Nation’s first 24-hour Ready Lane to open at San Ysidro crossing


New lane hoped to significantly reduce border crossing times

The country’s first 24-hour “Ready Lane” will open Dec. 20 at the San Ysidro port of entry, the world’s busiest land border crossing.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials, the Ready Lane speeds up border crossing times through the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) card technology. This allows passengers to scan an RFID-enabled passport, green card, SENTRI card or border crossing card before reaching the inspection station, thus reducing or eliminating the time border inspection agents spend scanning documents via standard crossing lanes (which often requires manual input of passengers information into a computer system).

“The card can be read by a reader before they even reach the booth … (which) saves us time,” Department of Homeland Security spokeswoman Jackie Wasiluk said.

The Ready Lane is one of 20 such entryways at crossings along the Mexican and Canadian borders. Ready Lanes with limited hours of operation opened at the Otay Mesa and Calexico border crossings earlier this year.

While the wait time will not be as short as the lanes for pre-approved, low-risk SENTRI travelers, those using the Ready Lanes can expect to see wait times that are significantly shorter compared to using general traffic lanes, officials said.

Since the implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) in 2009, U.S. and Canadian citizens entering the United States by land or sea from Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean, are required to present a valid, WHTI-compliant document.

For a tutorial on how to use the Ready Lane, click



—Staff Reports