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US to Mexico border crossing


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Hi, I am very excited to find this webboard. My wife and I are preparing to relocate to Mexico, Los Cabos. We are have some questions and was hoping you good folks would be able to provide some insight. We plan to drive from Las Vegas to Los Cabos. We will be towing a small cargo trailer (about 10') with some personal and household items in it.

1. What is the best border crossing as far as wait times? Are there specific times of the day that are better to cross than others?

2. What are some considerations for driving the length of the Baja? We are not planning to drive at night. Are there ample gas stations? 

Thank you in advance for your help!!!

ADAVES

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Car Permits, TIP, are not required in all of Baja.... only visa will be required.  I doubt that there are, but I don't know for sure, significant wait times at the Baja crossings. I would just cross at Mexicali and head down highway 5 until it intersects with highway 1, then on it all the way to Cabo san Lucas. You 'could' cross at Tecati and drive down through the boutique Valle de Grape/Guadalupe wine country. Then continue on down highway 1...

Although I have not driven the entirety of the Baja, I can't imagine that you would have trouble finding a Pemex gas station. Just fill up often so as to not worry about that aspect of the trip.

And if you aren't hell-bent to get to Cabo, I'd personally stop along the way at some very nice stopovers..... like maybe Bahia de Los Angeles, Guerrero Negro if it is whale watching season, Mulege and Loreto. Other places like La Paz and Todos Santos are close enough to Cabo to backtrack once established there. For a real treat, ease up the eastern/Sea of Cortez side from San Jose del Cabo to the Cabo Pulmo area for a couple of days of more laid-back and beautiful Sur territory. 

 

 

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Yes, but the trailer becomes a part of the car's Importada Temporal, and must be attached to the car whenever the car leaves Mexico.  You should also know that you must own the trailer. No rental vehicles or trailers permitted.

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12 minutes ago, RVGRINGO said:

Yes, but the trailer becomes a part of the car's Importada Temporal, and must be attached to the car whenever the car leaves Mexico. 

RV.... no TIP (Importada Temporal) required in Baja so I'm not sure if your requirements are valid...

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True, for the OP, but the title of the thread is "US to Mexico border crossing" in the Customs and Immigration forum.  As such, I thought it wise to advise of Mexican national policy.  I know that Baja plays by its own rules, in many ways. 

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No, you don't, but on rare occasions you may be asked, or even searched before leaving the USA. Remember: Within about 100 miles of the borders of the USA, you really don't have many rights that you may think you have. 

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2 hours ago, RVGRINGO said:

No, you don't, but on rare occasions you may be asked, or even searched before leaving the USA. Remember: Within about 100 miles of the borders of the USA, you really don't have many rights that you may think you have. 

I would have to say that, for someone just driving through, being asked/searched before leaving the USA is going to be an especially rare event. One does not even have to produce those documents when reentering the US from Mexico... unless something is 'outa kilter' with your license plates, your Passport or your answer to the question "is this your vehicle" etc etc etc.   'Normally' neither of these two documents will be required by any US official going either way. I Never travel with the title to my vehicles.... registration card yes of course. 

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3 hours ago, ademin said:

Do you need to show both your title and registration on the US side when you cross from the US to Mexico?

When crossing FROM the US INTO Mexico there are no stops... no buildings, no gates, no personnel. On the Mexican side.... yes. On the US side, no. 

The big US presence is coming back into the homeland. 

I think the moral is, "we don't mind at all if your leave, but if you want IN, be prepared to answer a lot of questions, have your car picture taken, pony up your Passport which will be scanned into a computer and.....look calmly into a lot of eyes".

 

 

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I am only aware of crossings in Laredo. '

Your vehicle is photographed front & rear on the US side.  There are US Border Agents and sometimes dogs. Some cars are stopped. There is even a roof over the area at Laredo bridge 2 and Columbia. What they are asked I do not know because I have always been waved through  although one time they motioned for me to roll down the drivers window to see my face.

Here vehicles on the right being stopped on US side

Laredo bridge 2.JPG

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Yes, you can be stopped. We have been stopped and searched by US agents on departure from the USA.  They can do it, if they wish.  In our case, it was in 2007 and we were driving a Mexican purchased smart car, which was not available in the USA until 2008.  Curious agents, I think.  They looked it over very carefully.  :)

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On the other hand I've probably driven into Mexico 10 times over the years and never once been 'detained' by the US driving out of the country. At some places there is not even an US CBP presence going out. 

 

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Yes, but there are cameras there, and a few beyond the crossing point. Then, some way up the road, you will come to a checkpoint, which could have already reviewed your photo and file of crossings, etc., etc.  If you are 'interesting', you can be stopped; even held.

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7 hours ago, RVGRINGO said:

Yes, but there are cameras there, and a few beyond the crossing point. Then, some way up the road, you will come to a checkpoint, which could have already reviewed your photo and file of crossings, etc., etc.  If you are 'interesting', you can be stopped; even held.

Isn´t  the question whether the US CBP will stop you when going into Mexico, so why would they have cameras when crossing, to check you "up the road", in Mexico?

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Sorry.  I was still talking about the 'zone' in the USA where you have limited rights & CBP has all the power to stop and/or detain you, "up the road" in the USA going north.

Down the road, going south in Mexico, you are obviously in the Mexican jurisdiction, which has a similar 'zone'.

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On 11/5/2019 at 4:15 PM, Mostlylost said:

It has been the same for at least 14 years. 

Actually, wife and I were stopped and pulled over once there in Laredo and asked how much money we had with us. When we responded, they told us to show them and count it in front of them. That was about 14 years ago. Really curious that the same thing happened later that morning at the last checkpoint leaving Nuevo Laredo. Whatta ya think?

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On 11/4/2019 at 11:49 AM, RickS said:

On the other hand I've probably driven into Mexico 10 times over the years and never once been 'detained' by the US driving out of the country. At some places there is not even an US CBP presence going out. 

 

Really, ten times over the years ! Impressive ! And one would have thought you were a resident expert on traveling around Mexico. 

 

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15 hours ago, Jim Bowie said:

Actually, wife and I were stopped and pulled over once there in Laredo and asked how much money we had with us. When we responded, they told us to show them and count it in front of them. That was about 14 years ago. Really curious that the same thing happened later that morning at the last checkpoint leaving Nuevo Laredo. Whatta ya think?

I have been stopped twice over the years on the USA side heading south and had to count out my money.  Both times I had an RV and was searched.

 

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