Mexican Auto Insurance Spanish Español
Mexico insurance travel documents. Important Mexico travel insuance info.
Important Mexico entry info. for driving your car into Mexico with Mexican auto insurance.
Info for driving in Mexico with your Mexico travel insurance. Mexico auto permit info. for traveling with Mexico car insurance Baja California free zone. No need for Mexico auto permits. Mexico ferry info for transporting your car after buying Mexican auto insurance.

Mexico Border Crossing Info.

Driving to Mexico can be a great adventure, but you need to make sure all your paperwork is in order or your fun will be cut short before it begins!

What are the Mexico entry requirements?

How do I obtain a tourist permit?

How do I obtain a vehicle importation permit?

What can I take into Mexico?

When is the best time to cross the U.S. - Mexico border?

Mexico Entry Requirements (back to list)
The Government of Mexico requires that all U.S. and Canadian citizens present proof of citizenship and photo ID for entry into Mexico. A passport is recommended, but other U.S./Canadian citizenship documents such as a certified copy of a birth certificate, a Naturalization Certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Citizenship are acceptable.

U.S. and Canadian citizens do not require a visa or a tourist card for tourist stays of 72 hours or less within "the border zone," defined as an area between 20 to 30 kilometers of the border with the U.S., depending on the location. U.S. citizens traveling as tourists beyond the border zone or entering Mexico by air must pay a fee to obtain a tourist card, also known as an FMT; available from Mexican consulates, Mexican border crossing points and Mexican tourism offices.

If your declared destination is Central America you will need to obtain a Transmigrant Visa at a Mexican Consulate and use a Customs Broker to get your merchandise through Mexico.

How do I obtain a Tourist Permit? (back to list)
Tourist cards are available at immigration offices/booths at the border, at airports, or other points of entry.

If you are a citizen of a country other than the U.S. and Canada, check with a Mexican consulate for regulations, which apply, to you. Starting January 31, 2008 diplomats (born in a foreign country and working in Mexico) will acquire and purchase their permit as everyone else. Diplomats will no longer need the use of the Protocol letter.

To obtain tourist permit immigration form (FMT), you must present a certified copy of Birth certificate or a Passport for each individual traveling into the interior of Mexico. The fee is approx. $30.00 USD* (per person) which must paid in pesos (*For current exchange rate click here.) at a Mexican Bank.

For Business travelers, upon arrival must complete and submit a form (Form FM3 or FMN 30 days) authorizing the conduct of business, but not employment, for a 30-day period. Travelers entering Mexico for purposes other than tourism or business or for stays longer than 180 days require a visa and must carry a valid U.S. passport anywhere within the country, including the border zone. US citizens planning to work or live in Mexico should apply for the appropriate Mexican visa at the Mexican consulate nearest you in the United States.

The government of Mexico strictly regulates the entry of vehicles into Mexico.

It is important for visitors to remember the following steps when crossing the border between the United States and Mexico by automobile. There are no procedures to comply with if you are traveling within the Border Zone or Free Trade Zone (including the Baja California Peninsula and the Sonora Free Trade Zone). If you wish to travel past these zones, you will need to adhere to certain procedures. It is important to note that in the case of Baja California even though you can take your vehicle all the way to the end of the peninsula without a vehicle permit (see vehicle importation regulations), you must have a tourist card if you plan to go south of San Quintin.

Tourists wishing to travel beyond the border zone with their car must obtain a temporary import permit.

How do I obtain a Vehicle Importation Permit? (back to list)
1. To acquire a permit, the owner's original Vehicle Title or Registration Receipt is needed.

2. If the vehicle is financed, is a rental car, is leased, and/or a company car, a notarized letter of permission is required from the lien holder or lending institution.

3. Valid Driver's License (with photo and same name of title).

4. Payment of guarantee for the return of the vehicle by international credit or debit card (MC, VISA) is required. Purchasing the permit at the border will cost approx. $27.00 + tax USD. The cost at a Consulate office in the U.S. is $36.00 + tax USD. Purchasing the permit via internet will cost $45.00 tax USD.

Or you can make a guarantee deposit. The amount for this will be determined by the vehicle's model and will be refunded upon reentry to the USA. (1999-2002 models, USD$400.00; 1994-1998 models, USD$300.00; models previous to 1994, USD$200.00). * In order to recover this bond, travelers must return to the same Mexican Customs office immediately prior to departing Mexico.

5. The permit is valid for up to six months. The vehicle may be driven across the border multiple times during the authorized period of the permit. You MUST return the vehicle back to the United States before the 6 months expiration, or high fines may be imposed on you. A receipt will be issued when the permit is cancelled. Failure to turn in your vehicle's permit before the expiration date may result in denial of entry into Mexico on your next trip or fines.

6. No borrowed cars or borrowed credit cards are accepted. Other persons may drive the car as long as the owner is in the vehicle. Other foreigners with the same “tourist” status as the vehicle owner may drive the vehicle without the owner present in the car.

You can now fill out your vehicle permit online at the following web page:

Once you fill out the form, print it and present it to the Banjercito official when you get to the Banjercito office at the border.

*This is subject to change without notice by the Mexican Government.

What can I take into Mexico? (back to list)
When crossing into Mexico, if you have no merchandise to declare, you must go through the Stop and Go light check point. A green light means proceed ahead without inspection. A red light means stop for inspection.

When you travel to Mexico by airplane or by ship, you are allowed to import (duty free) a total of items worth up to $300 per person (including children). For example, a family of five members consisting of the parents and three minor children can import up to $1,500 worth of merchandise, duty free.

When you bring items whose value exceeds the above mentioned limits, but not more than $1,000.00, you can pay the taxes yourself. If your merchandise is worth more than $1,000.00, you must use the services of a customs broker.

If the flight by which you arrive come from the border zone you are allowed only $50.00 of new items per person.

If you are a resident in Mexico you are allowed to bring in free of duty the following items for your personal use: One camera or video camera if it can be carried by the passenger; up to 12 rolls of new film, video cassettes, or photographic materials; one article of sports equipment or a used set of equipment that can be hand carried; books and magazines; 20 packages of cigarettes or 50 cigars or 250 grains of tobacco; 3 liters of wine, beer or liquor (adults only); medicines for personal use or with a Doctor's prescription, if it is a controlled substance; and the suitcases to carry baggage.

Tourist are allowed to bring in their personal effects duty free, in addition to the above, your personal effects may include: New or used good for personal use, such as clothing, footwear, and hygiene products, so long as they are in accordance with the duration of the trip, and their quantity does not suggest that they can be the object of commercialization. A tourist can also bring a set of binoculars, a photographic camera and a video recorder (their power sources too), a television, a radio or radio-cassette, tape, CD, or DVD player, a personal computer (i.e. laptop, notebook, omni book, etc.), up to 20 recording tapes or CD’s, 5 DVD’s, 12 rolls of unused film, a cell phone, a typewriter, a musical instrument that can be hand carried, books & magazines (whose quantity does not suggest that they can be the object of commercialization). For out door activities tourist can bring a camping tent and camping equipment, a set of fishing equipment, a pair of skis, 5 used toys for minors (as long as they can be transported by one person), two sets of used personal sports equipment (as long as they can be transported by one person), a motor-less boat less than 5 1/2 meters long or surf board with or without a sail. Regarding disabled persons, goods for personal use that, by their characteristics, compensate for or diminish their disability. Tourist can bring medicine for personal use (The prescripton must be shown if they are psychotropic substances). Adult passengers may also bring a maximum of 20 packs of cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200 grams of tobacco, and up to 3 liters of whine, beer, or liquor, with the understanding that a larger quantity of these products cannot be imported without complying with the applicable regulations and restrictions.

If you are inspected and are discovered with items of greater value than is permitted and you have not paid duty on them, you risk having to pay a high fine (of up to four times the value of each item) or seizure of the goods as a contraband plus the seizure of the car in which the goods are traveling. If weapons or ammunition are found, the penalty could include imprisonment.

The following are products you can take into Mexico without previous authorization:

  • dehydrated or canned foods
  • roasted coffee (packaged)
  • fresh or dry meats (beef, sheep or goat from US or Canada) candy (not lactic)
  • bamboo (dry)
  • dried spices
  • dry herbal medicines
  • dry or preserved insects canned jellies or fruit preserves nuts
  • straw articles or artisans dried fish
  • cheese (processed in US or Canada) canned or processed sauces soups without meat canned or processed vegetables
  • dogs or cats (with health certificate)

Penalties for drug offenses are strict and convicted offenders can expect large fines and jail sentences up to 25 years.

When to Cross (back to list)
Clearing Customs may vary from 30 minutes to several hours. The best time is on weekdays, early in the morning. Weekends are the worst time, especially holidays. If you got a late start, expect a long wait. If you arrive at the border in the afternoon, it may be more convenient to get your papers in the evening of the day before departure so as to get an early morning start the next day.

It is illegal in Mexico, to carry in your vehicle or personal belonging any of the following items:

  • Fire arms, bullets, explosives and related chemical substances
  • Recreational drugs, narcotics, psychotropic and other illegal substances

Be aware that the preparation, sale, purchase, supply, transportation, introduction or removal from the country of any of the above items is a crime punishable by 10 to 25 years in prison.