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CBP Has New Technology to Reduce Wait Times

Release Date: 
October 4, 2010

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. - U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Sault Sainte Marie continues working to improve the border crossing experience for travelers. Radio Frequency Identification technology installation was completed at the end of July at the International Bridge.

RFID technology is a part of all new U.S. passports, passport cards, enhanced driver's licenses and CBP's Trusted Traveler Cards- NEXUS, FAST and SENTRI. With these documents, the driver of the vehicle can display all entry documents for the entire vehicle at a "Display Card Here" sign located between the stop sign and inspection booth. This sign is actually reading the documents presented and then displaying the information to the officer, thus streamlining the inspection process.

"With the completion of this upgrade, our officers are now able to focus on the inspection process as opposed to entering traveler's data manually into the computer," said Assistant Port Director Patrick Wilson. "This not only helps facilitate the travelers crossing of the border, but enhances the safety of our officers."

It is important to note that no personally identifiable information is stored on a card's RFID tag - only a unique number that connects to a CBP-secured database with the traveler's information. This identification number is used to retrieve biographic information in advance of inspection, eliminating manual data entry by CBP officers and expediting passenger processing by more efficiently verifying identity and citizenship. This simple process performed by the travelers will help to decrease the amount of time spent at the inspection booth.

In addition to having the proper documents, planning ahead can expedite your crossing.

  • Have RFID enabled travel documents ready and pointed at the sign staged midway from the stop sign and the inspection booth.
  • Have all travel documents ready before stopping at the inspection booth.
  • Travelers can check border traffic conditions to help facilitate their crossings.
  • Be prepared to declare merchandise purchased or acquired abroad.
  • Declare "Duty-Free goods" even if purchased at "Duty-Free" stores.
  • Before leaving on a trip, review "Know Before You Go"  on the CBP website.

For more information about obtaining a passport or passport card, please visit the Department Of State.

For additional information on states issuing enhanced driver's licenses or any of CBP's trusted traveler programs, which also meet the requirements, please visit the CBP website.

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017