The SENTRI program, by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), allows pre-screened members and vehicles expedited entry back into the U.S. The SENTRI program offers several dedicated lanes at ports such as San Ysidro and Otay Mesa in California.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a goal to keep the SENTRI line waits below 15 minutes. While they often don't reach that goal during heavy traffic periods (rush hour etc.), SENTRI waits are generally a fraction of the wait of the All Traffic and Ready Lanes. The SENTRI is especially convenient during the morning and evening rush hour and on weekends.
The system is currently being used at the Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, and Calexico border crossings in California, Douglas, Nogales, and San Luis in Arizona, and El Paso, Hidalgo, Laredo, Brownsville, Anzalduas, and Pharr crossings in Texas.
The SENTRI lanes in San Ysidro and Otay Mesa are located all the way to the far right and are sectioned off by concrete dividers and have their own entrances.
As you approach the inspection station, your SENTRI card(s) will be read by a card reader. You will see a sign showing where to point your cards. Hold the cards out the window toward the reader. Once you approach the officer, hold out your SENTRI card or card to the officer.
Anyone can apply, but not all are accepted.
Yes. Global Entry cards are accepted in the SENTRI lanes, and you must enroll your vehicle through Global Entry.
Sometimes it's more convenient to have Global Entry especially if you fly internationally (and it's cheaper than SENTRI!). Learn more about each program to choose the right one for you by checking out CBP's Program Finder on their homepage.
San Ysidro: Open 24 hours a day
Otay Mesa: Daily 4am - 10pm
The total fee is $122.25 per person. Here is a breakdown of the fees:
Additional fees apply to enroll more than one vehicle into the program (up to 4 vehicles maximum). The fee applies towards two years enrollment in the program.
Visit the Customs & Border Protection website to begin an online application.
Accepted forms of payment are credit card, certified check, money order or electronic bank transfer. They do enforce a returned check fee and all fees are non-refundable.
Yes. According to the Otay Mesa SENTRI office, you may add your new vehicle and temporary plate. It's important to remember to update your plate number once your permanent plates arrive to avoid border crossing delays.
SENTRI or Global Entry cards may be renewed up to a year before they expire. Members are urged to renew as soon as possible due to the program being impacted.
Good news! If you submit a renewal application before your SENTRI/Global Entry card expires, your membership benefits will be extended for two years.
We've heard that wait times can be long, up to a year in some cases. If you'd like to try to get an appointment as soon as possible, consider trying the Appointment Scanner app. The Appointment Scanner app will send text messages to you as appointments become available.
The most efficient way to update this information is online:
Yes. Non-members who attempt to cross the border in the SENTRI lanes may be subject to fines of up to U.S. $5,000.
No. SENTRI is part of the U.S. CBP's Trusted Traveler Program and is not connected with crossing southbound into Mexico.
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