Pier Permits - 1910 Travel Guide
It is a mistake to suppose that your friends can come on to the pier to meet you on arrival in New York, although it is true that they can meet you at the exit of the pier. In order to go on a pier and be present while the baggage is being examined requires a permit from the Collector of the Port, countersigned by the Surveyor of the Port. Such permits can be secured by sending a letter to the Collector of the Port stating the name of the steamer which it is desired to meet, and the probable day of arrival: stamps should accompany this application.
Applications may he made in person in Room 241, Custom House, Bowling Green. According to rule only two permits are given to meet each passenger. but there is usually great latitude in the enforcement of the rule, and it is not likely that an application will be refused.
Take no bags or parcels to the pier and stand clear when the inspectors are working on your friend's baggage. While it is quite a good deal of trouble to get one of these permits, the advantage of meeting dear friends fully an hour be-fore they will see them otherwise al-ways makes the effort worth the while.
Permits to meet the incoming vessel at Quarantine are given only in extreme cases, and they should not be asked for except in such extraordinary emergency as fatal illness, etc.