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.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express® Card
Flytrippers Valuation
of Welcome Bonus (net value)
≈ $
Rewards: ≈ $477*
Card Fee: $120

minimum income required: $0
spend $1,500 in 3 months
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Amex is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "Apply Now" to see most up-to-date information.
Marriott Bonvoy American Express® Card
Flytrippers Valuation
of Welcome Bonus (net value)
≈ $
minimum income
required: $0


Rewards: ≈ $477*
Card Fee: $120

spend $1,500 in 3 months
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Amex is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "Apply Now" to see most up-to-date information.

 

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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Best credit card offers
(November 2022)
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WELCOME BONUS
Rewards: ≈ $1388
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& other AC benefits
Terms and conditions apply. Flytrippers editorial opinion only. Financial institutions are not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click "See More" to see most up-to-date information.

 

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)

Advertiser Disclosure: In the interest of transparency, Flytrippers may receive a commission on links featured in this post, at no cost to you. Thank you for using our links to support us for free, we appreciate it! You allow us to keep finding the best travel deals for free and to keep offering interesting content for free. Since we care deeply about our mission to help travelers and our reputation and credibility prevail over everything, we will NEVER recommend a product or service that we do not believe in or that we do not use ourselves, and we will never give any third-party any control whatsoever on our content. For more information on our advertiser disclosure, click here.

 

 

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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: 64/193 Countries, 47/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 700 Comments

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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 😉

  4. 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 🙂!

  5. 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

  6. 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 😉

  7. 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.

  8. 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:)

  9. 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.

  10. 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 🙂

  11. Noah James

    Nice article…Great information..Thanks for sharing

  12. 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?

  13. 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 🙂!

  14. 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.

  15. 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 🙂

  16. 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 🙂

  17. 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 🙂!

  18. 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 🙂!

  19. 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

  20. 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 🙂

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

  24. 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 🙂!

  25. 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 🙂!

  26. 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 🙂!

  27. 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

  28. 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).

  29. 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 🙂!

  30. 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).

  31. 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!!!

  32. 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 🙂

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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🙂!

  36. 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!

  37. 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 🙂!

  38. 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

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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!

  42. 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

  43. 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.

  44. 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 🙂!

  45. 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

  46. 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

  47. 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 🙂

  48. 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 🙂!

  49. 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.

  50. 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 🙂

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