BUFFALO - Busy cross border travel is expected to begin today and continue throughout December as the holiday season begins.
U.S. Customs and Border Protec-tion Field Operations wants to remind the traveling public there are a number of steps that can be taken to facilitate arrival into the United States.
Travelers should check traffic conditions at the four border crossings within the region and select the crossing that is least congested.
Travelers can easily obtain current border traffic conditions by calling the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission's toll free number at 1-800-715-6722 or by visiting: www.cbp.gov, www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca, www.nittec.org, www.peacebridge.com, or www.niagarafallsbridges.com.
Travelers should familiarize themselves with the "Know Before You Go" section of the CBP Web site and consult the border wait times page (Know Before You Go) (Wait Times - Airport and Border). Wait time information is updated hourly and is useful in identifying periods of light traffic/short waits. Travelers should have their approved travel documents available for inspection and be prepared to declare all items acquired outside, or being imported into, the U.S.
In compliance with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative implemented June 1, 2009, all travelers, including U.S. and Canadian citizens, need to present an approved travel document to enter the U.S. by land and sea. These documents include a valid Passport, U.S. Passport Card, Trusted Traveler card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST) or an Enhanced Driver's License. Children under the age of 16 can present an original or copy of their birth certificate. Visit the WHTI Web site for additional information (getyouhome.gov).
CBP strongly encourages travelers to obtain a radio frequency identification enabled travel document such as a U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver's License/Enhanced Identifica-tion Card or Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS, SENTRI or FAST/-EXPRES) to expedite entry and make crossing the border more efficient.
CBP also reminds U.S. lawful permanent residents that the I-551 form (green card) is acceptable for land and sea travel into the U.S.
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. Application forms are available on the Canada Border Services Agency website at www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca and travelers can apply online at www.cbp.gov.