‘Ready Lane' opens Thursday at San Luis Port of Entry
With the new Ready Lane set to open Thursday, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is encouraging border crossers with the approved documents to start using it.
The dedicated lane at the U.S. Port of Entry at San Luis, Ariz., will allow northbound travelers to shave a few seconds off their crossing.
“On average, it will save 20 seconds per vehicle per lane. When you multiple that by the thousands of vehicles that are processed every day, it's a significant reduction in time,” CBP spokesperson Teresa Small said.
Travelers who have obtained a high-tech card enabled with radio frequency identification have the option of using the Ready Lane where CBP officers can expedite the inspection process.
The new lane will launch Thursday between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight, with one dedicated lane identified by LED signs. CBP may actually designate more than one lane at any given time depending on the volume of traffic.
“The Ready Lane is designed to improve traffic flow and move passengers safely and efficiently across the border,” Acting Port Director Roque Caza said. “CBP is dedicated to making the border crossing experience as smooth as possible while not sacrificing our enforcement efforts.”
The San Luis Port of Entry will be one of several on the U.S.-Mexico border to operate the Ready Lane program. The lane is expected to be faster than the general lane but not as fast as a SENTRI lane for pre-screened trusted travelers.
The Ready Lane provides those travelers who have already received the RFID-enabled documents an opportunity to be processed more quickly.
“Many people might already have it and don't realize it,” Small said.
Ready Lane is available to anyone with the following documents enabled with RFID technology:
• U.S. passport card (not the traditional passport book)
• New U.S. permanent resident “green card”
• Trusted traveler card (SENTRI or Global Entry Card)
• New border crossing card (laser visa)
• Enhanced Driver's License (not offered in Arizona)
These specific documents allow CBP to use technology installed through the Land Border Integration Program Management Office, based upon the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), to obtain required travelers' information in advance of arrival at the inspection booth.
Officers can then concentrate on inspections, relieved of the time-consuming data input requirements at the primary lanes. All travelers in the vehicle over the age of 16 must have an FRID-enable card to use the Ready Lane.
Small noted that Arizona does not yet offer enhanced driver's licenses but other states do. Motorists with these licences, which require a background check and special interview, may use the designated lane.
And travelers with old permanent resident cards, which have expiration dates, are encouraged to apply for a new card with the RFID technology.
Small urged all border crossers to apply for the high-tech documents, which can be obtained through the local courthouse. The courthouse will provide applications and take fee payments.
Small encouraged border travelers to start taking advantage of the designated lane Thursday.
“Look for LED signs that say Ready Lane,” she said.
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (928) 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.