We crossed on Thursday, 2 October 2014 at 9:30am at the Douglas, Arizona and Agua Prieta, Mexico crossing. The immigration/vehicle office (Aduana) doesn’t open until 9:00am. This crossing is about 70 miles east of Nogales. It is small and relatively quiet and our crossing and paperwork was quick, easy, and painless. We were in and out in about 40 minutes. This was partially due to the fact that we had already completed all of our vehicle importation documents online and had our proper stickers.
To US and Canadian residents: you can do all the vehicle importation before you arrive at the border and they mail the sticker to you. We didn’t put the vehicle importation sticker on the bikes until we were crossing, as we were not sure if they needed to be stamped or something. To view detailed instructions and the link for the process go to:
The online vehicle paperwork can be done up to 60-days before you cross but cannot be done more than 60 days in advance. Be sure to leave enough time to receive the vehicle stickers in the mail; you then email copies of the stickers, signed authorization saying you won’t sell vehicle, and the paperwork you used to fill in the online form (e.g. titles, passport info, etc). There is also an online option if you only have 7-days before travel and then you pick up the documents at the border.
Therefore all we had to do at the crossing was our tourist cards.
The location of the immigration/vehicle importation building is the first right and then the next first right after you drive through the border. Everything you need is in this building and there is gated, secured parking.
Our process after walking in (and putting Ducati in his bag which is very incognito) was to go the vehicle importation window where we showed our documents. Because it was complete at first the man thought we needed to return/cancel them but then realized we just needed the tourist card. He had very little English and we have very little Spanish. We then went to a different window for the tourist card where there was one woman who was very helpful and spoke more English. Another woman actually filled out the tourist cards for us and then we moved two spaces to get copies (50 cents per copy and we each needed two of the tourist card and passport so that was US$2.00 – requested and paid in dollars) and then we went to window 4 to pay our entry fee (Pesos 306 each which is about US$24 – paid in Pesos) and then back to the first window where our cards got stamped. Then we were done!
We walked back outside and put our stickers on the bikes and drove off.
Dog process: none. We go by a bit of a policy of if no one asks then we don’t mention the dog. Plus, he was coughing some (he has a chronic cough that isn’t contagious but can sound sickly though we do have a note from his doctor about it). Ducati is very incognito in his carry bag (looks like a small duffle bag or messenger bag) so no one noticed we had a dog. Mind you, we do have all his paperwork (rabies certificate, ISO certified microchip which is required for Africa and Europe, health certificate, list of vaccinations, etc). For Ducati this border crossing was similar to when we went to Baja and just the opposite of the times we have flown with him to Mexico where all documents are reviewed carefully.