Make your stay an international experience. Travel between the U.S. and Canada is quick and easy via three conveniently located bridges: The Peace Bridge, situated where Lake Erie flows into the Niagara River, connects downtown Buffalo to Fort Erie, Ontario. The scenic Rainbow Bridge, rising high above the Niagara Gorge, joins the U.S. and Canada at Niagara Falls. The Lewiston-Queenston Bridge, north of the cataracts, offers a quick, safe and scenic passage between the two nations. A nominal fee is charged per automobile; individuals may walk or ride a bicycle for a lesser charge.
Here are some tips for crossing the border efficiently:
Before traveling, check with your auto insurance carrier to be certain you are properly covered for travel within a foreign country. Also, note that seat belts must be buckled in both New York and Ontario. Cyclists and motorcyclists must have a helmet. Having a prior drinking and driving conviction may prevent your entry into Canada.
Bring proper documents:
When entering either Canada or the USA: You must have proof of citizenship, in the form of a passport, enhanced driver’s license, trusted traveler program such as NEXUS, FAST, Global Entry, SENTRI, VISA, Canpass or alien registration card. Citizens and residents of some countries (other than Canadians or Americans) may require a visa before entering. Inquire with the Canadian or U.S. Embassy in your country of departure or visit getyouhome.gov to get more detailed information on required documents.
Crossing the border with children:
Birth certificates are fine if both parents are traveling with the children. Children do not need a photo ID under the age of 16. Children being accompanied by only one parent require a letter of consent from the absentee parent. Written consent from the parents is needed if a child is not part of your immediate family.
Crossing the border with pets:
Travelers accompanied by family pets, with the exception of seeing-eye dogs, must present a signed health certificate from a licensed veterinarian describing the animal along with the animal's rabies vaccination documents.
Canadians Returning to Canada:
After an absence of 24 hours or more you can claim goods (except tobacco & alcohol) with a total value of $200. If you are over, you must pay duty on the full amount, and cannot claim this exemption. After an absence of 48 hours or more you can claim goods for a total value of $800. Only the portion over this limit is dutiable.
American Residents returning to USA:
After an absence under 48 hours you may bring back merchandise for your use up to $200 (subject to limitations on liquors, cigarettes & cigars). If any part of this exemption is exceeded, the entire amount is subject to duty. In most cases, after 48 hours a $800 exemption per person is applicable, which may be grouped with other family members. Only the portion over $800 is dutiable.
For the latest bridge traffic conditions, call (800) 715-6722.