Cross to/from Mexico (by Land) FAQ - There Goes Monica

Cross to/from Mexico (by Land) FAQ

10:31 PM


Yesterday, I was checking my email and I found a few of you had question on border crossing. In fact, because of the location of my work, many of the customers ask these same questions. I know the information is out there but I think I would simplify it. Crossing the Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexicali or any other border state is not difficult but new regulations have confused many . Here is cheat-sheet for all of you looking to have a Mexican day, weekend, or week trip.

Question 1 : Do I need a passport to cross back from Mexico?

Answer: Yes. you do. In the last 2 years it has been required for everyone to either have a Passport, Passport Card or Sentri Card. If you do not have any of the above and only have birth certificate, you need to be aware that you will wait for more than 3 hours to cross the border. This is neither a joke or exaggeration as sometimes there are also the wait times for people with passport cards or Mexican Visas.

Question 2: What is the difference between Passport, Passport Card, and Sentri Card?

Answer: A passport is the book that you use to travel via air abroad. A passport card can be applied to with the passport but this can only be used between Mexico,USA, and Canada land travel. A sentri card is a trusted traveler program between Mexico and the USA. It takes about 6 months for the application process and it is included if you happen to have the Global Entry program.

Question 3: Why is border line so long and slow?

Answer: After the September 11 attacks border line became long. There were days that it took more than 4 hours to cross and it was all for safety measures. Keep in mine that some people do think there is less line in the midday but it tends to be long all day long. From the morning and the early rises that cross for school to work and the night for people crossing back home.

Question 4: Were could I leave my car if I do not want to cross it into Mexico?

Answer: If you do not want to take your car across there is 20 parking lots walking distance from the walking border crossing. They tend to run per hour or per day rates all under $30 a day. All the parking lots around the border are very safe from my experience as I have never had any issues.

Question 5: I took a chance and came to Mexico without a passport/passport card or birth certificate. What do I do now?

Answer:  Get in the line with people with birth certificates. If you have an American License, you will wait around 3 hours, and maybe even go to second revision but you most likely will be let back in. It will be frustrating process which should be used at your own risk.


I know that this does not cover everything, but I can follow up on it. If you have any other question, please tweet me @theregoesmonica or leave me a comment here.

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