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Is the NEXUS pass worth it?

With a nice exchange rate, there’s no better time to go to Canada. If you’ve ever driven across the border, you’ve probably noticed the fast lanes that lets you skip the long line for customs. To take a fast lane, you need the NEXUS pass, so we wanted to find out if it’s really worth it.

We spoke to Kristine Zewe, PEMCO underwriting analyst. She says a passport really is the gold standard. But an enhanced driver's license and the NEXUS pass have their own perks.

"The NEXUS pass comes with the additional bonus of being qualified for TSA PreCheck," says Zewe. " So if you fly a lot and travel to Canada regularly, it's a great deal." It costs $50 and will last for five years. Just keep in mind, if you're trying to use a fast lane, everyone in your car needs a card.

Getting one can also take some time. "You have to fill out an application, they will complete an extensive background check on you, and once you're conditionally approved, you have to schedule an interview," says Zewe. "You will be interviewed by both U.S. and Canadian customs officials." After that you will get fingerprinted and may even need a retinal scan. Overall, the process can take weeks.

So is the NEXUS pass worth it? Zewe says yes, if you travel to Canada often. But she says there are different options if you travel to other countries. So it's worth looking on the Department of Homeland Security website to see what's available.

If you want to sign up for a NEXUS pass, head to the U.S. Immigration Visa and Travel website.