Are you ready to cross the Canadian - US border?
Information provided from: Buffalo & Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority
Beginning June 1, 2009, in accordance with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) only the following documents will be permissible:
• NEXUS card – The trusted traveler card for pre-approved, low-risk travelers with dedicated commuter lanes, expedited marine reporting and access to NEXUS kiosks at designated Canadian airports. Cost is $50 U.S. and card is valid for five years. Application can be made on-line by going to www.cbp.gov. Enrollment centers are located in Fort Erie, ON, at the Peace Bridge and in Niagara Falls, NY, at the Whirlpool Bridge.
• Passport – For all international travel. U.S. Passports cost $100 (age 16 and older) and are valid for 10 years and $85 (under age 16) and are valid for 5 years. For information go to www.travel.state.gov. Canadian Passports cost $87 (age 16 and older) and $37 (ages 3 to 12) and are valid for 5 years; passports are $22 (under age 3) and are valid for 3 years.
For information, go to: www.passportcanada.gc.ca.
• U.S. Passport Card – This is a wallet size card for U.S. citizens only with RFID technology for expedited passage. The cost is $20 for holders of a U.S. passport. For others it is $45 (age 16 and older) and is valid for 10 years, and $35 (under age 16) and is valid for 5 years. For information go to www.travel.state.gov.
• New York State Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – A driver’s license with RFID technology proving U.S. citizenship and New York State residency. Also available are Enhanced non-driver photo ID cards (ENDIDS). Cost is $30 over a regular driver’s license and is valid for 8 years. For more information visit www.nydmv.state.ny.us.
• Ontario is expected to also begin issuing an Enhanced Driver’s License prior to June 1, 2009. For implementation progress, visit:
Ken Schoetz, Chairman of the Peace Bridge Authority, strongly encourages all residents in the binational region to obtain one of the required documents before June 1, 2009. “This Region’s economy is based on the free flow of traffic and commerce across the Niagara River and utilization of these documents, particularly those with the RFID technology, will expedite cross border traffic.”
Anthony Annunziata, Vice Chairman, added, “I would also suggest that all businesses that rely on cross border traffic inform their customers and clients in any way possible of these new documentation requirements. June 1 is at the beginning of the summer tourist season and we can’t afford to wait.”
The Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority, a binational bridge authority, has owned and operated the Peace Bridge since 1933. The bridge, which was opened to traffic in 1927, spans the Niagara River between Fort Erie, Ontario, and Buffalo, New York, and is a key international border crossing. The Authority is governed by a 10 member board with an equal number of representatives from Canada and the United States.
For more information, contact:
Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority
1 Peace Bridge Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14213-2494
100 Queen Street, Fort Erie, ON L2A 3S6
716-884-6744 or 905-871-1608
Fax: 716-884-2089 or 905-871-9940