Fast forward to 2018 and you will find long lines on nearly every weekend coming and going. Tourists use to leave Sunday morning to cross back to the US, but then they found long lines, so they would leave later on Sunday. That worked for a little while, but longer lines. Then they started going back on Monday morning early and that also worked for awhile. Last week there was still a back up on Tuesday morning. We are a popular destination.
My suggestion to avoid long weekend lines is to come either mid week or Thursday afternoon and leave on Monday morning at 6 – 7 am or after 5 p.m. Another good reason to come mid week if possible is the hotels and condos are usually a little cheaper. If at all possible, I would avoid traveling the week of Easter weekend and Memorial Day weekend as these seem to be the busiest of all the holidays. There is no guarantee as to the travel times, however this is a good estimate. If you are here and have internet, go to www.USBorderWaitTimes and it will give you some idea on the day you are leaving. As for lines coming in there really is no way to tell. I did notice on the U.S. side, they have put out signs that say there may be slow traffic ahead. Please remember not to speed through Organ Pipe National Park as the Park Rangers can and do ticket people and please don’t put other people’s lives in danger by passing in no passing zones on both sides of the border.
There are many factors that come into play with long lines. There has been a strong military presence at the border on the Mexican side to help look for drugs or other contraband headed north. As of late, however, both coming and going, they mainly just wave you on through. This compounded with so many tourists and not all 5 lanes are open on the United States side creates a real log jam. On busy weekends for those of you coming to Puerto Peñasco, be patient.. the Sea of Cortez will be waiting for you, so no need to speed or pass in no passing zones. Remember all the nice people you may have met in line on the way in will probably be traveling with on the way home. Smile and hang in there.
One of the hold ups are that many tourists feel they don’t need a passport or a passport card. YES YOU DO… It is the law! Fortunately for these people it is also the law that if you are a US Citizen, they have to admit your back into your country. However, the border people can make your life very difficult and make you go through the secondary check point, causing you both a delay and creating a hold up of law abiding folks behind you. The law is everyone no matter what age must have a PASSPORT or PASSPORT CARD.
It is a very simple process. 1)If you are an adult, fill out the form DS11, 2) Get supporting documents (citizen evidence such as birth certificate), 3) Provide photo 4) calculate fees and submit. The cost for the PASSPORT is $110 for the Application and $35 for Acceptance Fee. The cost for the card is $30.00 for the Application and $35 for the Acceptance Fee. If you want both the book and the card the fee is $140 for the Application and $35. for the Acceptance fee. Bear in mind these are non-refundable fees if for some reason you are denied. Remember the adult Passport is good for 10 years.
If you are renewing your passport or passport card you will need form #DS82. Follow the steps on the form and mail in payment. The renewal fee for the Passport is $110.00, Passport Card is $30.00 and the combo is $140.00. You have already been accepted so you do not have to pay the additional $35.00. For renewals you will need 1) Fill out form, 2) Submit most recent passport (make a copy of it in case it gets lost in the mail, 3) Include name changes if applicable, 4) Provide photo 5) Calculate fees, 6) Mail forms.
If you have children under 16 they also need a Passport or Passport Card. The charges are as follows: $80.00 for the Application and $35 .00 for Acceptance Fee, Passport Card Application is $15.00 for the Passport Card and $35.00 for the Acceptance Fee or if you want both it will be $95.00 for the Application and again the $35.00 for the Acceptance Fee. The children must appear in person and their Passports or Passport Cards are only valid for 5 years. For the children you will also use form #DS11. 1) Fill out form, 2) Provide US Citizen evidence, 3) take a copy of the US Citizen evidence 4) Show parental relationship, 5) Present parental/guardian evidence, 6) Bring photocopy of ID, 7) Show parental consent in case of divorce bring a copy of the decree, 8) Provide photo, 9) Present fees and finish the application.
If you have additional questions or need more detailed information please go to https://travel.state.gov Remember the wait time to get your 1st passport or renewal back will take 4 – 6 weeks. You can expedite it with additional fees.
There are so many events going on currently with benefits for getting the necessary items for a child to go back to school, to new restaurant openings, fishing, golfing or just sit back and relax. Come fall the Mermaid Markets will start up again. Don’t forget about Bike Festival by the Sea of CORTEZ is coming up the weekend of November 8th – the 12th. If you haven’t gotten your room reservation by now, you had better do it as many places are already full.
If you any questions Contact Us at Blog@Puerto-Penasco.com