Tuesday, December 19, 2006

On The Other Side II

A couple of other things I want to add to the crossing the border post. I thought that some of my readers who travel across the border by car might be interested in what we saw that was different from when we crossed back in July.

First of all the USA Border Agents are not the same as they were 7 or 8 years ago. Before they seemed welcoming and would even smile or ask a friendly question. Not anymore. The way they stand, the way they wear the uniform, everything about their demeanor is all business. They send a clear signal that jokes and small talk will not be tolerated and that they are prepared to deal decisively with any issue.

There is now some kind of special reserved lane for cars that have been granted permission to cross the border. I'm not sure what the parameters for that are but I'm assuming that it is for cars that travel back and forth everyday for business. If someone knows anything about this, please comment since we are curious about how you obtain permission to zip across the bridge.

At the immigration checkpoint on the other side of Nuevo Laredo headed South there have been changes. It use to be that the trucks stayed to the left and the cars went to the right to go through that checkpoint. This has changed and now the cars go to the left and the trucks go right. There are new "guard houses" and it looks more efficient and business like but I'll let you know more about it when we go South. Coming North at that checkpoint, they have built a huge truck checkpoint with a large office building. Everytime we've come North for the last year, we've expect to see that it has gone into operation but it hasn't. The lights and everything seem to be in place but so far it just sits there.

At the old bridge toll booths in Nuevo Laredo there are signs about cancelling your car permits but we couldn't figure out how that worked. I think I would still head down to the place where you get the permits and visas along the river to be sure that the cancellation got recorded on the computer. Well as sure as you can ever be that the cancellation gets recorded. And whatever you do be sure you get an official paper with stamps and signatures that the permit was cancelled and then keep that cancellation paper forever and ever! We personally know too many
horror stories of cancellation problems and not being able to bring another car back into Mexico.


Anonymous said...

Billie- haven't commented to you in awhile, but still reading. Love your pics and new lens thingy. I wish I could take a trip to Texas. Next time I get to USA I am stocking up on pump hair spray and foundation in my color. Aerosol is all I see sold here and colors never my shade. Mousse, MY GAWD! 3 bucks???? Yeah, need some of that too (99 cents though). Felipe made it here in 3 days from Atlanta...somehow I don't see us taking many driving trips NOB. Enjoy your family and trip. Stay safe.

Brenda said...

Could that zip right through lane be for people with the SENTRI pass? There was a thread not long ago about it on one of the forums I read. I will look for it and email it to you if I can find it.
Glad you are having a nice holiday.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.