Zarack said:Showing my ID or saying to a US Border Agent generally stops all questioning and gives me instant entry into the US is the most I get out of my ID card while traveling.
Not so much when returning to Canada sadly.
Story time, feel free to ignore as I know I'm not contributing anything meaningful to this topic. But just to go on what you mentioned here...
Years & years ago, I had to go to the US for a family emergency. I wasn't doing much traveling, and I didn't have ANY travel documents. No passport. Not even a birth certificate -- mine was in 4 pieces after going through the wash a few times, and even at that it was my original, so was already pretty well worn.
I went to the US Customs area at the Calgary airport, and approached the US Customs officer. An older man working in one of the booths, who you could tell was more than ready to retire.
I immediately apologized, and acknowledged I was the kind of person that day that he was just going to shake his head at. I explained it was a very short notice family emergency, and I didn't have any travel documents at all. I apologized. I told him right near the start of my plea that I fully recognize that I'm being a douchebag today, and completely understand if he says no.
I put the 4 pieces of my worn, washed out birth certificate on the counter for him. You couldn't make out a name, or even see the birth certificate number. I might as well have put kleenex on the booth. I showed him my plane tickets, which my family had booked for me, and showed a return date only 3 days later -- and explained that without meaning any disrespect, I had absolutely no desire or intention of living in the US, was born & raised in Canada, was gainfully employed here in Canada, family & friends were all Canadian, etc.
He looked at the pieces of paper. Then looked up at me. Then sighed. Then shook his head, and looked back at the borderline blank pieces of paper.
I then piped up, and said... "It's okay. If I were you, I'd totally go tell me to go f**k myself too..."
He burnt out laughing. Gave me a fist pump. And told me to enjoy my trip.
Coming back into Canada was a bloody hassle.