San Diego - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are announcing that a new Ready Lane will be opened at the San Ysidro port of entry on Dec. 20, for travelers who have a travel document enabled with Radio Frequency Identification, or RFID, technology.
The Ready Lane is a lane for vehicle traffic that only accepts RFID-enabled cards. The new Ready Lane at the San Ysidro border crossing will operate 24 hours a day, beginning at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20. In order to use this dedicated lane, all adult passengers in the vehicle over the age of 16 must present an approved RFID-enabled travel card. These documents include: the U.S. Passport Card, SENTRI card, the new Legal Permanent Resident "green card" and the new Border Crossing Card.
CBP officials have been working closely with officials from the government of Mexico to develop approach lanes in Mexico, install signs, and make other preparations needed before the lane can be opened at the San Ysidro port of entry.
Travelers who use the Ready Lane will have the benefit of a shorter wait time versus using the general lanes of vehicle traffic because of the RFID technology. While the wait time will not be as short as the lanes for pre-approved, low-risk SENTRI travelers, those using the Ready Lanes can generally expect to see wait times that are significantly shorter compared to using the general traffic lanes. Currently, approximately 30 percent of the traffic at the San Ysidro port of entry already uses a dedicated SENTRI lane.
Another benefit is that, unlike the SENTRI lane, in which all individuals in the vehicle must have a SENTRI card, a group with any mixture of RFID-enabled travel cards can use the Ready Lane. For example, if the driver has a SENTRI card but the passengers all have other kinds of RFID-enabled documents, such as a U.S. Passport Card or a new Border Crossing Card, the vehicle may still have the benefit of using the Ready Lane.
The planned Ready Lane at San Ysidro follows the opening last May of a Ready Lane at the Otay Mesa port of entry, which significantly reduced wait times and eased traffic flows.
"RFID-enabled cards allow our officers to screen travelers faster," said Chris Maston, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego. "By having a lane designated just for travelers with these cards, we can reduce the time everyone spends waiting to enter the country, and encourage legitimate business and tourism for our communities on both sides of the border."
Since the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, June 1, 2009, U.S. and Canadian citizens entering the United States by land or sea from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean, are required to present a valid, WHTI-compliant document. Using a WHTI-compliant document that is an RFID-enabled travel card allows for more efficient processing of travelers at the border, since RFID technology allows CBP officers to receive information about travelers faster.
WHTI is the joint Department of State-Department of Homeland Security plan that implemented a key 9/11 Commission recommendation to establish document requirements for travelers entering the United States who were previously exempt, including citizens of the United States, Canada and Bermuda.