NEXUS Lane Instructions for Crossing Canada USA Border

Using the NEXUS lane means faster border crossings when traveling by road, air or sea. The NEXUS card provides an alternative passport, but you must ensure that you carry it with you every time you stop at a Canadian or American border point.

How to use the NEXUS lane at the airport

When you use the NEXUS lane at the airport, all members of your party including any children must have their own child NEXUS card. If you use your pass at the airport, you must have had an iris scan at one of the NEXUS enrollment centers; children are only given an iris scan if you consent to this.

When you enter Canada by air, everyone must complete a CBSA Declaration Card. When entering the United States, you must complete a CBP Customs declaration. Once you have completed your Customs Declaration document follow the instructions below:

  • Proceed to the NEXUS or Global Entry kiosk
  • Stand in front of the camera ready for your iris scan
  • Use the touch screen to enter information about your trip
  • Wait until you receive a NEXUS kiosk self service receipt (if you need to pay any taxes / charges on the goods you are bringing in you will be told to take your receipt to a cashier)
  • Proceed to baggage reclaim
  • Present your NEXUS self service ticket and Customs Declaration at the exit. If you are subject to a random or special inspection you will be directed to a customs inspection area

How to use the NEXUS lane by road

If you are traveling across the US Canada border by car, RV, minivan, minibus or motorcycle, you must make sure that any passengers riding with you have valid Canada NEXUS cards – this includes any children in your group. If there are any members without NEXUS cards, you must NOT use the NEXUS lane and you can still use your NEXUS card as a passport in the regular traffic lane. You will be denied a NEXUS card if you carry non-Nexus passengers and let them out to walk across the border. Your card will be taken from you at the border and you will not be able to apply for the program again.

You cannot use the NEXUS lanes if you have goods to declare beyond your personal limit for each country.

When you reach the Canada US border in your vehicle you should follow these instructions:

  • Pull into the NEXUS lane and STOP your vehicle
  • Hold your NEXUS cards before the card reader
  • Pull up at the customs booth for a visual check (if necessary you may be selected for a random or special vehicle check and directed to an inspection area)
  • Drive across the border

How to use the NEXUS lane by sea

Everyone on board the boat must be a NEXUS cardholder in order to enjoy swift border crossings. The boat master is the person responsible for dealing with customs and immigration on behalf of the NEXUS card holders aboard the boat. The boat master must follow these instructions:

  • Call the Canada NEXUS reporting center on 1-866-99-NEXUS (1-866-996-3987) or the United States CBP marine center up to 4 hours before arrival but no later than 30 minutes before entry.
  • Give the ETA, boat registration, landing site, personal details of all NEXUS card holders aboard and provide details of the trip.
  • Declare any goods beyond the personal allowance for each country. The boat master will  be advised of the necessary procedures to follow by a border officer at the NEXUS Telephone Reporting Center
  • The boat master will then be issued a report number, which he / she may have to present to customs officers
  • A border official may meet the boat at the specified landing site at the pre-arranged time. If an official is not there then the passengers may proceed to their destination.

Using NEXUS lanes with Children

All children traveling with NEXUS card holders must have their own child NEXUS card if they are to use the dedicated lanes with their parents or guardians. If you are a divorced or separated parent traveling with your children you should carry copies of the legal custody documents. You must carry written permission from the parents or guardians to travel with a child for whom you are not legally responsible. Canada Border Services Agency and US Customs and Border Protection are extremely alert about child abductions and will spend more time questioning you if you do not have these documents.

IVT does not guarantee approval for any Trusted Traveler program. Inaccurate or incomplete NEXUS pass application forms are automatically denied access to the NEXUS cards program.

Questions about NEXUS Card? Read our FAQs

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