
There are four. They are listed from west to east;* The main border crossing is the Peace Arch / Blaine crossing. The Peace Arch is the most beautiful and popular of the local crossings and is open 24 hours.
- * There is a truck crossing near the Peace Arch border crossing because no commercial vehicles are allowed to cross at the Peace Arch. This crossing is also open 24 hours a day and cars are allowed; however, if the Peace Arch crossing is backed up, the truck crossing is almost always backed up as well.
- * The border crossing at Aldergrove / Lynden is open 8am to midnight every day. It’s 35miles/59km east of Vancouver. However, if you’re traveling to the North Shore or to the east side of Vancouver, this crossing is worth considering. If it’s not a holiday or a weekend, the wait time is usually minimal.
- * The border crossing at Abbotsford / Sumas is open 24 hours but is 43 miles or 72km east of Vancouver. This crossing is almost too far east to consider unless you know the Peace Arch is really busy or the Aldergrove exit is closed.
When crossing into Canada, make sure you have enough declarations cards for your passengers. The commercial crossing does not supply these, you as the driver need to have them with you. They are available in the driver’s room, if you see they are getting low, please let operations know so we can order more.
When heading into the US, you need to know the following information:
Always be polite and respectful, provide clear and firm answers and if you need to, please feel free to call operations.
When crossing into the US, you may be asked to unlock several doors. Please let the border patrol/inspector know that any locked compartments are locked because they contain components of the heating system. These doors are locked because they are non-serviceable. Our company does not provide keys to these doors to prevent tampering and mistakes from happening. Some service panels are not readily accessible and contain breakers, pumps, and other controls. If the Patrol/inspector needs to get into these areas, they certainly may have access, feel free to call the shop or operations for instructions on how to open these areas. Also, please be knowledgeable on your equipment, as you may be asked to access the open the spare tire access, engine compartment, and the like.
Some border patrol/inspectors have made mention of the Drive Cam event recorder device. The concern is that this device is recording the interior of the inspection stations. The system must be confidently and politely explained to the patrol/inspector. If you need to know how it works, read below:
The drive cam event recorder is designed for the documentation of an event. The event can only be triggered by the accelerometer or manually by a human being. The event recorder will indicate when it is recording by a alternating red and green light. If the device has recorded an event, it will be a solid red color. If it has not recorded an event, it will be a solid green. It is only recording and storing the information if it is currently alternating green/red.
This device is for safety and insurance. The device cannot be disconnected from the engine management system, and cannot be manually turned off. Attempting to tamper with this device in any way will damage the equipment and should not be attempted.
If either of these issues come up, please have the patrol/inspector call operations and we will attempt to explain the equipment and operation.
When entering the US WITH passengers, you will need declarations forms. Please make sure you have these with you. If you see that they are low, please let operations know so we can order more.