Crossing the Border:
Obviously going South is easy. Remember when crossing the border into Mexico, never pull into the declaration area. This is for people that live in Mexico and want to declare what they are bringing back from the States. There is a tariff to pay if you are bringing into Mexico more than $400 per person per day. This does not apply to you!

Remember, Guns (without a permit), Ammunition (without a permit), and illegal drugs are illegal in both countries. The difference that in the states you may receive a slap on the wrist. The Mexican law enforcement are serious about these crimes and there is no such thing as a slap on the wrist in Mexico. Just don't risk it.
If you are pulled over, be polite and to the best of your ability answer their questions. If you do not understand their questions, tell them that you do not and you will likely be on your way quickly. It is important to note, that we are rarely pulled over and when we are we are on our way in minutes.

The rules for coming back into the US were changed on June 1 2009.
Coming back into the States is another thing. Be prepared to give the agent all of US Passports for everyone in the car. There are new rules to prove your citizenship. Please see the new rules and links to the Customs Sight You basically need a US Passport or the other choices in the link above. So you need to get a Passport quickly to make this easier. Also kids under 18 need a birth certificate as well.

1) If you are bringing your dog back, you are supposed to have a Health Certificate from your vet. This is the law, but no one knows this. All they ever ask for is your vaccination record and rarely do they ask this. If your dog is large you won't be asked anything. If your dog looks like a Mexican dog, you better have his vaccination records. With a large dog, you will probably not even discuss it.
2) The first question you are asked is if you are an American Citizen. The answer is obvious and respond accordingly.
3) The second question they generally ask is how many people are in your car ( don't tell them about the leprechauns in the trunk, just kidding). It is a dumb question trying to catch you hiding people. The Border agent can see everyone in your car. Answer quickly and your questions are almost at an end.
3) Do not bring back vegetables and answer no when they ask you if you are.
4) Sometimes they ask you how long were you in Mexico. Remember, your license was photographed on the way into Mexico and they already have the answer to this question once your license is brought up as you pull up to the agent. Answer quickly and this one is over as well.
5) They will then ask you if you are bringing anything back from Mexico. Just answer honestly and you will soon be on your way. I am assuming that you have taken my recommendations on what not to bring into the states (Fireworks, Pharmacy Drugs, Cuban Cigars, and any other illegal substances). It is also important to note that you are not allowed to bring back unlimited alcohol. A liter of alcohol per person is the rule. That is about a six pack or a fifth. Stay away from Pharmaceuticals since they are cracking down on this. You must have a prescription from a Mexican Doctor to have prescription drugs. The person who has the prescription must be in the car. Just stay away from this.

The above takes about one to two minutes if you are prepared with the answers. This assumes that you are not bringing back Fireworks, Cases of Alcohol (only a bottle per adult is allowed), Produce that is strictly prohibited, or anything else that is against the US Law. If none of the above are the case, you are confident, and cooperative, you will probably go right through the border easily.

If on the other hand, you are nervous, answer incorrectly to any question, or in general seem suspicious, the agent may ask you to open your trunk, doors, or other compartments on your car, truck, Suv, or vehicle. Remember, if you have done nothing wrong, act it. Prepare your answers as recommended above and you will minimize your stay at the gate.

See new laws and regulations below:

Home | About Us | Beach Rentals | Restaurants | Fishing | Golfing | The Wineries | Other Activities | Baja Travel | Contact Us | Sitemap