The San Ysidro Border Crossing: What You Need to Know

The San Ysidro Border Crossing is the busiest land port of entry in the Western Hemisphere. Located between San Diego and Tijuana, the border crossing is used by tens of thousands of people every day. Here's what you need to know about the wait times, hours of operation and getting instant auto insurance before crossing San Ysidro. Read on to learn what you can expect at the crossing.

Is the San Ysidro border open 24 hours a day?

The short answer is that the border is open 24/7. However, that doesn't mean that you'll be able to cross the border at any time of day or night without delays. Wait times at the border can vary greatly depending on the time of day and day of the week that you attempt to cross. 

The longest wait times are typically experienced on weekends and during peak travel times. If possible, you should avoid attempting to cross the border during these times. However, if you must travel during these times, there are a few things you can do to minimize your wait time.

The documents: First, make sure you have all required documents with you before reaching the border.

The Ready Lane: Consider using the Ready Lane if you have a passport or other travel document that allows you to use it. The Ready Lane is an express lane for travelers who have certain documents that allow them to use it. 

FASTpass: Finally, sign up for FASTpass if you frequently cross the border. FASTpass is a program that allows pre-approved low-risk travelers to use dedicated lanes at certain crossings. 

How long will I wait at the San Ysidro border?

The average wait time at the San Ysidro border crossing is an hour and a half. However, wait times can vary depending on the time of day and day of the week. Monday mornings tend to have the longest wait times, while Sundays tend to be the shortest. Wait times are also typically longer during holiday periods.

If you're traveling during a peak period, you can expect to wait many hours to cross the border. To avoid long wait times, it's best to cross the border during off-peak hours. The border is open 24 hours a day, so there are plenty of options for traveling during off-peak hours.

What do I need to cross the San Ysidro border?

All travelers must have a valid passport or passport card to enter Mexico. U.S. citizens can also use a birth certificate or enhanced driver's license if they're traveling by land or sea. If you're traveling with children under 18, they must have their own passport or birth certificate.

Travelers should also insure their vehicle before crossing the border if they plan on driving in Mexico. This is not a requirement to cross the border, but it’s very important, since American policies are not valid in Mexico and won’t be helpful if you get into an accident.

Where can I get instant auto insurance before crossing San Ysidro?

If you're planning on crossing the border from the United States into Mexico, it's important to make sure you have adequate insurance coverage for your vehicle. Oscar Padilla Mexican Insurance offers comprehensive coverage that will protect you in the event of an accident or other problems while you're driving in Mexico. 

Since the area before the crossing isn’t very touristic, you won’t find many activities in San Ysidro beyond bird-watching at the Border Field State Park or sports at the Colonel Irving Salomon San Ysidro Community Activity Center. However, you’ll likely have more interesting places to see and things to do once you cross into Tijuana.

With your vehicle covered, you’ll feel much safer, whether you’re a solo female traveler or traveling with your family. So don't wait until you get to the border to find out that your US policy doesn't cover you in Mexico - call us today and we'll help you get the coverage you need.