Whenever travelling, the expectation of line ups are a given. We line up for tickets, to get into an attraction, or to go through customs. However, there is a type of identification available to Canadian and American citizens, other than a passport that is available to expedite travel. The NEXUS card is a trusted traveller form of identification that is operated by the Canadian Border Service Agency along side of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
What does the card do for you? When crossing by land into the United States or Canada, quite often there are dedicated traffic lanes for NEXUS card holders. For example, along the Niagara River, there are 4 bridges linking our two countries, and NEXUS lanes are available at 3 of them. In Niagara Falls , the Whirlpool Bridge is only used by NEXUS card holders. So, when the high traffic times are here, and you want to avoid what can be long waits at the border, the quickest way to either country is that bridge!!
Whirlpool NEXUS Bridge connecting Niagara Falls Ontario and New York State
If you are travelling by air, NEXUS lines are available at many Canadian and American airports. When returning to either country, kiosks may be available that have eye scan and automated declaration capabilities.
Toronto Pearson International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport
There are a few things you need to know if you are considering enrolling in the NEXUS program. It is called a “Trusted Traveller” identification for a reason!! You must declare the exact value of goods you are declaring as well as what you may be taking into either country that you may be leaving there. Failure to do so, may result in the confiscation of your card. It may sound very arbitrary, and maybe even a little scary, but you using the card is not a right: It is a privilege!!!
If you want to apply for the card, it can be done on-line, and then your application will be evaluated by the Border services. If accepted, it will be necessary to go for an interview at one of their sites. After that, your renewal can be done on-line. The cost for the card is $50 for 5 years for adults 18 and over while children are free. (suggested sites for additional information: Canadian Border Service Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection )
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