So you accidentally drove to Canada-- now what?

I'm sure it's something both U.S. and Canadian border agents are used to dealing with but what are the consequences, if any, of taking the wrong exit and accidentally crossing into Canada?

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Having grown up in West Michigan this is personally one of my biggest fears when I'm driving in the Detroit area, so this question comes from a place a genuine curiosity-- and anxiety.

Ambassador Bridge Michigan Canada
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I like to think I have a good sense of direction, but accidents happen and people get turned around. If I don't have my passport am I going to get stuck in Canada and accidentally start an "international incident" all because I took the wrong exit?!

You Took the Wrong Exit, Now What?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection say that lost or confused motorists do find their way into Canada from time to time. Although it may cost you some time and some hassle, drivers are typically free to resume travel once they're pointed in the right direction.

Phew! That's a relief.

ambassador bridge

In a statement to the Detroit Free Press Custom and Border Protection Public Affairs Chief Kristoffer Grogan says,

Once it is clear that outbound travel was not intended, and the vehicle is determined to be clear of contraband, motorists are escorted from the area and free to resume travel to their intended destination

Thankfully I have an Enhanced Driver's License that can be used in place of a U.S. passport to re-enter the United States from places like Canada or Mexico, but I would still feel super embarrassed if I missed my exit and wound up in another country but hey, that's just me.

Have you or someone you know ever made the wrong turn and wound up in Canada?

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