Border-crossing truck drivers told to download ArriveCAN app

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Canadian border officials are preparing to take a hard line on a vaccine mandate for border-crossing truck drivers on Jan. 15. But enforcement teams may initially take an educational approach when it comes to addressing fully vaccinated drivers who are not yet reporting their vaccination status through the ArriveCAN app.

“Officials have advised us, if you are vaccinated but do not submit the information via ArriveCAN as of Jan. 15, their focus will be on education and compliance initially,” Private Motor Truck Council of Canada president Mike Millian said in a letter to members.

But there could still be a price to pay.

“Failure to submit via ArriveCAN will likely lead to delays at the border, however, and the possibility of penalties do exist. If not using ArriveCAN yet, you are advised to transition to it as soon as possible to avoid any issues,” he warned.

The guidance emerged today after a call involving trucking industry representatives, Canada Border Services Agency personnel, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and Transport Canada.

Non-vaccinated U.S. drivers will be turned away at the border once the mandate takes hold. Unvaccinated Canadian drivers will face strict quarantine and testing measures when returning across the border.

The U.S. is widely expected to begin enforcing a similar vaccine mandate at the border on Jan. 22.

Drivers who do not have a smart phone or data plan can access the ArriveCAN app from any computer browser and generate a reusable receipt that can be printed or downloaded to an electronic device.

“Due to potential technology issues that could arise by using electronic platforms, officials also recommended that paper copies or evidence of full vaccination be kept in cab, or via your mobile device as an image to ensure redundancy/backup if requested upon arrival at a port of entry,” the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said in a bulletin to its members.

Only a single ArriveCAN submission is required, and the receipts will be valid for an indefinite period, but if a truck driver crosses the border for a non-essential reason they will have to resubmit the ArriveCAN information when back at work, the alliance added. Saved Traveler Profiles can be submitted up to 72 hours before crossing the border.

All border-crossing truck drivers will also need to carry proof of vaccination status issued by the province, territory, or state that administered the vaccine.

Any medical exemptions will require proof from a doctor licensed to practice in Canada. U.S. drivers qualifying for such an exemption will need to present an exemption card from the U.S. Center for Disease Control.

The CTA has also called on the federal government to introduce an alternative to the ArriveCAN app. If it’s going to become a long-term requirement, the alliance would like the proof of vaccination to be integrated through the Advanced Commercial Information (ACI) or linked to the Free and Secure Trade (FAST) program.

  • An original version of this story was updated with information from the Canadian Trucking Alliance.
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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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  • The collection of your private health data has nothing to do with health and safety (as the injections have demonstrated that they do not prevent nor reduce transmission of any virus), so what is this really about? I suggest we do not comply with the increasing collective government demands that merely trap ourselves in their framework of coercion and control. Think long-term, people. Complying and waiving your inalienable rights is not the way out.

    • Totally agree, we’re being safe for two years now and now because PM wanna to show off to the world that Canada is first in dealing with Covid and personal disobedience. All started after the meeting of three “Amigos” in Washington
      Biden,Trudeau and Mexican president. Until then we’re all fine doing our job’s and as soon PM Trudeau come back from that nesting he start messing up to show support for Bidens vaccination policy which just lost in court.
      I will park and wait until they leave trucking industry alone or retire.

  • The C T A needs to have a plan for the drivers that need help with crossing the border and isolation between trips or sick truck drivers.

  • It was to be expected especially since we have a government that is looking for total control well they go kind of strange and they target all of the population, so we and all of us have no say and no way to reverse their decisions .
    Anyhow let park the trucks I know it is not what transport companies are looking for but truck in the yard and drivers at home under lock up this government will start listen actively
    Let hope for the best..

  • Howdy, John:

    Appreciate your help/clarification vis-a-vis the @!#$#$%%^^Y&U& “arrivecan” debacle!

    At least now I know exactly what I have to do, and when.