• Departure Guide

    Before you fly out of Toronto Pearson, find out everything you need to know to make things easy and stress-free. Bon voyage!

  • United States Check-In at Terminal 1

    For the majority of U.S. flights, passengers leaving Toronto will go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Toronto. This means you arrive in the United States as a domestic passenger.

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    Cannabis Act and Travel

    The Cannabis Act comes into effect on October 17, 2018, but it will remain illegal to transport cannabis across Canada's national borders. Doing so can result in serious criminal penalties both at home and abroad. It is your responsibility to know the Cannabis Act’s implications in relation to travel to, from or through Toronto Pearson. For more information, please click here.

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    United States Customs and Border Protection I-192 Waiver Office Closed

    Effective July 16, 2018, the USCBP Waiver officer located in Terminal 1 will be closed until further notice. Please visit U.S. Customs and Border Protection for more information and alternative locations.

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    Security and Customs Wait Times

    Wait times are longer than usual at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Canadian Air Transport Security Association (CATSA) pre-board screening for flights before 10:00 a.m. Please arrive at the airport 3 hours before your flight's scheduled departure time when departing before 10:00 a.m. For flights departing after 10:00 a.m., please arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight’s departure time.


    Please check in at least 3 hours prior to departure for flights before 10 a.m.

    Please check in at least 2 hours prior to departure for flights after 10 a.m.


    Before You Arrive

    Save Time at Check-in!

    Check in from home as early as 24 hours before your flight. Find out if your airline offers online check-in.

    • Pack your own baggage and remove all old bag tags to avoid confusion.
    • Put your name and address on all checked and carry-on luggage before arriving at the airport. For security, the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) recommends using your work address, where possible.
    • Check weight and size restrictions for checked baggage on your ticket or with your airline directly.
    • Verify that your baggage does not contain any restricted items. For a complete up-to-date list of restricted items please visit catsa-acsta.gc.ca.
    • Avoid carrying metal items that may trigger metal detector alarms (i.e. belts, buttons, body piercings, and steel toe shoes).

    Getting To Check-In


    Not sure where to go to get your boarding pass? Find check-in on our terminal maps.

    Terminal 1 Check in map.Terminal 3 Check in map.Terminal 1 Terminal 3  

    Once You’re Here

    • Remove or tighten all straps on duffle bags or backpacks.
    • Have your travel documents and tickets ready before you reach your counter or kiosk.
    Identification and Declarations

    A valid passport is required for all flights to U.S. destinations. Please note that for select destinations, passports must be valid for a minimum of six months from your departure date. Learn more about additional identification requirements.

    Checking In for a U.S.-bound Flight

    Terminal 1 and Terminal 3

    1. Check in online or use an airport kiosk. Proceed to the airline check-in counter if you have to check a bag or require additional assistance.  
    2. Proceed to the automated bag drop for checked and oversized baggage.  
    3. Proceed to the pre-board security screening area.  
    4. Proceed to the U.S.CBP hall

      During peak travel hours, processes are in place to alleviate wait times and keep security lines moving. NEXUS cardholders and airline passengers with priority access may enter the U.S. CBP hall directly by showing their boarding pass and a valid Nexus card or U.S. CBP Declaration form or card.

      Passengers with a valid B1/B2 Visa, ESTA, Legal Permanent Resident Card, Border Crossing Card, American Passport and Canadian passport holders without a Visa or work permit can use the Automated Passport Control kiosks to enter the U.S. These kiosks make it easier and faster to move through US CBP processing by automating the traditional paper declaration form.

    5. Head to your gate.

    We apologize for any inconvenience experienced by U.S.-bound guests as a result of longer than usual wait times when accessing U.S. CBP.

    Processes are in place to alleviate wait times during peak travel hours, and the airport is working with its government partners on long-term solutions to reduce the delays.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.

    Questions about U.S. Customs and Border Protection (U.S. CBP)?

    All passengers with questions regarding customs at the country of their destination are advised to please contact the appropriate government department or embassy. More information may be found at the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website.

    Further inquiries can also be made by contacting:

    • U.S. Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services at (905) 676-2563.
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at (905) 676-2606 or visit their website.
    • Frequently Asked Questions about the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) are available online.
    Nexus and CANPASS

    NEXUS is a partnership program between Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that allows members to clear the border faster in both countries when travelling between the United States and Canada.

    CANPASS is a CBSA program that allows members to clear the border faster when travelling into Canadian airports.

    Gels, Liquids and Aerosols

    Learn what you can bring on Transport Canada’s website.

    Going Through Security

    All passengers departing on flights from Toronto Pearson must proceed through pre-board security screening provided by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA). Follow these tips to keep this process running smoothly:

    • Please take off jackets, purses and carry-on bags before arriving at the front of the screening line.
    • Ensure all cameras, laptops and other devices are out of your luggage and ready for inspection.
    • Place all carry-on items in a tray for screening.
    • Remove footwear if asked.
    • Boarding passes must be shown to screening personnel and carried through the metal detector.
  • Additional Information

    For information on reserving tickets, baggage handling or special needs traveller assistance, please contact your air carrier or your travel agent, or watch the Canadian Transportation Agency videos below.