Michigan serves as one of the primary entry points for people and goods from Canada with millions of vehicles crossing the international border each year. The state has 10 international border crossings into the Canadian province of Ontario that range from bridges and tunnels to ferries and rail lines. Most of the entry points are located in southern Michigan near Port Huron and Detroit, but there is also a crossing in the Upper Peninsula. Regardless of where in Michigan, there is a border crossing within a few hundred miles.
Obtain the Necessary Travel Documents
In 2009, as part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, the documents required to cross back into the United States changed. Although U.S. citizens are not required to have a passport to enter Canada, citizens returning to the U.S. must present a valid passport, passport card, enhanced drivers license or documentation from a trusted traveler program. Non-U.S. citizens must have a passport for entry to Canada.
Find the Closest Border Crossing
Find the closest border crossing to the Michigan location as well as the Canadian destination. The highest concentrations of Canadian border crossings are near the Michigan cities of Detroit and Port Huron, but there is also a crossing into northwestern Ontario via the International Bridge located in the Upper Peninsula town of Sault Ste. Marie.
Determine the crossing method: bridge, tunnel or ferry. In Detroit, passenger vehicles can cross into Windsor, Ontario, via the Ambassador Bridge or the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. Both charge tolls and operate within a short drive of each other, but some travelers might prefer the bridge to the tunnel. To cross the Saint Clair River, it is possible to choose from the ferries in Algonac and Marine City or travel across the Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron to Sarnia.
Many border crossings offer pre-paid crossing cards or rewards programs such as the Ambassador Bridge Reward Card Program or the International Bridge IQProx Card. Frequent travelers save time and money through participation in these programs.
Large vehicles, and those carrying hazardous materials, can take the Detroit-Windsor Truck Ferry.
Two border crossings offer international bus service. Bus travel between Detroit and Windsor is operated by Transit Windsor via the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel. In Sault Ste. Marie, a bus shuttles passengers across the International Bridge.
Officials at Canadian customs may not allow entry to individuals who do not have the proper documentation required to re-enter the United States.
Some ferries may not be able to accommodate tractor trailers or larger vehicles.
Foot traffic is prohibited on most bridges, but some ferries allow passengers without vehicles to ride.