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Author Topic: Possible Trip to Canada  (Read 14685 times)

vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #50 on: June 19, 2016, 03:14:09 PM »

Plus part of the reason they're slow in the US is because the banks insist on using the same online authentication as mag stripe cards.  It always took that long to process here, but most people neither noticed nor cared because they had their cards back in their wallet before the transaction was even halfway processed.  Since other countries use PINs, they verify the PIN, and submit the transactions to the bank in bulk later.

It's rumored that one of the reasons we went to chip and sign instead of chip and PIN is because restaraunts didn't want to change how they processed transactions.
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hbelkins

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #51 on: June 19, 2016, 03:45:51 PM »

Most of my cards don't even have a PIN. Which suits me fine, because I never get cash from them.

And the border hassles being described here and elsewhere have convinced me never to go to Canada. Heck, after reading about some of the Border Patrol station stories that were posted on Freewayjim's Facebook group after he put up a picture of a station on I-10 in Texas, I'm not sure I want to go to the southwest. If you don't have a record or aren't on some watch list, you shouldn't get the Nth degree when you're crossing the border. And if you're not crossing the border, you shouldn't have to stop at a Border Patrol checkpoint -- on a east-west route that doesn't even cross the border, no less.
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2016, 05:22:37 PM »

Come come don't scare me like that. As for money, I'll use an ATM to draw a little bit of cash when I cross the border next Saturday and take some cash to a bank probably in London to exchange it there. Outside of hotels and ATM withdrawals I'll be sticking with cash for my other purchases.
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2016, 05:23:12 PM »

While I recognize that there are many reasons to not want to visit a place, but I have to say, not wanting to visit a place for fear of crossing border patrol station frankly seems pretty cowardly to me.
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hbelkins

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #54 on: June 20, 2016, 12:41:33 PM »

It's not fear. It's the PITA factor. I have no desire to subject myself to an interrogation, a search of my vehicle, a search of my laptop or any other electronic device, possible confiscation of the radar detector I have legally used on my way to get to the border crossing, or anything else that happens either randomly or because the guard doesn't like the way I look. And from most things I've read here, it's harder to get back into your own country than it is to go out of the country. It's all ridiculous and I refuse to be a part of it.

If I don't have any warrants, don't have a past record, am not on any watch lists and don't fit any profiles (neither my name nor my appearance should set off any alarms), then I shouldn't be detained at a border crossing any longer than it would take for me to pay a toll at a toll booth. The technology exists already to scan license plate numbers in the line and have the vehicle registration information displayed on a screen to a guard at the booth. That and a cursory check of the driver's license should be all it takes for most people.

I'm as big an advocate for border security as you'll find anywhere, but this oft-described theater is just overkill.
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empirestate

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #55 on: June 20, 2016, 03:04:04 PM »

Maybe I have to re-read the thread, but I'm frankly not seeing where people are experiencing widespread hassles at the border. The gist I'm getting (which matches my own experience) is that with an appropriate demeanor and a few precautions to avoid raising the inquiry, crossing between the U.S. and Canada is about as easy as you could want. In any case, it certainly doesn't rise to the level where I'd ever consider avoiding an entire country, If it did, I'd also have to avoid ever entering a court house, traveling by air, or visiting certain tourist attractions, all of which are at least as difficult as crossing the Canadian border.
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vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2016, 06:49:57 PM »

I'm pretty sure radar detector bans are provincial affairs, and CBSA doesn't enforce provincial law, only federal law.
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AsphaltPlanet

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #57 on: June 21, 2016, 07:55:05 AM »

It's not fear. It's the PITA factor. I have no desire to subject myself to an interrogation, a search of my vehicle, a search of my laptop or any other electronic device, possible confiscation of the radar detector I have legally used on my way to get to the border crossing, or anything else that happens either randomly or because the guard doesn't like the way I look. And from most things I've read here, it's harder to get back into your own country than it is to go out of the country. It's all ridiculous and I refuse to be a part of it.

If I don't have any warrants, don't have a past record, am not on any watch lists and don't fit any profiles (neither my name nor my appearance should set off any alarms), then I shouldn't be detained at a border crossing any longer than it would take for me to pay a toll at a toll booth. The technology exists already to scan license plate numbers in the line and have the vehicle registration information displayed on a screen to a guard at the booth. That and a cursory check of the driver's license should be all it takes for most people.

I'm as big an advocate for border security as you'll find anywhere, but this oft-described theater is just overkill.

Do you honestly plan how you are going to spend your recreation time based on whether or not you can take your radar detector with you?
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jeffandnicole

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #58 on: June 21, 2016, 08:52:34 AM »

The technology exists already to scan license plate numbers in the line and have the vehicle registration information displayed on a screen to a guard at the booth. That and a cursory check of the driver's license should be all it takes for most people.

Many people committing crimes aren't using their own vehicle.  A stolen vehicle not reported as of yet and a drivers license, in this scenario, will easily allow a criminal to come across the border. 

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oscar

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #59 on: June 21, 2016, 09:30:55 AM »

In any case, it certainly doesn't rise to the level where I'd ever consider avoiding an entire country, If it did, I'd also have to avoid ever entering a court house, traveling by air, or visiting certain tourist attractions, all of which are at least as difficult as crossing the Canadian border.

Yes. I speak as someone who occasionally gets searched at the border, but that's a small minority of my frequent border crossings. Just my latest trip, six border crossings, five went smoothly and lasted only a minute or two (about what it takes for the minimal, ritual inquiries about alcohol, tobacco, and firearms for Canada, and importation of huge amounts of currency for both sides of the border). Nothing to stop me from visiting Canada.

TSA hassles, on the other hand, are worse than dealing with customs, and do help discourage me from flying.  And on the Mexican border, the need to buy short-term Mexican auto insurance (Mexican insurance is required by law, and U.S. policies don't count) and concerns about border violence do far more to limit my crossings of that border than just dealing with customs.
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lordsutch

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #60 on: June 21, 2016, 09:51:04 AM »

For what it's worth, unless you're obviously not American (not just "look white" but more "barely, if at all, speak English"), you're hauling enough drugs for a dog to alert outside the car, or you recently crossed the border, you're not going to get hassled at an interior checkpoint in the southwest in a POV.

Philosophically I'm opposed to them, but even compared to TSA (much less an actual border crossing) the hassle is minimal beyond whatever wait you have to endure.
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vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #61 on: June 21, 2016, 01:15:03 PM »

Or they agents don't like someone's attitude.  They've been known to, for example, give people grief who decide to give them no more information than they are legally required to (which amounts to a verbal declaration of citizenship for interior checkpoints); easy enough to do, since they've trained the dogs to respond to a signal with a signal of possible drugs to justify a search.
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jwolfer

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #62 on: June 21, 2016, 01:48:09 PM »

Or they agents don't like someone's attitude.  They've been known to, for example, give people grief who decide to give them no more information than they are legally required to (which amounts to a verbal declaration of citizenship for interior checkpoints); easy enough to do, since they've trained the dogs to respond to a signal with a signal of possible drugs to justify a search.
Like getting pulled over for speeding.. if you run your mouth no chance for a warning.  And ticket for seatbelt, tail lights etc... then the figurative anal probe where they find a left over seed from giving your stoner cousin Jerry a ride home from grandma's

More flies with honey.....
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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #63 on: June 21, 2016, 01:50:22 PM »

I've never had an issue entering Canada. I do stop at the last rest area before the border and put the radar detector in the trunk, though.
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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #64 on: June 21, 2016, 04:27:54 PM »

Since nobody there even knows how swiped cards work, those are what lead to the slower transaction.
We know how they work (at least people over about 30 should, if they grew up here. 40 if they grew up across the Channel), we just don't really have the equipment anymore to do it. My first debit card 12+ years ago (can't remember if I got it at 16 or 18, though I had a cash card for ATMs since I was 12 or something) was chip & pin when it was new, and I initially didn't like it even though I've never swiped and signed.

Of course, for low-cost (under £20) purchases, we're moving beyond chip & pin to contactless. Which can be done quicker than merely typing a PIN or signing your signature, leaving aside swiping it (surely if your card is back in your wallet, the signature is pointless as there's no verification?) or waiting for verification.
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tckma

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #65 on: June 21, 2016, 05:01:17 PM »

I'm not exactly sure how chip cards are supposed to work.

I have ONE card with a chip, and it's a brand new card I just applied for this year.  That said, when I've tried to use the chip, I've always had to swipe it anyway, because "the chip reader doesn't work."  I don't even bother trying to use it anymore.  Seems this technology is still prone to frequent malfunctions.

vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #66 on: June 21, 2016, 05:16:39 PM »

Contactless doesn't strike me as a good idea.  I certainly don't want someone stealing all my card details with an RFID chip reader.  They tried that in the US and it flopped, big time.

A lot of places still don't have the software for the chip reader even though they have the hardware.  I don't understand why they don't just import everything from Canada... why reinvent the wheel?
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oscar

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #67 on: June 21, 2016, 05:51:54 PM »

Contactless doesn't strike me as a good idea.  I certainly don't want someone stealing all my card details with an RFID chip reader.  They tried that in the US and it flopped, big time.

Contactless is popular in Canada (if that's what is meant by "tap"), but I think none of my U.S.-issued credit cards support that technology. With rare exception, Canadian merchants have both the hardware and software to read chip cards, for chip-and-PIN transactions (the norm up there), chip-and-signature (the workaround for U.S.-issued credit cards without PINs), or chip-and-that's-it (for pay-at-the-pump at gas stations).
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GaryV

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #68 on: June 21, 2016, 06:21:55 PM »

Last week at the local grocery store (a large regional operation) you had to swipe the card and then put it in the chip reader.  This week, just the chip reader.
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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #69 on: June 21, 2016, 06:53:07 PM »

Since nobody there even knows how swiped cards work, those are what lead to the slower transaction.
We know how they work (at least people over about 30 should, if they grew up here. 40 if they grew up across the Channel), we just don't really have the equipment anymore to do it.

My experience was probably half knew-how-but-didn't-have-the-equipment, and half didn't-know-how. I'd believe you if you told me the two halves were distinguished by their age relative to 30; I don't really recall the breakdown. But there were definitely a few times where the clerk tried to stick my card in the chip reader and I had to point out the thing on the side where you're meant to swipe it.

There's also always the possibility of people just not being good at their jobs, although I noticed a far lower percentage of that over there. For example, my wife was astounded when she needed something from the chemist's, and the clerk there knew everything about the products on her shelves. That is just not something you can expect walking into a Walgreen's or Rite-Aid over here!
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1995hoo

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #70 on: June 21, 2016, 07:44:16 PM »

I don't have any contactless cards, but I've used Apple Pay on my iPhone and my Apple Watch many times with no problems, including once at a Wawa station's pay-at-the-pump thing.
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tckma

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #71 on: June 22, 2016, 08:58:00 AM »

Contactless doesn't strike me as a good idea.  I certainly don't want someone stealing all my card details with an RFID chip reader. 

Definitely 100% agree with you here.  I'm even a little wary about Apple Pay, but given the security hoops I had to jump through with my bank to enable it, and the fact that your card number is supposedly not transmitted, I'm willing to try it.  Just haven't had the opportunity yet.

vdeane

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #72 on: June 22, 2016, 12:47:50 PM »

HSBC loved RFID cards.  I remember a few years ago Dad was arguing with them every time they'd replace his ATM card with and RFID ATM/Debit card.
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tdindy88

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #73 on: June 22, 2016, 09:13:06 PM »

Okay, so I'm only two days away from leaving. Everything's in place at the moment though I did think of another question that has absolutely nothing to do with credit cards. I plan on being on Montreal on Sunday including a drive around some of the autoroutes through the city in the morning where I assume the traffic will be lighter. Is there anything I should know about the highways there, besides the French language and all that, I should be able to navigate without any problem?
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US 41

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Re: Possible Trip to Canada
« Reply #74 on: June 22, 2016, 09:25:43 PM »

As someone that has drove in the southwest and in Mexico I can say that being close to / crossing the border really isn't that big of a deal. I know this thread is about Canada, but I'll share my Mexico experience since Canada is so much easier to cross in to than Mexico. If you can handle Mexico, than entering Canada should be a cakewalk.

I've drove through 5 interior checkpoints in the southwestern US. 4 of the 5 times they have simply just asked if I am a US citizen. When I show my passport that suits them. The one other time they asked me if I had been in Mexico lately. When I said yes they asked if I had brought any drugs back with me. "No" was a good enough answer for them.

Before crossing into Mexico I obviously stopped in Presidio and bought a days worth of Mexican liability only insurance. Once I got that and bought a case of water and some snacks at the local Dollar General I crossed the border. Of course I would get red lighted. The Mexican customs official gave a very thorough search, but he was very respectful. After a few minutes I was on MX Hwy 16 in Ojinaga and I was wondering why I was so nervous about crossing into Mexico in the first place.

Twenty miles or so into Mexico on my way to the Peguis Canyon (see picture I took of it below) I got pulled over by the Federales. My Spanish and they're English wasn't great, so we both spoke Spanglish to each other. I figured out that they were wanting to see my FMM and TIP once I heard them say something about permisos. I explained as best I could that I was only driving to the canyon. He told me that was fine, but I couldn't go any farther than the canyon unless I got my permits. We exchanged a handshake and I was on my way again. BTW the Peguis Canyon is beautiful and it is probably the best canyon I've ever visited. The walls are 2,000 feet tall. It's well worth the $18 in Mexican insurance to go see.

I drove in Mexico for another 4 hours after that, staying within the border zone. I pretty much clinched CHIH Rte 200 to Manuel Benavides. I turned around once I saw the sign that read Bienvenidos Manuel Benavides. I had no problems what so ever.

When I crossed back into the US they asked me a few questions, never searched me, and I was on my way again.

It doesn't matter which border you're crossing (Canada or Mexico), just observe the laws and go have fun. You only live once. I will be returning to both Canada and Mexico for many more road trips in the future. I really don't understand why some people are so nervous about going through customs.


« Last Edit: June 22, 2016, 09:31:38 PM by US 41 »
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Places I've drove in North America

USA (38)= AL, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MS, MO, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WV, WI
Canada (5)= NB, NS, ON, PE, QC
Mexico (6)= CH, CO, DG, NL, SI, TM

 


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