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RVing message boards => Visitors to the USA => Topic started by: Elly Dalmaijer on July 05, 2014, 10:44:08 PM

Title: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Elly Dalmaijer on July 05, 2014, 10:44:08 PM
We cross into the USA from Canada with a Canadian passport at least three time a year since 1966. Yesterday we were asked something we have NEVER encountered before: we were asked for a SECOND piece of ID in addition to our valid (Canadian) passports.
Jack produced his AB drivers licence but mine is being renewed and the temporary licence has no picture.
"No problem" said the Customs Agent, "We also take a Costco card".

Sorry but this made us laugh hysterically, just thinking about two pieces of ID needed for Canadians to enter the USA: your passport and your Costco card!

The border crossing was  Salmo BC/Metalline Falls WA.

Elly
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Jim Godward on July 05, 2014, 10:51:32 PM
Ellie,

In my opinion the Costco card is the better ID as both Costco and Amex (if you have the AMEX) are more sure of who you are than any government.   :)
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Elly Dalmaijer on July 05, 2014, 10:57:12 PM
Jim, Costco knows that we like pickled herring, Boursin cheese and mixed nuts. Must be crucial information.

Elly
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Tom on July 05, 2014, 10:58:22 PM
Elly, two forms of ID have been required for some time. The fact that the Border Patrol officer offered to accept a Costco ID card is IMHO a positive thing, and an example of what I've personally experienced.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Ned on July 06, 2014, 06:33:51 AM
When I was asked for a second ID, not at a border crossing however, my Sam's Club card was accepted as it's also a photo ID.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Elly Dalmaijer on July 06, 2014, 05:19:00 PM
From dhs.gov website:

>>>Land/Sea Travel

Canadian Citizens -

    Canadian citizens will need to present a single document that complies with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). See www.getyouhome.gov for more information.<<<

And from the website of the US Customs and Border Protection:
>>What travel documents and identification are required for a foreign national to enter the U.S.?

A foreign national or alien entering the U.S. is generally required to present a passport and valid visa issued by a U.S. Consular Official, unless they are a citizen of a country eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, or are a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. or a citizen of Canada. <<<

Both websites clearly state that "a single document" is required.

Are there other Canadian citizens on this forum that have been asked for a second piece of ID when crosing by land into the US?

Elly
   
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Ned on July 06, 2014, 05:22:25 PM
It's possible, probably even likely, that the web site information is out of date.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: buchanan on July 06, 2014, 05:46:19 PM
We cross into the USA from Canada with a Canadian passport at least three time a year since 1966. Yesterday we were asked something we have NEVER encountered before: we were asked for a SECOND piece of ID in addition to our valid (Canadian) passports.
Jack produced his AB drivers licence but mine is being renewed and the temporary licence has no picture.
"No problem" said the Customs Agent, "We also take a Costco card".

Sorry but this made us laugh hysterically, just thinking about two pieces of ID needed for Canadians to enter the USA: your passport and your Costco card!

The border crossing was  Salmo BC/Metalline Falls WA.

Elly
Not all border guards are bright + you just meet one dummy .   It is  a KNOWN fact of law that a passport is the holy grail and its the single ID item needed to cross into the us or Canada. Nothing has changed and there  is No "out of date website "   
A Costco card would be the most easily counterfeited form of ID in this world. too funny  besides that for example my costco picture on my card is 17 years old
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Tom on July 06, 2014, 06:22:23 PM
Web sites do change, especially those related to US immigration and border crossings, and I've had to update the relevant info posted here on a number of occasions due to such changes. However, in this case, I suspect the officer was having his daily entertainment. I've witnessed similar things first hand, both where a friend was being teased and where my wife was being teased. I didn't have an issue with any of them, and laughed when I realized what was going on. OTOH a friend thought he might have a heart attack; The officer didn't know that a couple of us had wound our friend up for several days prior to the encounter.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Elly Dalmaijer on July 06, 2014, 10:33:46 PM
Tom, this was no entertainment for the custom officer! Believe me, this man was SERIOUS! Not only that, we have learned in 48 years of US border crossings that you just simply NEVER EVER joke with a Customs Officer. I even bit my tongue when one of them asked me 2 years ago (when I was 69) "When was the last time you were arrested or finger printed?". Oh I could have had fun with that but I contained myself! 

Funny thing is that when we fly we get the "TSA approved" stamp on our boarding pass and can skip most of the security measures because we travel so much that we have proven by now to be trustworthy.

Anyway Costco card fake or real proved my honesty. Mmmm.... Border Crossing sponsored by Costco?!

Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Tom on July 06, 2014, 10:46:28 PM
Elly, I wouldn't suggest anyone but the officer treat it as entertainment (i.e. don't have fun at their expense). I've never had/seen any issues traveling by air, maybe because I traveled internationally for a living. That saved my bacon when we arrived from Mexico aboard our boat and I couldn't remember where I'd put our passports 3 months earlier; They asked for my drivers license, made a phone call, and said "you're in our computer and you're good to go".

The times I witnessed the 'officer entertainment' events (one by water and one by road), the officers looked dead serious.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Jeff on July 06, 2014, 11:18:17 PM
This is a little off topic but my encounter with Canadian humor was when I was ferrying a Cessna Citation back from Europe and was on approch to CFB Goose Bay, Labrador with about 45 minutes of fuel left. (Goose is a long way from anywhere!) We were handed off to the tower whose first transmission was something to the effect:

"N550BA we can't find any record that you filled out RCAF form XXX for permission to land here so are you prepared to divert?" After stuttering for a few seconds I asked if we needed to declare an emergency to land and the tower responded: Oh that's OK , just fill it out at Customs."

HE thought it was funny.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Tom on July 06, 2014, 11:35:30 PM
Here's two 'BP officer entertainment' events I witnessed first hand:

Here (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,28236.msg271501/topicseen.html#msg271501) and here (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,72299.msg659232/topicseen.html#msg659232).
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Alfa38User on July 07, 2014, 01:05:14 PM
In respect to Elly's, comment regarding arrests and finger printing, I would very likely answer that I have never been arrested (true) but I would be very tempted to forget that I was printed while a member of the RCAF in my younger days and spent 17 years with them. I would never be able to recall  the year, let alone date!! Answering questions like that can easily turn into a nightmare.

My creed: when crossing the boarder, answer exactly what is asked, no more, no less..... period. If the officer required 2 pieces of ident, regardless of the various, always changing, regulations, he would get it without my comments.

Any officer on a power trip can ban you from entering USA for a given period of time. And the appeal to that ruling?? There is no appeal!!
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Elly Dalmaijer on July 07, 2014, 09:03:58 PM
Stu, you are so right. I had definitely never been arrested either and I had been fingerprinted last when I still traveled on a Dutch passport.  But oh was I ever tempted to answer a little more along the lines of "I do remember the second last time I was arrested.... etc".

With visas from countries like Pakistan, Sudan, Mali, Niger etc in my passport I usually get the question what I do for a living. Even when I had a brand new passport with no visas at all, a customs officer scanned it and said "Wow your travel to a lot of strange countries.." They can tell, even from a blank passport. So being asked for my Costco card seemed very funny.

I wonder what will happen when I apply for a Nexus card....

Elly

Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Alfa38User on July 07, 2014, 09:14:22 PM
The only things they need the passport for is the bar code and your picture. It was in my second year of snowbirding and I was asked where I was going to stay, I reeled off what I thought was the correct address and he said to me " Did you mean 1695 Diamond???"  OOPS! Not much they don't know after a few trips south crossing the boarder. (And Yes!! I did remember the correct address after that one!!!)
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: buchanan on July 07, 2014, 09:52:21 PM
The only things they need the passport for is the bar code and your picture. It was in my second year of snowbirding and I was asked where I was going to stay, I reeled off what I thought was the correct address and he to me " Did you mean 1695 Diamond???"  OOPS! Not much they don't know after a few trips south crossing the boarder. (And Yes!! I did remember the correct address after that one!!!)
yes but the only way he would know the address is because you gave it to them the year previous
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Alfa38User on July 07, 2014, 09:54:48 PM
Of course!!! But they do ask that question often, not necessarily each time, but very often!!!!! Then they cross check the answer with the computer!!
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Tom on July 08, 2014, 09:44:29 AM
Quote
With visas from countries like Pakistan, Sudan, Mali, Niger etc in my passport I usually get the question what I do for a living.

Aye, multiple visas from foreign countries seem to raise a red flag for some officers. When we crossed into Maine by RV, the BP officer asked me what I did for a living and, when I explained, he said "ah, that explains all those visas from Middle East countries". I politely let him know that all those countries (inc Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, China, Singapore & Indonesia) were in the Far East (aka Asia), not the Middle East. He said "Oh, you're right". Maybe he flunked geography  ???
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Dog Folks on July 10, 2014, 09:55:55 AM
Just to clarify, and this is from the "horses mouth:"  If the agent decides he/she can ask for 5 pieces of ID. 

If the agent does not like your answer or you are giving them "attitude:" you will find yourself in secondary inspection which can be "lengthy and brutal" if your attitude does not improve.

ALL Websites, rumors,  personal experiences aside,  the bottom line is: The agent has the sole power to decide if you are going to enter the country or not.

A lot of responsibility rests on their shoulders, and 99% of them take their job very seriously.

Give them the respect they deserve, be polite, provide the requested information, don't lie, or conceal banned items, and your crossing will go well.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: buchanan on July 10, 2014, 10:15:39 AM
Just to clarify, and this is from the "horses mouth:"  If the agent decides he/she can ask for 5 pieces of ID. 

If the agent does not like your answer or you are giving them "attitude:" you will find yourself in secondary inspection which can be "lengthy and brutal" if your attitude does not improve.

ALL Websites, rumors,  personal experiences aside,  the bottom line is: The agent has the sole power to decide if you are going to enter the country or not.

A lot of responsibility rests on their shoulders, and 99% of them take their job very seriously.

Give them the respect they deserve, be polite, provide the requested information, don't lie, or conceal banned items, and your crossing will go well.

as much as I think this is the wrong approach  I agree 100% with your statement  and its really just the way it is like it or not.What I mean when I say wrong approach is a single BPA having the sole authority to allow u in or reject you is just wrong. I think there should be more than one agent involved when you have extreme cases such as we have seen in the last few years.BUT all that aside. Just comply as required, answer all question directly and truthfull and you will have no problems going either way
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Tom on July 10, 2014, 12:45:42 PM
Good points Dog Folks. I shake my head when I see travelers be openly disrespectful to BP officers, and some dumb ones who blatantly lie when it's even obvious to me that they're lying.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Daryl B on May 21, 2015, 08:50:41 PM
Living 10 minutes from Niagara Falls, NY, I cross often into the USA and have done so without my passport 4 times in the last few years.

#1) I accidentally took my wife's passport instead of mine. I told the customs officer I liker her picture better because she had more hair. He just asked for my driver's license and  why I was going across the border.

#2) I forgot it but had my driver's license and birth control certificate. Again no problem.

#3) I had lost my passport and got a new one. A few days later my buddy found my original passport in his truck that I had never been inside of. He must have taken my passport by mistake. I accidentally took my cancelled passport with me on my next visit to the USA. I had to go in and explain what happened but no problem, off you go.

#4) Went camping with some friend's and the friend's wife and I got our passports mixed up. I took hers on my next visit. I made another crack about the nice hair. No problem. Off you go.

Maybe it helps if you don't have a lot of hair and act stupid. :)
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Alfa38User on May 22, 2015, 09:49:30 AM
I believe casual crossing into the USA by Canadians and by automobile does not require a passport but it is still a preferred form of identification. Many provinces were able to issue a drivers licence that contains sufficient valid info for the Canada to USA border crossings by automobile and the return to Canada. The acceptance of alternative forms of identification, however, may be dependant on the particular Border Services Officer on duty at any given time and crossing for extended periods may well be different. Any other form of transport, (train, bus, air, boat), DOES require a valid passport to enter the USA. Pleasure Boaters are also required to have a Boat Landing Permit Form I68, which has its own set of reporting rules and is usually issued seasonally.

Americans travelling into Canada may not have the same luck. They can be refused entry on their return to USA by the US Border Services people if they cannot present their valid US passport.

The rules on sharing visitor entry and exit information between Canada and USA border control folks are changing and are not into effect just yet, but it won't be long.

Personally, I have always used my passport. As of late 2014, the Drivers Licence Plus option is no longer available in Quebec, due, it seems, to a lack of interest, but then it was a lot more costly than a regular drivers licence and had to be renewed much more often than  passports which are now issued for a 10 year period.

I would have thought that carrying someone else's passport (especially non family) would have resulted in it's confiscation, perhaps it would have been  if picked up on the Canadian side. But you probably did not need to show it on re-entry to Canada.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: inscop on May 22, 2015, 11:06:53 AM
@ Tom:  A bit of clarification on nomenclature:  Border Patrol - the guys with the green uniforms who work BETWEEN the ports of entry and who man the inland BP checkpoints.  These are the REAL MEN (even our female agents are manly) of the Department of Homeland Security.

CBPO Customs and Border Protection Officers - the guys who wear blue uniforms and sniff your undies and check for fruit at the Ports of Entry, seaports and airports.  You can probably tell we have a friendly disdain for each other.  They actually perform a vital duty and they have a lot more knowledge of fake passports and other documents than do most BP agents.  And they are REALLY good at discovering hidden compartments on vehicles.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Tom on May 22, 2015, 11:21:13 AM
Thanks for the clarification inscop. You're right of  course, and I'm occasionally (too often) guilty of interchanging terms, although my comment was posted almost a year ago.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Daryl B on May 22, 2015, 06:44:51 PM


I would have thought that carrying someone else's passport (especially non family) would have resulted in it's confiscation, perhaps it would have been  if picked up on the Canadian side. But you probably did not need to show it on re-entry to Canada.

Yes, you have to show it going both ways. I just explained that we went camping together and we had the same black cover on our passports and got them mixed up.
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Alfa38User on May 23, 2015, 07:55:53 AM
   
Quote
A bit of clarification on nomenclature:  Border Patrol - the guys with the green uniforms who work BETWEEN the ports of entry and who man the inland BP checkpoints.  These are the REAL MEN (even our female agents are manly) of the Department of Homeland Security.

...and fly small airplanes back and forth along the border!!.

Oh!!! Those must have been the guys/gals who were all dressed in camouflage uniforms, with body armour and big guns and that stormed into the bay where we were sitting quietly at anchor and insisted on boarding a boat there, claiming we were all illegally anchored in US waters. (Most were were actually on moorings placed in that bay).

Hmm, I had one suggestion for them, an immediate refresher course on small boat navigation and offered them an updated chart as we were actually in Canada. The bay to the south of us and the US border were about 800 yards south......  (Off the Canadian Middle Ship Channel,  in the St. Lawrence River and the eastern tip of Lake Ontario, where the boarder plays hopscotch between the various 1000 Islands. This took place some time before 9/11.

Nah... it couldn't have been them.... could it??  :-[   heh heh!!
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Bobmws on May 23, 2015, 08:19:09 AM
A few years back I attended a touring motorcycle rally in Hyder Alaska, a small isolated portion of Alaska that is only accessible by road through Stewart BC. No crossing stop going from Stewart into Hyder, but Customs stop re-entering BC. Wearing full gear including helmet and earplugs, the agent asked what I thought was "Do you have more than $10,000 insurance?" When I replied yes, her eyes got real wide! I removed helmet & plugs and she clarified "$10,000 in currency". We both had a good laugh!
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Jeff in Ferndale Wa on May 23, 2015, 10:14:26 AM
I think the border agents often ask out of the ordinary questions just to see if they get an odd reaction that may tip them off to someone trying to cross illegally.
Although only one piece of ID may be required to cross the border, there is nothing that says he can't ask for two.



Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: Jeff in Ferndale Wa on May 23, 2015, 10:17:26 AM
A few years back I attended a touring motorcycle rally in Hyder Alaska, a small isolated portion of Alaska that is only accessible by road through Stewart BC. No crossing stop going from Stewart into Hyder, but Customs stop re-entering BC. Wearing full gear including helmet and earplugs, the agent asked what I thought was "Do you have more than $10,000 insurance?" When I replied yes, her eyes got real wide! I removed helmet & plugs and she clarified "$10,000 in currency". We both had a good laugh!

I've been to Hyderseek twice on my motorcycle.
Once I had to stop, shut down the bike, and remove my helmet to talk to the agent. The other, I just pulled up, and with the bike running,he asked how long I had been in Hyder, if I was bringing anything back into Canada, and said "Have a nice ride".
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: manitou on February 07, 2016, 05:05:23 PM
thank you border patrol people on both sides
live in canada summer & winter in florida
feel safe on both sides
Title: Re: New question at the US border: TWO pieces of identification!!
Post by: NY_Dutch on February 07, 2016, 06:25:33 PM
On re-entering the US from Ontario a couple of years ago, the border officer ask my dog if she had left anything in Canada. When I told him just some liquid in the grass at the Flying J in London, he asked her if she was sure she hadn't left anything solid. I told him if she had, I would have bagged up the "evidence" and brought it with us. He laughed and said, "Good man!", and waved us on through.  ;D