What documentation is required to cross into Canada?

Canadian law requires that you show proof of citizenship and identity when crossing the border. For U.S. citizens, a valid passport book, a passport card, or a NEXUS card are sufficient to satisfy the requirement. Children under the age of 16 should have proof of identity and citizenship, like an original birth certificate or citizenship card.

The Canadian border patrol may also ask for proof of insurance if you're driving in Canada. It's also a good idea to have proof of insurance in case you get pulled over or get into an accident during your visit.

Make sure you have a valid vehicle registration before driving in Canada. Sometimes border agents will ask for your registration to make sure you aren't driving a stolen vehicle.

Renting a car in Canada

If you're traveling to Canada and plan on renting a car when you get there, contact your insurance company about whether they'll extend coverage to your rental. If your insurer covers rental cars in the U.S., they may also extend coverage to cars you rent while in Canada. Otherwise, you may need to buy rental car insurance from the rental agency.

What about driving a car in other countries?

Keep in mind that the reciprocal laws are only an agreement between Canada and the U.S. If you're traveling to other countries, your insurance may not automatically cover you. Check with your insurance company if you're traveling internationally and plan on driving to learn how international car insurance works.