Donna, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced today that a designated Ready Lane at the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge that will officially open on March 28 will be dedicated for the exclusive use of travelers with Radio Frequency Identification-enabled entry documents.
Progreso/Donna Port Director Nancy Becker gathered with officials from the City of Donna and other stakeholders to announce the opening of the lane and to advise the traveling public about the benefits of using the Ready Lane. So far the Laredo Field Office has one Ready Lane in Del Rio and that lane is showing a 91 percent compliance rate, an eight-second-per-vehicle savings in processing time and a 29 percent share of the bridge's total volume.
Since implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative on 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.
WHTI-compliant, RFID-enabled travel documents reduce the time it takes to process travelers at the border. Over the past year CBP has strongly encouraged travelers to obtain an RFID-enabled travel document such as a U.S. passport card, enhanced driver's license, enhanced identification card (where available) or a trusted traveler program card such as a SENTRI, NEXUS or FAST card to expedite entry and make crossing the border more efficient.
Other RFID-enabled documents that will be accepted at the Ready Lane include newer border crossing cards - those issued or renewed after October 2008, and the newer resident alien card - issued or renewed in 2010.
"We look forward to opening a dedicated Ready Lane to help expedite entry for those U.S. citizen travelers who have made the effort to obtain RFID-enabled documents that comply with WHTI and to non-U.S. citizen travelers who cross the border frequently and have obtained the latest resident alien and border crossing cards that are also RFID-enabled," Becker said.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.