Author Topic: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line- Update #109  (Read 15373 times)

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Teenyweeny

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #105 on: November 29, 2013, 12:01:24 PM »
Hang on, I thought of a better analogy.

When I didn't have a washing machine, I had to go to the laundrette to wash my clothes. I didn't like going to the laundrette. It was boring, and took up a significant portion of my day, and it was just a lot of effort to get clean clothes. Still, I went, because I needed clean clothes! However, I just recently bought a washing machine, and can now do laundry at home.

My friend Suzy asks if I want to go to the laundrette with her. Now, we could chat, and hang out at the laundrette, and maybe go to the pub afterwards, but it's just that I just bought a washing machine so that I absolutely wouldn't have to do this. It's just too much time to invest now that I've got a better option (and let's pretend that I can't 'share' my washing machine, just as the OP can't share her nexus card).

I don't think Suzy would be miffed if I said, "Sorry Suzy, I just got a washing machine. I'll see you at the pub though!". In fact, it would be weird if she was.




mich3554

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #106 on: November 29, 2013, 12:41:43 PM »
What this boils down to is that with a Nexus card, if you wait in line for 15 minutes.....that is a long wait.  At Peace Arch, the waits are absurd and seeing the lines, 2 hours would not be unusual (and it might even be more) and that is EACH way.

So a day trip to the states (assuming that they are hitting the outlets) takes a trip that is a max 2 hours each way with a Nexus card to one that could be way more than 4 hours each way without.  So if you are going or a day shopping trip, 8 hours of it is sitting in a car.

FWIW, getting a Nexus card is not difficult.  You fill out an application and pay a fee.  A month or so later, you get a letter that invites you for an interview.  At the interview (where you talk to both Canadian and US customs agents), they go over what you are allowed to take over the border and the rules of the program.  They take your picture and fingerprints.  They may or may not do a retinal scan (this allows you to use the Nexus lanes at airports), not all offices have the facilities to do this, I got mine at YVR after the fact.  You do not have to be interviewed at the same border, I had mine in Champlain NY, but normally use Peace Arch or Truck Crossing in BC.  A couple weeks later, you get the card in the mail.

As this is a trusted travelers program, you are not allowed to screw up.  Customs agents DO have the right to do a more thorough check and can pull you aside if they suspect something (I have seen this done several times from the Nexus lanes), and if you have something that you are trying to slip across the border, they can and will pull your Nexus permanently.

You do not need to be a driver, or have a car (even though they do as your car make/model and registration on the application).  The card also allows border crossings to be expedited at airports, and I most recently used it coming back from Mexico.  I believe that there are more countries that are also in the system now too. Not sure which though as I have only used mine in Canada and Mexico.

White Lotus

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #107 on: November 29, 2013, 08:52:18 PM »
Yes, Mexico has an analogous (actually the same) program.  However, US car insurance doesn't work in Mexico without an expensive rider, so usually only those going deep into the country, or who cross often for work -- legions, going both ways -- get it for their cars.  Those who can walk across and use busses usually do so, but also get the priority entry status because it can, not everywhere, but in some places, get you into a significantly shorter priority line entering the US.  The other way?  Mexico welcomes you.  Just thought some of you might like to know this about the car insurance.  US and Canadian car insurance both work on both sides of the border, IME.

sparksals

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line
« Reply #108 on: November 30, 2013, 12:51:05 PM »
Yes, Mexico has an analogous (actually the same) program.  However, US car insurance doesn't work in Mexico without an expensive rider, so usually only those going deep into the country, or who cross often for work -- legions, going both ways -- get it for their cars.  Those who can walk across and use busses usually do so, but also get the priority entry status because it can, not everywhere, but in some places, get you into a significantly shorter priority line entering the US.  The other way?  Mexico welcomes you.  Just thought some of you might like to know this about the car insurance.  US and Canadian car insurance both work on both sides of the border, IME.


Depending on where you plan to enter Mexico by car, in AZ there are many places near the border that offer the insurance.  You don't have to get it through your own insurance company.  I imagine the insurance near the border will be cheaper.

Raintree

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line - UPDATE
« Reply #109 on: December 07, 2013, 02:21:39 AM »
Thanks for the variety of opinions.

I guess I could have said, "Well, if I go to the States I really want to be able to use my Nexus card, and I don't really want to wait in that huge line, so why don't we do something else instead?"

But I didn't; I decided to go down there, mid-week when I had a day off, with her. There was actually a specific thing I wanted to get done in Bellingham (1/3 of the price I'd have paid in Canada) that had been on my to-do list for some time. So I did want to go down there; half the time I can't be bothered and she was the motivation I needed anyway. I didn't say anything about the Nexus; and by the way, I knew she was already aware that everyone in the car must have one to use the Nexus Lane.

We got to Peace Arch and it was only a 30-40 minute wait. Still a little painful to see all the cars zipping through the Nexus lane, but you know what? It wasn't as though I had anywhere else to be that day. She commented herself, that it did look rather appealing to zip through the Nexus lane. She asked how much it cost and I told her. I mentioned that it IS really handy and good for 5 years (I think), and I left it at that.

We had a great day. She is great company. I got my errand done, and then we hit some shops, and scored some good stuff, including a store that has things we can't get in Canada that she had specifically wanted to visit. We were both very happy with how the day turned out.

On the way back I think there was one car ahead of us at the border. The only monumental delay that was quite tiresome was getting through the tunnel once back in Canada (if you're from here you will know which tunnel I mean) as it was 5 PM and the middle of rush hour, and you know what? That would have happened anyway. It was dumb of us to time our return for rush hour and next time I will hang out in Bellingham until it's over.

I still don't want to make EVERY U.S. trip a non-Nexus trip, because then what was the point of getting a Nexus card? But that particular day turned out just fine. Oh and she did contribute to gas.

greencat

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line- Update #109
« Reply #110 on: December 07, 2013, 02:33:28 AM »
What a lovely update!  Hopefully the friend will get a Nexus card in the future to expedite trips together.

gramma dishes

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line- Update #109
« Reply #111 on: December 07, 2013, 10:29:26 AM »
That is a perfect and beautiful update.  It's always nice when a story has a perfect ending.  You are clearly a person who looks for and finds the 'bright' side of things.
And, may I add, you're a very, very good friend.   :)

bopper

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Re: But if you come with me, I have to wait in the regular line- Update #109
« Reply #112 on: December 09, 2013, 03:24:24 PM »
Ok, you have inspired me to get signed up for the TSA pre-check so my poor DH doesn't have to wait for us at the airport!