In compliance with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, need to present an approved travel document to enter the U.S. by land and sea. Air travelers need a passport while those traveling by land or sea may use a variety of documents to include a Passport, Passport card, Trusted Traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST), an Enhanced Driver’s License, Enhanced Identification Card or approved Tribal Documents. U.S. and Canadian children under the age of 16 can present an original or certified copy of their birth certificate. Please visit the WHTI website for additional information (www.getyouhome.gov). Use of WHTI compliant, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) enabled documents helps reduce the time it takes to process travelers at the border.
U.S. lawful permanent residents are reminded that their I-551 form is acceptable for land and sea travel into the U.S.
Frequent cross-border travelers are encouraged to obtain a radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled travel document such as a U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver’s License/Enhanced Identification Card or Trusted Traveler Program card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST) to expedite their entry and make crossing the border more efficient. Each land port of entry has a READY lane to process RFI enabled cards for smoother travel.
With the holiday, travelers should expect increased traffic at border crossings and are reminded of a few simple steps they can employ when crossing the border.
Tip #1 – Travelers should familiarize themselves with the “Know Before You Go” section of the CBP website to avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of prohibited items.
Tip #2 – Travelers should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth. Travelers should have their crossing documents available for inspection and should be prepared to declare all items acquired abroad.
Tip #3 – Members of the traveling public should consult the CBP website to monitor border wait times at ports of entry. Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light traffic/short waits.
Tip #4 – During periods of heavy travel, border crossers may wish to consider traveling outside of peak times, which normally occur, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Tip #5 – Travelers should plan to build extra time into their trips in the event they cross during periods of exceptionally heavy traffic like holiday weekends, which may include construction advisories, major sporting events and concerts.
Tip #6 – Know the difference between goods for personal use vs. commercial use.
Tip #7 –Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and firewood into the United States from Canada without first checking whether they are permitted.