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Laredo Border Crossing and Banjercito Location


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Heading up to the border soon, and was curious about the various options crossing at/or near the border at Laredo. 

Looking at https://bwt.cbp.gov/ it appears that just Bridge 2 and Colombia are currently open.

Is the Colombia crossing preferred for some reason?  I have see several folks mention using this.  The ones through Nuevo Laredo (Bridge 2, for instance) seems like it would be a more direct path.  I do not know about the traffic up there however.

I have directions that include the Banjercito at the Colombia crossing.  

If Bridge 2 would be preferable, could someone tell me where the Banjercito is located near or en route to it?

Thanks in advance!

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If you are headed to San Antonio then Columbia is a better crossing point. If staying in Laredo then Columbia is about 45 minutes more driving time vs Laredo bridge.

Check the border wait times on the Border Wait Time phone app when you get close to the cut-off for Columbia and make a decision on which to use.

There is a booth at both Columbia and the Laredo bridge for removing the vehicle TIP if that is of concern.

 

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Colombia will be FAR easier, especially with respect to turning in/cancelling your TIP. At Colombia one basically cannot miss the 'hut' for tuning in the TIP nor the building IF one also needs INM services. At Laredo Bridge II one must either have been there before and remember OR just be damn lucky in finding it as a newbie.  (Yes, I know the Bridge II area has signs IF one knows what signs to look for and which lateral to take and when, but.....)

I am aware of no 'booth' at the Laredo Bridge II crossing except up next to the hard-to-find INM building. At Colombia crossing it sits right out there on the entrance road daring one to miss it!

 

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last time I was there (2/6/20) there was construction/cement barriers all along there. I did not know about/see a 'booth' for turning in one's TIP and never knew there was one there but....  What does one do with their tourist card as in turn it in and get one's Passport stamped?

EDIT:  Looking at Google Street Scene I see that the booths say they are for TIP cancellation. The booth to the left 'might' handle visas as it says "INM" and "Banjercito".  My last time through there was major construction there and only the left side was open, but unmanned.  No problem as I had already gone 'under the bridge' where I usually go when using Bridge II.

 

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We always use Columbia, including when we crossed into the US two weeks ago.  It is not very busy at all (no wait, at all, two weeks ago. ) You turn right off Hwy 2 and along a long road, staying in the 'auto' lane.  You will see a hut where you turn in your TIP, then follow the road, veering left until yu get to the immigrado building (one story, lots of parking)  You turn in your turista here, then head slightly to your right to pay the bridge toll and cross into the US.  When we went, all of the carrels were marked closed, and we were somewhat confused, but it turned out they had so few people crossing that they hadn't turned them 'on' yet (this was noon)   We were worried that we wouldn't be let in as we are Canadians, but the word was out to let Canadians going home through, and we were done in 2 minutes.

On the Mexican side, you follow the signs to "Columbia" bridge about 60 k before NLaredo, and bypass Nuevo Laredo completely.  (One note:  stick to the speed signs on Hwy 2.  There are a couple of 'mordida' cops who stake out that highway and try to pick off gringos.  Usually those on the way into Mexico, but it's slim pickings at the moment, so they may work the other direction, too.  We found parking ourselves between two trucks kept them at bay.)   On the US side, you completely bypass Laredo, and end up just before the 20 mile security stop in the US.   It may be a few kilometers longer than if you go through NL and Laredo, but the convenience is well worth it to us.

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Those cops work 'both directions'.  6-8 months ago they stopped me for.... speeding. Didn't seem to make any difference that I was between trucks going about 30mph. Short story is that they let me go after I nicely but repeatedly tolf them to 'take me to the office and I'll pay'!

BTW, first time ever on February I was stopped by a couple of cops looking for mordida just as I was coming into Nuevo Laredo. Speeding. Had the 'speed gun' showing I was doing 95 kph. Of course that was a lie. Same outcome as above.

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When we were stopped by those guys a couple of years ago (entering Mexico) we played with each other for about 20 minutes before they let us go.  They were going to 'give us a ticket' that we'd have to pay in NLaredo, out of our way, blah blah.   We said we'd take the ticket.  They switched guys and the one in the cruiser came out to try his luck.  Told us we were speeding in a 20k zone.   Really????   A 20k zone?  Then we'd better take the ticket.   Went to his car to get the form.  Waved it in front of us.   We insisted on the ticket.   After 20 minutes they gave up on us and sent us on our way.    We met some people at the hotel in Matehuala, who we'd seen at Immigrado.   The cops apparently stopped them after trying things with us.  They had no better luck with them.

When we were driving up to the Columbia Bridge exit, leaving Mexico, about 2 weeks ago, we saw them parked behind some bushes at the side of the road and ready to pounce, but they didn't go after us.   We were between two trucks.  Maybe they were eating lunch, who knows.  We were glad we didn't have to deal with them; we were pretty stressed about whether or not the US Border guys were going to let us through (this was Day One of the new rules) and wouldn't have enjoyed dealing with them that day.

 

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