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I'm a permanent resident. Do I need a permanent resident card?
For example, you can use it to prove your status as a permanent resident when you apply for:
If you travel outside Canada
A commercial carrier won't let you travel with them to Canada if you don't have a valid permanent resident card or a permanent resident travel document. Commercial carriers include airplanes, trains, buses, and boats.
And you'll need to show proof of your permanent resident status to Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) when you get to Canada.
If you're travelling back to Canada in a private vehicle, such as, your own car, you might be able to use other documents to prove your status. But a permanent resident card is the best document to use.