Border Crossing Season

May 19, 2011 Updated May 19, 2011 at 1:01 PM EDT

By WKBW News

May 19, 2011 Updated May 19, 2011 at 1:01 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY/FORT ERIE, ON (– Thursday the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (Peace Bridge Authority) officially welcomed the summer season by reminding travelers of a few important international border crossing tips:

Enroll in NEXUS and E-ZPass to help significantly expedite your border crossing.

Visit on your web-enabled mobile device or call 1 (800) 715-6722 to obtain wait times for Buffalo/Niagara Region international crossings, including the Peace Bridge. These updates are revised hourly;

Prior to arriving at the U.S. border have proper identification ready to present to Customs officers. Such documents include: Enhanced Driver’s licenses, Enhanced Non-Driver Identification, FAST Cards, NEXUS Cards, Permanent Resident Cards, Passports, and U.S. Passport Cards for travelers 16 years of age and older, and birth certificates, naturalization certificates, or Canadian citizenship cards which are acceptable forms of identification for most children 15 years of age and younger.

If traveling with children less than 16 years of age who are not part of your immediate family, obtain and carry a parental note of permission regarding cross-border travel. The note should include each child’s parental contact information and telephone numbers;

Other than essential luggage, empty your trunk before the trip. Additional belongings in your car may add time to your crossing, as customs agents may perform a visual inspection of the belongings in your car.

Turn off radios and cell phones when approaching Customs inspection booths and speaking with officers;

Remember to roll down the window, remove sunglasses, and make eye contact with Customs officers;

Be sure to declare all fruits, vegetables, plants and plant products, animals, birds, eggs, meat and meat products, as well as items acquired for personal use.

Avoid horseplay and do not fool around. Customs and Immigration officers on both sides of the border are law enforcement officials who take their duties very seriously. Approach inspection booths slowly and follow signage instructions.

Be patient. Customs officers are responsible for protecting our nations’ borders and public safety.

Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

For more detailed questions, travelers can contact the Canadian Border Services Agency at (905) 994-6330 or, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection at 1-877-227-5511 or

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.