Washington and BC Border Crossing
Washington State and British Columbia Border Crossings
Oroville, WA and Osoyoos, BC (Hwy 97): Open 24/7. Real-time signs on Hwy 97 coming into Oroville and leaving Osoyoos indicate how long a wait to expect.
Nighthawk, WA and Chopaka Port, BC (Nighthawk, WA is 15 miles NW of Oroville): Open 7 days a week 9 AM to 5 PM. It is the least busy crossing, but random inspections can cause quite a back-up. Call (509) 476-2125 to check hours.
Ferry, WA and Midway, BC (31 miles E of Oroville): Open 9 AM to 5 PM year-round. Call (509) 779-4655 to check hours.
Danville, WA and Carson, BC (WA State Route 21 and BC Hwy 41): Open 8 AM to Midnight 7 days a week. From Republic, it’s the closest crossing. Call (509) 779-4862 to check hours.
Duty-free shops: Located on both sides of Hwy 97 crossing, they sell alcohol, beauty products, jewelry, accessories and assorted gift items. Oroville’s is open 8 AM to 8 PM daily. Osoyoos is open 7 AM daily to 6 PM, 7 PM or 8 PM, depending on the day.
Crossing the US/Canadian Border
To double the fun during your travel to the Northern Okanogan, pack a passport or other acceptable ID. These are your options:
Passport cards: The U.S. State Department issues wallet size passport cards at www.travel.state.gov.
Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) and Enhanced ID (EID): Four states including Washington are allowed to issue an enhanced driver’s license (EDL) for those who drive and an enhanced I.D. (EID) for those who don’t. Note: your temporary EDL will allow you to drive until the permanent version arrives in the mail but not cross the border, so plan ahead. For details about an EDL or EID, go to www.dol.wa.gov.
Nexus card: Though handy for frequent travelers, the card doesn’t speed international travel between Oroville and Osoyoos because the border crossing has no dedicated line for NEXUS card holders. Get details at www.travel.state.gov or www.passportcanada.gc.ca.
Water entry: Advance clearance is necessary to cross the border on Lake Osoyoos. Get ID and permit requirements from the American side from www.cbp.gov and from Canada at www.cbsa.gc.ca. The Oroville Port of Entry also answers questions (509) 476-2955.
Border Crossing Complexities
Knowing in advance who and what can cross the US/Canada border will avoid surprises on travel to the Northern Okanogan and Southern Okanagan.
Past run-ins with the law: Governments consider criminal history in deciding which visitors to admit, generally reflecting how significant the country considers particular offenses. For instance, Canada considers a DUI a felony. As of 2012, Americans with a DUI conviction may be able to gain admittance to Canada without paying a sizable processing fee if the conviction did not result in jail time and the visitor’s record contains no other inadmissible convictions. Get details at www.cic.gc.ca. Any drug conviction (and some crimes of moral turpitude) generally prevents a foreign visitor from entering the U.S., though it is possible to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. For details see www.cbp.gov.
Firearms: American and Canadian citizens wishing to bring a registered firearm across the border for hunting or other lawful sporting purposes must obtain a temporary import permit. Canadians should contact the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (www.atf.gov) and Americans should contact the Canadian Mounted Police (www. http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca).
Fresh produce: Some fruits and vegetables are allowed to cross the border, generally what is grown in the region. For the current list of what produce may enter Canada, check at www.inspection.gc.ca. To learn what can go from BC’s Okanagan Valley into the US, see www.cbp.gov. Divulge whatever you have when asked or you’ll get a stiff fine if discovered in a random inspection.