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Information for U.S. Residents visiting Langley, BC, Canada

Drive time to Langley from:

Bellingham – 45 min
Everett – 1 h 40 min
Seattle – 2 h
Tacoma & Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) – 2 h 30 min
Olympia – 2 h 49 min

Map of US

Climate

Langley is in a region with a mild rainforest microclimate that allows for the cultivating of grapes at our seven local wineries.

Langley has 285 days of sunshine vs 164 in Seattle and 136 in Olympia, according to the data surveyed for Currentresults.com

Currency

Canadians have a similar currency to the US, with paper dollars in denominations of $5, 10, 20, 50, 100. In addition, they have two coin dollars, the loonie =$1 (so called because it has a graphic of a loon on it) and the twoonie = $2 (identifiable by its coin within a coin look).

ATM’s

Although you can take out Canadian money from visiting the branch of your local bank before leaving home, it’s very easy to take money from an ATM once you arrive through any Canadian bank ATM. Any money you don’t’ spend can be exchanged at your bank once you return home.

Calculate the current currency exchange rate here.

Credit Card and Debit Cards

Canadians have been using debit (regularly called Interac) on a wide basis for many years and most of their cards have the chip for extra security. Since many of the US cards do not have the chip and run on a slightly different system, it’s best to tell a cashier or wait staff that your card is an American card and may need to be run as credit, which will make the process much easier. Debit cards with a Visa or Mastercard logo on them can all be run this way in Canada.

If you have a Paypal Mastercard, be sure that you have money in your US account rather than converting it into Canadian in Papal. The card currently only works with US funds but can be used anywhere, with the exchange rate being calculated by Paypal at time of purchase.

Identification required at border (1 of the following):

Washington State Enhanced Drivers Licensing information can be found here.

Passport information can be found here.

Travel with kids

Children under 16 years of age do not currently require an Enhanced Identification Card (EID) and can cross into Canada by land with a certified birth certificate or other citizenship document. EID cards are recommended by Washington State and can be applied for here.

If traveling with only one parent, or with someone other than their legal guardian (aunt, grandmother), a letter of consent can easily be filled out and examples are available here.

It is highly recommended that you have the letter of consent notarized, as this can make the entire process at the border much easier.

Bringing pets across the border

Pets who are traveling with should be up to date on all shots and have a copy of recent shot records (easily obtained from your vet). You’ll be required to have a certificate of an up to date rabies vaccine, also easily obtained at your vet. For more information about traveling with pets in Canada, click here.

Bringing goods purchased in Canada back across the border to the U.S.

Limits on the amount of merchandise that can be brought back over the border duty-free:
Under 48 hours $200
Over 48 hours $800

Although British Columbia has a drinking age of 19, US residents must be 21 or older to bring alcohol purchased in Canada back over the border into the U.S. The current limit for alcohol brought back into America is one liter (33.8 fl. oz.).

The following products are restricted from being brought back over the border into the U.S. (updated information available here.

– Fresh fruit and vegetables
– Live plants and cut flowers
– Meat and animal products
– Live animals

Tips for crossing the border

Crossing an international border by car is very similar to going through security at the airport. Be honest, have your documentation ready and understand that border officials are simply doing their job to protect the country and their visitors.

Here are a few ways to make the process even easier:

– Have documentation for everyone in the car in the hand of the driver.
– Turn music and all electronics off so you can focus on any questions asked of you
– Remove sunglasses
– Wind windows down on driver side and back seat.
– Be prepared to open trunk if requested.
– Be honest and declare anything you are bringing into the country such as alcohol, tobacco, food etc.
– Know where you are staying and when you plan to return. This is a common question to ensure that you are in fact visiting, and not planning to move to Canada. Canadians get this same question when visiting the US.

Border officials will often ask the following questions, in addition to others:

– Where are you from? (City and state)
– Where are you heading to in Canada and how long do you plan to stay?
– Do you have any knives, firearms, alcohol or tobacco to declare?

It is not that common to have your car searched at the border, but don’t worry at all if you do! Follow the directions of the border personnel and you’ll soon be on your way to explore Canada.

Click here to find things to do, find a place to stay and explore our restaurants!

Congratulations on crossing the border and becoming a world traveler!!

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