tvl: The Mysteries of Nexus Renewal Activation and Ready Lane vs Nexus

OK, for those of you with the Nexus card that allows expedited travel between the US and Canada, here are some things to know (in other words, don’t be me!)

  1. Air Travel from the US to Canada requires your Nexus Card. Don’t forget your Nexus card, you must have it in this direction. It definitely saves you time when landing in Canada. You can still use your passport as it has digital. And make sure that you’ve activated the card (see below), unlike Global Entry, you need to actually go to the site to activate it).
  2. Air Travel from Canada to the US only needs a passport. This is because getting a Nexus card also gives you Global Entry and this is tied to your passport. So it’s asymmetric and a little confusing, but there you have it.
  3. You should use TSA Precheck and Clear for Air Travel inside the US. It turns out that your Nexus card also gets you Global Entry and Global Entry also gets you TSA Precheck, so look for those lines. Also, if you are a United or Delta (or Alaska) frequent flyer, you get a discount if you like your Clear account to you it. And the American Express Platinum card gives you a $189/year reimbursement for clear
  4. Ground Travel from the US to Canada. OK, there you need two things: the Nexus Lane has to be open. You can check the hours at the Canada Border Crossing site, but generally at the big crossings, they are open say at Peace Arch 7 am to midnight to Canada and 6 am to 9 pm to the US, but check first.
  5. Ground Travel from Canada to the US. OK, this is a little different, there is a Nexus line, but if it is closed, you can also use the Ready Lane. This allows any driver’s license with RealID, a Passport Card (which you can get optionally when you get a passport), or your Nexus card. And confusingly there can be a Nexus line sign, but it can lead to the Ready Lane, so it pays to have both of these things. The Ready Lane is open 8-1 PM Monday to Friday.

Nexus Renewal and make sure to Activate

I made this mistake, unlike Global Entry, which when you renew, just works with your passport, you get a physical Nexus card and you have to log in to the Nexus site and activate it with the Security Code that is on the card. So make sure that you do that and don’t be like me and have to wait until they validate your card.

Sentri and Mexican crossing

If you are going to Mexico, it turns out that you can use your Nexus card if you include the car license (there can only be one per Nexus) and then you can get through there. And note that if you have Global Entry, you can also use the Sentri lane for pedestrian crossings. Also at least one person had their Nexus card deactivated when they crossed, so just be aware that this can happen. Probably a glitch, but good to know, it pays to bring your passport, RealID drivers license and passport card, just in case.

Everyone must have Nexus to cross

One note is that everyone in your car has to have Nexus to cross and you can’t let people out to cross by the pedestrian crossing. The same is true with the Ready Lane, although there you use to need a RealID driver’s LIcense or Passport card, so that is a little better.

I’m Rich & Co.

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