ARCHIVED - BSF5038 – Commercial Driver Registration Program

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Catalogue No. PS38-54/2014E-PDF
ISBN 978-0-660-02085-3

If you are a driver who transports commercial freight into Canada, you may be interested in the Commercial Driver Registration Program (CDRP). The CDRP is administered by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). It is designed to make the process of clearing Canadian customs at the border more efficient and effective. There is no fee to participate in the CDRP. The program is valid for four years.

What are the benefits of being a registered driver?

As a registered driver, you will be able to carry goods for carriers who participate in the Customs Self Assessment ( CSA) program.

When you cross the Canadian border with CSA goods, you will present your photo registration card to the border services officer to confirm you are a valid participant. In most cases, this should satisfy the officer that you are admissible. However, the CDRP membership card does not replace officially recognized travel documents.

If you comply with your obligations, you will be able to enter Canada on most occasions with minimal questioning. However, the border services officer can still decide to refer you for an examination or ask you for an official travel document.

If you are a resident of Canada, you can choose to make your personal declaration by completing a Traveller Declaration Card and giving it to the border services officer. You will not have to come into the border services office to pay any duties and taxes because they will be billed to your credit card.

Who can apply to the CDRP?

You are eligible to apply for the CDRP if you are:

  • a citizen or permanent resident of Canada; or
  • a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S. who meets the normal visitor requirements (i.e., you are in good health and able to support yourself while in Canada).

Do you qualify for the CDRP?

You will qualify for the CDRP if you:

  • provide true and complete information on the application;
  • are admissible to Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and have no criminal record for which you have not received a pardon;
  • have not been found to have violated customs or immigration laws; and
  • are deemed to be of good character, which means that the CBSA is confident you will comply with program obligations.

Alcohol-related driving offences (e.g., driving while intoxicated, driving while ability is impaired, and driving under the influence of alcohol) are criminal offences in Canada.

What happens if you have a criminal record but have not received a pardon?

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents who are inadmissible to Canada because of a criminal record can be considered for acceptance in the CDRP under the CIC's Rehabilitation Program. For more information on the CIC's admissibility and criminal rehabilitation processes, visit or contact the Canadian Embassy or the Canadian consulate office nearest you.

Canadian citizens and legal permanent residents who have committed certain offences must obtain a pardon to qualify for the CDRP. More information on the pardon process is available on the National Parole Board's Web site at

Complete the application form and send it to the following address:

Commercial Driver Registration Processing Centre
6080 McLeod Road
P.O. Box 66
Niagara Fall, Ontario
L2E 6T1

Telephone: (905) 371-1477 or 1-800-842-7647

Include photocopies of the following documents with your application:

  • your valid driver's licence; and
  • proof of citizenship (e.g., a photocopy of your birth certificate, citizenship card, naturalization certificate or passport) if you are a Canadian or U.S. citizen; or
  • proof of legal residence (e.g., a photocopy of your record of landing or valid permanent resident card) if you are a lawful permanent resident of Canada or the U.S.


Do not send original documents. The CBSA will keep the copies with your application.

After the CBSA has reviewed your application it will send you a letter to let you know if your application has been accepted. If your application is accepted, the CBSA will tell you where to pick up your CDRP participant's package and have your photo taken by a border services officer.

When you pick up your CDRP participant's package and have your photo taken, you have to bring the originals of the documents you sent with your application.

Your photo registration card will be mailed to you at the address on your application form.

What are your responsibilities

  • You cannot transfer your registration card or your traveller declaration cards to anyone else.
  • You have to comply with the Customs Act and regulations, the Immigration Act and regulations, as well as any other laws the CBSA or CIC administers.
  • You must carry personal identification, and any required immigration documents. Your photo registration card does not replace these pieces of identification.

Also, when you are using the CSA clearance process for a CSA approved carrier:

  • you must present your photo registration card to the border services officer; and
  • you should only have other registered drivers in your vehicle who have their own photo registration cards with them.

If you have non-registered passengers with you, the clearance process will take more time at the border. This may result in delays and affect the expedited processing time you would usually expect with CSA clearance.

Are there restrictions on personal goods that you can import as a registered driver?

All drivers can import goods for their own personal use. U.S. residents have to return all goods to the U.S. unless they consume them while in Canada. However:

  • You have to declare all goods that you import into Canada for your own personal use. This includes all goods bought or received outside of Canada, including gifts, prizes, or awards. Remember to include goods still in your possession that you bought at Canadian or foreign duty-free shops.
  • You cannot import controlled, restricted, or prohibited animals, plants, or goods. For more information, and to find out about personal limits for imported goods as well as restrictions on importing alcohol and tobacco products into Canada, see the CBSA publications called I Declare and Visitors to Canada.
  • You cannot import controlled, restricted, or prohibited weapons including firearms, mace, pepper spray, stun guns, switchblades, and butterfly knives. For more information, get a copy of the CBSA publication called Importing a Firearm or Weapon Into Canada. If you try to import firearms and weapons without declaring them, the CBSA will seize them and you may face criminal charges.

Penalties for non-compliance

Your acceptance in the CDRP is a privilege. The CBSA will periodically review your application and occasionally examine your vehicle to ensure you are complying with CDRP requirements, as well as customs and immigration legislation. The CBSA will strictly enforce the law.

Penalties for non-compliance may include the following:

  • CDRP participants may have their membership privileges revoked for failing to comply with program requirements and procedures; and
  • If a CSA-approved carrier uses a non-registered driver for CSA clearance, monetary penalties will be assessed against the carrier.

Need more information?

If you would like more information about the CDRP, call the processing centre at (905) 371-1477 or 1-800-842-7647.

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