Border Crossing

What you should know:

For crossing the border into the United States (U.S.) via land ports of entry (which can include ferry and lake crossings), AANDC has been advised that, in the near term, U.S. border officials will accept both the SCIS and older Certificates of Indian Status as valid identity documents.

The Government of Canada cautions individuals that the duration for the acceptance of these documents for border crossing purposes into the United States is entirely at the discretion of the U.S. Government. A list of documents approved for entering the United States can be found at the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. Please note that travellers entering the United States by air continue to be required to present a valid passport or, in certain circumstances, a NEXUS card. If you urgently require documentation for entering the United States please contact Passport Canada.

Sharing of Information:

All applicants applying for a border-crossing SCIS will have to provide consent to sharing of their information with Passport Canada, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), and subsequently the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

For the SCIS Border Crossing format, in addition to the information visible on the card, the following information is shared with CBSA and, only when presented, to the U.S. CBP:

  • Card Status Reason Code (valid/invalid)
  • Place of birth - Province / State
  • Issuing country (Canada)
  • Issuing jurisdiction (AANDC)
  • Encoded Document Number (Optical Character Recognition / Machine Readable Zone)

Travel Verification Check

The SCIS border-crossing format is an acceptable document when visiting the U.S. via land and water ports-of-entry. To meet the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative requirements, Canada requires that all individuals who receive a Canadian issued secure identification must first undergo a travel verification check which provides assurance that the individual is able to leave Canada or being abroad, to leave that country. To obtain this card applicants must give consent to sharing information for the conduct of travel restriction verifications (security check).