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MountainGal

Where to have sticker removed at Laredo?

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We will be returning to the States via Laredo (either Bridge 2 or Columbia - haven't decided yet) in a few days. This will be my first time driving North. Where do I have the car sticker removed? Aduana at the 20 KM check point, or at the actual crossing? Also, if we go through Laredo main crossing, where is Immigration for checking out and getting the FMM? I have the impression that you need to drive around on narrow streets looking for the building.

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We will be returning to the States via Laredo (either Bridge 2 or Columbia - haven't decided yet) in a few days. This will be my first time driving North. Where do I have the car sticker removed? Aduana at the 20 KM check point, or at the actual crossing? Also, if we go through Laredo main crossing, where is Immigration for checking out and getting the FMM? I have the impression that you need to drive around on narrow streets looking for the building.

As a resident of Nuevo Laredo I would advise against using the Columbia bridge for security reasons. I realize Columbia bridge is beloved on ex-pat boards, but no one locally goes out on Highway 2 towards Piedras these days unless absolutely necessary.

The CIITEV station in Nuevo Laredo is between the bridges. You do not have to drive around on narrow streets looking for it. It is easy to find when you cross at Bridge II, which is where you should cross. You simply take the exit to Bridge II as you approach NL on the Monterrey highway. This is Blvd. Luis Donaldo Coloso. The exit is to the right just past the Mitsubishi dealership and before the overpass over Coloso. At the light you take a right onto Coloso which is a divided roadway that runs directly into the bridge.

Around the 10 km sign post you will get into the far right lane as you approach the first traffic signal on Coloso. You will exit onto an access road that is actually Cesar de Lara Blvd. This road will run along the river for about 1.5 km. Just after you pass under Bridge II you will see the large building labelled Centro de Importación e Internación Temporal de Vehículos (CIITEV) to your left. Enter the parking lot. You will see at the far end of the parking lot alongside the main building, a couple of little outbuildings where you drive through and cancel the permits. When you finish you simply retrace the route back to the light and then make a U turn back onto Coloso. The toll booths are just ahead.

During the peak season there are Banjercito booths just before the toll booths where they also cancel permits. The problem is that they are not always open, or if you are not in the correct lane you can't access them and there is no turnaround.

The vehicle cancellation area is not difficult to find.

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Thank you so much for the excellent description. I would love to use Columbia for it's simplicity, but I've seen your notices here and I know we need to exercise caution. So, another learning experience ahead...

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Thank you so much for the excellent description. I would love to use Columbia for it's simplicity, but I've seen your notices here and I know we need to exercise caution. So, another learning experience ahead...

Laredo is a breeze as long as you use Colosio Blvd. Very easy to find the license place and the bridge to the USA.

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When I crossed into the US about 5 weeks ago at Laredo, I stopped at the CIITEV station to get an FMM. I asked, and then 10 minutes later asked again for the FMM form. The man at the window said no they don't have them and I don't need one-just go to Bridge 2 and cross into the US with no problems. No one on Bridge 2 cared. The man at the station didn't care about my passport either. He just glanced at my FM-3 card and said I was fine to go.

RVGringo posted (back then) that you might have to demand the form since asking nicely didn't work. So, stick to your guns and demand the form.

I'm hoping I don't have a problem when I return by air to Guad and Ajijic.

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Thank you so much for the excellent description. I would love to use Columbia for it's simplicity, but I've seen your notices here and I know we need to exercise caution. So, another learning experience ahead...

If you can find your way from the interior to the border, you can find the CIITEV station in Nuevo Laredo. You have to go inside the main building to take care of the migration forms. The booths outside are only for cancellation of the vehicle permits.

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CIITEV won't have the forms, or even know about them. You must stop at INM (Immigration) to fill out the FMM when you depart, or enter Mexico. Failure to do so can result in complications when it is time to renew your 'credencial' the next time. Your departure and entry must be recorded and their computers are getting better all the time. Someone recently posted that they left Mexico correctly, with the FMM, but failed to turn in the stub when they returned. When they attempted to renew their 'credencial', they had to prove that they had re-entered Mexico. Being there, at INM, in person, didn't prove a thing. Paperwork was required! Fortunately, they had correctly exported and re-imported their car and INM accepted that paperwork as 'proof'.

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OK, I'm getting confused here. I went inside the main building at the CIITEV station in Laredo, where they would not give me an FMM form. In the past, this building is where they would stamp my passport and take my FMM stub when heading south to Lakeside.

If this is not immigration (INM), then where is INM for future reference when heading north to the US?

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As a resident of Nuevo Laredo I would advise against using the Columbia bridge for security reasons. I realize Columbia bridge is beloved on ex-pat boards, but no one locally goes out on Highway 2 towards Piedras these days unless absolutely necessary.

The CIITEV station in Nuevo Laredo is between the bridges. You do not have to drive around on narrow streets looking for it. It is easy to find when you cross at Bridge II, which is where you should cross. You simply take the exit to Bridge II as you approach NL on the Monterrey highway. This is Blvd. Luis Donaldo Coloso. The exit is to the right just past the Mitsubishi dealership and before the overpass over Coloso. At the light you take a right onto Coloso which is a divided roadway that runs directly into the bridge.

Around the 10 km sign post you will get into the far right lane as you approach the first traffic signal on Coloso. You will exit onto an access road that is actually Cesar de Lara Blvd. This road will run along the river for about 1.5 km. Just after you pass under Bridge II you will see the large building labelled Centro de Importación e Internación Temporal de Vehículos (CIITEV) to your left. Enter the parking lot. You will see at the far end of the parking lot alongside the main building, a couple of little outbuildings where you drive through and cancel the permits. When you finish you simply retrace the route back to the light and then make a U turn back onto Coloso. The toll booths are just ahead.

During the peak season there are Banjercito booths just before the toll booths where they also cancel permits. The problem is that they are not always open, or if you are not in the correct lane you can't access them and there is no turnaround.

The vehicle cancellation area is not difficult to find.

MountainGal, if you're a visual person, then download GoogleEarth, find Nuevo Laredo, and you'll have a great map/picture that follows Arroyo Grande's written directions. You'll see that the Colosio Blvd just cuts away from the main highway and then follows along the Rio Grande River on the way to CIITEV and Bridge 2.

I normally cross at Columbia on my drives north, but I tried Bridge 2 in Laredo my last trip. I thought Laredo was easier and felt safer. I was getting very tired of crawling along waiting for the mordita police to stop me on the route to Columbia. Also, after driving at 80MPH on the cuotas, then driving 30MPH the last 20 miles to Columbia would drive me nuts. Timewise it's a toss up if you're overnighting in Laredo. You might spend 30 minutes in line in Laredo vs. no wait at Columbia, but you have to drive around 40 extra miles and wonder if the mordita police, or worse, will stop you.

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Hola, I drove that route a few weeks ago. South, we went through Laredo; going north, we went through Colombia. We carefully measured distances and it is 15 miles longer to go by way of Colombia.

On the Mexican side, the state is building a 4-lane, divided highway the entire 50k bypass and have corrected the speedlimit signs. The bypass to Colombia is a well-traveled, major highway. I defer to the local resident of N. Laredo, who is actually there and knows the area.

I personally have never seen, heard, googled nor experienced problems along that 50k. However, I don't live there. One should always be cautious when driving anywhere. Feliz viaje, David

MountainGal, if you're a visual person, then download GoogleEarth, find Nuevo Laredo, and you'll have a great map/picture that follows Arroyo Grande's written directions. You'll see that the Colosio Blvd just cuts away from the main highway and then follows along the Rio Grande River on the way to CIITEV and Bridge 2.

I normally cross at Columbia on my drives north, but I tried Bridge 2 in Laredo my last trip. I thought Laredo was easier and felt safer. I was getting very tired of crawling along waiting for the mordita police to stop me on the route to Columbia. Also, after driving at 80MPH on the cuotas, then driving 30MPH the last 20 miles to Columbia would drive me nuts. Timewise it's a toss up if you're overnighting in Laredo. You might spend 30 minutes in line in Laredo vs. no wait at Columbia, but you have to drive around 40 extra miles and wonder if the mordita police, or worse, will stop you.

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Hola, I drove that route a few weeks ago. South, we went through Laredo; going north, we went through Colombia. We carefully measured distances and it is 15 miles longer to go by way of Colombia.

On the Mexican side, the state is building a 4-lane, divided highway the entire 50k bypass and have corrected the speedlimit signs. The bypass to Colombia is a well-traveled, major highway. I defer to the local resident of N. Laredo, who is actually there and knows the area.

I personally have never seen, heard, googled nor experienced problems along that 50k. However, I don't live there. One should always be cautious when driving anywhere. Feliz viaje, David

David-after crossing at Columbia it's 20 miles back to Laredo where I would overnight after that long 11 hour drive from Ajijic. So, for me, about 40 miles extra. Count yourself lucky, in the 18 months I've been in Ajijic I've met 4 people that told me of getting stopped for mordida on that isolated stretch, usually paying around $100 US! I've read on this web board of many others. I do agree with you-one should always be cautious when driving anywhere. Cheers.

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