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Thread: Cross Border Limousine Rules -USA to CANADA

  1. #1
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    Can anyone provide me with information as to the rules for crossing over to Canada with limousines? Do the rules in Canada apply like intrastate? IE, I know I need my DOT & MC to go from state to state, and I know it is needed to go to Canada. What I mean is, what if a customer calls and wants a pickup in Canada, come to USA, and return to Canada? Or vice versa, from USA, go to Casino's, return to USA. I was told just ensure everyone in the vehicle has valid IDs. Does anyone have any experice with this? Thank you very much for any information you can provide.

    Jim
    Jim

  2. #2
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    I checked on this a while back with Transport Canada. If I remember correctly, if you are properly licensed in the US, you should not have a problem in Canada. Don't take my word for it though, you might want to go on line and check with Transport Canada to be sure. One more bit of advice, don't try to be smart with the Customs Inspectors, this includes your passengers. Can you say Strip search with Body Cavity inspection.

    I worked Detroit for several years and we routenely crossed the Border from MGM Casino to Casino Windsor with no problems. Just make sure every one including yourself has proper ID. Best to have Driver Licenses, Voter registration and Birth Cirtificate on you or you may be spending a lot of needles time at Immigration.

    How about it some of our Colleagues from the other side of the Border.

    David E. Merrill
    David E. Merrill

  3. #3
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    Great David, thanks! Just what I am looking for. Did you ever do Canada runs back to USA, or strictly runs in Canada, IE, from American tourists? For example, I am licensed in MD by the PSC, and if I wanted to go to DE, VA, NJ, etc to do a pickup there, I belive I would have to be licensed by them? Does that sound right? Does it work the same way for Canada?

    I will make it a part of my contract when we move up towards Canada, that anyone that intends to cross the border should have a passport, Driver license or birth certificate. Probabbly would not be a bad idea for me to inspect these items as well before going over if it is in the clients itinerary just to be sure.

    I know I get hassled by immigration going over sometimes. One night I guess the inspector was in a bad mood; I showed her my driver license and she said "well woop dee doo, that does not tell me where you were born". Usually they suffice, but not that night. I was PO'd at the time but later thought she was right. Needless to say, I am in the process of getting my passport instead of carrying my birth certificate everywhere.

    Jim
    Jim

  4. #4
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    We did a lot of pick ups a Casino Windsor for transport back to Detroit. Because Windsor and Detroit are Border Cities, there is not a lot of problem. I can't gaurentee what things may be like the further you get from the Border.

    You may run into an operator who may take exception to you picking up a passenger in his town and might give you a hard time. We had this problem when I was in the Taxi business in Port Huron, another Border City across from Sarnia, Ont. Seems the Sarnia Cabs would like to sneak back across and re pick up Guy's they had brought over for the night.

    As far as picking up in other states, I beliive H.R. 2546 covers that for you. Look up the bill on line and that will answer all your questions on that matter or just do a search here on the forum. There is a lot of information about it.

    David E. Merrill
    David E. Merrill

  5. #5
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    We do frequent runs from southern Ontario down to Buffalo Airport - Bills Games - and so on. We require our passengers all to have Passports, this is the best form of ID for customs going both ways, this is what they are comfortable working with. We stipulate in the contract that a departure time 3 hours earlier is recommend when Agent Orange is in effect. We also have a waiver for unforseen border delays. As to picking up new clients over the border ( that we didn't drop off) this is asking for trouble. You need to be licenced by the appropriate municipality in Ontario to do business as a livery / limo company. Within an hours drive of our hometown there is at least 6 different city license permits that you need. This is of course for originating trips. That being said, during prom season the Hummers (which are not legal in Canada) do great business in Canada.

    Marcus
    Marcus Rosen
    Hamilton Limo
    mrosen@hamiltonlimo.com

  6. #6
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    You won't have a problem if you are driving American passengers. That is to say, you are dropping off your US customers or picking them back up.

    A couple years ago I saw in the news a bunch of guys got fined and sent back over the border. They were US opperators going in to BC and picking up Prom runs in BC. Kids were booking them because they wanted cars longer than 120", which except for a few exceptions, are not legal here in Canada.

    We used to see lots of New York limos at Toronto Airport when the doller was a little more attractive. It was cheaper for some flights for people to take a limo from New York and fly out of TO. Never heard of those guys having trouble.

    Conversely, we sometimes go to Buffalo to drop off and pick up. When I flew to NYC I went for $89.00 US on Jet Blue and it would have cost around $300 on Air Canada.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    Thanks guys. That helps me out tremendously. I do not plan on going into Canada other then for Casino Runs, tours, and wine country runs, things like that, mostly in Southern Ontario, and I plan to service Toronto AP and Buffalo AP, but only for trips that originate in the U.S.

    Marcus or Carl, this may be a stupid question I am going to ask, but going to ask anyway. Just out of curiosity, can I, as an american operator, get the license you were talking about in Canada, or would I have to establish an office there (in Ontario)? I would think I need to have an office, but you never know since the borders are so close there. I know American tour operators pick up people in Canada and do tours in Canada, just wondering how something like that works.

    Thanks,
    Jim

    Jim
    Jim

  8. #8
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    I think you would have a tough time getting a municipal license in Ontario.

    We have the same problems as you guys are having, probably worse than most. There is no provincial or federal license. We can be fined for picking up in the next minicipality if we are not licensed. It is impossible to buy licenses in all municipalities, your car would be overheating due to the grill being covered with all the municipal plates! lol. Most municipalities if not all will require you to be a local company. And if you are going to try for Toronto...Good luck... Guys already opperating in TO can't even get more licenses for additional cars.

    Honestly if all your doing is dropping off US customers and picking them back up I doubt you would ever have a problem. Just make sure everyone has ID and don't give the cops or By Law guys a reason to pick on you ie. Hanging out the sunroof, hanging out the windows flashing alcohol, etc.

    I would be more worried about getting back into the US. Tell your passengers not to bring back any Cuban cigars, alcohol, hey even a hamberger now!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    JIM,

    AS Carl said its unlikely you would be able to get local licenses. Niagara for example has a prolonged waiting list, unless you know someone you won't get on it. Toronto forget it. Thank You for giving our neck of the woods so much credibilty, perhaps the "walk" before run maybe in order. Perhaps farming out to the point of justifying a new cross border business. I can't speak for Carl but in my area Hamilton we deal with a lot of Sharecroppers and lowballers. We maintain HIGH price HIGH service mentality. I don't mind letting the lowballers drive for next to nothing. My feeling is you can find GOOD companies up here to deal with. I'm new in the business but I'm licensed, insured, and in business to make a good profit based on an excellent service. There are plenty of good companies that offer the same. Find one of them to start your cross border business.


    Cheers
    Marcus
    Marcus Rosen
    Hamilton Limo
    mrosen@hamiltonlimo.com

  10. #10
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    Marcus,

    I know the area very well, born and raised there. I am in MD now but moving back to Niagara in 3 months. I can see Canada from the top floor of my house

    As you know, our side of the area is not as booming as our neighbors. Im pretty pumped though, since we have a Casino now (not saying this is going to be the save all), and there will be 3 altogether with the Gateway opening in April on your side. We just have to play catch up on our side, and hopefully the politicians will make it work. Marcus, I may need to pluck your brain on a lot of things if you dont mind! Maybe we can sit down for lunch or a cup of coffee somewhere. We'll be home in March, and I am just now trying to figure if I want to drive or get the limousine shipped to Western NY or not!

    Jim

    Jim
    Jim

  11. #11
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    Gottcha, The business model of Maryland to Toronto wasn't clear to me Feel free to contact me on my mobile or email that I have sent you.

    Good Luck,

    Marcus
    Marcus Rosen
    Hamilton Limo
    mrosen@hamiltonlimo.com

  12. #12
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    did you get licensed in new york yet? or do you plan on using your md. license? you are already soliciting work in ny.

    [This message was edited by Viperion Corporation / Limos.com on January 03, 2004 at 10:16 AM.]

  13. #13
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
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    If I wanted my website posted it would have posted it, and no I have not moved there yet. I am in the military and will not go full time until I get out. All I have to do is switch my insurance over. New York state does not regulate limousines like Maryland does, so all I need to do is switch my liability over and get livery tags. All NY requires is 1.5 million. NYC is regulated by taxi & limousine commission, the rest of NY is not. What is your question and/or point?

    Jim
    Jim

  14. #14

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    There is special insurance that is needed if you are a canadian operator and want to operate in the US. Barring this insurance, you could get a somewhat hefty ticket, so make sure you have it.

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