Nexus Stop: New York

Sample Nexus Card
Sample Nexus Card

For those of us who travel between the United States and Canada, will have noticed that over the past few years, the process has become a bit more difficult.

For those who have not travelled between these two countries...it has become more difficult.

I have not travelled to the U.S. in a while, but I am planning a trip to New York. Therefore, I am currently looking at the options for crossing the border.

Interestingly enough, the rules have not changed. It has just become more official, or 'bureaucratic' as some may say.

You can no longer walk up to the U.S. Border and say, "Hi. I'm Canadian, I want in!"

We are now required to have either a passport, EDL or Nexus. I will explain the differences in this entry.

Please note that the information provided here is very general. Please contact the appropriate agency for more details.


Passport: This is the most expensive option. It costs about $80, plus the photo. Of course, the huge advantage with a passport is that it can be used for travel anywhere.

However, if you never travel outside of Canada and the U.S., the passport may not be the best option because of the cost. Nexus or EDL might be a better choice.

The one warning about passports is that some countries do not accept them if they are damaged. Therefore, damaged passports should be reported to Passport Canada immediately for a replacement.

Passport Canada


Nexus: The Nexus card is used for both immigration and customs for travel between Canada and the United States only.

The processing fee for Nexus is $50, and is non-refundable. Meaning that if for any reason you are denied, you do not get the $50 back.

Nexus applicants have to be approved by both U.S. and Canadian border officials.

Basically, the requirements for a Nexus card are, you must be a Canadian or United States citizen (or both), without a criminal record.

You can get a Nexus if you are not a citizen, but the procedure is a bit more complicated, as the questionnaire is longer, and it may take longer to approve.

You are unlikely to get one if you have a criminal record, as it has always been the law to not allow those with criminal records into either country.

To apply for a Nexus, you can visit the website and either request forms to be sent to you, or fill the forms online.

You will be requested to sign a consent for a criminal records check.

Nexus cards expire after five years and will need to be renewed, and an additional processing fee applies.


Canada Border Services


Enhanced Driver's License: This is the least expensive option. However, the EDL is not accepted at airports, so if you are flying to your destination, this is not an option for you right now.

Contrary to what some believe, your "new" driver's license is not enhanced. The EDL is optional, and you have to apply for it.

Like Nexus, you have to fill out a series of forms to apply, and there is a $40 fee on top of your regular renewal fee.

From what I could find, the EDL is not available in every state and province. It is right now only available in border states and provinces, which makes sense.

For Ontario, you need to make an appointment first, and then go in to fill out the forms at your local Service Ontario office.

For information on getting an EDL, contact your Driver's License Office.

Here are some:

Ontario Quebec British Columbia New York Michigan Washington

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