USA/Mexico Border Crossing with a Dog

Our border crossing into Mexico took less than 20 minutes, including the red light at Customs.

Documents needed

  • We needed:
    • Passports
    • Tourist Visa (FMM)
      • We went to Discover Baja in San Diego the day before we crossed the border. It was 39 USD for a years membership and then 22 USD each for the Tourist Visa. They gave us receipts from Banjercito as well as copies, which you need to exit Mexico.
    • Truck Title and Registration
    • Driver’s Licences
    • Proof of Mexican Insurance
      • We bought this in advance at Discover Baja as well. It was around 500 USD for 6 months. There are way cheaper options out there…
  • (What we thought ) Neli needed:
    • International Health Certificate
      • NOTE: Everything you will read online will tell you need the USDA Approval. This has turned out to not be true. We didn’t get it as it meant FedExing back and forth to Sacramento and we couldn’t be bothered.
    • Valid Rabies Vaccination Certificate (not more than a year old, not less than 30 days)
    • Vaccination Record

Exit US

  • The 5 South from San Diego leads directly into Mexico. You do not ‘check-out” of USA.


Enter Mexico

  • Mexico Immigration: This is totally confusing and most people miss the Immigration office, we’ve heard stories of people getting all the way to La Paz and having to drive back to the US border to Ensenada to have their FMMs stamped. We are including step by step directions so this doesn’t happen to you.
    • As you near the end of the freeway, you’ll want to be in the far right late. You’ll approach the old border crossing, follow traffic to make a 90 degree right turn.
    • Continue about a third of a mile along the border (still in the US). Stay in the far right lane for FMM validation or to declare anything at Immigration.
    • Stay in the far right lane and follow signs for autodeclaration.
    • While all the other traffic will turn left to cross the border, stay to the far right and head into the yard with a giant Mexican flag.
    • Park and go into the blue building. Go to the Immigration Office to have your FMM stamped.
      • NOTE: If you have not paid for it yet, the Banjercito is here as well.
  • Mexico Customs: After leaving Immigration, follow the road to Customs. You will push a button and and get either a green light (free to go) or a red light (stop for inspection).
    • NOTE: We got a red light. The Customs official asked us if we were importing anything, opened the back door to the camper, saw how much stuff we were carrying, prayed over the contents of our camper, laughed at our Perro Peligroso sign, smiled at Neli sitting on Victoria’s lap, and sent us on our way.


Total Cost: 600 USD

  • Discover Baja Membership (not necessary but it made everything really easy!): 39 USD
  • Tourist Visa (FMM): 22 USD/per person, 44 USD total
  • Mexican auto insurance: 517 USD


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