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Old 02-25-2018, 03:21 AM   #1
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ID Requirements for Loop

We are planning to do the loop this spring and are wondering about the ID documents required to enter Canada and return to the US.

I have read that an enhanced drivers license will work in lieu of a passport if one is traveling by boat rather than air which would require a passport.

The reason that I am asking is that my passport expires at the end of the month but I do have a Florida enhanced drivers license complete with the little gold star in the corner. In order to receive the enhanced license I had to present proof of citizenship.

I really don't want to renew the passport.
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:50 AM   #2
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Can I ask why you don't want to renew your passport?
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:09 AM   #3
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Entering Canada may be possible without a passport, but there could be a hitch.

Why muddy the waters? Renew the passport, then there's no question.
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:16 AM   #4
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I agree about just renewing a passport.

It's a little bit of a hassle getting a new one. But a renewal is easy-peasy!

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Old 02-25-2018, 08:26 AM   #5
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You'll need a passport for travel to Canada or anywhere else outside the US that isn't a US territory...the "enhanced" drivers license isn't enough. However, you can now get a passport CARD that works only in Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda. The card is about the same size as a drivers license and fits in your wallet. You can get either the book or the card or both when you renew...I got both when I renewed my passport last summer, took only the card when I went to Canada last fall. Had no problems with it. If you only get the card, just be aware that you'll need the book to travel anywhere except Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean or Bermuda...you'll save yourself a lot of hassle later if you get both at the same time.

https://travel.state.gov/content/tra...port/card.html

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Old 02-25-2018, 08:31 AM   #6
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Greetings,
Ms. HM. Passsport card? NEXUS card perhaps?
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Old 02-25-2018, 08:42 AM   #7
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I'm sure with enough Internet searching you can find the official rules for entering Canada by boat and re-entering the USA.

I have a fairly recent cruising guide that states that you can enter Canada with a USA "enhanced" drivers license but to be sure, I would find the official and current rules.

Another "wrinkle" with taking your boat to Canada is, you can't use your VHF radio without a license.

If you're really planning on doing the Great Loop you should join the Great Loop Association. They have all the answers.

http://www.greatloop.org/
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:03 AM   #8
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Greetings,
Ms. HM. Passsport card? NEXUS card perhaps?
Or Global Entry, but I have never heard of a passport card?
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:07 AM   #9
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Greetings,
Ms. HM. Passsport card? NEXUS card perhaps?
Hey, RT! No itís a credit card version of an American passport that fits in your wallet. (Global Entry is entirely differentóonly good for entering the US from abroad. I have both.)

Not mine below.

Funny you should ask . . . .
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:17 AM   #10
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Another "wrinkle" with taking your boat to Canada is, you can't use your VHF radio without a license.
Only about 10% of Canadians even have a license and the Coast Guard by their own admission doesn't really care so long as the radio is being used in a responsible manner. The radio itself no longer requires a license, just the operator. I know of no one that has ever been asked for it.
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:42 AM   #11
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Greetings,
Mr. 99. Well, ya learn something every day. Your example looks a bit like Boris Yeltsin but let's not go there.

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Old 02-25-2018, 10:19 AM   #12
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Here is one of the places I was getting my information about Enhanced Drivers Licenses. It states that they will work for entry into Canada and re entry into the U.S. if by land or sea. Passports are required for air travelers.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Americ...y_into_the_U.S.

But I was wrong about Florida DL's being enhanced. Only 5 states have real enhanced DL's. Florida's is called a Real ID and meets the new federal requirements for ID verification. There are some who say it will work for Canada.

To be safe, however, a passport is the way to go.
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Old 02-25-2018, 10:38 AM   #13
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I have both the card and book as well. Getting into Canada is easy. Where you really need the passport is getting back into the US.
Like others I highly recommend renewing. I just did and by priority mail the turnaround was 10 days unexpedited.
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Old 02-25-2018, 10:38 AM   #14
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Only about 10% of Canadians even have a license and the Coast Guard by their own admission doesn't really care so long as the radio is being used in a responsible manner. The radio itself no longer requires a license, just the operator. I know of no one that has ever been asked for it.
That may be true but knowingly breaking the law is not a good practice, especially in a foreign country.
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Old 02-25-2018, 11:17 AM   #15
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I donít know the OPís time horizon but if you have the time you should get a nexus card for those who will be on the boat. Once you have the card there is a phone number, one for Canada and one for the us. You will only need to call the number and you are cleared via phone. While going into Canada you will have to pass a designated check point but I have never seen anyone at these points so I just keep going. There are hundreds of these check points usually one is within a mile of my course. When returning to the us itís all done buy phone, no need even for a minor detour.

It does take several months to get a nexus card.
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:23 PM   #16
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Greetings,
Ms. HM. Passsport card? NEXUS card perhaps?
Apparently you didn't bother to open the link I provided. A passport card is not a NEXUS card, it's a wallet size passport. Nexus allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada. Primarily for drivers of trucks and other commercial vehicles who cross back and forth regularly, but also available for boat owners who do.

Global Entry give pre-screened expedited customs processing when returning to the US from other countries https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-t...s/global-entry

And then there's TSA PreCheck. https://www.tsa.gov/precheck
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Old 02-25-2018, 01:42 PM   #17
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That may be true but knowingly breaking the law is not a good practice, especially in a foreign country.
Its not the law. Its just a bureaucratic rule that is un-enforced, similar to Australia's rule for a VHF licence. The majority of users ignore it unless they need an MMSI number.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:47 PM   #18
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My passport renewal form will go out in tomorrow's mail. Thanks to the Passport Wizard at the State Department and CVS for a new picture it was pretty painless...except for the check for renewal, expedited delivery and overnight back.

Since we have drifted this far, should I join the "Small Vessel Reporting System"? I would have to go a a Customs Office for an interview.

https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/Default.aspx

And what about bringing my Winchester Stainless Steel 12 ga. pump or my S&W Airweight 38 pistol into Canada?
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Old 02-25-2018, 04:47 PM   #19
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The pump is not an issue but the hand gun is going to add complexity.
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:06 PM   #20
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My passport renewal form will go out in tomorrow's mail. Thanks to the Passport Wizard at the State Department and CVS for a new picture it was pretty painless...except for the check for renewal, expedited delivery and overnight back.

Since we have drifted this far, should I join the "Small Vessel Reporting System"? I would have to go a a Customs Office for an interview.

https://svrs.cbp.dhs.gov/Default.aspx

And what about bringing my Winchester Stainless Steel 12 ga. pump or my S&W Airweight 38 pistol into Canada?
Are you going to Canada in the next two weeks? If not , IMO don't waste your money on expediting and overnight. Priority mail works just fine.

As for the guns, anyone in particular you want to kill up there?
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