July/August SQ Trip Planning


"Fire's Out!"
Apr 27, 2011
Chula Vista, CA
won't b mine
Re: SENTRI, consider it an advanced U.S. passport that is in addition to the book. Basically, you apply same method as regular passport, and undergo a background check, mostly on-line. A vehicle also can be pre-authorized as approved to cross back into U.S. The application - in essence- is the same questioning one could be asked at the port of entry, and then some. The process allows you and only those that have submitted for, and received a micro-chipped card, to get in a crossing lane that greatly cuts down on your wait-time at port of entry. Can be used driving or walking across, but I think only from Canada and Mex. Costs about $125-150 thru passport office, and takes couple of months to get your card. If someone in the group does not have one, they cannot cross back with you in the same vehicle. Now, if you don't see yourselves as traveling back to Canada or Mex much, don't get one. And if you think you could possibly go again but with someone that doesn't have the card, don't get one. (You'll still have to wait for them to clear POE from the regular line.)
Guarantee this, tho: first time you use it and you see the mass of people in the regular line, you'll be glad you applied for it. Maybe others here could add more to this part of your questions. (Edited to add: google "border crossing times " to get an idea of time savings.)
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