FAQs about Ready Lane Border Crossings:
Can I pull a trailer though the Read Lanes?
Yes you can. Be aware that some of the Ready Lanes are not that wide. We have had reports of some narrow lanes making it hard for over-sized trailers that are wider than normal to pass through. The Otay Mesa Ready Lane is the most trailer friendly exit if you are crossing the border into the San Diego area.
Can I use the Ready Lanes with a SENTRI Card or Global Entry Card?
You can use your Global Entry or SENTRI card to cross the border in the Ready Lanes. It would make sense to do this if you have individuals in the car that do not have a SENTRI or Global Entry card and you want to cross together. It might also make sense if you are pulling a trailer. No trailers are allowed in the SENTRI lane but you can pull a trailer in the Ready Lanes. Be Aware! If you represent your SENTRI or Global Entry card in the Ready Lane you are bound by rules of the SENTRI and Global Entry card, not the rules of the Ready Lane cards.
Why are the Ready Lane lines longer than all other lines?
More people every day are getting the required RFID cards to cross in the border in the Ready Lanes. With that being said there are more Ready Lane lines than any other line type. Also, since the customs agent does not need to manually type in any information the entire process is much faster. The traditional regular lines have been cut down to 1 or 2 lanes and seem to be the longest wait lines to cross now. It is our guess they might be doing this to encourage people to get the more modern card with the RFID technology. Having the RFID card type makes the entire border crossing experience faster.
What is an RFID card?
A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tag is embedded in a card and allows information to be transmitted electronically to border officials through RFID card readers. Once you reach the CBP officer he already has all your info pulled up. This makes the entire border crossing process faster!
Are Ready Lanes Motorcycle friendly?
YES. Most border exits allow lane splitting so motorcycles riders can quickly get to the front of the line and exit Mexico. Motorcycles are not build to idle in a line for 2 hours and will over-heat in this environment. Some border exits like Calexico West now have dedicated motorcycle lanes that support a fast exit for motorcycle riders.
Does the Ready Lane require any special decals or stickers that I need on my car?
No. The RFID card is the only requirement.
Does every border exit in Baja have Ready Lanes?
Almost! The only border exits that do not have Ready Lanes are Tecate and Andrade - Los Algodones. Both of these border crossings are very small and have only 2 lanes going north into the United States.
Is there a website that offers real-time Ready Lane crossing wait times?
The US Customer and Border Protection site is the most accurate option to get real time border wait times. The BWT site has the wait times for all border crossings and breaks it down for each lane for commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, and pedestrian crossings. These reports are created from physical line of site at each border, so they are not 100% accurate during heavy traffic times.
What is the most common Ready Lane card and how do I get it?
A passport card is the most popular card used in the Ready Lane. You can apply for a passport card the same way you apply for a tradition passport book. The main difference is the passport card is designed like a credit card and it is only valid for Canada, Mexico, The Caribbean, and Bermuda. The passport card can not be used for international air travel. Passport card are $65 so they are cheaper in cost than passports, and very easy to get. For more information on getting a passport card click here.
Do they also have Ready Lanes for pedestrian crossing?
YES. There are Ready Lane dedicated lines for when walking across the border. When you arrive at the border crossing look for Ready Lane signs so you can walk across the border through those faster dedicated lines.
What items do I need to declare when entering the United States.
Food and Agriculture
You must Declare all foods, plants, and agricultural items when entering the United States. All agriculture items must be declared and are subject to inspection by a CBP Agriculture Specialist at ports of entry to ensure they are free of plant pests and foreign animal diseases.
One liter (or three beers) is allowed per traveler each month, duty-free. Anything in excess must be declared. Traveler must be 21 years of age. Alcoholic beverages purchased in duty-free shops are subject to duty and Federal Excise Tax when accompanying you into the United States.
One carton of cigarettes (200 cigarettes or 100 cigars) is allowed per traveler each month, duty-free. Anything in excess must be declared. This includes cigars, cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco (snuff or chewing tobacco), pipe tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco.
Currency or monetary instruments in excess of $10,000 USD must be declared.
Medications (up to a 90-day supply) must be declared, and should be in their original package with a prescription in the travelers name. If your medications or devices are not in their original containers, you must have a copy of your prescription with you or a letter from your doctor. A valid prescription or doctors note is required on all medication entering the United States.