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Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Old Dec 17th 2015, 9:57 am
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Default Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Hi,

I am going to visit someone in Phoenix in a few weeks and have been mulling whether to fly or drive. Right now, I'm thinking of driving the I-8 route, as flying will cost me at least $400+ ($250 flights, $40 airport parking, $120 car rental [I will need a car there]) vs $80 gas and 10 hours of my time. I have read that the drive is beyond boring, which is fine by me, as I will bring some entertaining podcasts and such to listen to on the drive.

It looks like there are several border patrol checks along the way from looking at this Phoenix to San Diego timelapse:
I am a UK citizen on a work visa and have a California plated car and a California drivers license. Will this be sufficient for ID or should I also bring my UK passport?

Also, I read that the CBP regularly patrols the I-8 to catch speeders. Should I make sure I stick to the speed limit (65) the whole way vs nudging the speed to the "standard" 75 - 80 mph?

Thanks,
Jon
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 10:11 am
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Take your passport, it will do no harm, and could be very useful if stopped and CBP twig that you aren't a USC.

I'd go with the flow on the interstate, but try to make sure you aren't the fastest car on the road at any time.
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 10:25 am
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Ok, that's very helpful, thanks. I'll be sure to bring my passport, just in case they want to see it. I'll be driving during the day and I've heard that CBP does more daytime border patrol checks.

Do you know what CBP usually says / asks when they stop you? "Where are you going? Can I see some ID?" Should I immediately say that I am a UK citizen on a work visa or just pass my California driving license over?
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 11:02 am
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Originally Posted by cautiousjon View Post
.... Do you know what CBP usually says / asks when they stop you? "Where are you going? Can I see some ID?" Should I immediately say that I am a UK citizen on a work visa or just pass my California driving license over?
Apply the usual rules when speaking to a CBP officer: Answer their questions politely, and do not offer additional information that wasn't asked for.

I'd offer my DL, and only provide additional ID (passport) if asked for or directly relevant to the question.
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 3:09 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

I've done this drive many times this year. The 8 is actually a much more scenic drive than the 10, and a lot less traffic and trucks, too. My wife got a rental a couple of weeks ago for $12 and drove to Phoenix on a single tank. Much more economical than flying (if you have the time).

They usually ask: 'Is everyone a USC in here?'. They then ask for your passport. I usually give then my gc, which they are happy to look at, pass back and wave us on. If you don't have a green card you should bring your passport.

Also, slow down properly in advance of the check.
I got yelled at by a BP agent one time for coming in too fast (I was only a little over the posted limit). Best not to p!ss those guys off!
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 3:13 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

I forgot to mention that the only stop I've seen this year is at the state border near Yuma.

As for speeding, be careful around the city limits for SD, Yuma, Gila Bend and especially west phoenix. The rest of Arizona I do on cruise control at 75.
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 3:23 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

I often just get waved through those checkpoints. White privilege I guess.
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 3:52 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Originally Posted by sir_eccles View Post
I often just get waved through those checkpoints. White privilege I guess.
Even when I haven't been waived through, the question has been "Are you US citizen(s)". I've never been asked to justify my "yes" answer. What are they going to do... there's no requirement for a citizen to carry an id beyond a driver's license (if you're the driver).

As for speed, I put the car on cruise control at a little below 10 over the limit :-)
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Yes, definitely carry passport. There is a checkpoint just south of Pine Valley on the 8 (Pine Valley is south east of San Diego) and whereas they usually just wave you through, on the two occasions we have been stopped they have always asked for identification/passport once they knew we were not US citizens.
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Thanks very much! I'll be sure to bring my passport and not drive too fast.

My car will do about 300 - 340 miles on a full tank of gas, which means that I'll have to stop somewhere on the way. It'd probably be good to have a stretch and bathroom break anyway. Should I stop in Yuma? I've heard AZ gas is quite a bit cheaper than CA gas (that's probably everywhere but Alaska!).

Also, I keep reading about stopping for a date shake in Dateland. Are they really all they're cracked up to be?

Thanks again,
Jon
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 8:37 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Originally Posted by cautiousjon View Post
Also, I keep reading about stopping for a date shake in Dateland. Are they really all they're cracked up to be?
Not a fan of their date shakes / ice cream, but they do have awesome chocolate-covered dates. Plus I don't think there are many other interesting stopping points either...

Agreed on the comments on paperwork and speed. I find the traffic in Arizona keeps closer to the limit, but then the limits tend to be higher. In CA I tend to stick to limit+9.9mph, AZ maybe limit+4.9.
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Old Dec 17th 2015, 9:47 pm
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

We usually so to fill up in Yuma. There aren't that many gas stations on the 8 between Yuma and Gila Bend. There's a couple of Starbucks and a Dunkin Donuts (which is nice as I like their coffee and there aren't really any in SD).

Dateland is blink-and-you-miss-it. I keep meaning to stop there, but haven't gotten around to it.
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Old Dec 18th 2015, 7:44 am
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

I guess I have driven that route too much in my life, I hope to never have to ever do it again, so boring, and flying is so worth the money just to avoid the drive......

I am sure I have done the trip one way or another 50 or more times in my lifetime. I know I have flown the route 100+ times...Commuted weekly for a year via air between the 2 city's, and well PHX was always the connecting point when I would fly east.
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Old Dec 18th 2015, 7:53 am
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Originally Posted by cautiousjon View Post
Thanks very much! I'll be sure to bring my passport and not drive too fast.

My car will do about 300 - 340 miles on a full tank of gas, which means that I'll have to stop somewhere on the way. It'd probably be good to have a stretch and bathroom break anyway. Should I stop in Yuma? I've heard AZ gas is quite a bit cheaper than CA gas (that's probably everywhere but Alaska!).

Also, I keep reading about stopping for a date shake in Dateland. Are they really all they're cracked up to be?

Thanks again,
Jon
Hmmm.. a 'date shake' is that what they call it now.
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Old Dec 19th 2015, 3:48 am
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Default Re: Driving to Phoenix from San Diego, CA - do i need to bring my passport?

Are you not required to have you passport with you anyway?
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