What is the Difference Between ReadyLane and SENTRI
Wed, 12 Jan 2022 21:05:55 -0800Ready Lane and SENTRI are two types of lanes that you can use to cross back into the US from Mexico. They offer different benefits to people crossing back through the border. This blog post will explain what these lanes are, their differences, how to use them properly, and why it's important that you do so. Let's start by explaining what these lanes are.
Ready LaneReady Lane is the first type of gate you will encounter when returning to the US from Mexico. It is dedicated to primary vehicles and pedestrians with Radiofrequency identification (RFID)- enabled cards. RFID-chipped lanes are available at land border ports of entry with an open sign and will direct your travel into one specific lane where there is space left over. If you have an RFID-enabled travel document, such as your passport or visa card, then use this special road to avoid long lines and expedite the inspection process while crossing borders into America! All travelers in your vehicle, over the age of 16 must have an RFID- enabled travel document to use Ready Lane. Children 15 years old and younger may travel via the Ready Lane if all the adults in the vehicle have RFID-enabled cards. When you come to a toll gate, hold up your RFID document so that the flat face shows through any window on "the driver’s side" of the vehicle. You may see an instruction sign saying something like 'Point Cards Here'. If someone in the car can't hold up the card, the driver should help them. If there are several people in the vehicle, the driver should hold the cards for them (in a fan), taking care not to stack the cards. Again, the essence is to ensure the entire face of each card is visible.
Benefits of Using Ready LaneThe benefits of using Ready Lane are that you will get through the border crossing more quickly, and there is no need to stop and show your passport or visa.
Approved Ready Lane DocumentsYou need the following documents to use Ready Lane:
- U.S. passport card
- Trusted Traveler Program cards: NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry
- Free and Secure Trade (FAST) Cards
- Enhanced Driver's License/ID Card (EDL/ID) from a participating state or province
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID Card
- U.S. Military identification with travel orders issued to the member for official duty within the United States
- Enhanced Border Crossing Cards
- Enhanced Permanent Resident Card (PRC)
- USCG Merchant Mariner Credential when traveling in conjunction with official maritime business
How to Use Ready LaneMake sure to have your RFID-enabled document(s) ready when you approach the Ready Lane. If there are several people in the vehicle, hold up all cards to be read from a distance and avoid stacking them. As soon as you cross into America or Canada, show immigration officers/CBP officers at their booths your documents. Proceed to the exit gate, and you're done!
What Items Do I Need to Declare When Entering the United States?You must declare all items purchased in Mexico and return them to the US. If you do not, this can lead to a fine or seizure of your goods by CBP agents at the border crossing. Pharmaceuticals, currencies, tobacco, alcohol, and agricultural items are all examples of items you must declare when entering the US. Be sure to check with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you have any questions about what can be brought back into the United States after vacationing in Mexico!
Actions That Could Disqualify or Remove Your Ready Lane Pass?There are a few actions that could disqualify or remove your Ready Lane pass:
- If you have an unresolved violation on your record, such as being fined for not declaring items
- If you were deemed inadmissible to the United States by a CBP officer, such as having a criminal conviction
- If you were caught smuggling goods into America
- If you have a DUI
- If your passport has been reported lost or stolen, or if it is about to expire
SENTRIThe second type of lane is called SENTRI. It's a dedicated lane for pre-approved, low-risk travelers members of the Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection (SENTRI) program. The SENTRI program is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) initiative that allows expedited entry for pre-approved, low-risk travelers into the United States. If you are a member of SENTRI, you can use designated lanes at land border ports of entry to cross into America! SENTRI is a fantastic way to cut your wait time by 80% or more when crossing the border. You must apply and be pre-approved for this program, but it’s worth every minute saved. You need a trusted Trusted Traveler Program (TTP) account to use SENTRI. Unlike Ready Lane, every person, regardless of age (including kids), must have a TTP account to use SENTRI. You must also have an in-person interview with a CBP officer. The officers ask questions like, "Have you ever been denied entry?" A thorough background check of the terrorist and criminal databases is also done on all applicants.
Benefits of Being a SENTRI member?Some of the benefits include:
- Expedited entry into the United States (usually less than five minutes)
- Reduced wait times when crossing the border into America
- Access to designated lanes at land ports of entry
- A dedicated telephone line for SENTRI inquiries
- The ability to use designated Global Entry kiosks when returning to the United States from abroad
- Only a few things that could disqualify or remove your SENTRY pass
SENTRI Approved DocumentsTo apply for a SENTRI pass, you will be required to provide detailed information about yourself and your vehicle. The following list includes documents that must be submitted:
- A valid U.S or Canadian driver’s license
- Proof of car registration (a photocopy is acceptable)
- Copy of current insurance card
- Proof of citizenship or legal residency
- Copy of passport
How to Apply for SENTRI?You can apply online on the SENTRI website, or in person at a land border crossing. The application fee is $122. You'll pay an application fee of $25 (or $50 for a couple and their child (ren), while the fingerprint fee is $14.50 for applicants who are at least 14 years old. The system cost fee is about $82.75 or a maximum of $165.50 for a couple and their children. Be sure also first to check here to see if you're eligible. If you are uncertain about your eligibility, check the SENTRI website to see if you qualify or contact a representative for assistance before applying. In addition, you can schedule an appointment at any Enrollment Center in person on the SENTRI website. Follow these steps:
- Create a TTP account.
- Log in to your account to complete the application.
- Accept your completed application and pay a non-refundable fee
Actions That Could Disqualify or Remove Your SENTRY Pass?A few things could prevent you from becoming a member of the SENTRI program. Possible reasons for disqualification include:
- Having a DUI or other major violations of the law
- Being found inadmissible into the United States at an airport or land border crossing, even if it was just for that day. The SENTRI program has no affect on admissibility decisions at entry ports.
- The following criminal convictions also could disqualify an applicant: drug trafficking, money laundering, espionage, certain terrorism activities, and severe child pornography offenses.