If you plan to travel to Mexico by car frequently, upon your return to the United States you can reduce waiting times at border crossings by applying for the SENTRI program through the Official Trusted Traveler Programs website. The SENTRI program allows low-risk travelers with prior approval to enter the United States either on foot or by vehicle using dedicated SENTRI lanes at land border crossings. SENTRI does not offer express entry into Mexico from the United States.
How does the SENTRI program work at the border ?
Upon approval of the application and assessment, SENTRI users receive a valid RFID membership card. As the user crosses the border, the radio frequency card automatically fills in information for US Customs and Border Protection officers, who decide whether to conduct an inspection or allow the vehicle and its passengers to proceed without inspection.
How much does the SENTRI program cost?
The cost is $122 dollars. Please note that US citizens and US lawful permanent residents approved in the SENTRI program can automatically obtain the TSA PreCheck pass and use the Global Entry kiosks with their passport or resident card at no extra cost. This fee is non-refundable if you are not approved by the SENTRI program. Each passenger traveling in a SENTRI lane must have their own individual SENTRI membership, it is not valid to travel in a SENTRI user’s vehicle without membership. Please note that you need to attend a registration center in person for membership approval.
How do you get membership in the SENTRI program?
To obtain membership you must go through a multi-step process (Application processing time can take 10-12 months.).
- Create an account through the official page of Trusted Traveler Programs. Each applicant must create a separate account, regardless of age and even if they plan to travel in the same registered vehicle.
- Access your account and complete the online application.
- Pay the cost of membership. This fee is non-refundable if you are not approved by the SENTRI program.
- Schedule and attend your in-person interview. (Find an enrollment center)
- Come to your interview with the required documents.
- Once accepted, you will obtain your membership with a duration of 5 years.
- Proof of citizenship (for example, passport, I-551 Lawful Permanent Resident Card, Birth Certificate, etc.)
- Permanent Resident Card (if you are a lawful permanent resident)
- Any documentation or visa necessary to enter the United States
- Vehicle registration
- Vehicle insurance in the United States
- United States citizens
- Legal permanent residents of the United States
- Citizens of any nationality can apply for SENTRI.
- Express entry to the United States from the border with Mexico and Canada.
- Expedited processing for United States citizens, after an international flight in the United States.
- Access to TSA PreCheck® fast track security lanes at airports within United States territories.
Who can benefit from the program?
The SENTRI program is intended for those people who frequently cross the border.
- If you live near the US-Mexico border and cross frequently.
- If you live near the US-Mexico border and travel frequently.
- If you plan to travel by road to Mexico.
SENTRI Program Registration Centers
Registration centers are located in cities close to the border. There are currently eleven centers in three states. Please note that you need to attend a registration center in person for membership approval. (Find an enrollment center)
- San Luis
- El Paso
- : Calexico
- San Diego