What do I Need to Drive a Car in Mexico? Mexico Vehicle Permits

Click here to apply for a Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit (at BANJERCITO's web-page, proceed to "Start your Registration Process")

US-Mexico Border Zone: No Vehicle Permit required if driving within 15 miles across the border into Mexico.

Baja Peninsula: There is no Vehicle Permit required to drive throughout the Baja Peninsula, (from Tijuana to Los Cabos). You must however, obtain a Tourist Card for yourself if you travel south of the US-Mexico Border Zone or stay longer than 72 hours in the Baja Peninsula.

State of Sonora: For those visitors who stay only in the state of Sonora, the state operates a charge-free program known as "Sonora Only ". The free permit requires less documentation than the standard " Mainland Mexico Vehicle Permit ". State of Sonora Permits are valid for a period of 6 months (180 days) and may be obtained at the checkpoint at "Kilometer 21" on Highway 15, south of Nogales, Sonora. Visitors to the state of Sonora only need to present the following documents:

  1. A valid Drivers License

  2. Proof of vehicle ownership or legal documentation/authorization to drive the vehicle by the Driver. Legal documentation/authorization can be proven the following ways:

    • Vehicle Registration in the name of the Driver or Company and/or original Title of Lease contract if the vehicle is leased.
    • Company-owned Vehicles must provide proof of employment between the Driver and the Company-owned vehicle.
    • Leased or Financed Vehicles must provide a Letter of Authorization from the Bank or Leasing Company. Most Banks and/or Leasing Companies require a copy of your "Full Coverage" Mexican Auto Insurance Policy before issuing the Letter of Authorization.

Mainland Mexico (except Baja & Sonora): If you plan to drive your vehicle south of the "Border Zone" into mainland Mexico, you are required to obtain a Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit. You can obtain this Permit at any branch of BANJERCITO Bank at the US-Mexico Border crossing, and the Permits are valid for a maximum period of six months. ALL vehicles must return to the USA prior to the end of the expiration date via the same checkpoint where the Permit was issued. Failure to do so could result in having the vehicle confiscated by the Mexican Authorities.

The following original or notarised copies are required to obtain your Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit:

  1. Valid proof of citizenship (Passport or Birth Certificate).

  2. Your Tourist Card or Tourist Visa (Tourist Cards can be obtained at any US-Mexico Border crossing or at any Mexico Consulate in the US).

  3. The original or valid Vehicle Registration, or original Title that certifies the legal ownership of the vehicle. The person whose name is listed on the registration must be present. If the registered owner is not going to be present, you must contact the Mexican Consulate in advance for details on how to obtain the permit.

  4. If the vehicle is financed, leased or rented, you should contact your Finance Company or Rental Agency to receive a 'Letter of Authorization' allowing you to drive the vehicle into Mexico.

  5. A valid Driver's License. Mexico law prohibits Mexican Residents from driving a US-Registered vehicle in Mexico. They may do so if they have a legal residency in the US.

  6. One of the following credit cards; VISA, Master Card, AMEX o Diners Club in the name of the Driver of the vehicle. Cash deposits are also accepted.

  7. Pay a fee of $27.00 USD at the border modules or $35.20 USD at the consulate modules.

VERY IMPORTANT - ALL Permits must be returned before the 6-month expiration date, and must be done so at the same checkpoint the Permit was issued at.