Create or retrieve your password by clicking here

US-VISIT Seeks to Improve Border Security and Travel

August 11, 2005

US-VISIT Seeks to Improve Border Security and Travel
August 11, 2005 – The Department of Homeland Security has begun testing a radio frequency identification system to record the entries and exits of visitors at U.S. borders. This latest testing is part of the US-VISIT Program and will be tested at five U.S. land border ports from Aug. 2005 through early summer of 2006. If successful, radio "tags" carried by travelers will be part of the standard registration process for those entering the United States.

Officials hope that this new technology will help relieve congestion at border crossings, while also helping authorities detect potential terrorists, drug dealers and other criminals.

"By testing this promising use of technology, we are taking another step to transform the way we gather information about entries and exits at our borders," said Jim Williams, Director of the US VISIT Program at DHS. "With the innovative use of technology, we can protect our citizens and visitors from threats to our security and allow valuable trade and travel into the U.S. to continue and thrive."

If implemented, foreign travelers using visas will obtain radio tags from U.S. Customs officials when they first register to enter the United States. The tag is embedded into a document, which the traveler presents to enter or leave the United States. The crossing points are equipped with antennas that read the tags for a secured and coded serial number linked to a database with the information provided by the traveler.

The antennas can read the tags up to 30 feet away and recognize many tags simultaneously. Ideally, travelers will be able to flash them going by at highway speeds.

US VISIT protects the privacy of visitors. No personal information will be included on the tag and the serial number cannot be changed. Personal information is only processed within DHS databases and the tags are tamper proof and difficult to counterfeit.

For more information, visit

« »