Radio frequency identification technology now operational at select ports of entry across Canada

Ensuring an efficient, secure border is important to Canadians and our economy. Almost $2.5 billion dollars’ worth of two-way trade passes between Canada and the United States every day, in addition to more than 400,000 travellers.

On Wednesday, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) announced that radio frequency identification (RFID) technology is now fully operational at select land ports of entry (POEs) across Canada.

RFID lanes have a special reader to capture RFID tag numbers in certain travel documents, specifically: electronic Canadian Permanent Resident cards; Enhanced Driver’s Licenses from British Columbia, Manitoba and Ontario; Enhanced Identification Cards from Manitoba and British Columbia; and NEXUS/FAST cards.

If travellers are carrying these RFID-enabled documents, the RFID reader will be able to read the RFID tag number as their vehicle approaches the booth. The RFID tag number will retrieve traveller information from secure databases, assess for risk, and then display the information on the border services officer’s screen. RFID technology saves time by eliminating the need for the officer to manually input the traveller’s information.

Two regular traveller lanes have been equipped with RFID technology at each of the following POEs: in British Columbia, the Douglas, Pacific Highway and Aldergrove border crossings; in Manitoba, the Emerson border crossing; in Ontario, border crossings at Lansdowne, Ambassador Bridge (Windsor), Peace Bridge (Fort Erie), Queenston Bridge (Niagara), and Rainbow Bridge (Niagara).

These infrastructure upgrades will increase efficiency at Canada’s busiest land POEs. In the coming months, the CBSA will also be able to read certain RFID-enabled travel documents from the United States, aligning Canada with technology already in use by our American partners.


“Adding radio frequency identification technology to the CBSA’s suite of tools will help streamline traveller processing and improve border security measures. It is yet another way in which we are making use of technology to help border services officers ensure the border is efficient and secure,” said the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Quick Facts

  • RFID technology is the wireless, non-contact use of radio frequency electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.
  • The RFID chip and reader allow for RFID-enabled travel documents to be read and displayed from a distance, prior to a vehicle’s arrival at the primary inspection booth.
  • RFID-enabled lanes are regular lanes that all travellers can use, with or without RFID-enabled travel documents.
  • No personal information is stored on the RFID chip.