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ENTERING CANADA (Estevan Motor Speedway)

As of June 1, 2009 the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) has changed the way that US and Canadian citizens cross borders. Before June 1 all it took to cross either border was proof of citizenship (birth certificate) and a state or province issued drivers license or ID. After June 1, 2009 Canadian border officials are asking first for a passport, passport card, or NEXUS card from a US resident asking to go into Canada.

Getting into Canada from the official Canadian website–word for word–what their latest policies are concerning US residents crossing into Canada. “Entry into Canada is solely determined by Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officials in accordance with Canadian law. Canadian law requires that all persons entering Canada carry both proof of citizenship and proof of identity. A valid US passport, passport card, or NEXUS card satisfies these requirements for US citizens. Children under 18 must present proof of citizenship and identity.” Pets need vet papers certifying vaccinations.

I will also quote Canadian law concerning offenses that will bar you from entering Canada. “Anyone with a criminal record (including misdemeanors or Driving While Impaired (DWI) charges may be banned from entering Canada and must obtain a special waiver well in advance of any planned travel.” A DWI from 20 years ago can bar you from entering Canada, but you can get a waiver if you have been crime free for five years after your sentence was served. This can get costly and don’t take the chance of getting across the border if you have a record and you’ve not got official permission to cross.

There are also some items you need to keep at home if you enter Canada. Handguns and weapons—such as pepper spray or mace are prohibited from being brought into Canada. Additionally, some fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products and plants from other countries cannot be brought into Canada. You can bring only 1.5 liters of wine, 1.14 liters of liquor, or a total of 1.14 liters of wine and liquor together. You can only bring (1) case (24 bottles or cans) of beer across the border. Tobacco limits are: (1) carton of cigarettes.

Canadian border officials will ask you what you have in your vehicle and everything is subject to inspection if they suspect anything. RULE OF THUMB FOR ANSWERING THEIR QUESTIONS IS THIS: be courteous, respectful and truthful and you won’t have any problems. Don’t volunteer questions and for sure don’t get smart or you will be sitting there for a long time! Have the driver of your vehicle be someone who can do the above and have a talk with those who are prone to smarting off to say absolutely nothing unless prompted by an official. This is good advice from someone who sees the same racers get searched year after year when they cross the border.


After the June 1, 2009 (WHTI) rules go into effect the State Department that there will be no entry back into the US without a passport.


Canadian drivers to get into the US the US border people will not take anything but a Passport or NEXUS card, but we are told most all Canadians already have these items if they cross the border frequently.


Minot, Mandan and Williston are all on Central Daylight Savings Time. Dickinson is on Mountain DST and Estevan is on Canadian time, both are one hour behind Central Time.