What to Expect when Crossing the Border to Mexico
Just because you know what you need to bring with you to get into Mexico doesn’t mean you’re prepared to cross the border. If you’ve never crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, you’re in for a few surprises. This border is a lot different than the border between the U.S. and Canada. For one thing, there is a stoplight system that dictates whether you stop at customs or not. Indeed, there’s a chance that you won’t have to stop at all. However, there are no guarantees. One thing that you can control is where you buy Mexican insurance. Don’t buy it at the border.
Red Light, Green Light
People are often surprised to be presented with stoplights at the U.S.-Mexico border. This system is designed to help keep traffic flowing more smoothly while still protecting the security of the U.S. and Mexico. No one can predict whether the light will turn red or green, so it’s extremely risky to try and enter the country without the right documentation or with illegal or banned items. Keep in mind that you’ll have to go across the border to get back home, so if you don’t bring the right stuff into Mexico, you might have trouble getting back into the U.S.
If you get a red light, you will probably just be asked to show your passport and other identification. You may be asked a few simple questions about where you’re heading and why you are going to Mexico. More than likely, you will then be allowed to proceed. However, there’s a chance that you will be asked to pull over for a search. This is sometimes done because the agent is concerned about something. Other times, it’s just a random search. Don’t ask why you are being searched. This will raise a red flag.
Be on Your Best Behavior
After pulling over for a search, be prepared to step out of your vehicle. The agents will probably require you to do so. Don’t be surprised if dogs are also used to search your car. They will check it for drugs, weapons and other contraband. It’s definitely awkward and a little embarrassing to be searched, but try not to take it personally. Hundreds of people are randomly searched at the border every day. It’s just a part of keeping the border as secure as possible, and it can happen to anyone.
Keep it Tidy
One of the best ways to enjoy smooth sailing when crossing the border is by being neat and organized. Give your car a thorough cleaning before hitting the road. Try to pack lightly. If your car is really dirty, messy and crammed full of things, it’s more likely to pique the interest of agents at the border. Make sure your paperwork is all in order too. Buy Mexican insurance ahead of time and keep it in an envelope in your glove box. Don’t buy it when you’re at the border; you will pay more and wait a long time.
This article was written by Linden Gray and provided exclusively to the website you are viewing it from. Mr Gray is a cross border auto insurance expert and frequently writes about Mexico insurance as it relates to travelers entering Mexico from the United States.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/notionscapital/4994875156/