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Border officials: Declare your dollars

Authorities at the border want you to know it's OK to enter or leave the U.S. with a lot of money -- you just have to declare amounts over $10,000. The issue came up Monday in Portal, N.D., where two people coming into the U.S. neglected to decla...

Authorities at the border want you to know it's OK to enter or leave the U.S. with a lot of money -- you just have to declare amounts over $10,000.

The issue came up Monday in Portal, N.D., where two people coming into the U.S. neglected to declare $33,885 in U.S and Canadian currency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Chris Misson said Friday.

Misson said the pair told officers they had close to $11,000, but more was found during a search of their vehicle. He would not say why they had so much cash, but said it was a legitimate reason. He did not identify the two individuals because they're not facing criminal charges; they were slapped with a fine and got their money back.

Misson didn't divulge how much the penalty was in this case, but said such penalties vary depending on how much money goes undeclared.

Specifically, federal law requires anyone entering or leaving the U.S. with currency, travelers' checks, money orders or other "monetary instruments" to report amounts totaling more than $10,000, according to the CBP.

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Misson says people are sometimes nervous about bringing lots of money across the border. But he says that, in most cases, as long as a traveler has a legitimate reason, like buying a new car or a used boat, amounts over $10,000 don't arouse suspicion.

"If it was a super-large amount, there might be some inquiries made," Misson said.

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