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Melanie Lieberman

If you’re frequently driving between the United States and another country—basically, commuting to and from either Mexico or Canada—you may want to consider applying for a SENTRI pass.

It’s long-winded name, Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection, is a program to expedite pre-approved, low-risk travelers through land border ports.

Almost anyone can apply for a SENTRI Pass after creating an online account with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Programs. From here, you’ll be able to submit an online application with a nonrefundable $25 fee. When your application is conditionally approved, you’ll be required to appear in-person at a SENTRI Enrollment Center for an interview. At this time, you’ll need to submit a $14.50 fingerprinting fee, as well.

Assuming you get the green light from the agency, you’ll be provided with an RFID-equipped identification card that’s valid for five years. After a system fee, you’re total payment will come to $122.25.

Your radio frequency-enabled card will be automatically identified as your zip through the designated SENTRI lanes.

U.S. citizens and permanent residents with SENTRI passes have the added benefit of access to Global Entry kiosks for no additional cost. That means you can zoom across the border in your car and enjoy rapid re-entry to the U.S. after an international flight. Worth the money? If you’re crossing the boarder on a near-daily basis, we think so. 

Melanie Lieberman is the Assistant Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.

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