We know that trying to find your way to the San Ysidro border in Tijuana to return to the U.S. is challenging for even the most experienced Baja veterans. We’ve put together directions that show you step-by-step how to reach the San Ysidro Ready Lane from the toll road via the newly reopened Via Internacional.
In order to use the Ready Lane for expedited border crossing, you must have a passport card or other RFID-enabled travel document (such as a SENTRI card or an RFID-enabled driver’s license). California does NOT currently have RFID-enabled driver’s licenses, but they are working on legislature to change that. All passengers in the car over the age of 16 must have a RFID-enabled travel document in order to use the Ready Lane (children 15 and under can use a birth certificate and student ID)
For a PDF of these directions that you can download to print and take with you: CLICK HERE
*Please note that while we try to ensure our directions are as current and accurate as possible, construction, road closures, border changes, and other unforeseen circumstances may cause differences in the information presented in these directions and the actual border situation.*
Overview of the route after turning off of Via Internacional.
1. Heading north on the toll road, you will go through the last toll booth. Playas de Tijuana will be on your left. Continue on this road for a few miles.
2. You will come over the hill and into the valley where you’ll see signs for SAN DIEGO, INTERSTATE 5 directing you to the right.
3. Follow the sings for SAN DIEGO/ZONA RIO to take the off ramp on the right. You will loop around on the off ramp.
4. After taking the off ramp, get over to the left, following lanes for SAN DIEGO/ZONA RIO and continue on the road up the hill.
5. The road will continue up the hill and curve to the right. You will drive on Via Internacional alongside the border for a few miles, following signs for San Diego.
6. You will see a sign for SAN DIEGO I-5/PASEO DE LOS HEROES. Get in the right lane.
7. Turn off to the right of the PEMEX station, following signs for SAN DIEGO I-5/PASEO DE LOS HEROES.
8. You will approach a traffic light in one block. Smart & Final will be on your left. Turn left at the traffic light onto Calle Segunda.
9. The border entrance will be straight ahead. For READY LANE, you will follow signs for Col. Federal in the third lane from the left, going just to the RIGHT of the concrete barrier (where the white car is headed in the photo). You will continue up the ramp and over a bridge.
10. Once up the ramp, stay to the RIGHT when the road splits. The road will then merge with other lanes. Stay in that left lane.
11. You will come to a stop sign at a roundabout. Make a U-turn. You will go over a large speedbump. The road will curve to the right.
12. Stay in the middle lane and follow the signs for PASEO CENTENARIO which will lead you to the left (but stay to the RIGHT of the concrete barrier). You will go under the bridge.
13. You will approach a stop sign. Continue straight through the intersection.
14. You will approach a first roundabout (La Diana). Ley will be on your right. Continue straight through this roundabout.
15. Continue until you approach a second roundabout. You will want to make a HARD right hand turn at this roundabout, staying in the far right lane.
16. You will see the road split, stay to the far right on the frontage road (do NOT go up the bridge).
17. At the stop sign, make a right turn onto the Via Rapida frontage road.
18. You will immediately merge left onto Via Rapida.
19. Get into the middle lane, following the signs for SAN DIEGO 5/805.
20. You are now in the Ready Lanes, which will be separated by a concrete barrier. Continue until you reach the border. Have your RFID enabled travel document ready to go.
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