United States Register Travel insurance Destinations
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Latest updates: Natural disasters & climate - removal of information in regards to the earthquake in Alaska.
United States - Take normal security precautions
Take normal security precautions in the United States.
Safety and security
Safety and security
Crimes of opportunity such as petty theft and pickpocketing occur, particularly in urban centres and tourist locations.
Do not leave bags or valuables unattended in parked cars (especially rental vehicles and even in trunks) or in plain view. Ensure that your personal belongings, including passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times. Carry a photocopy of your passport for identification purposes and leave the originals in your hotel safe.
The possession of firearms and the frequency of violent crime are generally more prevalent in the United States than in Canada.
Within large metropolitan areas, violent crime more commonly occurs in economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods, particularly from dusk to dawn, and often involves intoxication. Incidents of violent crime are mainly perpetrated by gangs or members of organized crime groups.
Incidents of mass shooting occur, but account for a small percentage of homicide deaths in the country. The likelihood of a tourist being a victim of such an incident is low.
While violent crime rarely affects tourists, be mindful of your surroundings, particularly at night. Verify official neighbourhood crime statistics before planning an outing. If you are threatened by robbers, stay calm and do not resist.
Canadians living in holiday homes have been the victims of break-ins and burglary. Whether you are staying in either private or commercial accommodations, make sure you lock windows and doors securely at night and when you are away.
Common criminal strategies
Be on alert for robbery ploys targeting visitors. Drivers have reported being targeted by criminals on highways while leaving airports or other tourist destinations. Criminals signal tourists driving on the highway to stop due to an issue with their vehicle. They then wait for the driver to pull over or exit the car before grabbing exposed valuables. Criminals may also throw items at the windshield, obscuring the view of the road and forcing the driver to pull over.
Avoid pulling over on the side of the road. Put on your hazard lights and slowly drive to a gas station, police station or other safe and populated area.
Credit and debit card fraud occurs, especially during holidays. Debit card cloning occurs, so check your bank account regularly to ensure that no unauthorized withdrawals have taken place. Be cautious when using debit or credit cards:
- pay careful attention when your cards are being handled by others
- use ATMs located in well-lit public areas or inside a bank or business
- avoid using card readers with an irregular or unusual feature
- cover the keypad with one hand when entering your PIN
- check for any unauthorized transactions on your account statements
There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time and targets could include:
- government buildings, including schools
- places of worship
- airports and other transportation hubs and networks
- public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners
Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places, particularly in large crowds. Monitor the media to keep informed of potential risks to safety and security.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) maintains a public alert system on terrorism to communicate information about terrorist threats.
National Terrorism Advisory System - Department of Homeland Security
Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the instructions of local authorities and monitor local media.
Hiking and mountaineering
If you intend on hiking, backpacking or skiing:
- never practice these activities alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
- buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
- obtain detailed information on hiking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails or slopes
- ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
- ensure that you are properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
- inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
- know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
Road conditions are similar to those in Canada.
Border with Mexico
We currently advise against non-essential travel to the Mexican side of the border with the United States. You should avoid crossing the U.S.–Mexico border by car, due to continuously high levels of violence linked to organized crime along the border.
We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.
Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.
We have obtained the information on this page from the authorities of the United States. It can, however, change at any time.
Verify this information with foreign diplomatic missions and consulates in Canada.
If you are travelling to the U.S. territory of American Samoa, verify its entry and exit requirements prior to travelling. American Samoa retains oversight of its own borders.
More about entry to American Samoa – American Samoa Immigration office
The most important requirement on entering the U.S. is providing proof of your Canadian citizenship. Your valid Canadian passport is the best document to prove your Canadian citizenship and your right to return to Canada. However, there are several other documents you can use to enter and exit the U.S. depending on how you intend to do so.
Travel by air
Canadian citizens travelling by air to the United States must present one of the following documents:
- a passport, which must be valid until the date of your intended departure from the United States
- a valid NEXUS card, used at self-serve kiosks at designated airports
This requirement applies to all Canadian citizens, including children, travelling by air to or even just transiting through the United States.
Travel by land or water
As per the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), Canadian citizens aged 16 years and older must present one of the following documents when entering the United States by land or water:
- a valid passport
- a Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST)
- an enhanced driver’s licence (EDL) or enhanced identification card (EIC) from a province or territory where a U.S.-approved EDL/EIC program has been implemented
- a Secure Certificate of Indian Status
The WHTI-compliant document you choose to use must be valid until the date of your intended departure from the United States.
Canadian citizens aged 15 years and under entering the United States by land or water require a passport or one of the following documents:
- original or a copy of a birth certificate
- original Canadian citizenship certificate
- Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP)
- Trusted Traveler Programs - USCBP
- Enhanced Drivers Licenses: What Are They? - United States Homeland Security
- Apply for a Secure Certificate of Indian Status
NEXUS offers a simplified and expedited border clearance process to low-risk, pre-approved travellers. All applicants, including children and infants, must apply for an individual NEXUS card. Children younger than 18 require the consent of a parent or legal guardian to enrol in NEXUS.
Official Canadian Passport
Different entry rules may apply.
Other travel documents
Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest diplomatic mission for your destination.
Learn more about Canadian passports.
U.S. permanent residents
In addition to their passport, Canadians who are permanent residents of the United States must present a valid U.S. Permanent Resident Card.
International travel as a U.S. Permanent Resident - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
In most circumstances, Canadian citizens do not require visitor, business, transit or other visas to enter the United States from Canada but there are some exceptions.
Canadians Requiring Visas - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada
Presidential Proclamation Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry Into the United States by Terrorists or Other Public-Safety Threats
The restrictions and limitations on entry imposed by the Proclamation do not apply to Canadian citizens travelling with a Canadian passport, including Canadian citizens with dual citizenship of one of the countries listed in the Proclamation (Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen). Case-by-case waivers may be granted to Canadian permanent residents who apply for a visa at a U.S. mission within Canada.
The decision to allow entry into the United States is made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. CBP) officer at a port of entry. If you have any questions on entry requirements, contact CBP, the Embassy of the United States of America in Ottawa or one of its consulates before you travel.
For the more information on the Proclamation:
- Proclamation - U.S. White House
- Factsheet – U.S. White House
- FAQ – U.S. White House
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection - United States Homeland Security
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
Children and travel
In addition to regular entry requirements, Canadian citizens aged 18 years and less who are travelling with a school or other organized group under adult supervision must travel with written consent from their own parent/guardian.
Any adult travelling with children may be required to show evidence of parental, custodial or access rights, or to provide evidence that he or she has the consent of the parent(s), legal guardian(s) or the court to travel with the children. Children may be refused entry or, in some cases, departure from the United States without proper documentation such as a consent letter or a court order.
If there is a possibility of a custody dispute arising over your child while you are away, you should consult a Canadian lawyer before leaving Canada.
Length of stay
Canadians who spend their winters in the United States can generally stay for up to six months from the time of entry. The length of stay is determined at the port of entry by a USCBP officer and is based on the purpose of travel at the time of initial entry.
If you wish to stay longer you must apply for an extension at the nearest U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office once you are in the United States and before the expiry of your initial authorized stay. They may ask you to demonstrate that you are only visiting temporarily in the United States.
The U.S. government strictly enforces immigration regulations. Remaining in the United States beyond your authorized period of stay can result in serious consequences such as detention or deportation.
There is no set period that you must wait to re-enter the United States after the end of your authorized stay; however, if a CBP officer suspects you are spending more time in the United States than in Canada, it will be up to you to prove to the officer that you are a temporary visitor, not a U.S. resident.
Extend your stay - USCIS
Successive, authorized stays of long duration may have tax implications unless you can demonstrate a closer connection to Canada than to the United States.
Rights when entering the United States
Foreign nationals do not have the same rights as U.S. citizens. When attempting to enter the United States, via a land border crossing or through an airport, for example, and while a determination is being made by U.S. authorities on your admissibility, you could be held for an extended period. If you are deemed inadmissible, there may be delays before you are returned to your point of departure or country of nationality.
U.S. citizens must present a valid U.S. passport to enter the United States by air. Although U.S. authorities do not formally require dual nationals to carry both a U.S. and a Canadian passport, carrying both documents as proof of citizenship may facilitate both entry into the United States and return to Canada.
If you are a U.S. citizen, left the United States to avoid military service and have not since regularized your status, there might be an outstanding warrant for your arrest. You might also be ineligible for U.S. entry. If in doubt, check with the nearest USCIS port of entry.
Borders and airports
Providing additional information at borders
Identification requirements for entry into the United States are strict. In addition to travel documents, travellers entering the United States by air or by sea must provide their address while in the United States (including Puerto Rico). CBP officers may also ask for:
- evidence of residential, employment or educational ties to Canada
- proof that the trip is for a legitimate purpose and is of a reasonable length
- proof of financial support while in the country
All carriers (notably airlines, but also rail and bus services) have become much stricter about requiring proof of admissibility to the United States, because of the heavy fines carriers face for carrying inadmissible passengers.
Previous use of cannabis, or any substance prohibited by U.S. federal laws, could mean that you are denied entry to the U.S. If you attempt to enter the U.S. for reasons related to the cannabis industry, you may be deemed inadmissible.
- Cannabis and international travel
- Marijuana remains illegal in the United States - USCBP
- Travel advisory for medical marijuana prescription holders – USCBP
- Cannabis and admissibility into the U.S. - USCBP
- Laws and culture for USA
Upon entry into the United States, non-U.S. citizens must provide biometrics, such as digital fingerprints and a photograph. Most Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement. The exemption does not apply to Canadian citizens who need a visa or a waiver of ineligibility, or who must obtain an I-94 Arrival/Departure Record form to document dates of entry and exit from the country
Random screenings of exempt Canadians have occurred at border crossings and airports, even when the visiting Canadians were just transiting through the United States. Canadians who feel that their information has been wrongfully collected can address the issue directly with the Department of Homeland Security.
Biometrics - USDHS
US border agents are entitled to search your electronic devices, such as your phones, computers or tablets, when you are entering the United States. They do not need to provide a reason when requesting a password to open your device. If you refuse, they may seize your device. The border agent could also delay your travel or deny entry if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Before crossing the border, put your device in airplane mode to ensure remote files don't get downloaded accidentally.
Inspection of Electronic Devices – US Customs ad Border Protection
The preclearance service provides clearance for entry into the United States for persons and their luggage—including immigration, customs and agriculture inspections—at a Canadian preclearance airport before departure instead of on arrival in the United States.
When using U.S. preclearance facilities at a Canadian airport, you must meet U.S. entry requirements and you will be interviewed by a U.S. preclearance officer. It is an offence under Canada’s Preclearance Act to knowingly make a false or deceptive statement to a preclearance officer. U.S. officials are authorized to inspect your luggage and can refuse you entry into the United States.
While you are in a preclearance area, you are subject to Canadian law, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Bill of Rights, the Canadian Human Rights Act, Canada’s Preclearance Act and Canadian criminal law, including those laws governing drugs and guns. You may withdraw your request to enter the United States and may leave the preclearance area at any time unless a U.S. preclearance officer suspects on reasonable grounds that you have made a false or deceptive statement or obstructed an officer. The officer may then detain you for violations of Canadian law.
Preclearance Locations - USCBP
If you have a criminal record, no matter the severity or the date of the offence, you may be refused entry to the United States. You may also experience problems when travelling through U.S. airport facilities. A pardon for an offence issued by Canadian authorities is not recognized under U.S. law to enter the United States.
If you are ineligible to enter the United States, you may apply directly to CBP for a temporary waiver of inadmissibility. You can apply for a waiver at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Canadian citizens may also apply at land borders.
U.S. ports of entry are computerized and connected to a centralized database. Information is readily available on criminal convictions in both Canada and the United States. Even though you may have entered the United States without hindrance in the past, you could run into difficulty if your record shows a criminal conviction or a previous denial of entry. Attempting to gain entry without a waiver could result in several weeks of detention and a permanent bar from entering the United States.
- Applying for Waiver - Person entering into the United States with criminal record or overstay – USCBP
- Foreign Representatives in Canada
Boating in U.S. waters
Operators of small pleasure vessels arriving in the United States from a foreign port must report their arrival to CBP immediately for face-to-face inspection at a designated reporting location. Some exceptions apply, including under Nexus Marine.
You must have a valid Canadian passport to take a cruise from the United States. Some of the countries you visit will not permit entry without a passport. A passport is also important to re-enter the United States at the end of the cruise.
Ship authorities might retain your passport during the cruise, in accordance with their own administrative regulations and to facilitate clearance with U.S. Immigration. If your passport is kept, obtain a receipt. Ensure you recuperate your passport at the end of the cruise. Always keep a photocopy of your passport with you.
Working in the United States
Most Canadian business travellers may apply for admission at a U.S. port of entry without first obtaining a non-immigrant visa. However, travellers entering the United States in certain business-related categories are required to present specific documents to establish eligibility for admission.
If you plan to work in the United States, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for specific requirements.
Secure Certificate of Indian Status
If you have a Secure Certificate of Indian Status in Canada, you may qualify for special U.S. immigration procedures that enable you to live and work in the United States without undergoing the normal immigration process.
First Nations and Native Americans - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada
Studying in the United States
Canadian citizens do not need visas to study or participate in a student exchange program in the United States. However, they need to be registered with SEVIS, a U.S. student tracking system. Students must present their registration form to CBP officers each time they enter the United States.
Canadian students - U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Canada
When examined at a port of entry, cats and dogs must show no signs of diseases communicable to humans. If there is evidence of poor animal health, you may need to get your pet examined by a licensed veterinarian, at your own expense. U.S. authorities may also require a health certificate.
Dogs must be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before entry, except for puppies under three months of age. Vaccination against rabies is not required for cats.
Other animals are also subject to controls or quarantine requirements.
Pets and Wildlife - General information - USCBP
If you have an unusual situation concerning entry into the United States, you should obtain authoritative information from the U.S. government immediately before your visit.
Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).
- Zika virus: Advice for travellers - January 17, 2019
October 25, 2018
Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM)
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) is reporting cases of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) across the United States. There is an increase in cases compared to 2017.
AFM is a rare but serious condition that affects the nervous system, in particular the spinal cord, and can cause weakness in a person's arms and legs. Most of the reported cases have been in children. There are many potential causes of AFM, including infection with certain viruses and exposure to environmental toxins.
Seek medical attention if you become ill while travelling or after your return to Canada. Canadians are advised to reduce their risk by taking the same precautions they would during cold and flu season, including:
- frequent handwashing
- coughing and sneezing into their arm, and not their hands
- keeping common surface areas clean, such as countertops
- avoiding touching their face with their hands
- avoiding close contact with people who are sick
For more information, please read the US CDC's fact sheet on AFM.
October 5, 2018
Red tide in Florida
On August 13, 2018, the State of Florida declared a state of emergency (link in English only) related to the presence of a harmful algal bloom also known as “red tide” along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Algal blooms create powerful toxins called brevetoxins which can affect human health.
Algal blooms are a known risk along the Gulf Coast of Florida and recently algal bloom has been noted along the East Coast of Florida and in Northwest Florida.
If you travel to affected counties, it is recommended that you protect yourself by following instructions issued by local authorities.
For information on red tide, including health tips and seafood safety tips, see the Florida Departement of Health Red Tide Factsheet.
Be sure that your routine vaccines, as per your province or territory, are up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Some of these vaccines include: measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.
Vaccines to Consider
You may be at risk for these vaccine-preventable diseases while travelling in this country. Talk to your travel health professional about which ones are right for you.
Hepatitis B is a disease of the liver spread through blood or other bodily fluids. Travellers who may be exposed (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) should get vaccinated.
Seasonal influenza occurs worldwide. The flu season usually runs from November to April in the northern hemisphere, between April and October in the southern hemisphere and year round in the tropics. Influenza (flu) is caused by a virus spread from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Get the flu shot.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and is common in most parts of the world.
Be sure your measles vaccination is up-to-date regardless of your travel destination.
Yellow Fever - Country Entry Requirements
Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.
Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.
- There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.
Country Entry Requirement*
- Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.
- Vaccination is not recommended.
About Yellow Fever
Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada
* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.
Food and Water-borne Diseases
Travellers to any destination in the world can develop travellers' diarrhea from consuming contaminated water or food.
Practise safe food and water precautions while travelling in North America. When in doubt, remember…boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
Insects and Illness
Travellers are advised to take precautions against bites.
- Dengue fever occurs in this country. Dengue fever is a viral disease that can cause severe flu-like symptoms. In some cases it leads to dengue haemorrhagic fever, which can be fatal.
- Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
- Protect yourself from mosquito bites. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.
Zika virus infection
Zika virus infection is a risk in some areas of the United States. Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause serious birth defects such as abnormally small heads (microcephaly). Zika virus can also be sexually transmitted.
Risk in areas of the United States
Florida and Texas: Local transmission of Zika virus had previously been identified in Miami-Dade, Florida and Brownsville, Texas. The risk is now considered low in these areas as there have been no recent confirmed or suspected cases of local transmission of Zika.
See travel health notice: Zika virus: Advice for travellers
There is no risk of malaria in this country.
Animals and Illness
Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats. Certain infections found in North America, like rabies, can be shared between humans and animals.
Medical services and facilities
Medical care and facilities are very good. Treatment costs are expensive.
All U.S. hospitals must accept and treat emergencies, regardless of the person’s ability to pay. Clients will, however, be charged for all services rendered. Foreign visitors without travel health insurance will have to pay out of pocket for their medical treatment.
Ensure you have sufficient funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment and medical evacuation, if required, as some private insurers require you to pay costs up-front and be reimbursed later. Check with your insurance company for payment and reimbursement procedures.
You should contact your travel insurance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment.
There are restrictions and prohibitions on the import of certain prescription drugs into the United States. Further, some medication that can be purchased over-the-counter in Canada (such as pain medication with muscle relaxant) is in fact restricted to prescription-only status in the United States. Bring sufficient quantities of your medication and a physician’s note explaining your medical condition(s), if applicable.
Keep in Mind...
The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.
Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a travel health kit, especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.
Laws and culture
Laws & culture
You must abide by local laws.
Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad.
The United States has a zero-tolerance policy and imposes severe penalties for the possession of even a small amount of an illegal drug.
Although the possession of cannabis is legal in some U.S. states, it remains illegal under U.S. federal laws in any form and quantity, making it illegal to bring across the Canada-U.S. border.
Do not attempt to cross the Canada-U.S. border with any amount of cannabis in any form, even if you are traveling to a U.S. state that has legalized possession of cannabis. If you do so you can expect legal prosecution and fines, and possibly jail time.
- Cannabis and international travel
- Marijuana remains illegal in the United States - USCBP
- Travel advisory for medical marijuana prescription holders – USCBP
- Entry/exit requirements for USA
Personal medication may be subject to U.S. drug importation laws and regulations. In general, personal importation of a 90-day supply of medication is allowed, but only if the drug is not available in the United States. CBP has absolute discretion to allow or not allow your Canadian-purchased medication into the United States. Prescription drugs imported by mail from Canada are carefully scrutinized.
When taking any prescription medication to the United States, it is important to:
- take only the quantity that you would normally take for the number of days you will be in the United States, plus an additional week’s worth
- pack medicines in their original packaging with the dispensary label intact that shows your name and other pertinent information such as the drug’s name, dosage and DIN (drug identification number)
- carry a duplicate of your original prescription, listing both the generic and trade names of the drug
If you are travelling with syringes used for legitimate medical purposes, have a physician’s note explaining your condition and the reason for you to be legitimately carrying syringes.
Traveling with Medication - USCBP
Penalties and transfer of offenders
A serious violation of the law may lead to a jail sentence or, in some states, a death sentence. The jail sentence will be served in a local prison. Canadian citizenship confers no immunity, special protection or rights to preferential treatment.
Canada and the United States have signed a treaty that permits a Canadian imprisoned in the United States to request a transfer to complete their sentence in a Canadian prison. The transfer requires the agreement of both Canadian and U.S. authorities.
Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the United States.
If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the United States, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different entry/exit requirements.
Dual Nationality - U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
U.S. Customs and Border Protection can bar non-citizens from the United States for five years if, in their judgment, the individuals presented false documentation or misrepresented themselves. Lying to a CBP official is a serious offence.
There is no formal appeal process under expedited removal, but if you believe the law has been misapplied in your case, you can request a supervisory review by writing to the USCIS district director responsible for the port of entry where the decision was made.
Imports and exports
Contact the specific CBP office at the Canada/U.S. border crossing you are planning to use before starting your trip for up-to-the-minute information on allowances and restrictions on bringing items into the United States. Allowances and restrictions change frequently. Declare all items at your point of entry.
Travel to Cuba from the United States
Existing U.S. sanctions restrict travel between the United States and Cuba. Tourists may not travel between the two countries. However, you may go to Cuba from the United States on other types of travel, if you meet certain requirements.
Frequently asked questions about Cuba sanctions - U.S. Department of the Treasury
You can drive in the United States if you have a valid Canadian driver’s license.
Traffic laws can vary from state to state.
Most states ban text messaging when driving.
If you are entering the United States by personal automobile, you should check with your insurance agent to verify that your existing coverage is valid or sufficient for the areas you will be visiting and for the duration of your visit. If you are going to remain in a specific location in the United States for a considerable period, verify with the local authorities that your vehicle registration and driver’s licence will remain valid.
Many states have mandatory automobile insurance requirements, and many require motorists to carry appropriate proof of insurance. Each state’s motor vehicles department can give you more specific information.
If you are in the United States and wish to drive to Mexico in your personal vehicle, you may need to purchase liability insurance and additional auto insurance. Contact your insurance agent and the local Mexican tourist office for further information.
- Foreign Nationals Driving in the U.S. – U.S. government
- Motor vehicle department of each state – U.S. government
- Canadian Automobile Association
- American Automobile Association
- Road safety risks when travelling by land to Mexico
- Travel advice for Mexico
Never cross the border with a hitchhiker or as a hitchhiker. Though you may not be carrying anything illegal, the hitchhiker or driver might be, and you could be implicated.
Be equally careful about who and what you carry in your vehicle. As the driver, you could be held responsible for the misdeeds and belongings of your passengers, even if you were unaware of the problem.
The currency is the U.S. dollar (USD).
Most ATMs accept Canadian bank cards. All major credit cards are accepted throughout the United States. Canadian currency and personal cheques from Canadian banks are not widely accepted in the United States. Most banking transactions require a U.S. bank account.
There is no limit to the amount of money that you may legally take into or out of the United States. However, you must declare the following to CBP:
- if you carry more than US$10,000 in monetary instruments (such as U.S. or foreign currency, traveller’s cheques, money orders, stocks or bonds) into or out of the United States, and
- if you receive more than US$10,000 while in the United States.
Failure to comply can result in civil and criminal penalties, including seizure of the currency or monetary instruments.
Natural disasters and climate
Natural disasters & climate
Natural disasters can occur at any time.
Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.
These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.
If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:
- know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
- be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
- stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
- carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
- follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
- Hurricanes, typhoons, cyclones and monsoons
- Large-scale emergencies abroad
- Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings - United States’ National Hurricane Center
Hot, dry weather conditions and strong winds often lead to wildfires during the summer. Remain alert to local developments through the media and modify your travel arrangements accordingly. In the event of a wildfire, follow the advice of local authorities, including evacuation orders. If you suffer from respiratory ailments, take into account that the air quality in areas near active fires may deteriorate due to heavy smoke.
There are active volcanoes located along the Pacific Rim. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) lists active volcanoes and associated warnings. If you are travelling near a volcano, check for the latest activity and warnings and always follow the advice and instructions of local authorities.
Seismic activity can occur throughout the country and coastal areas can be affected by tsunamis.
Tornadoes can occur almost anywhere in the United States, but are most common in the Midwest. In the event a tornado is announced in your area, monitor local news for the latest weather forecasts and follow the instructions of local authorities, including any evacuation orders.
- Tornadoes – Get prepared
- Severe Weather 101 - Tornado Basics - U.S. National Severe Storms Laboratory
Large-scale snow and ice storms occur in certain parts of the country. Exercise caution, keep informed of regional weather forecasts and follow the advice of local authorities.
Dial 911 for emergency assistance.
Washington - Embassy of Canada
Atlanta - Consulate General of Canada
Boston - Consulate General of Canada
Chicago - Consulate General of Canada
Dallas - Consulate General of Canada
Denver - Consulate General of Canada
Detroit - Consulate General of Canada
Honolulu - Consulate General of Australia
Los Angeles - Consulate General of Canada
Miami - Consulate General of Canada
Minneapolis - Consulate General of Canada
New York - Consulate General of Canada
San Francisco - Consulate General of Canada
Seattle - Consulate General of Canada
For emergency consular assistance, call the embassy of Canada in Washington or one of the closest consulates and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.
You may call the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa toll-free at 1-888-949-9993.
The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.
The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, express or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.
If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.
Learn more about consular services.
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