SENTRI Trusted Traveler Card
you frequently travel between the United States and Mexico? Would you
like a quicker and more efficient way to cross the border? For business
citizens, their time is precious and therefore they need a more
convenient and less time consuming way of entering in and out of the US
border but still with approved immigration papers. This is where SENTRI
comes in as well as other partner traveler programs. Specifically,
SENTRI is a WHTI-compliant document
that brings you a more convenient way to cross the U.S. and Mexico
border with a pre-approved pass or ID.
SENTRI or Secure Electronic Network for Travelers
Rapid Inspection is one of the trusted traveler programs under the U.S.
CBP and the Immigration of Mexico. It is for pre-approved travelers who
cross the US and Mexico border often. It also has added benefit to
access commuter lanes on the southern border. This is usually issued to
low risk travelers who voluntarily undergo through rigorous background
checks from the US immigration. Basically, this is your easy access or
pass when travelling to and from the US and Mexico border.
SENTRI was first implemented at the Otay Mesa, California port
of entry on November 1, 1995. Today it has available vast commuter or
special lanes for SETRI card holders that are pre-approved. This makes
it easier to cross the border of US and Mexico. Once an applicant is
approved they are issued a Radio Frequency Identification Document
(RFID) that will identify their record and status in the CBP database
upon arrival at the U.S. port of entry. A sticker decal is also issued
to the applicantâ€™s vehicle or motorcycle. SENTRI users have access to
specific, dedicated primary lanes into the United States.
How SENTRI works
If you are an approved international traveler with the SENTRI
card and the SENTRI sticker in your registered vehicle, as you cross
the international border of Mexico or the US, the system automatically
identifies the vehicle and the identity of the occupants of the
vehicle. This is accomplished through the following:
- The RFID cards contain a file number that is scanned and read upon arrival.
- The file number of the card triggers the participantâ€™s data to be brought up on the CBP Officerâ€™s screen.
- The data is verified by the CBP Officer and the traveler is released or referred for additional inspections.
However, you do not have to worry about confidential information
to be vulnerable to public eyes because not all the data is stored in
the chip, only the necessary data for the CBP officer on the border to
release and allow you to cross the border.
Simultaneously, license plate readers and computers perform
queries of the vehicles and occupants against law enforcement databases
that are continuously updated. This is done so as to still ensure the
physical borders of the foreign country.
You will not have to wait in long lanes and waste your time in
rigorous immigration inquiries because the information needed by the
Border control officers is being given n advance upon your arrival.
This reduces the average and normal time it takes for you to cross the
US and Mexico borders.
How to apply for SENTRI
Application if SENTRI is done online via Global Online
Enrollment System (GOES). This is a CBP approved website that helps
applicant apply and monitor their application for trusted traveler
programs such as SENTRI. Upon successful online enrolment (true and
correct information of online papers and requirements) there is will be
a notice if you are under "Conditional approval" or "Denial". If you
are under "Conditional approval" you would need to get a personal
interview appointment upon within 30 days of the pre-approved date of
your application online. Failure to schedule one will mean denial of
application. However, it will still be possible to apply another
application in the future should your first application be denied. You
should also bring necessary documents during the personal interview
such as citizenship proofs, valid IDs and registration of your
vehicle/s. Should you not have access to the internet, you can apply
through SENTRI Enrollment Centers and fill up Form 823S.
SENTRI provides expedited CBP processing for pre-approved,
low-risk travelers who enter the SU and Mexico border frequently.
Applicants must voluntarily undergo a thorough biographical background
check against criminal, law enforcement, customs, immigration, and
terrorist indices; a 10-fingerprint law enforcement check; and a
personal interview with a CBP Officer before they have the chance of
attaining their SENTRI Card and Vehicle Sticker.
It is also good to know that you can actually apply more than
one (maximum of 4) vehicles under sentry and more than one (Maximum of
8) persons per vehicle. This will be possible for an additional fees or
charge for the processing.
Fees for SENTRI application
- Application Fee: $25.00 per person (or a maximum of $50.00 total for husband, wife and minor children).
- Fingerprint Fee: $14.50 (applicants 14 years and older)
- System Costs Fee: $82.75 per person (or a maximum of $165.50 total for a husband, wife and minor children)
- Total Fee: $122.25 per person
- $42.00 per vehicle - for more than one vehicle application or more than one person per vehicle
- $25.00 - replacement fee for a lost, stolen, or destroyed card and;
- $42.00 - replacement fee for a lost, stolen or destroyed vehicle ID tag
Payments are made through Certified Check, Money order,
electronic bank transfer or major credit card (Master, Visa, American
Express) at Local SENTRI Enrollment Centers. Please take note of a
$30.00 charge imposed if a check is not honored by the bank on which it
was drawn. All fees are non-refundable.
Should a first or initial application made be denied, this will
not prevent the applicant to apply again in the future. However, a new
set of fees will be again charged to the applicant for the whole
Application for the SENTRI card and SENTRI Vehicle sticker ID
is made through The Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) or through
Local SENTRI Enrollment Centers. SENTRI is renewable and valid for 5
years. Click the link for SENTRI Application Form 823S
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