How long does it take to cross the U.S./Canada border by car?
April 28, 2009 8:46 PM   Subscribe

Can anyone give me specific advice about wait times and possible traffic problems at the Milltown International Bridge U.S./Canada border crossing?

I am planning a road trip for July that will involve driving from New Brunswick into Maine across the Milltown International Bridge.

I've never crossed the U.S./Canada border in a car, and I have no idea how the system works, how fast it goes, how far it gets backed up waiting, etc. Do you have to get out of the car and go through some kind of process, or is it a drive-through thing?

In the U.S. rental car (properly paperworked for international driving) will be 2 adult American citizens, fully documented, no animals, no plants, no funny business, nothing shady, all attempts made to follow the rules.

We will arrive at the bridge around 5pm/6pm on Wednesday, July 22, and we hope to cross quickly in order to get down to Bar Harbor as early as possible that night.

Any MeFites out there have experience with this specific border crossing? Are we going to run into rush hour commuter traffic that will slow us down? Is this crossing commonly clogged at all hours of the day with commercial trucks? Should we tweak our plans to hit the bridge at a different time? Am I missing something that's going to be a problem that I don't even realize?

Thanks in advance for any advice. Not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, but I am kind of an uptight Type-A and I like to plan thoroughly.
posted by mccxxiii to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total)
It's a drive-through thing unless there are issues. You'll get asked a few questions about where you live, where you're going, where you've been and why, and what you are bringing back, and your documents will be examined; then you'll be free to go. This, at least, has generally been my experience at the Buffalo crossing.

You can check current wait times for U.S. border crossings (and here for Canadian ones), though that particular crossing doesn't appear to have much traffic. This is probably not something you need to worry about.
posted by parudox at 10:55 PM on April 28, 2009

So, to answer the question: if everything is kosher and there is no delay, the entire crossing can take a couple of minutes.
posted by parudox at 11:03 PM on April 28, 2009

Our crossing there took maybe 20 minutes, and that's only because, just before us, a bunch of frat boys from the States decided it would be a really smart idea to cross the border in a rental car, score a bunch of weed, and try to sneak it back. It didn't end well. They looked very small and very scared as they were cuffed and taken away.
posted by scruss at 5:04 AM on April 29, 2009

oh, and ... if you have a mobile, the site will also show you border crossing times.
posted by scruss at 5:06 AM on April 29, 2009

In contrast to the INS, Canadian border guards tend to be polite, professional, courteous, and most importantly, expeditious.
posted by gman at 5:23 AM on April 29, 2009

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