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Get a permit to cross the Canada-U.S. border at remote areas: 3. What you need before you start

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Documents you will need

To apply for a permit, you must submit valid copies of original acceptable documents that prove your identity and the identities of other members of your family, if applicable.

You may also need other documents depending on your age or the reason(s) for your visit.

Note Do not send the original document(s).

Applicants over the age of 18 years only need a valid passport to prove their identity.

Program participants over the age of 18 years without a valid passport must submit 2 pieces of identification, including:

  • 1 primary identity document
  • 1 secondary identity document

Acceptable primary identity documents

  • Passport
  • United states permanent resident card
  • Secure certificate of Indian Status
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • State issued birth certificate (hospital certificates are not acceptable)
  • Canadian permanent resident card
  • Record of landing (imm 1000)
  • Province-issued birth certificate
  • Citizenship card or citizenship certificate
  • Certificate of naturalization 

Acceptable secondary identity documents

  • Driver's license (preferred)
  • United States social security card
  • Canadian social insurance card

Requirements for children

If you wish to add a family member under the age of 18 years without a valid passport to your application, you must submit only 1 primary document to prove their identity.

Program participants under the age of 18 years with or without a valid passport will need supporting documents, such as court order or letter of authorization, if they will be travelling with a non-custodial adult.

Program participants under the age of 18 years can apply as a principal applicant with a written authorization from their parents or legal guardians.

Work permits

Remote Area Border Crossing permit holders entering to work in Canada must have a valid work permit. If they are using their RABC permit for work purposes, they are not eligible to add dependants on their RABC permit.

For more information, refer to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA).

Importing goods for personal use or resale

Refer to Declare the goods you bring into Canada.

Processing fee

The permit fee is CAN $30. The fee includes the principal applicant plus qualifying family members, if applicable.

Exceptionally, all RABC permits issued in the 2022 season will be valid from the date the permit is issued until .

The processing fee is waived for principal applicants under 18 years of age.

Understand your responsibilities

Before you apply for a Remote Area Border Crossing permit, you should understand the responsibilties of a permit holder.

Keep to designated remote areas

Permit holders cannot travel to other parts of Canada without reporting, by the regular process, into a port of entry.

Present your permit

The CBSA conducts periodic verifications to ensure that:

  • however you enter Canada (for example, car/truck/bus, float plane, marine vessel), you have your permit with you
  • if you do not have your permit with you, or if the permit has expired, you enter at a port of entry
  • dependents travelling separately carry a copy of the permit when crossing the border

Declare the goods you bring into Canada


All restricted and prohibited firearms must be registered and presented to the CBSA at a port of entry prior to being brought into Canada. You may obtain the appropriate form(s) at any CBSA office or by:

Telephone: 1-800-731-4000
WebsiteFirearm forms

If you have any questions about importing a firearm into Canada, visit Firearms and weapons or call the CBSA office nearest you.

Other goods for use in Canada

Permit holders who are importing goods that will remain in Canada, or who are importing goods over their personal exemption entitlement, must:

  1. contact a CBSA office prior to departing from the United States
  2. provide a full description and value of all such goods

A border services officer will issue you a reference number and will advise you of the steps to follow when you arrive in Canada.

Northwest Angle area: Call ahead

If anyone travelling in your vehicle does not have an RABC permit and you are entering Canada from the Northwest Angle area, Minnesota, you must contact the Telephone Reporting Center in advance at:

Telephone: 1-888-226-7277 or 905-679-2073

Use a personal cellular phone or an Outlying Area Report Station phone.

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