I despise the thought of needing a passport to go to Canada!

United States
June 14, 2007 3:53pm CST
I know it's about border security, but still, of all the countries on Earth, we've always celebrated our shared freedom with our good friends to the North! I always loved going up to Boston for a couple of weeks each year when I was younger. We would drive up into Canada a couple of times each visit, and I just loved the fact that, IF we encountered border security, just show my license, and pass with a smile and a wave. How cool was it that two massive and powerful nations could trust each other like that? I don't think many people on either side have appreciated what a special thing ended when the new passport requirements came into effect. We've lost the distinction of sharing the longest open border on Earth. Bummer!
4 people like this
9 responses
@mac1946 (1602)
• Calgary, Alberta
15 Jun 07
I am Canadian and have travelled many times to the U.S. and I am in the proccess of buying property down there very soon,I find it a hassle needing a passport just to come back and forth,but even Mexico has more rights than Canadians do,they can immagrate and get green cards for the U.S,but Canadians can not. we are resticted to snowbirds statues. I do however understand the need for tight security,Canada does allow far to many immigrants from certan areas to come to canada without the proper security checks.
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
14 Jun 07
I have always wanted to go and visit Canada but I never fully knew what the requirements was for it. We put it off and now they require a passport and such. I think that is too much to require from U.S. citizens especially the ones who live close to the border also. I live in Indiana and all we have to do is go north and go through Michigan to get there but them we need a passport. Uggghhhhhh. I don't know much about passports.
• United States
14 Jun 07
Any Post Office has the applications, some of the bigger ones even have a photo booth on site. I think the basic price is $95 for a passport good for ten years, but there are fees that can get added if you require faster service than the 3 months or so it takes to get one. Just learned with Grandpa Bob's help that drivers don't need passports, only if you fly. Passports can be cool to have, if you lose your driver's license, it's one of the documents acceptable to prove your identity, most places.
1 person likes this
@stephcjh (32327)
• United States
15 Jun 07
Thanks alot for that information. I didn't know where to obtain one or how much it cost either or the length of time it took to get one either or how long it was good for. So, if I drive to Canada from Indiana, I do not have to have a passport, correct? We thought about moving to Canada some time down the road is why I ask.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 07
To the best of my knowledge, that's correct. However, getting a visa for any kind of extended stay in Canada is a WHOLE 'nother ball of wax! They've had pretty restrictive immigration laws for a long time. I'm not sure what exactly the requirements are these days, you can probably search for a Canadian Embassy in the nearest major city to you, or on the web. Sigh.... I think about emigrating to Canada all the time, especially after a buch of back and forth with the "intelligent design" folks!
@Amstardam (1348)
• United States
14 Jun 07
I know! Isn't so sad how America is becoming? We keep making things or passing laws to make us more secure but then we needs more laws and more things to make those thing safe. We keep trading our "safety" (or image of!) for our freedom. Our children have to sit in the backseat of a car until they're 13 in a booster seat for crying out loud! What in the world is this country coming to? I live in Seattle and soon I won't be able to drive and cross the border without a passport! I have one, but it expires soon. That means before I can go back to Vancouver I have to go and apply for a new passport with my married name and then wait the many weeks before I get it in the mail to finally be able to visit Canada again. Such stupidity.
2 people like this
• United States
14 Jun 07
I do hate the fact that we are giving up freedoms bit by bit, but we may not be all that much safer than we were before. It was 8 years between WTC bombing #1 and 9/11, so I think the people who are bragging on how great it is that there hasn't been another major attack are speaking prematurely.
@Lindalinda (4112)
• Canada
15 Jun 07
Yes, this is so sad but unfortunately this was brought on by evil people with evil intentions for both countries. By the way, you guys in America got a reprieve. If you drive you can still get into Canada with a valid driver's licence until next year. We on the other hand can no longer drive to the US with a driver's licence, we need a passport now. When I was young we used to cross the border just to have a meal and then return. Try this now and you are greeted with disbelief and suspicion. We all miss the good old days.
@webeishere (36353)
• United States
14 Jun 07
No passport for Canada, Mexico travel By DEVLIN BARRETT and Jennifer Talhelm, Associated Press Writers Fri Jun 8, 11:17 AM ET WASHINGTON - The Bush administration on Friday suspended some of its new, post-Sept. 11 requirements for flying abroad, hoping to placate Congress and irate summer travelers whose vacations have been thwarted by delays in processing their passports. Heres a link to read. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20070608/ap_tr_ge/travel_brief_passports_2 HAPPY POSTINGS FROM GRANDPA BOB !!~
• United States
14 Jun 07
Thank you, Grandpa Bob! I hadn't heard about this, and I also didn't realise it didn't apply to driving. Great news!
@patgalca (14664)
• Orangeville, Ontario
17 Jun 07
This infuriates me. The U.S. came up with this law about needing passports to go between Canada and the U.S., but now the U.S. are too backed up so U.S. citizens don't HAVE to have a passport, just proof that they have applied, yet, we Canadians HAVE to have a passport. Double standard? Ya think? I say give more of the unemployed jobs and put them to work in the passport office.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 07
patgalca, what a great idea!
@ladyluna (7004)
• United States
15 Jun 07
Good morning Gardengrrl, While I agree that it's sad to lose the comfortable, trusting relationship we've enjoyed with Canada for so long (and Canada with us), I see this from a slightly different perspective. I have't read GrandpaBob's story link yet, but if I'm reading his posting right, then I'm somewhat disheartened that cross-border drivers aren't also subject to the new passport reg's. Here's why: A friend of mine is going to Italy next week. And, she was grumbling yesterday about a new USA passport feature that allows law enforcement to scan unopenned passports, from a short distance, without interfering with the traveller's itinerary. The goal of the new technology is to be able to scan for forged, or stolen passports -- without the holder even knowing that they're being scanned, and thus not being detained, unless their passport issues a red-flag. I haven't had the time to investigate this claim, or the features of the scanning technology. But it does raise some interesting questions. Regarding illegal search & seizure -- well, I'm sure that it'll be challenged by the ACLU. However, since the traveller is not being stopped, and no physical search conducted, whereby contraban might be found, thereby rendering the carrier to prosecution ... And, where the scanning search would use a database of known stolen passports, then the search is limited, in scope, to issues with probable cause. And, if the technology can weed out forged doc's from authentic, then I think it might be a superb advancement for our ability to easily, and securely cross the border. Some will argue that this IS a national ID, but hey, we've already got those. They're called drivers licenses, and social security numbers. And, given the fact that we now have multiple instances of persons who intend to cause harm to America, and it's citizens, crossing into the USA from both the North & South ... I can see the value to the American traveller of streamlining the info already searchable through our two forms of I.D. When we consider how many people have erroneously been detained at airports, because their name appears on the "No-Fly" list, we can begin to see a valid reason to link a picture with a name, so as to restore undetained travel to regular, everyday, law-abiding citizens. Of course, I'll add that passports should be less expensive, and that they should be issued in a reasonable time frame. This waiting months is absurd, and demonstrates the slow, cumbersome nature of government. Naturally, our citizens would need to remain vigilant against inappropriate 'targeting' by unscrupulous agents of the gov't. But, we have many systems of checks & balances in this country. And, I'd like to see another -- a formal citizens oversight committee, with real teeth. But, that's remains a topic for another day!
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Jun 07
Hi, Ladyluna! Yes, this must be another application of the RFID (Radio Frequency Identifying Device, or something like that) tag technology. It's the same stuff that will allow us to go through grocery store checkouts without unloading our carts one day in the fairly near future. I have to say, the passport idea is one of the few applications of the technology that I actually like, most of them scare the hell out of me. As always, thanks for your well written response!
1 person likes this
@pilbara (1436)
• Australia
14 Jun 07
Unfortunately when terrible things happen because people take advantage of freedoms like this it results in tightening of security. On a completely different tack I'm an australian who first visited New Zealand about 10 years ago. I didn't need a passport to get into NZ but I had to have one to come back into Australia. At the time I thought that was pretty strange.
1 person likes this
• United States
14 Jun 07
I always wondered how it worked between Australia and NZ. I figured it was probably similar to US/Canada, because at one time your nations had a common Defense Force and seem to be very close. I've noticed that Oz-Land has had very strict rules about visitors for a long time. I guess it makes sense, since a bunch of the first Europeans sent there were criminals, y'all don't need any extras now! Thanks for dropping by!
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
15 Jun 07
my parents live on the mexican border and just went to get their $95 passport as well. that way they will have it when the law goes into effect. you know, it won't do a blasted thing to stop the criminals. criminals do not bother with abiding laws, they will find a way around the regulations. it is the everyday trustworthy joe that will continue to be punished for being honest.
1 person likes this
• Nigeria
15 Jun 07
well i think it has to do not only with border security but personal security as well. As you would recall, the lapses in the security systems and organizational allowed for the near success of the September 11 which was the worst in the history of the united states. i think after that incident and many other aborted ones targeted at their allies, the united states became largely conscious of their security and made sure they would never fall into that kinda think again, so i think thats why the border patrols are been charged up so as to forestall any of such incidences
1 person likes this