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#497181 - 07/12/09 10:47 AM Canadian insurance card?  
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3Putt Offline
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Rockford, IL
I've read bits and pieces, here and there about needing a Canadian insurance card when riding in Canada. I called my State Farm agent and his assistant has no idea what I'm talking about. Then I went to AAA to get maps. I asked them about it and they're all over it. They tell me they issue them all the time, but say it's something that I probably won't get asked for.

Need it or don't need it?

From the U.S. State Departments Web site.
"Proof of auto insurance is required. U.S. auto insurance is accepted as long as an individual is a tourist in Canada. U.S. insurance firms will issue a Canadian insurance card, which should be obtained and carried prior to driving into Canada. For specific information concerning Canadian driving permits, mandatory insurance and entry regulations, please contact the Canadian National Tourist Organization (http://www.canada.travel/splash.en-us.html)"


Tom
Rockford, IL

"Miles Happen"
#497184 - 07/12/09 11:21 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: 3Putt]  
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Selden Offline
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AAA was 100% correct. I called my insurer about 6 weeks before I left for Alaska, and they immediately knew what I was talking about (in fact, the woman on the phone said, "60th birthday, eh?"). The card arrived in the mail about a week later. That said, I was never asked for it during the entire trip, not even at a road block in western BC.

Here's another documentation suggestion for a long trip: make two photocopies of all important documentation (driver's license, registration, insurance cards, passport, etc.), put them in ziplock bags, and store in separate locations. Two sets of documentation are overkill, but they take up almost no space, and I can be pretty absent minded. If you take any prescription drugs, bring along photocopies of proof of Rx.


Don't fix it if it ain't broke, don't break it if you can't fix it.
#497218 - 07/12/09 02:01 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: 3Putt]  
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Hi 3Putt,


We do have one loop that goes into Canada. It takes about 35 minutes to cross in and then back out again. One very small town and straight roads on either end. Watch your speed and remember that signs are in kilometers. wink No requests for ID card going in or out during the recon, just my passport. These are definitely "minor" crossing points.

I think the passport, license, and "any" proof of insurance are the most important. Two years ago, I was stopped for having my Valentine V1 up and running (didn't know it was illegal at the time). I was ticketed and lost my radar detector but was never asked for a "canadian specific" insurance card.

Can't hurt to have an ID card made but I think you will be OK without it too... Just don't have an accident for the 30 minutes you are there. tongue

See you in a few weeks!

Paul


"SAMSAR"
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#497461 - 07/13/09 03:26 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: SAMSAR]  
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I always get one, in fact, my new one arrived last week. I've never been asked for it, but I've always been told that it is a requirement.

I did once have my pepper spray confiscated at the border. Perfectly reasonable I think, Canadian citizens sleep peacefully, knowing they won't be assaulted by crazy Americans with deadly aerosol weapons.


AMA Charter Life - BMWMOA - CRBMW - IBA - ChiTown Crew. R1200GS

"An adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."

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#497468 - 07/13/09 03:51 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: 3Putt]  
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Technically the Canadian specific endorsement/writer is mandatory. US vehicle insurance is not valid in Canada. It is actually anouther country after all. And technically the RCMP could not allow you continue if requested and you are unable to prove you have Canadian insurance.

Now that being said, I have never heard of it actually happening, but then were fairly new here.

But its a simple thing, why risk it? Call your company and have them issue one. Usually for less than 30 days its free.

Tom, if your agent isn't famliar with this, call the company directly. They most certianly are.


Last edited by Ken H.; 07/13/09 03:56 AM.

Ken & Donna H.
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#497469 - 07/13/09 03:52 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Selden]  
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Originally Posted By: Selden
If you take any prescription drugs, bring along photocopies of proof of Rx.

Yup, that's an important one too.


Ken & Donna H.
Doctor I need to learn how to relax faster.

If you want to ride tomorrow, ride quietly today.
Quiet is cool, silent is sexy.
#497470 - 07/13/09 03:54 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: SAMSAR]  
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Originally Posted By: SAMSAR
Just don't have an accident for the 30 minutes you are there.

Some of the US group will be in Canada considerably longer as they are join up with the northern PPR the week before the UN.


Ken & Donna H.
Doctor I need to learn how to relax faster.

If you want to ride tomorrow, ride quietly today.
Quiet is cool, silent is sexy.
#497503 - 07/13/09 10:05 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Ken H.]  
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3Putt Offline
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Thanks guys. I'll get to work on it.


Tom
Rockford, IL

"Miles Happen"
#497580 - 07/13/09 02:59 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Ken H.]  
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Far better suggestion to get your Canadian Proof of Insurance Card. Thanks everyone!

By the way... I use Progressive (thru USAA) for my motorcycle insurance and figured I might be able to go online right now to get my Canadian ID card. Isn't possible to do online and you have to call their service center. They also have to process and mail it out to you which can take 7-10 days.

I imagine other companies and independent agencies are in the same boat.



Paul


"SAMSAR"
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#498029 - 07/14/09 07:55 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: 3Putt]  
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Nice n Easy Rider Offline
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Originally Posted By: 3Putt
I've read bits and pieces, here and there about needing a Canadian insurance card when riding in Canada. I called my State Farm agent and his assistant has no idea what I'm talking about. Then I went to AAA to get maps. I asked them about it and they're all over it. They tell me they issue them all the time, but say it's something that I probably won't get asked for.

Need it or don't need it?

From the U.S. State Departments Web site.
"Proof of auto insurance is required. U.S. auto insurance is accepted as long as an individual is a tourist in Canada. U.S. insurance firms will issue a Canadian insurance card, which should be obtained and carried prior to driving into Canada. For specific information concerning Canadian driving permits, mandatory insurance and entry regulations, please contact the Canadian National Tourist Organization (http://www.canada.travel/splash.en-us.html)"


I checked with my insurance (Allstate) agent and she said they hadn't issued Canadian insurance cards for several years. So, not totally convinced, I emailed Allstate's corporate offices and got back this response:

"Thank you for contacting the Allstate Customer Care Site where you are always in Good Hands. Our guidelines indicate that the current Insurance ID card issued by Allstate USA meets all legislation requirements in Canada. Therefore, temporary insurance ID cards are not necessary for customers temporarily traveling to Canada. If you would like duplicate ID cards, please let us know and we will request them for you."


George C
2007 Biarritz Blue R1200RT, 1979 Black Honda CX500 (sold), 1966 Red Honda CL77 (sold)
I've Been Ready For This My Whole Life
#498030 - 07/14/09 07:57 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Nice n Easy Rider]  
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Farmers apparently still issues them. You get them from your agent. Our agent had no blanks, but ordered some. We should have them next week.


Jan

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#498031 - 07/14/09 08:03 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Twisties]  
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3Putt Offline
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Same with State Farm. I talked directly to our guy this morning. He knew just what I wanted. Said he'd type it up and mail it out.


Tom
Rockford, IL

"Miles Happen"
#498032 - 07/14/09 08:06 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: 3Putt]  
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Maybe I can carry the email from Allstate Corporate and use that as my excuse if I get nailed. grin


George C
2007 Biarritz Blue R1200RT, 1979 Black Honda CX500 (sold), 1966 Red Honda CL77 (sold)
I've Been Ready For This My Whole Life
#498050 - 07/14/09 09:45 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Nice n Easy Rider]  
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I am not an expert on this but as I understand it, the Canadian Insurance Card does more then show that you have insurance. Apparently the minimums are higher in Canada then in many states and the card is to show that they will cover the Canadian minimum. It is also my understanding that being in an accident without such additional coverage is/can be a criminal offense. YMMV.

Last edited by RoanokeRider; 07/14/09 09:46 PM.

Bill Lewis, Roanoke, VA
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#498054 - 07/14/09 09:56 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: RoanokeRider]  
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Originally Posted By: RoanokeRider
I am not an expert on this but as I understand it, the Canadian Insurance Card does more then show that you have insurance. Apparently the minimums are higher in Canada then in many states and the card is to show that they will cover the Canadian minimum. It is also my understanding that being in an accident without such additional coverage is/can be a criminal offense. YMMV.

Since I can't seem to get Allstate to issue me a Canadian Insurance card (they insist it isn't necessary) I guess the only thing I can do is carry a copy of my policy showing my coverage (which I'm sure is more than they require). Since I'm not sure whether I'll be crossing the border or not anyway, it is just a minor PITA. And I'm getting so excited about this trip it won't even be a blip on my excitability meter. clap


George C
2007 Biarritz Blue R1200RT, 1979 Black Honda CX500 (sold), 1966 Red Honda CL77 (sold)
I've Been Ready For This My Whole Life
#498066 - 07/14/09 10:25 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: RoanokeRider]  
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I am a dual citizen who travels very frequently between both countries and this question has come up. I asked, the RCMP here in Alberta, about a special insurance card and they said that nothing special was required. Bring your regular insurance card as most (all that I know of) companies cover you in Canada.

#498125 - 07/15/09 01:43 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Canadian Rockies Rider]  
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Re pepper spray: it is illegal in Canada (unless you're a cop). However bear spray is legal. If you have it, just say you have bear spray and are going to an area that has plenty of bears.


Mark
2015 R 1200 GS Adventure
#498353 - 07/15/09 08:05 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Canadian Rockies Rider]  
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My insurance company also has several offices in Canada and we are covered in both USA and Canada. We are good to go!!


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JustJean
#499917 - 07/20/09 08:20 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? and other stuff [Re: JustJean]  
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The official Canada travel website says:

Quote:
Make sure you bring along proof of insurance by asking your insurance company for a free "Non-resident Inter-Provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card" before you leave, or carry the policy itself.


If you choose to carry just the policy, you should probably read it to make sure that it actually covers you in Canada, and you should carry a copy of your declarations page to show that the vehicle is the one covered by the policy. Easier just to carry the card.

Other tips for visiting Canada - remember that the new passport policy is in effect so U.S. citizens need a passport or passport card.

No handguns.

And check with your cell phone carrier. Some cell phones may require that a feature like "international roaming" be activated on your account (it should be free), some may not. Some cell phone carriers don't work in Canada (prepaids like Tracfone and PagePlus).


David E.B. Smith * Chicago IL * Chi-Town Crew
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#499931 - 07/20/09 08:50 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Nice n Easy Rider]  
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Originally Posted By: Nice n Easy Rider

Since I can't seem to get Allstate to issue me a Canadian Insurance card (they insist it isn't necessary) I guess the only thing I can do is carry a copy of my policy showing my coverage (which I'm sure is more than they require). Since I'm not sure whether I'll be crossing the border or not anyway, it is just a minor PITA. And I'm getting so excited about this trip it won't even be a blip on my excitability meter. clap


Yep, just verified with my Allstate agent that there is nothing necessary beyond carrying your policy card with you.


Phil Challinor

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#499970 - 07/20/09 09:49 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Firefight911]  
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On the back of my Primmium ( a popular insurance co. out of Toronto)insurance slip,it says in bold letters Good for U.S. and Canada,extra cost of course!
If you come to Ontario,just tell them you know me...


Steve 00,R1100RT,Tundra Green '84 300D MB
#500016 - 07/20/09 11:04 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: 3Putt]  
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if you are ever stopped by the RCMP or any city police you will have to show your driver's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance. If your insurance covers you in Canada, its not a problem.

My insurance company covers me in Canada and the US. When I cross the border to the US; which I do quite often, I am covered to the same degree as I am in Canada.

Just reminder, guns, pepper spray will not be permitted across the border.


L-Mar

2009 R1200RT
#500062 - 07/21/09 12:38 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? and other stuff [Re: DavidEBSmith]  
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Originally Posted By: DavidEBSmith



And check with your cell phone carrier. Some cell phones may require that a feature like "international roaming" be activated on your account (it should be free), some may not. Some cell phone carriers don't work in Canada (prepaids like Tracfone and PagePlus).


Speaking of cell phone coverage... While I was riding along the Vermont/Canadian border late Saturday night, my iPhone received an SMS message saying that the data plan was $15.36/MB for international. I turned off the phone for the evening as I wasn't sure how "chatty" it can be. I don't usually pay attention since it is unlimited. Should only be an issue on the Vermont Northwest route.


"SAMSAR"
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#500133 - 07/21/09 04:35 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Firefight911]  
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Originally Posted By: 1bmwfan

Yep, just verified with my Allstate agent that there is nothing necessary beyond carrying your policy card with you.


With all due respect to your agent, agents often don't know sh*t about the insurance they're selling.

If your card does not say that it covers you in Canada, and you find yourself on the side of the road with the RCMP asking for proof that you have insurance in Canada, what are you going to show him to prove it? You'll say "Trust me, my agent says this insurance is good in Canada?"

If Allstate has some sort of waiver from or agreement with the Canadian government that says their policyholders don't need a Canadian insurance card, have your agent call the underwriting department and get a copy of it, or get something from them that says you're covered.

I did this one time because my agent said my bike trailer was covered, I read the policy and didn't think so, he called the underwriters and they said oops, we meant to cover it but the policy isn't worded right, here's a letter saying you're covered. What do you think would happen if I had a catastrophic accident with a lot of liability and didn't have that letter?


David E.B. Smith * Chicago IL * Chi-Town Crew
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#500141 - 07/21/09 05:25 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: DavidEBSmith]  
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Originally Posted By: DavidEBSmith
Originally Posted By: 1bmwfan

Yep, just verified with my Allstate agent that there is nothing necessary beyond carrying your policy card with you.


With all due respect to your agent, agents often don't know sh*t about the insurance they're selling.


I suppose the U.S. Embassy Consular Services for Canada is incorrect? LINKY

I have it in writing from my agent and it is clearly stated in the website above. I have checked through the Canadian Border agency as well and, though there is a statement that US insurance companies can issue a Canada insurance card, it also states on the same site that U.S. auto insurance is valid as long as one is there for visitation and not business or immigration.

Yes, I agree with you, many agents don't know much more than what it takes an insurer to sign the dotted line of their checkbook but I feel fortunate that mine not only is a long term (20 plus years) agent, but is also a published author of insurance needs and requirements, and is also a rider herself.


Phil Challinor

'16 GMC Denali HD Crew LB Diesel
'16 Mazda 3 HB
#500180 - 07/21/09 11:51 AM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: DavidEBSmith]  
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Originally Posted By: DavidEBSmith
Originally Posted By: 1bmwfan

Yep, just verified with my Allstate agent that there is nothing necessary beyond carrying your policy card with you.


With all due respect to your agent, agents often don't know sh*t about the insurance they're selling.

If your card does not say that it covers you in Canada, and you find yourself on the side of the road with the RCMP asking for proof that you have insurance in Canada, what are you going to show him to prove it? You'll say "Trust me, my agent says this insurance is good in Canada?"

If Allstate has some sort of waiver from or agreement with the Canadian government that says their policyholders don't need a Canadian insurance card, have your agent call the underwriting department and get a copy of it, or get something from them that says you're covered.

I did this one time because my agent said my bike trailer was covered, I read the policy and didn't think so, he called the underwriters and they said oops, we meant to cover it but the policy isn't worded right, here's a letter saying you're covered. What do you think would happen if I had a catastrophic accident with a lot of liability and didn't have that letter?


David,

I got this response from the Allstate corporate office:

"Thank you for contacting the Allstate Customer Care Site where you are always in Good Hands. Our guidelines indicate that the current Insurance ID card issued by Allstate USA meets all legislation requirements in Canada. Therefore, temporary insurance ID cards are not necessary for customers temporarily traveling to Canada. If you would like duplicate ID cards, please let us know and we will request them for you.

Thank you for allowing Allstate to protect you and your family. We hope you will recommend Allstate to other family members and friends. If you require further assistance with your request please let us know. You may reply to this email, speak with your local agent, or contact the Customer Information Center at 1-800-ALLSTATE (1-800-255-7828).

Thank you,
Donna P
Your Allstate Customer Care Center Team"

So it isn't just the 'field agents' saying that a special card is not necessary.


George C
2007 Biarritz Blue R1200RT, 1979 Black Honda CX500 (sold), 1966 Red Honda CL77 (sold)
I've Been Ready For This My Whole Life
#500325 - 07/21/09 06:24 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Firefight911]  
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Originally Posted By: 1bmwfan

I suppose the U.S. Embassy Consular Services for Canada is incorrect? LINKY


Well, it's incorrect further down where it says "Radar detection devices are illegal in Canada". That's flat wrong. What the website created by the US Government says about insurance is:

"Proof of auto insurance is required. U.S. auto insurance is accepted as long as an individual is a tourist in Canada."

This says that your US insurance is valid and that you need to have proof. It does not say anything about what that valid proof is. Again, a website created by the Canadian government says:

"Make sure you bring along proof of insurance by asking your insurance company for a free "Non-resident Inter-Provincial Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Card" before you leave, or carry the policy itself. "

The question of whether your policy is valid, and what constitutes acceptable proof that it is valid, are two separate questions.


David E.B. Smith * Chicago IL * Chi-Town Crew
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#500332 - 07/21/09 06:51 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Nice n Easy Rider]  
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Originally Posted By: Nice n Easy Rider

I got this response from the Allstate corporate office:

"Thank you for contacting the Allstate Customer Care Site where you are always in Good Hands. Our guidelines indicate that the current Insurance ID card issued by Allstate USA meets all legislation requirements in Canada. Therefore, temporary insurance ID cards are not necessary for customers temporarily traveling to Canada."

. . .

So it isn't just the 'field agents' saying that a special card is not necessary.


I keep getting calls from a guy from a bonding company who says his company meets the requirements under our city ordinance to issue surety bonds. I keep telling him his company doesn't meet our requirements. Who do you think wins?

I don't know what the Allstate card looks like. Maybe it says that your coverage meets the minimum limits in Canada (which I believe is $200K CDN), and maybe it's in English and French, and maybe it says that your carrier filed the PAU required by Canada. I truly hope that none of you Allstate customers find yourself in a situation where you need to show proof of insurance, but if you do, I hope Canada agrees with Allstate's interpretation of Canadian law.


David E.B. Smith * Chicago IL * Chi-Town Crew
01, 03 smile 05 frown Iron Butt Rally
1999 R11RT Night Black * 1997 R11RT Sine(us) Blue * 1999 F650
www.davidebsmith.org
#500335 - 07/21/09 07:02 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: DavidEBSmith]  
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Originally Posted By: DavidEBSmith
I don't know what the Allstate card looks like. Maybe it says that your coverage meets the minimum limits in Canada (which I believe is $200K CDN), and maybe it's in English and French, and maybe it says that your carrier filed the PAU required by Canada. I truly hope that none of you Allstate customers find yourself in a situation where you need to show proof of insurance, but if you do, I hope Canada agrees with Allstate's interpretation of Canadian law.

I sure hope so too. But since Allstate wouldn't provide the aforementioned card I don't see a lot of other options. I will carry a copy of my coverages as proof that I have the required minimums. I'm sure not going to change carriers for a possible short excursion into Canada though. So hope it is. frown


George C
2007 Biarritz Blue R1200RT, 1979 Black Honda CX500 (sold), 1966 Red Honda CL77 (sold)
I've Been Ready For This My Whole Life
#500351 - 07/21/09 07:36 PM Re: Canadian insurance card? [Re: Nice n Easy Rider]  
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Perhaps this will help. I've been in Canada at least 12 times in the past 8 years. I have never been asked to show an ins. card. I've shown my passport all but once, they waved me thru that time.

Enjoy!


Marty
49 states/32 countries/3 continents

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