US flag Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Archived Content

In an effort to keep current, the archive contains content from a previous administration or is otherwise outdated.

Detroit CBP Issues Travel Tips for the Holiday Season

Release Date: 
December 21, 2017

DETROIT – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reminds all travelers planning trips out of or into the United States to make sure they have proper documents for their travel and to anticipate periods of heavy traffic at land border crossings during the observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays.

“This holiday season, we welcome travelers entering to visit family and shop. We also want everyone to be prepared for their border crossing experience and have your documents ready.” said Christopher Perry, Director of Field Operations. “Prepared travelers help to reduce wait times allowing us to concentrate on enforcing the laws of the United States and protecting the American people as well as those visiting the U.S.”

Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron Michigan
Blue Water Bridge in Port Huron, Michigan

Visitors and returning residents should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth by having their crossing documents available for presentation and by being prepared to declare all items accompanying the traveler. If bringing gifts across the border, ensure that any festive wrappings do not obstruct inspection of the items. Simple alternatives are to leave one end open for inspection or wrap the gift item at your final destination.

As a reminder, all travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, need to present documentary proof of citizenship. These documents include a Passport, U.S. Passport Card, trusted traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST or Global Entry) or an Enhanced Driver’s License. Children under the age of 16 can present an original or copy of their birth certificate. Travelers should have travel documents that comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

Frequent cross-border travelers are encouraged to participate in the NEXUS program, which allows pre-screened, low-risk travelers to proceed with little or no delay into the United States and Canada.

Travelers can obtain CBP local border traffic conditions when entering the U.S. or visit Border Wait Times for Canada, these times are updated hourly.

Travelers can take a few simple steps to help CBP facilitate their entry or re-entry into the U.S.

Tip #1 – Travelers should familiarize themselves with the “Know Before You Go” to avoid fines and penalties associated with the importation of prohibited items.

Tip #2 – Travelers should prepare for the inspection process before arriving at the inspection booth and have their crossing documents available for inspection. Be prepared to declare all items acquired abroad. CBP also encourages the traveling public to avoid crossing the border with wrapped Christmas gifts in an effort to expedite their entry into the United States. It would be best to wrap gifts when you arrive at your destination.

Tip #3 – Travelers who are carrying currency or monetary instruments that exceed $10,000 should report their currency to a CBP Officer on a FINCEN Form 105.

Tip #4 – During periods of heavy travel, border crossers may wish to consider alternative, less heavily traveled entry routes.

Tip #5 – Travelers should plan to build extra time into their trips in the event they cross during periods of exceptionally heavy traffic like holiday weekends.

Tip #6 – Know the difference between goods for personal use vs. commercial use.

Tip #7 –Do not attempt to bring fruits, meats, dairy/poultry products and firewood into the United States from Canada without first checking whether they are permitted.

Last modified: 
February 3, 2021