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Q

How long does it take to get your G1 after completing and passing the test? And is it a legal document for border crossing?


A

From what we have read from those that have received their G1 in the mail after passing the test it appears to take between 2 and 4 weeks to show up. We have heard of it even taking longer, up to 6 weeks, but if you do not receive it within 4 weeks you should call to see if there has been a delay, it got lost in the mail, etc.

Though we have read that it takes two to four weeks for G1 license holders to receive the actual license in the mail, you can contact the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) for Ontario, Canada to see if they have a more precise time period that the G1 license is supposed to be mailed out and received by the new driver.

The Canadian Border Services agency (CBSA) states that if traveling outside of Canada you will need to make sure you carry the proper identification for yourself and any children travelling with you, including any documents the country you intend to visit requires, such as passports, birth certificates and visas.

Proper identification includes birth certificates, passports, citizenship cards, records of landing, permanent resident cards and certificates of Indian status. These will help prove your citizenship, address and identity when you leave and return to Canada. It does not appear that just a driver's license, and especially a graduated license like the G1, would be accepted for border crossings to show your Canadian citizenship.

For example for as of January 31, 2008, Canadian citizens entering the United States by land must present one of the following valid documents:

  • a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, PLUS a birth certificate or citizenship card; or
  • a passport; or
  • a NEXUS card; or
  • a Free and Secure Trade (FAST) card; or
  • a British Columbia (B.C.) enhanced driver's license (EDL); or
  • a Certificate of Indian Status card; or
  • for those aged 18 years and under, only proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or citizenship card, is required.

There will be a transition period during which time travelers who do not present the appropriate documents may be delayed while U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers attempt to verify their citizenship and identity. The transition period will continue for approximately 12 months until the full implementation of the WHTI document requirements for entry into the United States by land and water takes effect June 1, 2009.

These new entry procedures into the US is part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) which is a U.S. law that requires all travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, to present a valid passport or other approved secure document when entering the United States from within the western hemisphere. The U.S. WHTI is being implemented in stages by mode of transportation.

The new document requirements were implemented for air travel in January 2007. Final document requirements for those seeking to enter the United States at land or water ports of entry will take effect June 1, 2009.You can contact the CBSA for more information on what legal documents are accepted at the Canadian border.

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