You may be wondering how long it takes to cross the US/Mexico border with your vehicle. This depends on a lot of factors – mostly, though, it has to do with how many other people are trying to cross at the same time. During high-traffic times (Namely Spring Break, Memorial day weekend, 3-day weekends) it is not uncommon for US Border traffic to be backed up as many tourists must all make their way through the inspections.
We are tied to the US Customs And Border Protection web pages, which provide border crossing time estimates for the major crossing points, shown below. Please note that these are just estimates! Your wait time may vary!
NOTE: Customer’s Feedback – The best time to cross the border is before 9am or after 4pm….. but of course no guarantees!
Visit US Customs and Border Protection to get border wait times at each port of entry. We always look at Lukeville since it is the most common port of entry. The ‘passenger traffic’ column is the one that applies to people crossing in personal cars.
Here is a link for all ports of entry
There are many other things you should know about when crossing the Arizona/Mexico border. The border is CLOSED Midnight to 6am. Believe us when we tell you that if you are 2 minutes pass midnight, you will sit at the border until sunrise or 6am!
As soon as you pass the chainlink fence, you are entering into Mexico. Wait for the vehicle ahead of you to pass all the way through the lane before proceeding.
There are two means of inspection:
1) Fiscal Traffic Light
2) Integral Inspection
As you cross the Mexican Border you will go through a narrow lane and there will be a (traffic) light up ahead on your left at the end of the lane. As you proceed through the land, the light will either flash RED (alto – stop) or GREEN (pase- go)
Red Light: STOP (alto)
If the light is red you will pull off to the left where an officer will ask you some questions such as where you are going, how long you are staying, and what you are bringing into Mexico. The officer will most likely look through your vehicle And belongings. Do not leave your vehicle unattended and accompany the officer during his search. If you incur any problems be sure to get the name and
badge number of the officer.
Green Light: GO (pase)
If you get the green light you can pass Through without any inspection. Please Note that you still may be pulled over and Inspected even if you get the green light.
After you have paid the bank you will need to cross the border and go through The Fiscal Traffic Light. If you get the red light you will need to pull over and show your receipt to the officer.
If you come through the fiscal traffic Light, and merchandise is found which was not declared, you could have to pay a fine of 4x the commercial value of the articles plus your vehicle and belongings may be seized. If you choose the integral Inspection the fine will be 1 1/2x the value. In both cases you forfeit the right to the Tax exemption.
Your vehicle and personal belongings can be confiscated if you do not stop and declare merchandise over your Limit allowed by Mexican Law.