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Old 04-12-2012, 05:48 PM   #1
gto3 OP
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crossing the u.s. canada border ?

Hey there ladies and gents

Myself and a friend are planning a trip this summer to tour the states from canada.
We've crossed the border many times via automobile but never on bikes.My buddy has a very minor criminal conviction from years ago and he is worried he may get turned back at the border.I'm a little worried about it too.
I'm sure a lot of you have crossed the border and I was hoping to get some feedback on your experiences.Do customs officials generally give motorcyclists a hard time ?
Their was a member here that crossed from canada to the states and was sent to secondary inspection,is this a common thing for motorcyclists ?.Some funny stories would be nice too, if you have one please share..

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by gto3 View Post
Hey there ladies and gents

Myself and a friend are planning a trip this summer to tour the states from canada.
We've crossed the border many times via automobile but never on bikes.My buddy has a very minor criminal conviction from years ago and he is worried he may get turned back at the border.I'm a little worried about it too.
I'm sure a lot of you have crossed the border and I was hoping to get some feedback on your experiences.Do customs officials generally give motorcyclists a hard time ?
Their was a member here that crossed from canada to the states and was sent to secondary inspection,is this a common thing for motorcyclists ?.Some funny stories would be nice too, if you have one please share..

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance
Its not common to be sent to secondary if you appear normal, take your helmet off and answer all questions with honesty. I have had no trouble crossing from Canada to US but have been sent to secondary twice crossing from Mexico to US. I am an old guy and I feel they pick on younger people more often.
Now your buddy could have problems if they dig a little deeper, my nephew had a posession conviction 11 years ago and had crossed the border by car and air at least 10 times in the last 10 years no problems, last year on the bike he was sent to secondary and refused entry from the 11 year old conviction.
He has now applied for a pardon it cost him $500.00 and is good for 1 year!,then has to apply again.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:12 PM   #3
georgedaman
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Originally Posted by gto3 View Post
Hey there ladies and gents

Myself and a friend are planning a trip this summer to tour the states from canada.
We've crossed the border many times via automobile but never on bikes.My buddy has a very minor criminal conviction from years ago and he is worried he may get turned back at the border.I'm a little worried about it too.
I'm sure a lot of you have crossed the border and I was hoping to get some feedback on your experiences.Do customs officials generally give motorcyclists a hard time ?
Their was a member here that crossed from canada to the states and was sent to secondary inspection,is this a common thing for motorcyclists ?.Some funny stories would be nice too, if you have one please share..

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance
I 've been through this myself(minor conviction in 85..i was 18.) I was crossing the borders for 15 years,always stating my convictionand other things to the border officers.
1 day me and my buddy were going to FL to buy a car.I was stopped and served with the waiver form.
Took me almost 2 years to get the it.
In a nutshell, i would suggest to be courteous but firm,and a little bit of "Yes sir,no sir" helps too but more importantly,have a back up plan for him ..or for yourself ,..just incase.
There is a board at the Lewiston secondary inspection room saying ,there is 48 reason why someone could be denied entry.Even the Queen could have a hard time ..
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:02 AM   #4
Steve G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gto3 View Post
Hey there ladies and gents

Myself and a friend are planning a trip this summer to tour the states from canada.
We've crossed the border many times via automobile but never on bikes.My buddy has a very minor criminal conviction from years ago and he is worried he may get turned back at the border.I'm a little worried about it too.
I'm sure a lot of you have crossed the border and I was hoping to get some feedback on your experiences.Do customs officials generally give motorcyclists a hard time ?
Their was a member here that crossed from canada to the states and was sent to secondary inspection,is this a common thing for motorcyclists ?.Some funny stories would be nice too, if you have one please share..

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated
Thanks in advance

Everything changed after " 9/11". My brother-in-law is a super standup guy, law abiding, never even a speeding ticket. When he was 17, he crossed into the states with a 'roach' in the ashetray of the car he was in. As a result, he must for the rest of his life apply for a pardon sheet, sometimes it lasts 1 month, sometimes 5 yrs, totally depends on the border guard and what mood he's in.

As for your buddy, he should be aware that this could come up, they 'read' somebody real well if they are nervous, try to tell a non truth, etc. I'd want to tackle this one head on right now and not try to skirt around this, get it documented, out in the air, nothing to hide. It's the only way if a future life involves riding/visiting the USA. The riding is too good to be barred from there IMO.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:52 AM   #5
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I've been to some really nice places in the US. Last year I went through Detroit. After being asked alot of questions, I crossed the border and got lost. Ended up in this really scary area I couldn't help to think what was all those questions for? I'm sure there is some nice areas in Detroit, but this wasn't one of them. Movies don't do it justice.

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Old 04-13-2012, 12:18 PM   #6
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Call ahead

I would have your friend call the US border services to ask the question directly.

Last year a friend of mine was arrested and jailed on trumped up charges of abuse, uttering threats, etc. during a rather nasty split with his wife. Spent about two weeks in jail until was released on bail. He could have just plead out but insisted on going to trial to clear his name. Found not guilty on all but one charge (uttering a threat) and was given a conditional discharge. If he stayed out of trouble for six months, the entire episode would be expunged and he would have no criminal record.

Well, he stayed out of trouble and has a clean record. A month or two later he tried to ride across the border but was turned away because the US government had a record of his arrest and incarceration but not the outcome of his trial. Turns out it is his responsibility to make sure the US has a complete and updated information about his case. That can take months but there are waivers that can be prepared fairly quickly and simply here that will satisfy Homeland Security in the meantime.

Really, just phone them ahead of time and ask the question. These days, it's all part of preplanning.

ps. some friends from Oregon had planned to ride up last year for a few days but now, of course, they all need passports. Both of them applied but one was denied because there was a complaint lodged with the Oregon courts about him being slow in paying child support. He had cleared the matter up several years earlier and was current but none of this had filtered into the Passport system so he never got one in time.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:55 PM   #7
Rinty
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There is a real risk that your friend may be turned back at the border. I suggest that he consult a lawyer who is an immigration specialist and get some advice.

One of my clients, who has a conviction for majijuana possession, got turned back on his honeymoon trip, after he had prepaid about $10,000 for his cruise and accomodation. Previously, he had crossed many times without incident.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:56 PM   #8
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One of my friends was crossing many times a year to visit his parents. That is until they figured out he was a deserter from the Vietnam War.

Oooops off to military jail he went for a few days until they sorted out the paperwork.

Good thing they were all pardoned so they let him go.

Just last year I was asked if I ever had my prints taken. Yes I said...!

Why she said? Then I told her.....Have a nice trip she said!

At least you know the risks, wasn't my case the only time we were turned back, my friend hadn't told me about his old conviction.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:52 PM   #9
Steve G.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinty View Post
There is a real risk that your friend may be turned back at the border. I suggest that he consult a lawyer who is an immigration specialist and get some advice.

One of my clients, who has a conviction for majijuana possession, got turned back on his honeymoon trip, after he had prepaid about $10,000 for his cruise and accomodation. Previously, he had crossed many times without incident.

Very good advice.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:22 PM   #10
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There's a similar thread in Triip Planning and from it I gathered that even if you jump through all the hoops beforehand the border guards have so much individual power that all the prep might be for naught.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:20 PM   #11
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There's a similar thread in Triip Planning and from it I gathered that even if you jump through all the hoops beforehand the border guards have so much individual power that all the prep might be for naught.
Could be for sure, as long as something is showing on your record you are likely to get turned back if questioned. From what Ive heard Canadian pardons are not recognized by the US and dont hide your record, so really not worth much but for employment maybe. It would appear this waiver deal should be the way to go.
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Old 04-14-2012, 09:35 AM   #12
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I usually throw them the ADV salute! They love that. Also, be sure your buddy is naked under his chaps, wears his "patch" proudly and has a WWII German helmet with swastikas tattooed all over his body. They just eat that shit up! Leave the passports at home and have a bandoleer and an AK47 dangling from his shoulder! Again, a real crowd pleaser to be sure. Basically, look like Denis Hopper from Easy Rider....but a little scruffier.
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:11 PM   #13
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I usually throw them the ADV salute! They love that. Also, be sure your buddy is naked under his chaps, wears his "patch" proudly and has a WWII German helmet with swastikas tattooed all over his body. They just eat that shit up! Leave the passports at home and have a bandoleer and an AK47 dangling from his shoulder! Again, a real crowd pleaser to be sure. Basically, look like Denis Hopper from Easy Rider....but a little scruffier.
Lyle
I was thinking more along the lines of Michael douglas in Falling Down after he cleans out the surplus store,but this works too ...
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Old 04-14-2012, 11:13 PM   #14
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Thanks for all the feedback guys,lots of good advice here,I'll pass it along to my buddy and hopefully things work out

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Old 04-15-2012, 08:40 AM   #15
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I cross often on the bike with a Nexus card. My total time at the boarder is about 2 min including time in line because there is never one in the Nexus only line.
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