U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are expecting busy border crossings during the holiday seasons, including the bridges in Ogdensburg and Massena.
A number of steps can be taken to speed up the process of entering or reentering the U.S., officials say. Having approved travel documents out and ready for inspection, as well as being prepared to declare all items acquired outside of the United States, will facilitate the crossing, they say.
Travelers can obtain local border traffic conditions by visiting the CBP website at www.cbp.gov. Wait time information is updated hourly.
According to the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travelers must present a valid passport, U.S. passport card, trusted traveler card or an enhanced driver’s license when crossing the border. Children under the age of 16 may also present an original or copy of their birth certificate.
For permanent residents who are not citizens, the I-551 “green card” form is also acceptable for land or sea entry into the United States.
Use of the radio frequency identification enabled travel documents, which include U.S. passport cards, enhanced driver’s licenses and trusted traveler program cards, will also expedite border entry. No personal information is stored on the chip embedded in the cards; only a series of ones and zeroes that access information in a secure CBP database.
Those who cross the border regularly are encouraged to participate in the Nexus program, which allows pre-screened, low-risk travelers to cross with little or no delay. Applications for the program are available at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca or www.cbp.gov. For more information contact 1-866-639-8726.
For more information on accepted forms of identification visit getyouhome.gov.