Can I Drive in Mexico with a US License?
Mon, 20 Dec 2021 18:07:23 -0800Can I Drive in Mexico with a U.S. License? Mexico is a beautiful country with a diverse range of destinations that are great for a relaxing vacation. The beauty, the food, people, and culture are all one-of-a-kind in this country. For anyone contemplating a trip to Mexico, especially if it's one that will involve exploring the country on your own, planning ahead of time is essential for a successful vacation. Driving across the United States' southern border to get into Mexico is pretty straightforward, regardless of where you decide to cross. The documentation you'll need to bring with you, though, may differ depending on whether you want to drive your own car or rent one. If you are staying in a border or "safe" zone for a short time, the requirements will be different. Review the road laws to prepare for your trip, including what you'll need to know to cross the border into or out of Mexico, as well as how to drive safely in Mexico. Using a U.S. License to Drive in Mexico Your American driver's license is valid in Mexico, but not your American auto insurance. Some American auto insurance policies include Mexico auto coverage, but this coverage is limited and may not be applicable depending on where you visit in Mexico. You might risk steep fines or even jail time if you don't have valid insurance. Fortunately, you may get temporary Mexico auto insurance for a reasonable price. Every driver in Mexico is required to have property damage liability and liability for bodily injury as well. The Limits vary by state and we recommend your always purchase at least $250,000 USD Bodily Injury Limit and $100,000 Property Liability Limit to comply with the Federal law in case of a fatality. When traveling to Mexico and looking to hire a car, there are a few things to keep in mind. To begin, you will require your passport and your United States driver's license to travel. In Mexico, you must have a driver's license, and your license from the United States is accepted across the country. There isn't always a need for so many moving parts on a trip to Mexico. You can enter into big towns like Tijuana from San Diego for a quick journey, even if it's only for a day. If you're driving to Mexico in your own automobile from the United States, you'll need to get temporary Mexico car insurance in addition to your driver's license. Even if you have insurance while in the United States, your policy will not cover you for Liability Coverage after you cross the border. Insurance from a Mexican travel insurance company should be acquired separately. This is true whether you're coming from San Diego, El Paso, or anywhere. Temporary Mexico auto insurance can be obtained online from a U.S.-based insurance firm or before crossing the border into Mexico from a reputable insurance agency. If you're wondering how much Mexican auto insurance costs, expect to spend anything from $23 to $44 for a one day Mexico Insurance Policy. Annual Policies can range from $255 USD for Liability Only Coverage up to $750 USD for Full Coverage. It's also always a good idea to purchase Mexico rental car insurance if you plan on renting a car and driving it to Mexico. This is crucial information to have so that you can plan your vacation correctly. Driving Requirements Several documents are required to operate a motor vehicle in Mexico, whether you are renting a car or driving your own across the border. Official Entry Immigration Form (FMM) American citizens entering Mexico by car will require identification such as a passport. All foreign individuals traveling to Mexico for tourism or a short visit of less than 180 days need to fill out an Official Entry Immigration Form (FMM) prior to their arrival. Filling out the Immigration Form(s) online will save you time. Visit www.mexictouristcard.com to pre fill tour card and present at the border when you cross in to Mexico. Temporary Vehicle Importation Permission If you want to drive your vehicle into Mexico outside of the border region or free zone, you'll need a permit, which you may receive at the border or order online 7 to 60 days ahead of time. You can visit www.banjercito.com to begin your process, and have the necessary documents once you arrive at the Banjercito branch at the border in Mexico. Proof of automobile ownership, proof of American registration, a valid American driver's license, an affidavit from any lien holders approving temporary importation, and proof of citizenship are all required to obtain a Mexico vehicle permit (such as a passport or passport card). Automobile Rental To reserve and cover incidental expenses when renting a car in Mexico, you'll need a valid U.S. driver's license, evidence of civil liability auto insurance, and a valid credit card. The use of debit cards is not permitted. You need to be at least 25 years old and have held your driver's license for at least two years to rent a car in Mexico, while some rental agreements require drivers to have kept their license for at least five years. Although your credit card may give insurance when renting a car in Mexico, we recommend you still get Mexican car insurance at the Car Rental Counter. If you are involved in an automobile accident in Mexico and don't have Mexico car insurance, you may not be able to leave until any damages are paid for. Injured individuals could remain in hospital for several days and could keep you detained until they are officially released. However, regardless of whether you acquired additional insurance, the company should reimburse you when you return home if your credit card provides insurance. Before leaving the house, review the benefits and restrictions of your credit card's coverage. Driving in Mexico The people's relaxed driving habits and logical driving patterns reflect the country's laid-back ethos. While the way Mexican drivers behave on the highways may appear crazy to Americans, if you get the feel of it, they make perfect sense, and as a result, huge cities like Mexico City are no worse to drive through during rush hour than Atlanta or Chicago. There are several areas to avoid, including the Toluca Highway (commonly known as "Highway of Death" or Carretera de la Muerte), which is notorious for random encounters with Bandidos (bandits). It's not worth risking your life by driving recklessly just because the locals appear to be doing so—they have considerably more experience than you, and what appears to be a hazard to you may be well-practiced and safe for the locals. Rules of the road in Mexico If you've never driven in Mexico before, you should be aware of a few rules of the road to avoid accidents, crises, and becoming stranded south of the border. While some rules differ from those in the United States, the following are the top suggestions for driving safely in Mexico: Avoid driving at night Road fatalities in Mexico are far greater at night than during the day, therefore if at all possible, avoid driving at night. At night, there are many animals (, pedestrians, and vehicles without taillights on the road, increasing the chance of an accident. Furthermore, most Mexican highways have insufficient overhead lighting, making it difficult to see potholes or broken glass. Stay on the main roads, especially if you're driving alone While Bandidos are few and far between, off-the-beaten-path road conditions can be hazardous, so it's advisable to avoid the backstreets if you're alone and inexperienced behind the wheel. To accommodate oncoming traffic, drive on the shoulder If you detect an oncoming car attempting to pass another vehicle in your lane, you must drive on the shoulder until they pass. Passing automobiles on the right shoulder is also possible but be quick because Mexican drivers tend to use every inch of the road to keep traffic moving. Don't drive under the influence Driving while inebriated or under the influence of any substance is simply not worth the risk if you don't want to make friends in a sweaty jail cell or accidentally kill someone or yourself. If you need to get to a hotel when intoxicated, use a taxi and return for your automobile the next day once you've sobered up. Do not attempt to bribe police officers If you are pulled over and believe you are being asked for a bribe, ask to be taken to the jefe (chief); if the officer only wants money from you, he will most likely back off at that point. It's also worth noting that you should never suggest a bribe, as doing so might get you in a lot of trouble. Make sure you have adequate Mexico Auto Insurance You don't want to find yourself in a Mexican jail just because you don't have adequate insurance. Amigo Mex Insurance offers a range of choices for U.S. and Canadian people driving to Mexico for business or pleasure, including one-, two-, and three-day short-term coverage, as well as annual plans. Visit our page or contact one of our representatives for a quote today.