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Nexus Part 2

We love visiting Upper Canada Village. And, since we likely won’t be back to this area for some time, we decided to make the trip after getting our Nexus records updated at the enrolment centre in Lansdowne, Ontario. Upper Canada Village, located near Morrisburg, Ontario, is a walk back in time to a simpler life in the 19th century. All of the villagers generally stay in character and the overall experience is well worth the visit if you are in this part of Canada.

The shot above was taken at the cabinet maker’s shop where this apprentice was busily shaping dowels for chairs. Difficult exposure with the low interior light, bright outdoor light from the sun and the apprentice moving quickly.

How did it go for us updating our Nexus records?

We had a few surprises although at the end of it all, everything was fine.

The first surprise was the wait. We did not have one. We were the only ones there aside from one Canadian customs officer and one American customs officer.

I explained to the Canadian customs officer that I was there to update my change of employment. And it turned out that there were numerous changes that had not been reflected in both of our memberships, which, as the customs officer sternly reminded me, could have been grounds to cancel the card.

We had renewed our passports in 2017. Canadian passports expire every few years although now we can renew up to 10 years which is what we had done. However, that passport information was not updated in the Nexus records. I thought we had renewed an existing passport. The government views any renewal as a brand new passport.

When we sold our house, we had updated our Nexus records. According to Canada and US customs, only the mailing address had been updated.

Finally, our telephone numbers. When we sold our house back in July of 2017, we cancelled our landline. We only use our mobile phones and we have no need for a landline. Our Nexus records showed only our landline number.

Thankfully we were able to get all of our records updated quickly and without any issues. We were told that we could make all of these changes on the Trusted Traveler Program website without coming into an enrolment centre.

Except we couldn’t.

I did not want to complicate things by asking the customs officers if they had ever tried to use the website.

Best to leave well enough alone.

We are now almost all set to make the border crossing in about six weeks time.

There is a fair amount of documentation that I will be bringing along with me in case it might be needed. I will create a post about the information that both governments expect you to carry when crossing the border. Some of it was surprising to me.

Nexus

Nexus cards help to speed up the process of travel, particularly air travel.

For a Canadian, the Nexus card provides pre-clearance for customs and can act as a proxy for a passport although we still carry passports with us when we travel.

To keep the Nexus card in good standing, a Nexus member is required to inform of any changes to status such as a change of address or a change of employment. Failure to inform Nexus of a change to status may result in the loss of the Nexus membership.

My address and employment status has changed. And it was remarkably difficult to update my Nexus records. I now have to make a special trip to the enrolment centre to inform them of my change of employment status as there is no mechanism on their new website to enter this change online.

Prior to October of 2017, Nexus members would use the Global Online Enrolment System (GOES) to update their information.

No longer.

I had no idea that GOES had closed down.

There is now a Trusted Traveller Program in its place. I had to create a new account and migrate my data from the old GOES website.

Whoever designed the Trusted Traveller Program website accomplished their mission of making it singularly user-unfriendly. No migration wizard to be found. Rather, a maze of disconnected and rather unhelpful content seemingly engineered to make the whole process as difficult as possible.

I was able to migrate my GOES account over to the TTP account but I could only update two pieces of information: driver’s license and address.

Nowhere to be seen was a place to update employment status.

We head out tomorrow morning to queue up at the enrolment centre to let them know that I have now retired. Technically my official retirement date is October 1st as I had a number of vacation days that I was able to use over the past two months.

We don’t want to lose our Trusted Traveller status particularly as we will be spending our winters south in the United States. Crossing a land border with an RV does not allow you to use the Nexus lines. Those lines are for cars only. Presenting a Nexus card does help even at the regular customs lanes. A customs officer will see all of the relevant data which helps the officer determine the risk level of the traveller in question.

Which, for Lorraine and myself, should continue to be low as members of the Trusted Travellers Program.