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Baja & Sonora - Mexico Free Zone

Driving into Baja
U.S. and Canadian citizens who visit the immediate border zone or the city of Ensenada do not need to obtain a tourist card, provided the length of the stay does not exceed 72 hours. For travel beyond Maneadero on the Pacific coast or south of Mexicali on Highway 5, a tourist card is officially required for each individual visitor, regardless of age.

If your are not a Mexican citizen and you intend on staying for more than seven (7) days in any region of Mexico, you are obligated to pay a Non-Immigrant Fee (D.N.I) which costs $210.00 pesos (approx. $20.00 dollars), payable at any Mexican Bank. However, the fee is waived for any travelers staying less than 7 days.

Only non-U.S. residents must present passports and visas for entry. U.S. citizens need only proof of citizenship, such as a copy of your birth certificate, to re-enter California.

Driving through Sonora
In addition to Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco), visitors to the state of Sonora are now able to drive directly to cities like San Carlos, Guaymas, Hermosillo, Magdalena, Kino Bay and Santa Ana, without obtaining a temporary vehicle importation permit. Travelers are required to have proof of US citizenship, a valid driver’s license and vehicle registration.

If you are only driving to any of the border cities or Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point) declared as a FREE ZONE, no immigration permit is required. If traveling beyond 21 km south, an immigration permit is required and can be obtained at the Customs checkpoints by presenting:

Valid US passport or Birth Certificate and a government issued photo ID (i.e. driver’s license)

In Km. 98 of Empalme, ends the free circulation zone for vehicles of foreign citizens and Mexicans living abroad; from this point, it is necessary for all vehicles to have a temporary importation permit, to avoid having their vehicle impounded by the customs authorities.