8 Helpful Tips for Cross Border Moving

by / Tuesday, 21 November 2017 / Published in International Moving

Moving is hands-down one of the most stressful events you’ll ever have in your life. Add in the thought of cross border moving from the United States to Canada and what you get can be a true nightmare.

In addition to making sure you get all of your personal belongings safely across the border, you also have to make sure you have all the necessary documentation to enter the country. The stress of having to figure everything out can be overwhelming for anyone.

Simply put, the best way to cut out this expected stress is to plan ahead, do your research on everything that’s needed for your move and to give yourself enough time to execute every item on your moving to-do list.

Make sure not only to have all the required information but also the proper movers to help make your cross border move a cinch.

Cross boarding moving from the United States to Canada is much more complicated than your typical move. Here are eight helpful tips for cross border moving.

1. Make Sure to Have all the Proper Immigration Documents

For American citizens, only a Trusted Traveler document is needed like a state-verified drivers license. However, when you’re moving to Canada, as in, being present when your possessions are being processed to cross the border, you will need a passport. Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to gather the necessary documents to apply for passports for you and your family.

Once you’ve applied, it usually takes 4-6 weeks to receive your passports unless you pay an additional fee for expedited processing.

2. Cross Border Moving with Children

Moving to Canada with your children can be even trickier if you’re not aware of the requirements beforehand. For children under 18 years old, you’ll need a passport or birth certificate to cross the border by land. To cross by air, a passport is needed.

If you’re a single parent crossing the border with your children, you’ll need to show Canadian officials a signed authorization letter from their other parent. If your child is adopted or if you’re the child’s legal guardian, you’ll need to also show your guardianship or adoption papers.

3. Cross Border Moving with Pets

Have any furry friends you plan to bring with you across the border? Make sure that your pet meets the applicable requirements set forth by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

Here’s a couple of requirements for cats and dogs:

Cats – The United States isn’t considered a rabies-free country. Therefore, your cat is required to have a rabies vaccination certification ensuring that they don’t have rabies and have been vaccinated for the disease. Cats that are younger than 3 months of age are exempt from the import requirements.

Dogs – There are a host of different requirements for bringing in your dog and they vary according to factors such as, is your dog coming for personal, assistive, or commercial reasons?

How old is your dog? Dogs that are under eight months old and are being imported for commercial reasons have to have a microchip. With so many requirements for dogs, make sure to do your due diligence to know everything that’s needed to bring your dog with you across the Canadian border.

4. You’ll Need to Clear Customs

Before you leave for your Canada move, you will need to make a detailed list of every personal item you plan on bringing into the country with you when you physically cross the border and any of your personal items that may come after you at a later date.

This is called your personal inventory listing, and you’ll need to include the value of each item in Canadian dollars.

Also, make sure to check out all of the regulations surrounding what you can and cannot bring with you as there is a list of items that you’re prohibited from bringing into Canada.

5. Importing Your Vehicle

Alero Moving can assist you in transporting your vehicles, but if you plan on driving your car when you make your cross border move, you’ll need the following things:

  • A copy of your car’s registration and title presented to the Canadian Customs officials not later than 3 days before your move.
  • A Canadian tax and duties assessment. If you’re unsure, make sure to contact Canada’s Customs office to inquire about this.

6. Know All the Costs Upfront

Moving across the border can result in a ton of unexpected costs especially if you don’t have prior experience moving internationally. Don’t get caught up in these unexpected expenses.

Work with a reliable moving company that has experience in facilitating moves from the United States to Canada in order to have the ability to budget and plan for every cost upfront.

7. Get Storage Space for Items You Cannot Bring to Canada

Sometimes tight moving deadlines mean that you have to leave some personal items behind. Plan ahead to reasonably know which items you cannot bring with you to Canada and make sure to secure affordable and reliable storage for your items in advance.

Additionally, you never know what can happen during the move; unexpected events such as a delayed move-in date could mean that you unexpectedly need a place to store your stuff. Luckily, Alero Moving also provides affordable and reliable storage services.

8. Work With a Moving Company That Has Experience with Cross Border Moving

Alero Moving has been working with families to safely and efficiently move their belongings locally, nationally and internationally for over twenty-five years. When you work with us, we’ll make sure to give you a guaranteed price of all the upfront costs so there are no unexpected expenses.

We’ll also make sure to work with you to make sure your experience with Canadian Customs officials is as smooth as possible.


In addition to making sure your items are safely packed, properly documents, imported and delivered to your new home, we also offer insurance packages for your own peace of mind.