Line of pedestrians waiting to cross back into Arizona at the DeConcini Border Crossing

Do Elderly Visitors Need to Wait in Line to Cross the Border?


This is another popular question that we receive from readers, and one that has a general answer with an occasional exception.

There is an informal practice that tourists who are 60 years of age or older do not have to wait in the oftentimes long lines to cross the border from Nogales, Mexico back into the United States.

And that is the way that the pedestrian lines at the DeConcini and Morley border crossings typically operate, with elderly and disabled border crossers bypassing the line and proceeding directly to the customs entrance turnstile. Oftentimes, the private security guards at the DeConcini crossing will even pull people out of lines to encourage them to go to the front of the queue.

That said though, be aware that there is no stated regulation or policy that provides preference for individuals of a certain age to bypass the line.

One time while I was waiting in line to cross back to Arizona, a female U.S. Customs officer was turning back elderly visitors who had gone to the front of the line, telling them that only disabled persons who cannot wait in line for extended periods did not have to wait in line.

That was only one time though, in dozens (hundreds?) of times waiting to cross. Which means that, barring any changes in established practice, persons over 60 have a high probability of being able to bypass the line without any problems.

If you encounter difficulties or have an experience to share on this topic, please let us know and we will share it on this posting.

In the meantime, enjoy your visit to Nogales and the short wait in the border crossing line.

Waiting to cross the border at the Nogales Morley pedestrian border crossing