a VirtualTourist member from Berkeley
I am contemplating a trip through New England and possibly to Montreal. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience renting a car that will be taken across the border. This would be a rental of more than a week.
Been over the border a number of times by car and never had a bit of trouble. Howerver in the last few years, you need to carry a passport; birth certificates may work once with a lot of talking now a days, but it's not worth the hastle (as a colleage found out last September leaving Toronto (he had some issue getting in, but more coming home.).
Whether you are a citizen of the United States or not, bring a passport. All that is presently required for U.S. citizens is a driver's license. That will change in a couple years and everyone will be required to have a passport. But even now, the passport makes the crossing less troublesome.
The Canadians are generally pretty friendly and relaxed, but the Americans are paranoid nutcases. I make the crossing several times a year and it's rare that I don't get grilled.
The easiest and most direct driving route from Burlington is the Interstate Highway, but it's also the busiest crossing. If you can cross at one of the back-road points, it's pretty quick. That is not to suggest that the Customs Agents/Border Patrol are any less vigilant. They're not. They all do their job. But there are almost never any lines, either direction. On Sundays, at the Highgate crossing (Interstate Highway), you can look forward to a wait of two or three hours to get the crossing booth when re-entering the United States.
Be sure you have proper identification - passport, or birth certificate and photo ID to cross the border.