USA Customs & Border Protection

Trip Start Jan 03, 2008
Trip End Dec 17, 2008

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Flag of United States  , Montana
Sunday, January 13, 2008

The USA Customs and Boarder Protection Officers are a very scary bunch. We arrived at the border around 6pm and because we have tickets to fly out of Miami they wanted to know what we were going to do with the car. We said SELL it. Well......if you want to sell or give away a car made for the Canadian market in the USofA you need to import it???? The officer gave us a sheet of paper and kept our passports and we had to try and ring a broker...but with no US quarters for the phone and the minimum payment for a call $3.75 in quarters we knew it was going to be a long night. Finally got hold of Jim (our hero, but at a price of $475US) he advised us he could get us across the border tomorrow by 10am and suggested we go back to Leftbridge (GPS screw up city) for the night. We finally left the US border at 7.30pm and went back to the Canadian border to reenter Canada for the night. Another drama and 1 hour later back on the road to Leftbridge. Lisa has wee meltdown and wants to go home! Girls not to sad as they had spotted a hotel with TWO hyrdoslides coming out the side of it...we were obviously going to be staying there.
My AH and I drunk a dozen Buds and decided, it was a huge learning experience and we now have invaluable advice to offer others wanting to do the same. We would in hindsight have traveled down to Seattle and bought our car then driven back up to Canada and back into the states with it. It would have saved us GST and the Importing cost and a lot of bother at the border.
Back to Coutts (US border) by 9am to meet Rob - Jim's buddy, who would help do the inspecting for Jim who was doing the paperwork from Salt Lake City!! We finally get the paper work at 10.45am but have to wait another hour to hit the border or we get fined $1000. Head back up the road 20km to a carwash and spend an hour getting our green machine spic and span for the crossing.
And if that was meant to be a piece of cake, it definitely wasn't. We had to go through the commercial line with all the big trucks that were getting really pissed off at this little green thing in the line. Then had to go through an x-ray machine, fortunately a guy from last night recognized us and we didn't have to go through it as AH forgot to declare the beers he had in the back.
Then back to the office to be fingerprinted and photographed, kids disappointed they weren't as you have to be 14! Then back across the road finally with passports in hand and little green tickets in them allowing us into the states for 90 days, to the man who finally stamped our ve-hick-ill manifests (new big word these guys use all the time???) and we were on our way again at 1.23pm.
Heading down the Montana highways with skiing again firmly in the front of our minds.
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