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CBP Offers Tips for Travelers Crossing the Border During Spring Break

Release Date: 
March 25, 2014

Great Falls, Mont. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is reminding travelers planning trips across the border into Idaho or Montana to anticipate heavy traffic in the United States starting on March 28, which is the start of Spring Break for most schools in Canada.

CBP encourages travelers to plan trips in advance and obtain a radio frequency identification (RFID)-enabled travel document such as an Enhanced Driver’s License/Enhanced Identification Card, U.S. Passport Card, or Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI, Global Entry, or FAST/EXPRES) to expedite their entry into the United States and make future border crossings more efficient.

Border traffic volumes are expected to increase significantly Friday, March 28 through the first week in April; all travelers are reminded of a few simple steps they can employ to cross the border more efficiently during this year’s spring break.

  1. Check out the new CBP informational website. The CBP site has been completely redesigned to help users quickly access the content they need. It also is optimized for access by smart phones and makes use of a new content delivery network that will improve access internationally.
  2. Beat the border rush. Cross during off-peak times, such as before 6 a.m. or after 2 p.m. Most lines at the border start building in the morning and carry on into early afternoon. Wait times for the ports of International Falls, Minnesota, and Pembina, North Dakota, can be monitored at apps.cbp.gov.  Information is updated hourly and is useful in planning trips and identifying periods of light use/short waits.
  3. Keep travel documents handy. Make sure each passenger has the correct travel document accessible and ready to give to the CBP officer. If you are a frequent international traveler and have not already become a member of a trusted traveler program, sign up now. For more information, please visit the Trusted Traveler section of the CBP website.
  4. Know the contents of your vehicles and be prepared to declare all items. Travelers are required to declare all items being imported into the United States from Canada.  If you are not sure about what to declare, do not hesitate to ask the CBP officer. Travelers should familiarize themselves with “Know Before You Go.”
  5. Know what food products can be imported. Many fruits, meats, dairy, and poultry products are prohibited from being imported into the United States from Canada. For more information, please review the Prohibited and Restricted Items section of “Know Before You Go”  or about bringing food into the U.S.
  6. Monitor the weather and road conditions. Current road conditions in Idaho and Montana weather and road conditions.