Do you often travel between the USA and Canada as part of your job? Are you a commercial carrier or commercial truck driver who often has to wait in lines and go through customs whenever exiting or entering Mexico, the U.S., or Canada? Well, if you’ve answered yes to one or more of these questions, then this article will definitely be a ray of hope for you. If you’re used to wasting time at borders, the good news is that there is a solution you can find more about at FAST card program.
The program is created to make traveling between the mentioned above countries easier, quicker, and much simpler. Of course, there are conditions that must be met and the program is not designed for anyone. Let’s find out what the FAST card program is all about, how it can help you, and answer some of the most popular questions around the topic.
What is the FAST program?
The FAST program is a trusted traveler program operated by the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). It is designed to allow pre-approved, low-risk travelers expedited passage through customs. To be eligible for FAST, you must be a U.S. or Canadian citizen, or a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
There are a number of other trusted travel programs that U.S. or Canadian citizens can take advantage of. These include NEXUS, Sentri, and Global Entry. NEXUS is available to U.S. and Canadian citizens, while Sentri is available only to U.S. citizens. Global Entry is open to all nationalities but requires pre-approval from CBP.
While some may assume that the FAST program is the same as the NEXUS card, there is one main difference. The FAST card program is specifically created for commercial carriers transporting goods between the two countries. For example, it can greatly benefit commercial truck drivers and make their travels much easier and quicker.
What are the benefits of the FAST program?
The FAST program is a trusted traveler program that provides several benefits to its members. These benefits include expedited passage through customs and immigration, reduced wait times, access to special privileges and amenities at airports, eligibility for Global Entry membership, priority screening and boarding, waiver of certain customs and immigration fees, and access to dedicated customer service support. If you frequently travel between the USA and Canada, the FAST program can save you time and hassle at the airport or at land borders.
Although the program offers a wide array of advantages to its users, here are perhaps some of the most important ones:
- Expedited passage through customs and immigration
- Reduced wait times when traveling
- Access to special privileges and amenities at airports
- Eligibility for Global Entry membership
- Priority screening and boarding
- Waiver of certain customs and immigration fees
- Access to dedicated customer service support
- Peace of mind while traveling
Overall, the idea behind the FAST card program is to make the transportation of goods between Canada and the USA much more simplified and quicker for commercial carriers.
So how can you apply for a FAST card?
How to apply for a FAST card
Individuals who are eligible for the FAST program can apply to become members and become holders of a FAST card. In order to apply, individuals must submit valid documents showing and proving their citizenship and their legal right to live in the USA or Canada. This means that you need to present an address with a current address in either one of the two countries. If you are approved and a member of the FAST program, you’ll receive a FAST card which is valid for the next five years.
So who’s eligible to apply for a FAST card? Commercial truck drivers can apply for a FAST program membership if they are Canadian citizens and permanent residents, U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, or Mexican nationals. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and must present a valid driver’s license.
When are FAST card membership applications not approved?
If you’ve decided to submit your application for a FAST card, that’s great. But there is no guarantee that you will be approved. here are some of the cases in which you will not be allowed to take part in the program and won’t be able to receive a FAST card:
- You haven’t filled out your application correctly or you’ve left incomplete sections or provided incorrect information
- You have criminal track records or have a record of a criminal offense
- You have pending criminal charges or outstanding warrants
- You have received a pardon for a criminal conviction
- You have violated the laws of the USA or Canada. Any type of violation is included, such as agriculture, customs of immigration, and others.
- You are not permitted to enter the USA under immigration regulations (examples are waivers of inadmissibility or parole documentation)
- You don’t meet all requirements of the FAST Commercial Driver Program
Can you use only a FAST card for entering the country?
A lot of drivers or commercial carriers have one common question in terms of using the FAST card – can it substitute your passport? Just like in the case of the NEXUS card, your FAST card can be presented at the border instead of your personal passport. You can use it whenever entering the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. The FAST card is designed to have equal weight as your driver’s license, passport, SENTRI pass, or NEXUS card.
By now, you’re probably already convinced that the FAST card program can truly make a difference in your life. Especially if you’re always on the road for commercial reasons and you’re tired of wasting time and energy to cross the border. Take advantage of this intelligent solution and turn your travels into a pleasant and stress-free experience. We hope that you’ll find this read useful and it will help you get started. Enjoy your future travels and have the comfort of knowing that you can count on fast passing and designated lanes, specifically created for members just like you.