Checklist for Cross-Border Flight Operations

To make your flight from the U.S. to Canada or vice versa easier, use this handy checklist before and during your trip.



  • Appropriate charts and Flight Supplements


  • Pilot Certificate
  • Medical Certificate
  • Radiotelephone Operator Permit (required in Canada)
  • Notarized letter authorizing children to fly in Canada/United States (only if accompanied by one parent)
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate (original or certified true copy)
  • Photo ID (required with birth certificate)
  • Resident Alien ID Card
  • Other Visa documentation as required


  • Airworthiness Certificate
  • Registration certificate (not temporary certificate)
  • Operating limitations
  • Weight and balance information
  • Experimental Aircraft and Canadian Ultralights-Standardised Validation (for ops in Canada) or Special Flight Authorization (for ops in US)
  • Proof of Liability Insurance (required in Canada)
  • FAA Form 337 or Canadian equivalent if fuel tanks have been added in baggage or passenger compartments


  • Give advance notification to Customs
  • U.S. to Canada — contact Canpass no less than 1 hour before and no more than 72 hours before arrival at 888-CANPASS or 888-226-7277
  • Canada to U.S. — telephone Customs office at Airport of Entry no less than 1 hour or more then 23 hours before arrival; enter ADCUS in “Remarks” block of flight plan form
  • File and activate a VFR or IFR flight plan
  • Advise Customs if any change in ETA at AOE via ATC/FSS while in flight, get badge number and name of Customs official that ATC/FSS speaks with.


  • Make first landing at an Airport of Entry (AOE)
  • Taxi to Customs area on ramp
  • In U.S. — Do not be early and no more than 15 minutes off ETA; wait for Customs official to motion you out of aircraft
  • In Canada — find a telephone and call 888-CANPASS, follow directions from Customs official, obtain arrival report number
  • If inspected, present documentation as required, fill out any declaration forms and pay appropriate duties and taxes, purchase US$25 Customs annual user fee decal (if required)
  • Close Your Flight Plan!


  • Follow this checklist again.

Print a printer-friendly version of this checklist to take with you.