You are currently viewing Free COVID-19 Tests In The USA (To Enter Canada)

We’ll soon have a much more detailed guide about COVID-19 testing for travel (to complement our many pandemic travel resources), but here’s just a guide to make sure you do NOT pay $200 per test (like so many people keep telling us they did) to return to Canada from the USA… it’s so easy to get free COVID-19 tests in the USA.

Here are the details, including a bonus pro tip about a test that is even better than a PCR test and accepted to enter Canada (and also completely free in the USA). And it’s not the rapid antigen test even if Canada now accepts it; those are free in the USA too, it’s just that it’s not the best option compared to the NAAT.

Please share this with everyone you know who is in the USA because it genuinely pains me to see so many people waste money (after all, our mission here at Flytrippers is to help you travel more for less).

You can watch this video about the free tests in the US if you prefer that format.

 

Or if not, read on.

 

Overview of the free COVID-19 test tip

In short:

  • Free COVID-19 tests are widely available in the United States
  • They are available in every state (we list the websites below)
  • Residency or citizenship is not required (even if they ask for an ID/address)
  • Insurance is not required (even if they ask if you have it)
  • You don’t need to be Canadian either, it’s really for everyone
  • I’ve done it myself 6 times (and countless Canadian readers have too)

But there are important things to know about free COVID-19 tests in the USA:

  • Canada accepts PCRs but also NAATs, which provide results much quicker
  • Results from the free PCRs take longer to receive (but PCRs are easier to find)
  • You must book online in advance (usually no walk-ins)
  • Choose an appointment close to the 72-hr limit and book as early as possible
  • Appointments often open just days before
  • This works since April 2021 and still works as of February 2022
  • It’s unlikely to change soon but double-check here before your trip (we’ll keep this updated)

And I have a step-by-step below, but here are the essentials to know about the process:

  • Simply use any US address if they ask for one (they don’t check)
  • Use your Canadian driver’s license if they ask for ID (it’s just to ID you)
  • Our favorite option is Walgreens for free NAATs with same-day results

As I said, I have been to the United States 6 times myself since April 2021 and I got tested completely free for my return to Canada all 6 times (2 PCRs and 4 NAATs). Including on February 12, 2022.

It was very easy.

Dozens and dozens of Canadians who follow our tips have done it too and saved hundreds of dollars. Check out the last section for many testimonials I took from the comments if you want to see many travelers who thank us for saving them hundreds of dollars after using this tip. 

So please stop paying $200 for tests in the US in order to return to Canada!

This free COVID-19 test tip is the perfect microcosm of all travel in general: The vast majority of people think that paying so much money is normal and don’t even know that the money-saving tip exists!!!

(Like those who think paying $800 to fly to Europe is good even though we find roundtrips for $400 almost every day… or those who think earning 1% back is good when there’s a card that gives you 5% or more in travel rewards.)

Anyway, we don’t even earn a commission or anything on these tests, we just love to help you save money here at Flytrippers. That’s why we share flight deals we spot at 50% off, welcome bonuses worth hundreds of dollars in free travel, and travel tips like this one.

 

Basics of traveling to the USA

As a reminder, fully vaccinated Canadians can enter the US for any reason:

  • By land: No test required to enter the US
  • By air: Rapid antigen test required to enter the US

Since it’s so easy, many of you have restarted traveling to the USA—or are planning to do so soon. You can read our detailed post about how Canadians can travel to the United States. It includes the exemptions for children, among many other details.

Because even if it’s normally a terrible place to travel to if you want to keep costs down (especially compared to the 40 countries where C$30 per day total is enough), some prefer the convenience of visiting our closest neighbor. And of course, there are many appealing destinations in the vast country (they have more land area than in Canada after all).

But in terms of the cost of the required tests to return to Canada, the USA is actually the cheapest destination in the world: tests are completely free. And it’s so easy…

 

Where to get a free COVID-19 test in the USA

Here are the top 7 resources to find free COVID-19 tests in the USA:

Walgreens is a chain of pharmacies with free COVID-19 testing in most states (that’s the one I used in New Jersey and Louisiana). It’s the one to prioritize for those NAATs. Especially since you can see the locations with free tests easily on their website without having to enter any information.

Rite Aid seems to offer the same free COVID-19 PCR tests, but in fewer states.

While those work extremely well, another chain, CVS Pharmacy, apparently has mixed results (depending on the state). And you have to fill out some info to even see which locations offer which tests.

Websites like Go Get Tested (that’s the one I used in Texas) and especially Curative also work well in certain specific states. BeeperMD is a new one that might or might not be only in Florida, but I’ve listed it since Florida is the most popular destination anyway.

Other readers told us they used local pharmacies that weren’t part of any chains and many told us they used the generic free public health testing locations (for example in New York City) and those gave them a formal lab report (so those can be used to enter Canada).

To find those, you can do what you should for literally anything you need to find, which is use Google. Just type “free PCR tests (city name)” and you’ll probably find even more options, in the USA at least.

(That same pro trick works to find tests in any country, but without the “free” part. Many of you seem very stressed out about finding tests abroad, but it’s really not one of the things to worry about at all, seriously. It’s extremely easy. I found a test in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan—hardly a popular tourist destination—in 10 seconds on Google, so you can most definitely find one almost anywhere you want to go.)

 

How free COVID-19 tests in the USA work

Let’s get back to the USA.

I can personally vouch for how easy it was with Walgreens. There are no residency, citizenship, or insurance requirements. It’s free for everyone. Walgreens alone has locations in almost every state.

Most locations seem to be drive-thru tests only, so if you don’t have a rental car, you can grab a taxi from the parking lot to the drive-through lane for a pretty low cost since the test took me less than 5 minutes all 6 times I did free tests in the USA.

Of course, just like the free vaccines, you need to make an appointment online in advance. And yes, the online booking process might ask for a US address: I just put in my Marriott hotel‘s address.

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But 5 times out of the 6, they didn’t check anything once I arrived for the test. They just asked my name and date of birth. For the NAAT, they had only asked for the address online anyway (no ID).

For the PCR, they ask for a “State ID” on the online form. As mentioned, there is no residency or citizenship requirement for the tests. A federal program subsidizes them for everyone. I repeat: There is no residency requirement.

Simply enter your Canadian driver’s license number and select the name of the state you are in, the form is just not designed for foreign IDs. They just need to check your ID to confirm your identity; to make sure the name on the lab report is really that of the person being tested.

The address and State ID are not important and it’s 100% allowed for Canadians.

They may ask about insurance in the form. It is not required. The federal program that subsidizes COVID-19 tests in the United States is precisely for the uninsured. Just click that you don’t have insurance.

They are obligated to ask so that they can bill insurers instead of the government as much as possible. But you do not need insurance and they never even asked me once I was there. It is really just online.

Here is the FAQ from Walgreeens’ website about the cost. IF you have insurance, they will bill the insurer. That’s it.

Confirmation of the free COVID-19 test (image credit: Walgreens)

 

Details about the free NAAT COVID-19 test in the USA

Researching your travel plans and being prepared and well-informed has always been the best way to travel for less, but it’s even more true with the pandemic…

Not many people know that free PCR tests are easy to find in most US states, but even fewer know that there is an even better option than PCRs: NAATs. That’s another type of test that is much more convenient.

These are accepted to enter Canada, and the results come in so much faster!

The first time, I had booked mine at a Walgreens in Newark when returning from Uzbekistan in late May via the USA to enter via the land border and avoid the hotel quarantine before that ineffective measure was finally abolished.

I got my results just 67 minutes after my appointment ended! And these tests are free too of course! The official timespan Walgreens gives for results is within 24 hours (compared to twice as long for PCRs).

But in practice, everyone I recommended the NAAT to got the results in just a few hours. My appointment was at 9:30 AM and I was there at that time precisely.

Appointment confirmation for my first free COVID-19 test (image credit: Walgreens)

 

It took just a few minutes to do the test.

And my results came in at 10:37 AM.

Results of my first free COVID-19 test(image credit: PWNHealth)

 

That’s a lot quicker than the experience I shared getting a free PCR test in Texas (it took 24 hours for those results).

NAATs are rapid tests, but not the same as rapid antigen tests (those are accepted for entry in many countries, but they are NOT accepted to enter Canada).

Walgreens calls NAATs “Rapid ID NOW tests” or also “Rapid Diagnostic Tests” (not to be confused with “Rapid ANTIGEN tests”; I cannot stress this enough). NAATs don’t seem to be readily available as easily in countries other than the USA, for those who are wondering.

But almost everywhere in the US, you can find them easily as I did near Newark Airport (EWR). The red dots on the map are where you can get the NAAT.

Type selection for free testst (image credit: Walgreens)

 

Again, so many people just don’t even know this type of test exists… that’s why it’s a great microcosm of travel tips in general, as the more you learn, the more you’ll save. And most people unfortunately just don’t take the time at all to learn about the best travel tips.

Like for example, the incredible welcome bonus offers we regularly tell you about, that can give you ≈ $1,157 in value depending on the one you choose…

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Most travelers will ignore these record-high offers and will prefer putting in no effort and instead settle for earning a measly 1%-2% on their purchases (or worse; they’ll use a debit card or cash)…

Don’t make the mistake of not taking advantage of it (instead join the Flytrippers readers who have accumulated over a million dollars in welcome bonuses)…

… and don’t make the mistake of paying $200 for a COVID-19 test in the US either 😉

For those who asked, here is the official government website which obviously indicates that NAAT tests are accepted to enter Canada.

Accepted test types (image credit: Government of Canada)

 

And here is the lab report obtained after my NAAT from Walgreens, which includes all the required information… obviously since I entered Canada with this test myself.

My first Walgreens test report (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

For some reason, many seem to think that the passport number has to be on your lab report, but it doesn’t. Canada requires:

  • Your name
  • Your date of birth
  • The lab’s name and address
  • The date and time of the test
  • The type of test
  • A negative/undetected result

Of course, pretty much every test provider includes all that information by default.

 

Step by step process for free COVID-19 tests

Before I share reader testimonials, I’ll show you how it works step-by-step with my most recent example on November 7.

You go to the Walgreens website.

Right away you can enter a destination to see if they have any tests and if they have NAATs specifically.

Searching for a free COVID-19 test (image credit: Walgreens)

 

Before agreeing to go to Louisiana, I checked if they had NAATs (like anything you want to prioritize for a trip, you have to check BEFORE choosing a destination, not once you’ve already chosen….)

NAATs are the red option and PCRs are the purple option. Rapid antigen tests that are not accepted for entry into Canada are the blue option.

Types of free COVID-19 tests (image credit: Walgreens)

 

Then there is your personal information to fill out.

I put in the address of my Marriott hotel (the Courtyard LSU/Acadian paid for by my hosts, allowing me to earn 13 points per dollar to use in many amazing countries to maximize my free nights).

Personal info for free COVID-19 tests (image credit: Walgreens)

 

Then, there is a form with questions about COVID-19.

Since there is a question that asks if you have been outside of the US in the 14 days prior, anyone who is in the US for a short trip can answer yes and get a free test.

If you are there for a longer stay, that second option seems very subjective…

Questions for free COVID-19 tests (image credit: Walgreens)

 

You can then choose a time slot. Like I said, depending on the location, the time slots become available either 5, 4, or 3 days prior only.

And they get snapped up quickly, so be on top of things and check ahead of time when that particular location opens its time slots and set a reminder or an alert so you can quickly make your appointment near your 72-hour limit.

Appointments for a free COVID-19 test (image credit: Walgreens)

 

That’s it. You’ll receive an appointment confirmation by email (always instantly in my case).

I guess I don’t need to tell you this, but make sure you write your email correctly if you want to receive your test results.

Searching for a free COVID-19 test (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

On the day of your appointment, you head to the drive-thru.

The first 2 times, there was no wait, but this time there were 2 cars in front of me.

Showing up for a free COVID-19 test (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

You tell the employee that you have an appointment for a COVID-19 test. She asks for your name and date of birth. That’s all she asks for: No ID, nothing.

She gives you a cotton swab that you insert into each nostril and you make 5 circles. It’s not deep at all, it’s just the contour of the nostrils.

Performing the free COVID-19 test (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

At the beginning of our video about free COVID-19 tests in the United States, I show you the entire process of doing the swab, which literally takes 15 seconds, if you want to see how easy it is.

That’s it. You give her your sample back through the little box.

Returning the sample for the free COVID-19 test (photo credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

And then you leave. A maximum of 5 minutes for the whole thing.

In this case, I received my results in 3 hours instead of just 1 hour.

Email with results of the free COVID-19 test (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

The lab report was different compared to May, so either it varies based on the Walgreens location or they have changed their template since then.

All the required info is on the lab report (some info seems missing but I just redacted it for my privacy).

Lab report with results of the free COVID-19 test (image credit: Andrew D’Amours/Flytrippers)

 

To be honest, I was wondering if the airlines would be aware that NAATs are accepted for entry into Canada, since they are the ones who check when you enter by air. The other 2 times, since I was entering by land, it was just the customs agent who was checking (and they know the rules).

But no problem. Both during the initial boarding on United and the boarding of the last flight on Air Canada (ticket paid with Aeroplan points obviously, thanks to the record-high offers currently available).

 

Testimonials about the free COVID-19 tests

Of course, even though I am a travel expert who regularly appears on CBC, the National Post, Reuters, and countless other media outlets, there will always be people who see scams everywhere and don’t believe us! That’s life.

So in addition to using this tip myself and confirming that it works, here are some testimonials I took from the comments.

Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Rachael saved hundreds of dollars thanks to free COVID-19 tests in the USA.

Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Saving US$600 like Jacob is not bad either.

Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Vaishni confirms it works even in super-expensive Hawaii.

Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Kavita did it in Florida, which is the top destination for Canadians.

Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Simone also reiterates our tip to book in advance.

Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Enas confirms free COVID-19 tests work too.

Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Lindi used the Walgreens free PCR test instead, and that worked too.

Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Peter used the free NAAT in Florida.

Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Heather actually got here free COVID-19 tests with Curative.

Free PCR test
Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Amanda’s in-laws did the free NAAT COVID-19 test in New Hampshire, a state accessible to many with the land border now reopened.

Free PCR test
Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Another Peter also used the NAAT and had no issues with his free COVID-19 tests.

Free PCR test
Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Kendall wonders why some people pay for tests in the US when it’s free, and it’s a good question.

Free PCR test
Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Leon also took advantage of the free COVID-19 test for a trip to beautiful DC.

Free PCR test
Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

 

Finally, Susan confirmed with Health Canada AND the CBSA but please do not call them for this, it’s much simpler to look at their website which clearly states that NAATs are acceptable as I showed you above.

Free PCR test
Free COVID-19 test in the USA testimonial (image credit: Flytrippers)

       

So there you go, I think you get the point!

It’s as simple as that if you follow our instructions in this article.

 

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Summary

Getting a free COVID-19 test is very easy in the USA. If you are a traveler, you should take advantage of these free tests instead of paying $200.

What would you like to know about free COVID-19 tests in the USA for travelers? Tell us in the comments below.

 

See the deals we spot: Cheap flights

Explore awesome destinations: Travel inspiration

Learn pro tricks: Travel tips

Discover free travel: Travel rewards

 

Featured image: Horseshoe Bend (photo credit: Gert Boers)

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 71/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 700 Comments

  1. Dave

    While enjoying my 14 day quarantine, I just thought I’d supplement Morgan‘s comment. Being in the (ahem) “NFV” category (Not Fully “Vaccinated”) – for which pre-entry border-crossing tests are still required – I made an appointment for a Walgreen’s NAAT in a mid-sized city in Washington state for the end of June, 2022. Despite it not being there during the winter, the online appointment questionnaire again required a state ID# for completion – for which I employed the suggested solution – thank you Andrew! Still no problem using a B.C. Driver’s License for the actual appointment – and the results were ready in 45 minutes! Presumably due to reduced demand, Walgreen’s is only booking appointments 3 days ahead – and appointments seem easy to get – even for the same day if booked early in the morning – though this may change if everything tightens up again in the fall after flu season rolls around . . .

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Dave, thanks for sharing your testimonial. Glad you were able to save and I hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂

  2. Morgan

    Can confirm that this still works! I booked online through Walgreens in a suburb of New York, and all they needed was my license (I just selected the non-insured option online). Even though you don’t need them to get back into Canada, I did need one to travel onwards to my next destination.
    I had no trouble and they didn’t charge me.

  3. Jeremy

    Hey Andrew,
    I am trying to find locations is Florida that will do free testing for Canadians. Apparently most places, including Walgreens, now require Health Insurance in the United States. Any tips that can help me find free Covid Testing in Orlando?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi,
      There is most definitely not any insurance requirement. There never has been any insurance requirement and it hasn’t changed yet 🙂

  4. Sladana

    Hi Andrew, thank you for the info. We came back from Michigan on April 16th. We were able to get the free Covid test for our five years old son following these instructions. The nearest location was offering only PCR and NAAT tests. We got NAAT results in less than 2 hours.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!

  5. at home pcr

    Thank you for all your help. Your service was excellent and very FAST. Many thanks for you kind and efficient service. I have already and will definitely continue to recommend your services to others in the future.

  6. Stéphane

    J aimerais savoir si le test rapide 24 heures est encore en vigueur pour prendre l’avion direction USA? Je sais que le masque est dorénavant optionnel alors je me demande si ils ont gardé le test ?

  7. Dan

    Are they still doing these free tests?

  8. Hope

    I have a kid who is not dully vaccinated that will need to get tested. The walgreens website now shows a “rapid naat” test, not “id now”. Is that the same thing? And since its a rapid test, does it need to be done within 24 hours or 72? Or is it a kind of rapid molecular test?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes it’s the same thing, and NAATs are molecular tests so you have 72 hours 🙂

    2. Jason

      We have a kid under 12 not fully vaxed as well. We got her tested for free at Walgreens a couple hours before crossing the land border. But the results didn’t arrive in time. However, at the border the word COVID or Vaccine was never mentioned. “Drive safe, welcome back to Canada” was the message.

  9. Martin

    Hi Andrew, are you aware if Walgreen’s has stopped doing their free NAAT tests? We are leaving for US in a couple days and want to make sure we don’t have to pay for tests to return when tests will no longer be required two days after our return?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes no change. You should check directly on their website for the specific location you are going to though, you’ll see right away if they have the right type of test.

    2. Susan

      Walgreens (NAAT) and CVS (NAAT, PCR) are still providing free tests in South Florida.

  10. Dan

    Just got another NAAT test done in Alexandria Virginia. Same day appointments were available. You can also book almost a week in advance. Got the results back in 20 minutes. Have 72 hours to get back to Canada, so don’t bother seeking antigen tests. The NAAT tests give you more time to travel and test results come back fast.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, thanks for sharing. Yeah I would definitely keep doing the NAAT in the US for sure 🙂 Hope you enjoyed your trip!

      1. Tom MCCUlloch

        All Walgreens in Dunedin offers a rapid test NAAT and not the ID NOW tests you talk about Are they the same for getting into Canada ? Thanks

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, Walgreens Rapid ID NOW tests are the NAATs.

  11. Mike

    Canada now accept a Rapid Test within 24 hours of returning from any cross border trip to the US. I don’t see any updated information for free rapid test availability while visiting the US. PCR tests within 72 hours is still an option but where can we go for free rapid tests?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Still better off doing the rapid molecular test at Walgreens in the US since it’s free. Very quick results and that way you make it a lot simpler if you test positive. But many of the 7 sites we list above should also have antigen tests.

  12. May

    Hi Andrew, we are returning to Canada on 3/7 from Honolulu. I know as of 2/28 we just need to do a rapid test to return. But it seems like Walgreens only have the PCR test available on Oahu. So we can just get that done instead of the rapid? But will it still be free for canadian?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Still free, but the PCR results are not guaranteed within 72 hours, unlike the NAAT (ID NOW at Walgreens).

  13. Franca B. Jamieson

    Hi Andrew, why can I not access the appointment page of Walgreens or other
    sites for tests from Canada? I have to go to the Buffalo airport to pick up my husband and don’t want to pay $100 for an hour in the States and not getting out of my car. So frustrating!
    Can your help? I need some info before March 3, 2022. Crossing at Rainbow Bridge from Canada to Niagara Falls, New York. Thanks Franca
    fbjamieson@cogeco.ca

    1. Fred king

      I live in Fort Erie..just went to the States today. Booked an appointment a week ago on my phone at walgreens in Niagara Falls NY. Did the IDNOW test..got my results within an hour and a half.

    2. Lloyd Coltman

      I’m thinking you are running into the same problem I experienced at first. I found later I hadn’t filled out ALL the selections, right to the very end of the page (it requires some selections to be repeated). When I realized I hadn’t completed all, and worked my way through the entire form, it worked just fine

    3. Jas

      Change the search location to the ZIP code of the airport. It should show you the available locations.

  14. Aevan

    This might be stupid question, after Feb 28 canada border will ease their restriction and will also accept rapid test, is Walgreen or do you have a list of laboratories accepted by Canadian borders.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Many places in the US offer free antigen tests too, the list of 7 in this post should get you one. But it’s better to do the free ID NOW (NAAT) at Walgreens at the beginning of the 72 hours despite the new option.

  15. David Colman

    We are in Hawaii. No antigen tests to be found. Although not free, we arranged for a remote antigen test with the same organization that did our outbound test at the airport (SRX). Cost $50 Canadian per. Saved a lot of time and effort.

  16. Dirk

    MYQuest diagnostics is using an identification verification process that is trying to match me to someone living in the US. I entered a US address as you instructed and that seems to be the problem. My new MyQuest account indicates that results will not be shared with me unless I verify my identity. One window popped up that indicated I could show ID upon arrival to verify my ID, but I fear MYQuest will be looking for the US citizen they think is associated with the AirBNB address I entered or some other tidbit… now I have an appointment but I suspect I won’t be able to access my results.

      1. Dirk

        MyQuest is the testing contractor for Walmart

      2. Dirk

        We managed to verify our account, so fingers crossed it all works out

      3. Andrew D'Amours

        Okay good, let us know. I’m guessing this is for a rapid antigen test post-February 28th?

      4. Dirk

        The is an asymptomatic PCR test. It is very difficult to select for antigen with a guaranteed quick turnaround. The US isn’t too concerned about us and our ever changing rules. The pricing is also no different for all tests (should you have to pay). PCR seems the safest, with a broader window of usefulness wrt border crossing.

      5. Andrew D'Amours

        Yeah definitely, given how easy free NAATs and PCRs are in the US, I’d keep using those for sure!

  17. George

    Hi Andrew! Does Walgreens have a limit on the number of tests permitted within a given period? We just arrived in Fort Lauderdale and wanted to get a PCR done in case it’s positive (we tested positive during the holidays). We are heading back home in 3 weeks time, so we want to make sure we could still get the test done 3 days before we leave.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi apparently once per 14 days limit per person, but this is just something someone told us, I didn’t validate. In all cases, 3 weeks should be fine — and if not, you can just use a different email address 😉

  18. Dan

    Antigen tests are now acceptable as well. Does anyone know if the testing procedure for a antigen test at Walgreens is similar to the naat test?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No they are not “now” acceptable beware, it only starts February 28th. I haven’t looked into antigen tests in the USA yet, but I would say it’s probably best to keep doing the free NAAT in case it’s positive you make sure you can enter 10 days after the test (and since you can take it 3 days before, your countdown starts earlier too).

  19. Nicole

    Worked today in Knoxville TN at Walgreens. Results were back in 30 minutes.
    Two weeks ago I bought the Switch Health Lamp tests as All tests were very difficult to find in this area.
    I went to use them last night and both were defective so basically I was screwed.
    I found your post and it saved us from having to pay for tests(which two weeks ago I couldn’t do as there were not any available in the area!).
    I’ve been here all week and there are free tests galore, so everyone has been restocked.

    Note to everyone going to some areas of the USA – you may think all the areas of the country are the same with the same amenities etc, but this is not always the case. Do your research before you book. The SE USA is particularly different from traveling in the western USA or similar to Canada. Knoxville is “the sticks”, who’d have known :)?
    Happy traveling!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, thank you so much for the testimonial! Just for future reference though, I doubt tests were really scarce 2 weeks ago, it’s really just that they often do not open up appointment slots until one week (or even just 3 days for many Walgreens locations) before the actual date.
      So it’s best to check in advance how early your specific Walgreens opens up appointments (easy to do on their website) and then make sure to be quick when that comes up. Never had an issue all 4 times by being prepared 🙂

  20. Kelly

    Hey there! With the new announcement, it indicates that rapid antigen tests are to be taken no more than 24 hours before return. Are we still able to do take the Rapid ID Now tests within 72 hours before return or do those now have to be done within 24 hours as well?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes 72 hours for those, the new option starting February 28th is just that: a new option available. You can still follow the same rules as now if you prefer, and that certainly makes more sense in the USA specifically thanks to these free tests 🙂

  21. Joanne

    Hi Andrew, with the new changes that are due to come in effect at the end of February, Canada may be eliminating the PCR testing requirement and switching to antigen testing for re-entry instead. What options do you see for Canadians under these circumstances, as Wallgreens BinaxNow tests are not widely available across the US?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      To be clear, nothing is confirmed at all, no changes are official at all, not even the date. But in the US it will still be very simple, the Walgreens ID NOW tests will be the easiest free option just like they are now 🙂

      1. Deepak

        It asks for a licence which i provided (canadian) but which state to choose.I am from BC and no option for it.

        Do they verify the license and should it be from usa

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        To be clear, they shouldn’t be asking to input license if you are not choosing the PCR and you shouldn’t be using the PCR if the NAAT (ID NOW) is available. If it’s not, for the PCR just choose the state where you’ll be in and put in the BC license number they don’t require US ID their form is just not built for other options.

  22. Jason

    Thanks Andrew for this info. What’s your thoughts on getting a free test as soon as you enter the US if your spending an extended period of time (say 2 weeks or more). Here’s my reasoning. I recovered from Covid a few weeks ago. So I fall into the category of being exempt if I have a positive pcr test from over 10 days prior. However, I never got the pcr test and I’ve heard it’s possible to continue to test positive weeks after recovering. So my thinking is that even though I’m recovered it would be a good idea for me to get tested early on. If it comes back positive then I’ll already be past the 10 days by the time I go back to the Canada border. If it’s negative then great. But if negative I’d have to go back and get a second one within 72 hours of crossing border. Or in other words, a positive test early on would save unwanted and expensive quarantine time in the US upon re-entry.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, that’s what I would certainly do.
      However, if you are leaving for less than 14 days, I did read about Walgreens limiting one person to only one test per 14-day period (didn’t check it out myself though so maybe confirm) so the first one on arrival I would do a free PCR anywhere else and keep the rapid ID NOW at Walgreens for the return in case the first one is negative.

  23. Gerry

    Thanks for the great info Andrew I went to the US for the day and used your tips to get back to Canada and it was flawless and worked fantastically!!! The Walgreens was very easy to book my rapid ID now test (NAAT) and the appointment was quick and convenient. I saved the cost of a Covid test which could be as we know 200-300 dollars. They didn’t ask for anything except for my federal/provincial ID and appointment confirmation email.

    Thanks for your help in simplifying what can be a very stressful crossing if your not aware of the rules and requirements.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Gerry, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to the US 🙂!

  24. Amanda

    Hi, anyone know if a Canadian flying within the USA (example buffalo to orlando) do we need a covid test for those flights or just to cross back into Canada? Thanks

    1. Fred king

      Just did Buffalo to West Palm Beach in November.. no tests required..
      Just back into Canada. Got an IDNOW test in West Palm at Walgreens. Results within an hour and a half.

  25. Dan

    We tried this today at Walgreens in Alexandria, VA. We opted for the NAAT test. Worked as described. We had 3 appointments spaced apart. We showed up early, and they took our tests all together, right away, no problem. Just gave them our names, no ID needed. Results came in my email in 2 hours. Thanks for the tip!!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Dan, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to the DC area 🙂!

  26. Doug

    Hi Andrew,

    Just replying to add to the list of people thanking you for this information. We took your advice for a short trip to Vegas from Jan 20-23rd and it all worked as you described. Our trip was just under 72 hours, so we scheduled our Walgreens ID NOW test so that we took it shortly after landing. We did have to give a healthy tip to the Uber driver to wait in the line for us, but a small price to pay compared to other testing option prices. Walgreens pharmacist just asked to confirm our birth date and that was it…no other questions asked (obviously take your ID just in case). Results of the test were received by email within a couple hours and we were worry-free the rest of the trip. No issues at the airport with showing the results on our phone so it was all good…thanks again!

    Note: For those planning, keep a close eye on the Walgreens\CVS sites where you’re travelling, as we found that the appts book up fast and days in advance.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Doug, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Vegas 🙂!

  27. Claire

    Thank you so much for this precious information! However, nowhere is it mentioned how you get the test results into the ArriveCan App. We will soon be driving back to Canada from Florida. It’s a 3-day drive, so we will be getting the test on the road (pre-booked of course) to be under the 72 hour limit and still leave a buffer for possible travel delays. My cell phone doesn’t have US data so I have to rely on Wifi in hotels to access anything, and printers are out of the question! How will I get my test results into the App? The App unfortunately doesn’t have a “test” mode so we can see how it works ahead of needing it!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, at least for me, they didn’t ask for the test proof in ArriveCAN the last 2 times I entered.

    2. Claire

      UPDATE: We got our tests done Feb. 2nd at a Walgreen’s in a small town in North Carolina. We were the first 2 appointments of the day (booked 3 days before) and got to the drive-thru window 10 minutes early. We were all done in 10 minutes (so even before the first appointment time), and the results were in our email 25 minutes later! THANK YOU!!! We were also lucky enough to BOTH be selected for random take-home tests when we crossed into Canada this afternoon! Can’t win them all!
      The only issue was thatI was not able to download the test results directly to my (old) iPhone, so I had to do it on my Chromebook and mail them to myself! Good thing because I was asked to show them to the border agent!

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi Claire, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
        Hope you enjoyed your trip to North Carolina 🙂!

  28. Aldina

    I wonder what the turnaround for test results are now with the increase of covid cases!
    I’m traveling to New York in March and I want my result back on time

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Rapid NAATs are still under 24 hours for sure so no worries, but for PCRs yeah it was already tight with some free providers so just make sure to shop around and see what their timeline is :S

  29. David Colman

    Andrew, is the 72 hours from the time your flight is scheduled to leave the US or 72 hours from the time the flight is scheduled to arrive back in Canada?
    ALSO
    The Walgreens I’m looking at is a drive through. What do you do if you don’t have a car?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi here’s the explanation: https://flytrippers.com/canada-entry-test/#72-hour_timespan_for_entry_by_air

      And yes Walgreens only do drive-through and explicitly say you can’t go without a car, so you can go by taxi or Uber. Or you can check out the 7 websites we listed for free tests, as some do not require cars. But those will likely be PCRs instead of the rapid NAATs at Walgreens, so taxi is the best option (the whole process takes 5 minutes as I said so it won’t be expensive)

  30. Cathy F

    Hi,
    I have heard that some U.S. border guards are telling Canadians that it is a federal offence to get a free covid test in the U.S. as they are for citizens only. Do you know anything about this?
    Thanks

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      All I know is: that is 100% fake news 😛
      They might be saying that, but they’re very wrong. Free tests are explicitly for anyone and everyone. No requirements whatsoever.

      1. Alanna Johnson

        We were told that, as well as a friend, at the crossing in BC into Montana. We were both told that it is a federal offence for a Canadian to get a free test in the US. I hope you are correct.

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        I can guarantee that I am correct haha, it’s not even a grey area. There is simply no requirements and anyone who says otherwise is just misinformed, as sooooo many people are about sooooooo many things 🙂 Even border agents 😛

  31. Anthony

    I’m looking at testing options along the west coast (hwy I5–Washington to California) and it seems that Walgreens has next to nothing in terms of testing availability for their RapidID tests–what are your best recommendations for the west coast?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yeah unfortunately the ID NOW is not available in some states, in that case, the 7 other websites we list in this post can help you.
      But those are all PCRs instead of NAATs so make sure to plan it very close to the beginning of your 72-hour window or try to look for those who have the shortest turnaround as it will be a bit tighter with free PCRs :S

      1. Anthony

        Thanks for the reply and info!

        I’m wondering about one thing–you’ve said to use your DL for ID purposes. That’ll work fine for my wife and I, but what about our kids? From what I understand, we’d need a separate booking for all of us?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        I used my passport at Walgreens Sunday (the first time Walgreens actually asked to see my ID in 3 visits) and it’s fine, it’s just to identify you 🙂

    2. Dee dee

      Just got back.. you have to book 3days in advance at 12am to get an appointment.

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Yeah but that depends on the location, some open up appointments 7 days in advance so it’s best to follow what I said in the post: Check which days are available for your location today so you know how many days in advance to book 🙂

  32. Stéphane

    Hi Andrew are you sure that CVS allowed canadians to get tested? Thank you

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      I did not personally use CVS for my 4 free US tests but many testimonials from Canadians say that it works too. The federal subsidy does not require citizenship or residency so it should work just as well as Walgreens.

      1. Stéphane

        Bonjour Andrew, si je suis vacciné 3 fois dois je attendre aux 72 heures et moins pour me faire tester avant d’arriver aux douanes terrestres? Je suis un peu mélangé la dessus Merci

    2. Tamara

      Hi Stephanie,

      Yes, I used it in Palm Springs. Results came back on time for a PCR as did Walgreens.

  33. Cezary

    Hello Andrew
    To book appointment at Walgreens they are asking now for driver licensee or state id. Of course only US states are listed and we cannot continue without filling this info. Any solution for that ?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      They don’t ask that if you choose the RAPID ID NOW test, which is the best one and the one I’ve used all 3 times (but not available in every state). For the PCR, they ask that but countless readers said they just selected the state they are in and entered their Canadian driver’s license number and had no issues, which makes a lot of sense since Walgreens really doesn’t care since there is no residency or citizenship requirement.

  34. Terrance

    Hi Andrew,

    I am going to fly back to Canada from Jersey City next week but it seems that there are no appointments available at Walgreen. Just wondering if you have any other suggestions? I looked at CVS but not sure if they have the NAAT tests and if the results will come back as quickly. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi other than the 7 websites in this post, the other alternative would be making your way across the Hudson as there are many walk-in tents in Manhattan that provide free tests, but since those are PCRs and I have not used them I have no idea how fast the turnaround is :S

      1. Stephane

        Hi Andrew,
        Have you heard of any issue with Walgreens running out of RAPID ID NOW test due to the current rate of testing and return time on the tests?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        I’ve heard of appointment slots being more popular for sure, making it even more important now to follow our recommendations of booking as soon as the booking window opens. They might also have fewer appointments available overall, it’s hard to tell really since every location is independent :S

  35. John L

    Hey Andrew thanks so much for the post!

    We went on Walgreens website today to book a PCR test and now it requires you to fill out the dirvers license information. It looks like they have changed their policy.

    I have an appointment with CVS but my wife believes they’ll charge us if we dont provide insurance.

    Any thoguhts?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, they don’t ask that if you choose the RAPID ID NOW test, which is the best one and the one I’ve used all 3 times (but not available in every state).
      For the PCR, they have always asked for that but countless readers said they just selected the state they were in and entered their Canadian driver’s license number and had no issues, which makes a lot of sense since Walgreens really doesn’t care since there is no residency or citizenship requirement.

      1. Gareman

        Andrew thank you for your information, I just got my FREE ID now test (results came back in under 30 minutes!) my trip to Las Vegas is going great the mighty MetallicA played an amazing concert and am just now getting ready to go to the Golden Knight NHL game tonight. The only id I showed was my Sask drivers license and I used the hotel’s address no questions asked about my home address just given the pcr swab 30 minutes later my tests came back negative

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi Gareman, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
        Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip to Vegas and the restriction-free life over there 🙂!

  36. Debbie

    Add this one to your list for NY/NJ area. LevelUPMD Urgent Care. Went to their Bloomfield NJ location yesterday. Showed up at 230pm, tested and out the door by 4pm. Was told results would come in 24-36 hours. Results came in 12 hours. Just had to show passport as ID and completely free. https://levelupuc.com

  37. Kelly

    Hi! Not sure if you can answer this but if I test positive on my test, am I still able to return to Canada (enter by land) and just go right into quarantine?

      1. Kelly

        Do you know when they are changing the 14 day isolation to 10? Seems in the states and in Canada now, you only have to isolate for 5 days if you are fully vaccinated and have covid

  38. Angela

    Hi Andrew,

    One quick question, do I have to book an appointment individually for all the people travelling with me ? Or is there a way to book the appointment for everyone at the same time ?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, it has to be individually unfortunately, but then you can usually all do the tests at the same time, they’ll group the appointments 😉

  39. Nate

    Hey Andrew. Has anyone that you know of gone to Vegas and done the drive through testing in an Uber with multiple people? We are going next week and that is our plan as of now.
    Also, I’m assuming while booking online we still click on “no insurance”?

    TIA

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No insurance, correct. We’ve had testimonials from people who went as a group without any issues. As long as everyone has their appointments booked of course.

    2. preci

      hello andrew thank you for the information we are back now from las vegas and we did the covid test jn walgreens its all free

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
        Hope you enjoyed your trip to Vegas 🙂!

  40. shan

    we are going to usa for 4 days. we called wallgreen and cvs pharmacies and they sai that since we do not have insurance we have pay $140 for 5 of us.this is absurd. can you pl help??

    thx
    shan

  41. Tina.

    Andrew, I have scheduled my NAAT test for Tomorrow Dec. 28, my flight to Toronto is Dec. 31st. My question is, Swoop airlines specifies that only PCR and LAMP tests are accepted, no mention of NAAT. I cannot get ahold of anyone at Swoop to find out if this is THEIR requirement or if their website is not up to date. The Govt of Canada site still says NAAT is OK. Air Canada and Westjet sites both say NAAT is OK. Can Swoop impose their own requirement of test?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No they can’t, you should be fine — worse case scenario ask to talk to a supervisor and show them the official government website 😉

  42. Monika

    Hello! I took your advice and booked a NAAT ID now test at Walgreens in Myrtle beach. Went through the drive through was not asked for any ID did the test and got my results back in 2 hours.
    I was asked for the results at the land border to Canada and all was good! Thanks again!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Monika, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Myrtle Beach 🙂!

      1. preci

        hello andrew we did our covid test in arizona chandler my husband and my two kids already hot their result back but mine was not coming yet, its been 4 hrs already do i need to worry?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        They usually all come at the same time so maybe you chould reach out yes.

  43. Denis

    We used the IDNow service at Walgreens in Phoenix and had no issues. Used our hotel address as our residence and used our Ontario driver licences as proof of identity. Results were given to us within 2 hrs. Saved us USD $500! Thanks Andrew!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Denis, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Arizona 🙂!

      1. Kammy

        Hi Andrew,
        This is such helpful information. Do you happen to know if Walgreens or any other pharmacy in Sarasota Florida do these free tests?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        There are so many Walgreens locations in Florida so I can only assume there is one close to Sarasota as long as you book in advance of course. But you can just head to the Walgreens website and see for yourself, it will show you locations and appointments directly:)

  44. RK

    Hi Andrew, your website is so helpful! I am a little stressed about my return trip. I am flying back to Toronto from Houston at 9.30am via Cleveland at 4.10pm on Jan 3rd. When would you recommend I take the NAAT test? I believe the 72 hour window looks at the last leg directly to Toronto. Not sure whether to do it on the 31st afternoon or Jan 1st due to holidays. There are 3 of us and I think last appt on any day is 4.45pm. I’m worried if my second flight is delayed, I’ll be over the 72 hours and if I do it on the 1st (Sat), it won’t get processed. Thank you for any input!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I am returning on the 3rd too, so I booked the appointment on the 31st. It has to be done within 72 hours of the departure time of the last leg that enters Canada, so if your Cleveland-Toronto flight leaves at 4:10 PM, you can do your test after 4:10 PM on the 31st. It is the scheduled departure time that counts, even if there is a delay on the day of the flight you are okay.

  45. Ken

    Hi Andrew, great article and thanks for posting this information. Quick question, is my email reply showing proof of negative test sufficient? Do I need to show a printed version? I assume that’s all you had to do but want to make sure. I have a trip to Hawaii and this is a great option. I previously paid on my last trip to California and it just pains to pay these prices for a test. Thanks

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, yes the digital version works fine if the lab report has the required info 🙂

  46. Noah James

    Nice article…Great information..Thanks for sharing

  47. Tim Kelley

    Hi Andrew, Now that the Government of Canada has reinstated testing for all land border returning Canadians. I want to make sure I have this right. I am driving from WA State to BC. I had used Walgreens for a PCR test in the past with no problem. I notice now that Walgreens has closed a number of location sites in Whatcom County for tests, including the one I have used. In Bellingham WA, Walgreen now offers the PCR test and the Rapid Diagnostic Test (ID Now) . Is the Rapid Diagnostic test accepted at the Canada border? I am sure you have commented on this before but this thing is such a moving target that I cannot find your previous comments. Please confirm. You have been a superstar through all of this. Thanks, Tim

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, it’s not yet in effect by the way, only for Canadians entering Canada starting on December 21st. But that’s very soon indeed.
      So yes, the RAPID ID NOW is absolutely accepted to enter Canada, nothing has changed on this front. There have been reports of some Walgreens locations near the land border refusing Canadians (due to the high volume when the border reopened and tests were required), but I have not gotten any at all from Washington state. And testimonials keep coming in that Walgreens still works fine everywhere else in the country 🙂

      1. Kelly

        Which land border have these reports come from?

      2. Kelly

        Is the time frame the same for testing? A test taken within 72 hrs in order to get back into Canada?

  48. Aaron

    just back from trip to tucson.made appointments at Walgreen’s tested us both took 5 minutes. emailed back results in 3 hrs.what a money saver.Thanks for the tips

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Aaron, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Arizona 🙂!

  49. Lorraine

    Thanks Andrew! We used this process in September returning from Texas and then again returning from Mexico via USA in November to avoid having to do an expensive PCR test in Mexico. We used Walgreen’s Rapid ID NOW test at two different Detroit locations (one location each time). We did have to show ID both times but there was no problem with using our Canadian passports. The results came back in 50 minutes the first time. The second time we were traveling as a group of four. Two people out of our group got their results in less than an hour. The other two had to wait almost 8 hours for their results. We called Walgreen’s after 5 hours and they really couldn’t explain why two would be done and the other two not. So be prepared to stay the night if the test results don’t come through quickly!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Lorraine, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!
      That delay is strange for sure, especially since 8 hours is now the longest I’ve ever seen anyone mention to get the RAPID ID NOW results. Still well within the “24 hours” they promise, but certainly not as convenient for a day trip for sure.

  50. Kelly

    Hi, do we know if the NAAT tests will still be accepted at the border now that the testing requirement is back in place for trips shorter than 72 hours?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, it’s not yet in effect by the way, only for Canadians entering Canada starting on December 21st. But that’s very soon indeed.
      So yes, the RAPID ID NOW (NAAT) is absolutely accepted to enter Canada, nothing has changed on this front 🙂

  51. Zeeshan

    Hello Andrew, My return flight from Orlando, FL is on Monday 10 am, dec 27. Is it bad timing? Do Walgreens process PCR or NAAT test during the weekends? Monday is the best day for me to return but if it would jeoprdize my chances of getting free test result I could consider moving return to dec 31.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, both of my free NAATs at Walgreens were on weekends, got results in hours. This wasn’t during the holidays, but they say 24 hours for the NAAT so I don’t think that would be affected 🙂

  52. Diane

    Booked our ID Now (NAAT) tests at Walgreens in Phoenix using the address of the house we were renting. Did not have to show any ID, even though it said to bring ID. Results for husband and I came back within 2 hours. No issues with this test when boarding our plane for home. Thanks for this great tip!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Diane, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!

  53. Eileen

    Hi Andrew, we got our ID NOW testing results within 2 hrs in Wahington state. Thanks so much for posting the step by step guild of make testing appointment , we just showed our Ontraio driving licence plus confirmation of appointment. Thanks again.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Eileen, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!

  54. Aisha

    I just want to let people know that if you plan to travel to US and want to take advantage of the free test. Do not do it over the weekend. I submitted the test on sat at 10am at wallgreens and now it’s Monday night, Well over 58hrs and I still haven’t gotten my results. I’m just an hr away from the border and just so scared that won’t even get it till we’ll before 72hrs. I did another test today from cvs just as precaution.. I called wallgreens and they said that weekend sample don’t get processed till Monday and it’s the end of the day now. Hope the results come soon.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, yeah if you did the PCR that is much riskier indeed, unfortunately. That’s why we recommend doing the NAAT (RAPID ID NOW) which gives results in a few hours, weekends included. At least in the states where it is available (most of the states have it).

    2. Aisha

      It’s post 72hrs and I never got results from wallgreens for my pcr test. I think NAAT would’ve been a safe choice but it wasn’t available. I eventually paid to get test done since I want to head back home soon.

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Yeah, that’s unfortunate. I think the issue is mostly during weekends since unlike NAATs, pharmacies have to ship PCR samples to a lab and that slows down the process :S

  55. Tamara

    Hi Andrew,

    Since there are no NAAT tests in Palm Springs, I was looking at Curative. They offer these options. Are both of these tests valid to return to Canada by air? (The second is a rapid PCR).

    1
    Lab SARS-CoV-2 PCR Test
    Available for symptomatic or asymptomatic patients
    Pooled testing option available for eligible partners
    Fast turnaround time, typically within 1-2 days upon receipt at the lab

    2
    Rapid PCR Test, Accula SARS-CoV-2
    FDA EUA approved
    Available for symptomatic or asymptomatic patients
    Rapid test, results typically within 3-4 hours

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, yeah if it’s a PCR it’s accepted 🙂 Rapid or not. Antigen tests are the ones to watch out for (not accepted).

      1. Tamara

        Perfect! Thank you!

      2. preci

        hello andrew is las vegas walgreens is free covid test as well? or only certain states is free?

      3. Andrew D'Amours

        Free in Las Vegas too, many readers have left testimonials here about using it in Vegas 🙂

  56. Terrence

    Hi Andrew, thank you for the information. I did the NAAT test and got the result back in less than 3 hours. No problem flying back to Canada. I am going to US again but won’t have a car. Just wondering if I can still do my covid test at Walgreens using the drive-through without a car? Thank you in advance.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Terrence, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!
      And it seems it really requires a car, I might test it out by walking to the drive-through this week to see.

      1. Terrence

        Thank you Andrew. I shared your link with all the people who will be at the meeting with me. Your information was very helpful as I didn’t know about the NAAT test. So I did the PCR test the first couple times at Walgreens and that was very stressful! Thanks again for your quick response!

  57. Terrence

    Hi Andrew thank you for the tips! I did the NAAT test in New Jersey and had no problem flying back to Canada last month!

    I am going to US again but this time I won’t have a car! There is a Walgreens within walking distance from my hotel. Can I just walk there to do the test using the drive through window?

    Thank you in advance for your help!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Honestly, I haven’t tried it and they say that a car is mandatory, but I don’t know if they would turn you away. Possibly. If anyone else reads this and has tried it on foot, let us know. Or I might even try it myself this week, I need a free NAAT in Miami. We’ll see.

      1. Gulnara

        Hi Andrew,
        We just returned from Miami and got tested NAAT from Walgreens drive through . If you don’t have a car you can take a Uber and drive through, it’s worked for us. The result was ready in 40 minutes!!! It’s Sunday. Thank you so much Andrew for your valuable advice!

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi Gulnara, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
        Hope you enjoyed your trip to Miami 🙂! If you go back, I just tried BeeperMD over there it’s even better. They come to you. Results guaranteed in 36 hours. Will write up a post about it soon.

  58. Tina.

    As of today’s date (Dec.2/21) U.S. re-entry requirement is: a negative Covid antigen test one day before flying. My question to you is, is there somewhere in Toronto that also has Free covid antigen testing.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      No not as of today, as of December 6th. Article being published as we speak, will add link.

    2. Amanda

      Tina, you should know that that is only for “Air” travel and not for crossing at a land border just to clarify , at least for now.

  59. Soup

    I drove to the states along with 6 other Canadian family members for Thanksgiving. I am an Avid traveler but sadly it was my first trip outside of Ontario since February of 2020. I saw the article you were featured in on the CBC and decided I would try my luck. I tried to tell my family members to do the same but they refused to believe it was possible. The 6 of them spent 900USD on PCR tests which they took on Friday and did not receive their results till Sunday. I on the other hand, booked a NAAT test at Walgreen’s on Sunday. I took the test at 10:50Am and received my results at 11:57Am. I didn’t have to pay a dime and it was valid at the boarder. My family was shocked that they basically paid around 1100CAD for absolutely nothing! I am so glad I found you and your website! Thank you! It’s great to know that I can freely travel the states without having to consider the cost of a PCR test in the future 🙂

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Soup, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 A shame your family didn’t want to try it, that’s a lot of money!!
      Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!

  60. Doug Durst

    November 29 2021
    Andrew my wife and I booked an appointment and did the naat test this morning and got our results this afternoon. We followed your directions and did this in OFallon Missouri. There was no cost to us to get this done. We used our daughters address in OFallon and our Canadian email,phone numbers and driver’s license. Thanks for posting this it helped us for sure.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Doug, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!

  61. Arina

    Hello Andrew, thank you for your advices! I did the NAAT test at Pawtucket, RI and got my result in exactly two hours! There were no issues at the border. Thank you so much for helping me save 130$, I cannot believe that I was ready to pay this money before I found your post.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Arina, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!

  62. Erin

    Hello Andrew! I am flying from Portland, OR to Vancouver, BC next weekend. I have made my appointment for the test here in the US (it’s free!) but I was wondering if you have similar tips for where to get the antigen/tests in Canada for my return to the US. The rules are not as strict – it is “3 days” instead of “72 hours” as required by Canada. Are there free options where I could make an appointment in Vancouver for my test? I arrive on 12/9 and return on 12/13. Thank you!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi! No unfortunately Canada does not provide free tests for travelers :S

  63. Masha

    Can I get 3 PCR appointments just in case? PCR tests in LA are leally long turnaround time, there are no NAAT free tests/ I only have 42 hours! help!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, there’s nothing stopping you from getting as many tests as you want formally, they are free. If you are okay with it ethically 😛 (which is a personal decision, not a rule or anything).

  64. Jenn

    Thank you for saving us money. Last Saturday we drove across the Bluewater bridge to Michigan and stayed a couple of days. We booked an appointment at walgreens a few days prior and then while we were there we took the IDNOW test. It was simple and no problems at all. We showed a canadian license and my daughters passport. Results for myself were in within an hour but my daughters wasn’t in so i had to call the next morning to have it re-sent by email. The first email didn’t go through. No issues coming back into canada with the test results. A huge thank you for your advice.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Jenn, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!

  65. Ysabel

    It’s free only for Canadian or for other citizenship?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, no it’s free for anyone, they have no requirements whatsoever 🙂

      1. Kelly Bouchard

        So I’ve used this method 3 times now to get back into Canada without any issue!

        Something to be shared…this last time, I was given a randomized take home covid test when crossing back into Canada. It’s through Switch Health and you randomly have to do either a day 1 or day 8 test. You do it with a nurse over video and you send your test back via Purolator. Interesting!

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Thanks for sharing 🙂 And yes, Canada does random tests on arrival (like many countries do).

  66. Dasha

    Andrew, so appreciate this article!!! Thank you so very much! We flew from Hawaii to Canada on November the 8th. Did our free PCR tests on Kauai island of Hawaii in drive-thru pharmacy for 4 people (2 adults and 2 kids), some places wanted to charge us from $130-175 US. Thank you for saving our family more than $600 US. Canada gladly accepted the test. All went well.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Dasha, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Kauai 🙂!

      1. Dasha

        I will absolutely do that!!!

  67. Valérie

    Hi Andrew, do you know if we need to print the COVID test result to pass the land border or if showing the results on our phone is accepted?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Lloyd

      In our case, we don’t have a cellphone with data and we did not have access to a working printer (I used the ArriveCan on-line version). I just saved the test results as a .pdf document on my laptop.
      At the border, I handed over Passports ( with Vax info printouts), opened the document, handed my laptop to the CBS officer, who scrolled through the pages, and said “Looks good, carry on”. He handed back my laptop, and we headed for home.
      Andrew is ‘Da man!’

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Haha 🙂 Thank you! And thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

  68. Gino

    Anyone tried in Honolulu, HI? Able to book via CVS but would prefer Walgreens as it appears to be more successful.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Some readers used Walgreens in Honolulu and it worked, but since there is only one it was important to book as early as possible.

  69. Pat

    Not sure if you would know the answer to this question or not. Got our ID Now tests today and within an hour our results were back. Problem is one of the people in our group transposed his birthday. For example he put Jan. 2nd instead of Feb. 1st. Any idea if this will cause an issue at the land border if the covid test birthday doesn’t match his passport. I would also like to thank you again for this site. Without it we would not have known about the ID Now test. No stress of waiting for results and it was free. Hopefully the birthday doesn’t cause any issues.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      I would assume the agent would be reasonable enough to understand that Canadians can make a mistake since the US uses the MM/DD/YYYY format instead of our DD/MM/YYYY format. Especially at the land border (the agents can’t deny your entry unlike airline agents who check your documents before a flight and can do whatever they want).
      Maybe it could be worth trying to contact the lab anyway, to see if they can just correct it and resend a report. Worse thing that happens is they say no.

  70. Lloyd

    My wife and I just returned today from Seattle (Kent, actually) via Osoyoos. We actually delayed our trip by a couple of days because of trouble getting appointment for test (IDNow) . We arrived at site 20 minutes early, no line, so up we went (driving BC-licensed truck), used CDN passport for ID. Told the truth: our insurance does not cover test! All done and on the road 15 minutes ahead of our first of two consecutive appointments, free of charge.
    Results arrived in email 1hr 25 minutes later.
    I was concerned because I didn’t have access to a printer and my stored copy of results was without ‘QR’ Code block. Guess what, the ‘POE’ does not have a code reader, and I needed visual readable file of test results. Thank God I had also stored that document on my laptop (because I needed it for upload to ArriveCan on-line).

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Lloyd, no QR code is required by Canada. So glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip🙂!

  71. Lynette Filipov

    My daughter will be leaving Portland OR for Ontario, on the 4th. The Walgreens website says the test is $129. Have things changed since the border reopened? Also, she doesn’t have a driver’s license…would her passport do?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Not sure where you are seeing that on their website?

      Still says free, no changes recently 🙂

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Yeah there’s nothing to worry about. They even write it in bold twice. It’s free 🙂 The government pays the tab.

    2. Lloyd

      If I understand it correctly, that is what they would bill your insurance carrier, if you had insurance.
      As for the ID: It’s just to verify the name, DoB and visual all match (they’re testing the correct person).

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Exactly 🙂
        The government probably requires them to publicly list the cost to insurers.

      2. Lynette Filipov

        Thank you Lloyd and Andrew for clearing that up for me! They paid $165 for tests to go to Hawaii last month, so if she can get tested for free, that’s awesome!

  72. Laura

    My husband and I followed your advice and it worked like a charm in Houston at Walgreens! Booked the NAAT test, took an Uber for the drive-through, showed them our Ontario drivers’ licenses, results back in three hours, flew home on Sunday, Nov 21st. Thank you!!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Laura, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Houston 🙂!

  73. Adam

    Was a bit skeptical not knowing if this would work or not. I was fully expecting to pay $200 and to wait 24-48 hours for my results.

    Today I went to a NY testing centre and had pre-booked a NAAT test. I showed up and showed my Canadian driver’s license and gave them my Canadian address (used NY as the state and the testing location zip, the rest was legit). Literally, 40 minutes later I got the email saying I was negative. This was so simple and FREE!

    If it wasn’t for you and CBC for doing the article I would have never known. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do as you saved me big time!!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Adam, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!

    2. Francine

      What should i enter in the form to schedule an Appointment where it requires to select a state and then enter the drivers licence numérique or state id. It doesn’t accept My Québec drivers licence number even when sélective N/A for the state.

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Should work fine if you just enter the QC number by selecting the state where you will be doing the test, at least that’s what those who chose the PCR instead of the NAAT have said here in the comments

  74. Pamela Bourque

    I made my appointment for Wednesday at Walgreens I didn’t check off International travel does that matter. Can you go back in to make some changes.

  75. Fred King

    They did. I have a US passport. I showed them that to be safe. I know that may not help . But it seems they just want to verify who you are and date of birth. I have read here many people have used their Canadian license and it went well. It almost seems to me that walgreens must be getting reimbursed by the government. So it’s a numbers game for them.

  76. Qasim

    I am visiting Maryland next week and have booked the test via Walgreens. The standard email received from them requires to show an id at the drive-thru. Did they ask an id from anyone else or is it just name and DOB ?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      They might ask for an ID but as mentioned in the post, it doesn’t need to be a US ID 🙂

    2. Lorraine Thomson

      They just asked our names. No ID, no email confirmation. Nothing. We went to Walgreens. Results in 45 min!

  77. Michelle and Matthias

    I didn’t know this site existed until my dentist told me when he shared his experience of being able to get his COVID PCR test for free! We were talking about how 10 adults and 2 infants in our family were all going to Las Vegas for a family reunion on Oct 29th-Nov 12th (Friday).

    Previously, 4 of them also went to Vegas in July… we did research before, and we found Worksite Labs for 90 USD while Walgreens was charging 129 USD… so we thought of using Worksite Labs again.

    But after learning about this article, we read through and followed the instructions for booking our COVID PCR Test going back to Canada. The comments were also very helpful as our questions were already answered! We went on Walgreens website and booked for each adult… there were 2 Walgreens (rainbow and warm springs) both within 3 minutes away from where we stayed… half of our group went to one location while the other half to the other. The earliest appointment we booked for was on a Tuesday at 12:45pm, and the latest was at 3:45pm. As long as you are booked though, it seems that you could come in at anytime but the test results would display the booking time as your sample time.

    We had a little panic when our group who took the test earlier from the other location (rainbow) didn’t get our results after almost 36 hours while the other group from the other location (warm springs) already got theirs within 24 hours. What caused the panic was because the person who administered our test said the results would arrive “3-5 days” (rainbow), not “1-3 days” (warm springs). But we kept praying and believing that the results would arrive on time m, and they did just after midnight… so by Thursday morning, we all have our negative test results for our Friday flight and got them uploaded into ArriveCan prior to our check-in time.

    Anyway, we are super grateful for this helpful information. We have shared this to other people we’ve met in our travels! Some people we talked to in the airport said it cost them 230 USD/person to pay for their PCR test!

    This definitely saved us so much! Thanks, Andrew and Flytrippers!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Vegas 🙂!

      1. Michelle and Matthias

        Yes, definitely! Thanks, Andrew. We’re grateful that we got to use the money we saved to see more places and experience new things, like an Area15 Omega Mart, oxygen bar and a Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, just to make a few!

        We’ll be sure to share your site with other people! 😃

        All the best,
        Michelle and Matthias

  78. Patrica

    If you have more than 1 person needing to get the test (2 total in my case) do you have the option of booking 1 appointment for two people or do you need to book 2 separate appointments?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I’ve always done it alone so I don’t recall, sorry. But if you try their online booking tools it will tell you if you can do more than one. If I had to guess, I think you’ll need separate appointments though.

    2. Jill

      There were seven of us that went to Walgreens in Las Vegas. We all had to have our own appts which were 15 minutes apart, however they took all of us at once, in two vehicles and we arrived a half hour before our appts! You do need to at least start by having individual appts though so they have the contact info (emails etc) for you individually.

  79. Ramya

    Hello Andrew,
    Thanks for such detailed information. This is very helpful. I am driving to West Chester, PA on 24th Nov and returning on 28th Nov. I just booked the Rapid ID test for my family at the nearest Walgreens in West Chester on 26th Nov. I did not need to enter any ID info at the time of booking, however the email confirmation is asking me to bring insurance and state ID. My son, who is 8 years old obviously does not have a license. Will his Canadian passport work? Also, I am just concerned that they are asking for insurance information. Is that standard?
    Thanks again for your help.
    Ramya.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes, it’s standard as mentioned in the post, they have to ask for insurance but it is not required. I haven’t done it with kids but based on the testimonials of other travelers I don’t think it will be an issue at all 🙂

      1. Ramya

        Thanks so much for your article. The tests were easy and no hassles at all. We were not asked for any ID and at the border, there were absolutely no problems. You saved us easily over 500 CAD. Thanks again.
        Ramya.

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi Ramya, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
        Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂!

  80. Erik

    Hi
    We read this site and booked the Rapid ID Test at Walgreens. Amazing to not have to pay for the test.

    We were in White Plains, NY, the closest Walgreens was in Stamford Connecticut, just a 12 minute drive.
    We booked online but note it is best to book in advance – and not all Walgreens do the Rapid ID Test.
    We booked Thursday and had a Sunday morning appointment – up to then it was booked.

    Also note you need to look at the pharmacy hours, esp. if you book an early time. We booked for 9:30 and the pharmacy didn’t open until 10, so we had to wait 1/2 hour.

    Just follow the steps above – it’s very easy. Results were returned in about 40 minutes! Thanks for this site information.

    What bothered us . . . . returning to the peace bridge by car, the border agent didn’t ask if we received any test at all! He just let us through. I would be seriously angered if we paid $300 US and weren’t even required to show the test. It shows the system is so broken.

    And as the previous poster said, the NATIONAL last night repeated that the paid molecular test mantra. Makes the case there is always a workaround. Thanks Andrew.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Erik, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to the US 🙂!
      And as for the media, well yeah I can tell you first hand that they often just don’t really understand the nuances of a specific topic like this, unfortunately. I’m sure they try their best but they are pressured to do more and more and if you are not an expert in travel rules, you think that all tests are all super expensive… like most travelers do sadly, since they rely on these media outlets :S

  81. Diana

    So glad we found your information on NAAT tests. We got ours at a Walgreens in Arizona, no charge, results in 1 hour. We had booked the test at the outer limit of the 72 hours to ensure we would have the results in time, and then the flight was delayed by an hour! If it had been delayed any longer we would have exceeded the 72 hour window. We filled in the ArriveCAN app but there was no way to upload the test results there so we carried copies on our cell phone and also hard copies. At Phoenix airport, no one asked to see the results; they were checking about every tenth person at the gate. At YYZ no one asked to see the results. PS – why do so many reporters (print and digital) refer only to the PCR test instead of the more generic molecular test? No wonder everyone thinks only a PCR test will suffice.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Diana, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Arizona 🙂!

      As for the media, well yeah I can tell you first hand that they often just don’t really understand the nuances of a specific topic like this, unfortunately. I’m sure they try their best but they are pressured to do more and more and if you are not an expert in travel rules, you think PCRs are the only ones accepted and that unfortunately misleads a lot of people :S

  82. Arina

    Hello, do you know if there’s a chance that I get the PCR result before Sunday if I do it Friday morning at Walgreens/CVS? NAAT is not available in Massachusetts and my return ticket to Canada is Sunday at 1pm…

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, ideally you should do it on Thursday afternoon to increase your chances of getting it back in time. It’s quite possible that you will get it, but unlike the rapid NAATs, there’s no guarantee (especially since it’s free haha).

      1. Arina

        All good, I decided to do a NAAT on Rhode Island Friday morning after all, I shouldn’t have a problem having it before Sunday (fingers crossed hahah). Thank you for the reply!

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        With the NAAT you will most definitely be okay 🙂

  83. patrick

    Just worked for me! got a covid NAAT test in portland on sunday at walgreens and easily used it to cross the Peace Arch border on tuesday. no hassle at all. The only thing that was slightly stressful was my partner got her test results back about 5 hours before me. so those five hours i was stressed about what my test results would be, but they were all good!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Patrick, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Oregon 🙂!

  84. Jovelyn

    Hi, I tried booking for my “free covid test” for Walgreens and it’s asking for my state/License ID. I only have canadian license ID. Is there a way for me to work a loophole in this, will greatly appreciate it. My family is in the states so I’ve been flying back since covid started and paying $140 usd for PCR test, slowly gets heavy on the budget.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, just enter your Canadian driver’s license number and select the state you will be in, as explained in the post, they don’t require you to have State ID it’s just that their online form isn’t built for foreign IDs.

  85. Pat

    Hi! Does the ID Now test work for driving into Canada? Or is it just for flying? We have a pcr test booked but it falls during the Thanksgiving holiday so we are worried the lab time will be long. The ID now test sounds so much better. Fingers crossed it works for driving too. Thanks!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, yes Canada accepts the same tests by plane or by land so the NAATs (ID NOW) work 🙂

      1. Pat

        Thank you! Got appts. booked for the ID NOW test and feel much better about it. Great site for information and I really appreciate your help!

    2. Fred King

      Hi..I had the IDNOW test. I drove into Canada at the Peace Bridge at Buffalo. There was no problem at all..Actually went very smooth. That test is approved and I got my results back within an hour and a half

      1. Pat

        Thank you for verifying that its for the land borders too. Will be much nicer knowing we should have our test results back in time. I appreciate your help.

      2. Nancy

        Did they ask for any kind of an ID at the Drive-thru?

      3. Andrew D'Amours

        Not in my case, but many have been asked and just showed their Canadian ID with no issues 🙂

  86. Kris

    For land entry – is the pdf version on your phone acceptable OR do they need the paper copy?

      1. Pam

        I’m trying to schedule an appointment and it isn’t allowing me to enter my Canadian license number. What did you use for that

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        You can enter your Canadian license number, just select the state you are in. You do not need US ID to get the free test, as mentioned in the article, it’s only to ID you and their form is just not built for foreign ID.

  87. Kelly M

    Hey Andrew, just thought I’d pass on my experience getting flying back from NYC today. We had booked online at the same Walgreens you visited on Broad st in Newark but on our walk from Penn station in Manhattan to the hotel, I noticed popup tents with a van beside it and they were advertising free PCR tests. It literally was as easy as quickly going to their website http://www.labq.com and filling out some info (same as you using the hotel address and skipping over everything else that wasn’t required) They quickly send you an email with a QR code and you just walk up with it to the van and they scan it, swab each nostril and then email you the results. They said it would take 24-36 hrs so I kept the original app’t at the Walgreens just in case because we didn’t get tested until Sunday morning at 10:00am (they are closed on Saturdays) and our flight was at 8:30pm the next day. When I woke up on Monday I had a text and an email that the results were ready. They sent it in a .pdf so it was easy to display to the airline.

    So it was a great option as we didn’t have to leave Manhattan but your readers shouldn’t chance cutting it as close as we did. I honestly didn’t think the results would be back in time but i don’t think that many are getting tested. The popups were literally all over Manhattan so you won’t have far to go from wherever you are staying. Thanks for the info on the Walgreens as I have no doubt that would have worked. Hopefully some readers can take advantage of the option I used as well.

    Cheers!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Kelly, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience (that’s what we heard about NYC being even easier) and we really appreciate if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to NYC 🙂 !

  88. Sophie

    In response to Gareman’s question for traveling to Vegas. Here is what our experience was:

    Three of us booked our covid Rapid ID NOW (Naats) test at Walgreen Pharmacy online, 1101 Las Vegas Blvd. South. We booked on Nov. 8 or 9 (can’t recall), but I kept checking online to see when it was available for Nov. 11th which was 72 hours before going home on the 14th. The address we used for the online form was the hotel we were going to stay at. The 3 of us used Uber to drive over to the pharmacy. We explained to the driver, and he was okay to wait in line in the car with us, and he told us that he brought other visitors for their test to this pharmacy. It took about 15-20 minutes when we got to the window. They asked for ID, we gave them our Cdn. passports, no problem. We administered our own tests, very easy with explanation from the fella behind the glass. Swabs returned, and we had our results in our emails that evening, about 6 hours later. All negative of course. So easy, and free. Andrew thank you so much for your guidance and information. Saves a lot of money. We will definitely do the same thing going for a day trip to Buffalo in December, with a test booked first thing in the morning and we will have a back up plan to spend the night if we need to.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Sophie, so glad we could help you save money 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience and we really appreciate if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it helps us a lot 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Vegas 🙂 !

    2. Pam

      I am heading there soon. Did you get the NAAT rest (ID now) or did you get the free PCR test and how long did it take to get results

      1. Sophie

        Pam, it was the Rapid ID NOW test, which is a NAAT test.

  89. Kelly

    Hi! I was recently in Michigan and did this exact thing! Booked a Rapid ID Now test through the Walgreen’s app and used my hotel address. They didn’t ask for my ID or anything when I went for my test, just confirmed my name and date of birth and the hotel address. Did my own swab and off I went. I had my results within an hour and had absolutely zero issues getting back into Canada with the results and for FREE! Thank you so much!!!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Kelly, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂 !

  90. Jill

    Just wanted to post a comment after stumbling on this article when trying to find a cost effective PCR test for a weekend trip to Vegas recently. The cost of the tests nearly necessitated cancellation of our trip as we were expecting to pay about $1600 total for our family of four to test each way. After reading your article we (and the other family we were travelling with) all booked NAAT tests at a Walgreens about an 8 min cab ride away from our hotel. All seven of us travelled through the drive through testing process in a matter of about ten minutes and all of us had test results within about two hours. At the test site we were asked for our drivers licences to prove our identity. When booking the test I simply used the hotel address. The woman conducting the test could not have been more friendly and helpful. Though we were worried there would be a hitch, there was not one. Everything went flawlessly and we were back to enjoying our trip in no time. On the way down we booked antigen tests through a new air Canada service. Two tests were $79 and we did them at home using our phones with a nurse on a video call. Also stressful but straightforward. Much MUCH cheaper than what we were scheduled to pay at a local testing office here in Victoria. So, we saved a lot of money on testing in the end but don’t even get me started on how expensive Las Vegas was! Thanks!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Jill, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Vegas 🙂 !

  91. Brad

    Hi I tried to book a test on cvs and Walgreens and they ask for drivers license/state I’d along with the state your is is for. What would you add here or is this new and limiting these tests now?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, this is not new they’ve always asked this for PCRs and all the readers here in the comments have just used their Canadian drivers’ license 🙂

  92. Colleen

    We just went to Buffalo, NY and did the ID NOW (NAAT). No issues at all, thanks so much for saving us so much money!!!! 💕

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Colleen, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂 !

  93. Orienna

    Just took my mom to Walgreens in Bell County, TX for the RAPID ID NOW test and no problems whatsoever. Had the result in less than 2 hrs. She’s visiting me from Canada and flies back home on Monday. Thanks for this awesome info!!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Orienna, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂 !

  94. Maria

    Hi Andrew. I am Canadian and and I have a park-model home at an RV site in WA state. We pay membership fees, but we do not pay property taxes. I was following your advise and booked a covid test at Walgreens in Bellingham, WA for my return trip into Canada. However, a Canadian friend that just crossed the border was given the following unsolicited information my the US border guard…. “Are you aware that the Walgreens Covid test is for American citizens and if you go and get it down for free in the near future they will send you a bill for your test. Also he pointed out that not providing truthful information is a Federal offence!”. Since we have a place in WA that we can not afford any future trouble with the Federal border guards. What is your advise?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      That is just false, you will not find a mention of these tests being for Americans anywhere at all because they are not for Americans only. You should most definitely not provide untruthful information, but you most certainly do not need to do that to get a free test. They ask for a US address. They don’t say it has to be your home or anything. If you are in the US and are staying at that address, there is a literally zero percent chance of having any trouble at all. And the Walgreens website clearly says no one will be billed for the test, so don’t believe everything you hear 😉 Things might change, but as of now, it is 100% allowed.

      1. Simon

        Hi Andrew, first I would like to thank you for your amazing article written about free covid tests available for Canadian citizens in the US. Second I was wondering, since you said that you had received both the NAATs test and the PCR test at Walgreens in the USA. Is the procedure them same for both tests? Is the nose swab identical? Or is the PCR test nose swab deeper than the NAATs nose swab. Thank you for your reply in advance!

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, the free PCR I got was not with Walgreens so I’m not sure what they do there specifically (mine was a saliva PCR). Maybe some of the other readers who did the Walgreens PCR can help by telling us how it worked!

  95. Terry

    Thank you so much for this information!!!
    I’m going to be in Palm Springs over Christmas and was worried about the cost of the PCR test to come back home to Canada.
    I contacted BeeperMD and they confirmed they are open over the holidays and give PCR tests for free! They didn’t come up when searching on my own so thanks!!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Terry, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
      Hope you enjoy your trip to California later on 🙂 !

  96. Jeff

    Headed to Vegas in the second week of December. Anyone commented on the ability to get the Walgreens test in Vegas itself. I would like to put the money toward something special, not gambling. Any feedback would be appreciated.? Otherwise an option to purchase the test may be available cheaper in Detroit where I will cross the border to fly out of the USA. Also do I need an antigen test to fly within the US as a Canadian citizen after crossing the border into Detroit by car?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I know many of the testimonials here are from Vegas.
      You do not need a test to enter by land or to fly domestically in the US (like almost every country in the world). Just yesterday, 2 million passengers flew in the US and they would certainly not tolerate vaccine/test requirements there (cultural differences…) and so there aren’t any at all.

  97. VANESSA WONG

    🙂 Worked for me and my husband. We went down to DisneyWorld Orlando. We did a PCR test at Walgreens near the Disney Resort we stayed at. I would say if you want to do the PCR test, do it as close to 72 hours as possible. Our 72 hours window would have started at 8pm on Monday and our flight was Thursday afternoon but we weren’t renting a car until Tuesday (all day because that was our shopping day, no theme parks). So on Tuesday, we took our rental car and did the test first thing in the morning at 9:30am. I did panic a little bit because it was cutting close. I got my results at 2am on Thursday which was roughly 40 hours after I got tested. When I booked the appointment, I just used my father in law’s California address and my BC DL number. When I got there, they didn’t even ID me, just passed the nose swab bags to me to self test and when I was done, passed it back to her.

    Much thanks for this tip. I paid for my rapid test at the airport flying down to Orlando and NO ONE checked me for it before entering US. Yet this free test got checked twice going back to Canada (connecting flight).

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Vanessa, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂 !

  98. Tamara

    Hi Andrew,

    If Canada changes the requirements in the next few weeks and for example, an antigen test is permitted to fly to Canada from the States. Do you know where I can get one in Palm Springs for free?

    Thank you!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, the same places in this post that offer free PCR also almost all offer antigen tests 🙂

      1. Tamara

        Perfect! Thank you, Andrew! Crossing my fingers that it will be switched to an Antigen test or cancelled out completely for the vaccinated!

    2. Christina Small

      I can 100% confirm that Walgreens does not ask for any ID other the confirmation of DOB when getting the NAAT/IDNow test!
      We rolled up 5 minutes prior (In Tilton,NH) both my mother and I tested, were told results would be back in about an hour.
      26 minutes later, our results were emailed back to us!

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi Christina, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
        Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂 !

  99. Karen

    Great information – thanks so much for sharing! I am itching to cross the border to shop but I would be nervous that the border agents would give me a hassle that my covid test result has my name with a US address (my hotel) versus my Canadian address when I show my passport. There’s no concern with this? If they do inquire, would you just show the hotel receipt with the same address as your test? Thanks

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, there is literally a zero percent chance that you would have an issue because as explained in the post, the only personal information Canada requires on the test is your name and date of birth 🙂

    2. Fred King

      I used my friends address in Florida when I got my test. No problem at the border. It was actually very easy, along with the arrivecan app

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        To be clear there is a zero percent chance of having an issue at the border, the issue is just getting the test and getting the results in time. The border rules are very clear and they don’t suddenly decide not to accept tests that are on the approved list 🙂

  100. Dawn

    Just wondering if I am asked for ID at a Walgreens and I show my Canadian passport should I be ok? I know you said they usually don’t ask but if they do that is all I have (I don’t have a license).

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, if you choose the NAAT they won’t ask you for ID but if it’s the PCR I really can’t imagine it being an issue since it is not reserved for Americans as mentioned 🙂

      1. Jill

        Andrew we recently had NAAT tests at Walgreens and they did ask for ID but I think that was only to verify the name for the test. She didn’t bat an eye when we all got out our BC drivers licences.

  101. Raphael

    Any recommendations on what ID to use on the online form when a family member does not have a Canadian driver’s license?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, if you are doing the NAAT they won’t ask for ID, but if it’s a PCR again it’s just to identify you so since there is no residency or citizenship requirement, a Canadian passport should do fine but I haven’t had to present any ID so I can’t say for sure :S

      1. Fred King

        I had to show ID in Palm Beach Gardens Fla. But I am an American citizen and still have a US passport, that’s what I showed

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Yeah as an American there is no issue for sure haha, still glad you could save though :)!

  102. Kristina

    Recently returned from Anaheim CA and CVS was charging $139 USD for the NAAT. I’m not sure what has changed to get a free test. We are a family of 5 it wasn’t cheap.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, thanks for sharing your experience. As mentioned in the post CVS really gives mixed results so it’s best to prioritize Walgreens whenever possible. Some CVS locations seem to have decided to try to make money off of Canadians :S

  103. Lucia

    Visiting my friends in Baltimore for Thanksgiving
    Can’t find anywhere to get a free NAAT test.
    Walgreens web site has no locations in Maryland that will do test
    Any suggestions?

  104. Shay

    I’m curious where I can find a free test in San Francisco. The websites are very confusing and if you call they put you on hold forever! I found drive-thru tests at Walgreens, so does that mean that you have to rent a car in order to get a test?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Well, you can simply take a taxi too, since the whole process takes under 5 minutes, even with the meter running that won’t cost that much. But yes, Walgreens specifically only does drive-thru testing, although many readers said they found locations that do free tests with no car by searching. But that might not be in every city in the US of course.

      1. Shay

        Will a taxi take you through a covid testing site?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Many here have done it with a taxi, I don’t see why it would be an issue for the driver really 🙂

  105. Tim

    I was hoping this would remain a relatively unknown thing but it’s hitting the national news.

    I’ve gotten at least 4 free PCR tests in the US at CVS. Book online, provide any sort of info for the insurance policy number etc and go to the drive through.

    I’ve gotten my results within 24 hours each time. Plenty of time to cross the border by land or air.

    I got both doses of Pfizer back in March/April in the US as well with my Canadian ID. I may head down just for the booster.

    I should have not registered my vaccination status here in Ontario – I could have gone for a couple more shots here too. I’m 7 months fully vaxxed but only 51 so I’ll be waiting for a booster for a while if I don’t head back to the US for one.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Tim, thanks for sharing your experience with CVS 🙂 Glad it worked for you too 🙂

  106. Tamara

    Hi Andrew,

    I am looking at a CVS location for a PCR/NAAT test in California. I looked at the questions and one question in asking if I have insurance, Medicare, etc. It is too early for me to book a slot as my trip isn’t until next month, but what would I fill out?

    I would be using the test to fly back to Canada.

    Thank you!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, well since you don’t have Medicare and don’t have insurance that covers COVID-19 tests, you’d simply say no and that’s it really 🙂

      1. Tamara

        Hi Andrew,
        I am Canadian and do have a Medicare card.
        What would I then fill out?
        Thanks

        Tamara

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        If you have a US Medicare card, then just fill that info. If you are talking about a Canadian Medicare card, that is useless in the USA so you do not have insurance there for tests, write that 🙂

    2. Fred King

      I had the same concern about the insurance. I am a US citizen, permanent resident of Canada. But I declined my Medicare when I retired because I didn’t need it in Canada. BUT, I was NOT asked for any proof of insurance at the time of the test. I just told them I had an appointment, she found my test kit. I did have to show ID. Even IF they ask for insurance, just tell them you don’t have any.
      There was a doctors name on my test and it also said I saved $129. I too had concerns about all this , even after reading this thread on flytrippers. But it all went very well

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi Fred, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
        Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂 !

  107. Eva

    Good morning,
    Would anyone have an information about free PCR molecular/NAAT testing in NYC for Canadians, please.
    Thank you in advance.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I know there are no pharmacies but a few readers said they fond public testing sites and used those fine, just a bit more research for that destination 🙂

    2. Guylaine Paul

      Hi Eva, i’m a Canadian currently doing a PCR in Brooklyn at Walgreens. We chose PCR and Brooklyn/NJ were the closest location with PCR testing. It went fine, we had no problem with booking /ID. I can update as to how long it took to get results.

  108. Susan

    Can confirm free CVS PCR testing available in Florida. A bit confusing when relaying how to receive your results…just wait for email confirmation ( also available with through texted link which I would not advise using and phone)

  109. Sarah

    Has anyone gotten a test in Sarasota, Florida at Walgreens? Booked to get my NAAT one tomorrow and hoping it goes all smoothly.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      I can predict with very high certainty that it will go fine 🙂 But please update us when you get your results 🙂

      1. Sarah

        Tests went well! They never asked for ID. Just date of birth! But, received an email saying your RX Perscription is ready for pick up. Lists Covid test kit-rapid Id now. Should we also get a seperate email with results?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi Sarah, it seems to depend on the location since each time I just received a simple email with the link for results. How did it end up working?

      3. Sarah

        Had our tests at 10:30 this morning and received results this afternoon! No issues, never asked for ID or anything about insurance. Thanks for your very helpful tips and advice 🙂

      4. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi Sarah, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
        Hope you enjoyed your trip 🙂 !

    2. Fred King

      I had the NAAT test at walgreens in Palm Beach Gardens Fla. Went well, test results in 1-1/2 hours.

  110. Kelly

    In my confirmation email from Walgreens it says the following:

    “Show your confirmation email, a valid state ID or driver’s license, and insurance card or voucher.”

    I obviously don’t have a valid state ID or drivers licence and don’t have insurance. Is this normal to ask for?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yeah, it’s just the standard email they send, they don’t ask for it.

      1. Benders Anvill

        Hi Andrew,
        I am traveling to Scottsdale, AZ, next week and have just booked my PCR test and followed your directions. One of the last questions/requests after ticking the “I don’t have insurance” box was about a state ID number or a driver’s license. I just used my Alberta license number and selected AZ as the state. It must have been a new addition to the process from when you had originally posted your instructions, but based on all of the posts here, ID is not even asked for.
        Hope they are right! Will try to let you know 🙂

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        PCRs have always required ID (any ID), it’s the NAAT that doesn’t ask for it on the online form. Should work fine, please do let us know:)

    2. Fred King

      In Palm Beach Florida..when I arrived they did not ask for an insurance card, but they did need to see a govt issue photo

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Thanks for the testimonial, and to be clear for the many who ask this question, you only had a Canadian ID right 🙂 ?

  111. Laurie Chapman

    Be very careful if using Walgreens for a PCR test in Orlando. Due to overwhelming demand they do not guarantee results in 72 hours. We had our tests on November 6th and still have not received our results on November 10th. We were lucky to be able to pay $175 at Orlando airport on the day of our flight so that we were able to return home.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes, unfortunately, that is the issue with the NAAT and why it’s best to plan ahead and spot the NAATs (plenty in Florida and many other states) to avoid that risk (results in 24 hours).

      1. Laurie

        Walgreens does not offer the NAAT test in Florida.

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        They most definitely do, those with red have NAATs:

  112. Lee

    Is there any information about free COVID testing in Manhattan? The Walgreens there do not seem to do NAAT/ID NOW. I’m trying to navigate some of the NYC info sites and it’s pretty confusing!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Many readers have told us they found public testing sites that gave free tests and lab reports but I did not check myself.

  113. Heather

    Hi Andrew, we are in Indio, CA and had our PCR tests (there are no NAAT tests here) done yesterday at 11:30am at the Curative site at the Indio Fairgrounds (Fullenwider Auditorium). Booked online, showed our Alberta drivers licences, it was super easy. The results came in 16 hours later. Amazing!!! You saved us $150USD each and we didn’t even have to spend the next couple days worrying about the tests coming back in time. Thank you!!! 😊

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Heather, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to California!

  114. Randi

    I see the latest comment is from Nov 8. Do you have any suggestions for travel around the US Thanksgiving holiday? My children are flying in on Wed. Nov 24. Thursday is the holiday. They have flights back to Canada on Saturday evening. Turn around time and lack of available appointments are my primary concern. We are travelling to Long Island New York. Have not googled for free tests yet but am worried about many travellers and long turnaround times. thoughts?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Quite possible that appointments will be even more limited. That said, many readers have told us they found public testing locations in NYC pretty easily and got free tests and the required lab reports to enter Canada. But I haven’t checked myself.

  115. David

    Are gargle or saliva tests available at any of these locations so my kids don’t have to stick that thing in their nose?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Not at Walgreens but the first free test I got in the US was a saliva PCR so if you look around you can probably find it, but it won’t be a NAAT with rapid results so it’s riskier in terms of the delay to get the results back. That said, the NAAT is very non-invasive, you do it yourself and make circles in your nostrils (it’s not deep into the nose). I’ll have a video up in this post tomorrow, with me doing the test Sunday.

  116. Susan

    Just a note..CVS in Florida does IDNow and PCR tests for free as well. Make appointment online. Just need date of birth at drive thru. Thanks for this Andrew!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Susan, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience (great to know that CVS has ID NOWs too) and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip to Florida 🙂 !

  117. Charlotte

    Hey Andrew – I’m planning a trip through Zion national park in a couple of weeks, and will need a covid test to fly home (to Toronto) from Las Vegas on November 26 around 1 pm. Per your article, I’m going to get one at Walgreens (in Cedar City, Utah if that makes a difference) on on the evening of November 23 (the Tuesday of that week), but I’m nervous because Thanksgiving is on Thursday the 25th. Do you anticipate any issues or delays with the results? There aren’t really any other places near Zion/Bryce Canyon that I can see that offer testing – this is the only Walgreens in the area. Obviously if I don’t get them on time I can pay the $200+ for a rapid test on Friday near the airport, but would prefer not to! Let me know what you think or if you have any recos, any advice would be so appreciated.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, if it’s the NAAT the results are in 24 hours and that will not be an issue. If it’s the PCR then the delay could certainly be longer because of the holiday, it’s hard to predict :S

  118. Nela

    I notice there is no ID NOW NAAT test at any of the Walgreen’s in the Bay Area in California, according to the bookings form on their website. Is that just for this week, or if we see they only have PCR, that means they just don’t have the NAAT test at those locations at any time?
    Also, do you know if Canadians can do the free PCR test at CVS in the same way and there won’t be problems with them not allowing Canadians? If I can’t get a NAAT test at Walgreen’s, I will go to CVS instead as it says 1-2 days for test results (as opposed to up to 3 days for Walgreen’s PCR test). Thanks!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, yes sadly California doesn’t seem to have any NAATs. I didn’t try CVS myself but most people tell us it works fine too (although some say they were told they’d have to pay… not sure how reliable that info is though).

  119. Karla

    These are AWESOME tips. Thank you Andrew!! I will be in Maine, US and heading back to NB, Canada by land. Has anyone tried this using this process at a Walgreen’s in Maine? The majority of these posts, the testing was done in more southern states like Florida. Just wondering if this process will work at Walgreens that are right next to the border?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I did not get any testimonials for Maine (since the land border was closed and everyone had to fly they probably chose to fly to more exotic destinations than Maine) but if there is a NAAT available there and you can book an appointment in advance, it should work fine 🙂

      1. Eve

        How long did it take you to have the confirmation for the appointment?? I’m still waiting for it…it’s been almost 24 hours

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Every time it’s been instant for me, did you check your spam folder? Is it with Walgreens?

    2. Amanda Hamby

      My American in-laws came into Canada to visit us for a few days last week since they were already in Maine on business. I help them organize scheduling the free Walgreens test. You need the ID Now test from Walgreens because you get the results emailed to you within 24 hours (usually much less than that). However not all Walgreens offer the ID Now test. The closet one to where my in-laws in Maine was in New Hampshire about an hour drive. The we’re happy to take the hour drive to save $200 each. Go to the Walgreens website and click for the free drive through testing for Covid. Mark that you want the Rapid ID Now test and also your location in Maine. It will then give you a list of Walgreens that offer this test that’s is accepted by Canadian Border Agency.

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi Amanda, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
        Hope you enjoyed your in-laws’ visit 🙂

  120. Peter Gothe

    Worked like a charm for us last week. Did two IDNow tests (those are the NAAT tests) at Walgreens drive through in South Carolina, free, and got the results in less than 24 hours. No questions about insurance or cost, either in the online appointment or at the drive through. Just entered our hotel address. No ID required either, just name and birthdate. Loaded up the scanned test results (PDF) on the ArriveCAN app, and sailed through the airports, customs, and immigration in Toronto.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi Peter, we’re glad we can help more people save 🙂 Thanks for sharing your experience and we’d appreciate it if you want to share Flytrippers’ site or page on your social media to thank us, it really helps us 😉
      Hope you enjoyed your trip!

      1. Melissa

        I went for a pcr test at the wallgreens in Florida . But the website they have gave us to get our results won’t work because it can’t verify us.
        Wondering how / where everyone got their results ?? Was it emailed or a website ??

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Hi, both times Walgreens just sent me a link, and that page had my lab report to download (including this past Sunday). What do you mean by “can’t verify us”?

  121. Hannah

    I called walgreens and they wont do testing unless you have a state id or a state license

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Well, that specific location might not since you’re basically begging for them to not let you by calling them, but almost every single testimonial from the dozens of readers indicates that in the vast majority of locations it works just fine. I did it myself yet again Sunday. Which location was this specifically?

  122. Mikey

    regarding the 72 hrs – it is my understanding that the 72 hour rule changed to 3 days. In Canada and USA If flying on a Thursday at anytime you must have it done no sooner than Monday at anytime?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, no Canada’s rules has never changed: It’s 72 hours. The USA’s rule has never changed either: It’s the 3 full calendar days before the day of your flight, regardless of the time of day. But that is just by air to be clear.

  123. Tim Kelley

    Monday November 8 2021. The rubber meets the road. At the USA Canada border between Washington and British Columbia so far things are reasonable 30-40 minutes southbound wait at busiest border crossing . Am planning a visit from BC to WA on Wednesday and have a Walgreens test scheduled for Thursday with expected return day on Sunday. Several news sources in WA remind that return of results from Walgreens are not guaranteed before 72 hours and there is a suggestion that increased stress on the testing/results/report system might not handle the load. I hope I am not it for a surprise on Sunday. I think this test results issue is a really important development that needs to be front and centre. Please post with your experience. Additional media news… Theresa Tam, top doc for Canada public health publicly stated that testing policy is being reviewed. In CBC News Network Interview with mayor of Niagara Falls ON he suggested that he is hopeful that there might be some change after November 21, the next “monthly update” date on the issue. Hope he knows something!

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yes, the free PCRs especially could be tighter if Canadians all use them. But the NAATs are safe since it’s 24 hours, although obviously they are not available in all cities.

      1. Tim Kelley

        NAAT not available in most Walgreen locations in WA state, none near the border. Will keep the thread posted on how it goes for me.

  124. Helen

    Wow Andrew thank you for your info. It is so confusing but you have helped us with a decision to cross border. Considering going during the week to Port Huron which we have done many times before covid. Have you heard any comments good or bad, about the Walgreens in Port Huron? Thank you again for clearing things up. Appreciate your time.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I did not get any testimonials for that one (since the land border was closed and everyone had to fly they probably chose to fly to more exciting destinations than Port Huron) but if there is a NAAT available there and you can book an appointment in advance, it should work fine 🙂

      1. Samantha

        Anyone done testing in Maryland? I’m going to Frederick, MD next week and the CVS said it was $130 for the teat when I called. Are you saying I can show up for the test with Canadian ID and not pay?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Well CVS is the one I have no experience with but I would suggest doing Walgreens and you most definitely won’t have to pay 🙂

    2. Jenn Speelman

      Please let us know how it goes with port huron walgreens as we would like to travel a couple weeks after to that area in Michigan as well by car. Thanks

  125. Kelly

    Another question that I know has already been answered but can’t seem to find it…the 72 hrs begins at the time of the test, correct?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, well it begins based on the scheduled time of your flight to Canada (the direct one that enters Canada; in case you have layovers). So if you’re flying Chicago-Toronto at 6 PM Sunday (or Miami-Chicago-Toronto on the same Chicago-Toronto flight), you can do the test starting at 6 PM Thursday.

      1. Kelly

        I will be driving back into Canada at some point on Sunday so if I get the test done at 2:30pm on a Thursday, I just need to ensure I cross back into Canada before that time on Sunday?

      2. Andrew D'Amours

        Yes exactly at the land border the maximum is 72 hours before entering 🙂

  126. Kelly

    Hi! If I have a PCR test booked for Friday morning and am planning to leave Sunday afternoon, do you believe that’s enough of a turn around time for results to come back?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, that’s a bit tighter than with the NAAT for sure, ideally it’s best to book as close as the 72-hour limit as possible.

  127. Kendall

    Thank you so much for this great blog and incredible tip! I shared it with my parents who will come visit me in the US soon but they are still paranoid by articles in their local (Ontario) news stating costs at $150-300 for tests! From reading your blog, and my county’s website, it is clear how to get a free test. My own county website states tests are free, open to regular visitors of the county, and no government ID is needed. What I’m not sure about is HOW Canadians are paying so much? Are they scheduling at urgent care clinics or hospitals or private labs?? Or when asked for insurance at a US pharmacy, are they saying ‘yes’ and using their travel insurance which is costing them out of pocket?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, glad we can help 🙂
      It really is that easy and really is clear that it is free, but there are many reasons so many people pay so much money. Like you said, the media says it costs $200 so many will never look past headlines and assume that that’s true first of all. Then well, like everything in life, many people do not want to put in any effort at all into planning and preparing so they’ll never find out about the free tests. They’ll just buy the expensive ones that are convenient directly near the airport or whatever.
      Sadly.

  128. Tamara

    This is a very helpful article.

    Has anyone gotten their results back within the 72 hour window (to fly back to Canada) at a Walgreens in Palm Springs, California with the PCR free test?

    If so, which location?

    I noticed that the NAAT tests aren’t offered at the Walgreens in California.

    Thank you.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Yeah unfortunately only PCRs in California. Readers in these comments definitely got it back in time in CA but it sure is tighter than with the NAAT so make sure to take the appointment close to the 72-hour limit (which means making sure you be ready for whenever they open up bookings for that day).

    2. Heather

      Hi Tamara, try booking through Curative. We booked our PCR tests through them in Indio and received the results within 16 hours.

      1. Tamara

        Hi Heather,

        Thank you. Was the PCR test free through Curative? I will look to see if they have a location in Palm Springs! Wow, 16 hours is great!

    3. Heather

      Hi Tamara,
      Yes it was free through Curative. I think there is a site in Cathedral City which is only 15 minutes away from Palm Springs so that might work for you. I had actually called them before I booked and was told that as long as I can get through the online booking form it’s free. I was honest that I was Canadian and needed it to fly back into Canada and they said it’s all good and no charge. I think the only hiccup I had booking it online was adding in our drivers licence numbers so I just added the number of my Alberta licence and put the state as California. I think it also asked you to upload a picture of your drivers licence but I just skipped this step. Hope that helps!

      1. Tamara

        Hi Heather,

        Thank you very much for this info. You have been very helpful. I will look into it.

        Enjoy the weekend!

        Tamara

  129. JL

    I will be travelling from Ontario to New York several weekends in a row once the land border opens. A friend called Walgreens and was told you can only get one test every 14 days. Do you know if this is correct?

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Hi, I don’t see that listed anywhere on their website but I guess it’s possible. Although the only way they would know would be to reuse the same email address so hypothetically if someone had more than one email address..

  130. Jenny

    Hellow Andrew..
    I went to Las Vegas last month, i rented a car to visit the walgreen appoinment for PCR test.
    however, they asked me the resident information and denied for free exam..
    also, i told them to pay for the test , they asked me to make another appointment with different information (not Las vegas address, need to put my real address in canada)
    So, i should go walk-in center and paid for $250(US)
    I have other plan to visit Atlanda on Feb…
    is this work for me???IDNOW test for free??

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      That is strange, even today once again many others told us about using this with no issues in Vegas. I’m guessing that one location is going rogue and not following policies, which location is it exactly?

    2. Sophie

      Hi Jenny,
      Can you tell me which Walgreen location you booked in Vegas please. I’m leaving for Vegas on Wednesday, and booked our test for Thursday afternoon (going home on Sunday). I am worried now, and wonder if I should book a second test elsewhere in Vegas? Andrew what do you think?

      1. Andrew D'Amours

        I wouldn’t worry especially if it’s the NAAT, both times I did it (including this morning) they didn’t even ask to see my ID actually and everyone else hasn’t had any issues :S But it never hurts to have a plan B in case.