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Mexican Vehicle Permits

Do I Need a Vehicle Permit to Drive in Mexico?

You Do Not need a Mexican Vehicle Permit if your travel is within 25 Kilometers or 16 Miles from the U.S. - Mexico Border known as the the "Border Zone" or in the "Free Trade Zone" consisting of anywhere in the Baja California peninsula or western Sonora, however If you wish to pass these zones, you must obtain a temporary importation vehicle permit at the border or online from the Mexican Banjercito (Banco Nacional del Ejercito) upon entry and cancel this permit before exiting Mexico. Watch for signs indicating customs checkpoints and Banjercito Bank locations (where permits can be issued and cancelled).

Vehicle Free Permit zone Map

Click to view Vehicle Permit Free Zone

Obtaining a Mexican Vehicle Permit via the Internet

You may apply for a temporary vehicle import permit on the internet at Banjercito's website. After submitting the required information to the website, you will receive a pass code. After 24 hours and within 15 days of obtaining the pass code, you can visit any Banjercito location to obtain your permit document.

Fee for Temporary Vehicle Import Permits

  • $29.70 at the border
  • $39.60 at Banjercito locations in Mexican Consulate
  • $49.50 Via online at Banjercito website

What do I need to apply for a Mexican Vehice Permit

BanjercitoWhen applying for the Mexican Temporary Importation Permit, Go through the "Declarations Lane" and stop at the customs office when crossing the border. Look for a "Modulo de Control Vehicular". Present the original plus two(2) copies of all the documents listed below. All documents and the credit card name must be in the same name as the person driving the vehicle across the border. Originals will be returned. While in Mexico, other persons are allowed to drive the car only if the permit holder is in the car with them.

  • Valid proof of citizenship (passport or birth certificate).
  • The appropriate immigration form - tourist card.
  • The valid vehicle registration certificate, or a document, such as the original title that certifies the legal ownership of the vehicle. It must be in the driver's name.
  • The leasing contract (if the vehicle is leased or rented) which must be in the name of the person importing the car. If the vehicle belongs to a company, present the document that certifies the employee works for the company.
  • A valid driver's license, issued outside Mexico.
  • Make sure you have Mexican Auto Insurance, from a reputable company like Mexbound.com.

Requirements for a temporary vehicle importation permit are the same for both regular vehicles and recreational vehicles. Travellers should contact the Embassy or Consulate to verify the latest regulations regarding recreational vehicles. Large trucks require an additional permit.

Temporary Import Deposit

Regardless of where you obtain your temporary vehicle import permit, the Mexican government requires a deposit plus a one-time only processing fee of U.S. $29.70 in order to guarantee that your vehicle is returned to the U.S. The deposit may be paid in cash or secured with a credit card. Fees and deposit can be paid at any Banjercito Office located at various points along the border of Mexico.

Paying the Deposit with a Credit Card

Accepted credit cards for securing the deposit are MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Diner's Club. The credit card must be in the name of whoever is listed on the vehicle registration. Your card will be imprinted by a Mexican official but the deposit amount will not be charged to your card unless the vehicle is not returned to Banjercito upon the completion of your trip for permit cancellation. If you do not have an international credit card, you will be required to make a cash deposit.

Cash Deposit for Mexican Vehicle Permit

If you do not have an international credit card, you will be required to make a cash deposit. The security deposit will be refunded in cash at the Banjercito office when leaving Mexico, if the vehicle is leaving the country within the authorized period. If an importer takes the vehicle to the Banjercito office after the permit has expired, the security deposit will not be refunded. In this case, the importer will only be allowed to drive the vehicle out of the country. The deposit is as follows:

  • Vehicles manufactured before 1996 require a guarantee deposit of $200 USD
  • Vehicles manufactured between 1996 and 2000 require a guarantee deposit of $300 USD
  • Vehicles manufactured after 2001 require a guarantee deposit of $400 USD

Carry this permit with you at all times! It is valid for periods up to six months. The vehicle may be driven across the border multiple times during the authorized period of the permit. Other persons may drive the car as long as the owner is in the vehicle. If any authority stops the importer and the permit for the vehicle has expired, the applicable penalty will be permanent seizure of the vehicle, plus fines, which may range from $200 to $500 US.

Mexican Vehicle Permits for Rental or Corporate Vehicles

If the vehicle is a rented vehicle, the importer must show the rental contract under his/her name. If the vehicle is owned by a corporation, the importer must show proof of his/her employment with such corporation (a letter from the corporation authorizing the employee to drive the vehicle into Mexico would be acceptable). If the car is owned by a relative, the person driving the car must have documentation to prove the relationship, such as marriage or birth certificates. Motorcycles, cars and trucks weighing less than 3.5 tons may be imported temporarily. RV's are also allowed regardless of their weight

How to cancel a Mexico Vehicle Permit

Upon your departure from Mexico, and if the vehicle will not be driven back into Mexico, the permit for temporary importation must be canceled at Mexican Customs. If these steps are carefully followed, there should be no problem bringing your car to Mexico. Remember, if your car is found in Mexico beyond the authorized time or without the proper documents, it will be immediately confiscated. Also, the sale, abandonment, or use of the vehicle for financial gain will result in its confiscation. Travelers are advised to consult with the nearest Mexican Consulate in the U.S. for additional detailed information prior to departing the U.S. To have the refundable cash deposit returned upon departure, visitors must have the Temporary Importation Permit cancelled by the Banjercito Bank and then present it at the Mexican customs office. Both are located at the border. If a bond was purchased from the Insurgentes or Mexicana companies, the deposit can also be recovered at the Banjercito Bank. Otherwise, the bond deposit must be recovered directly from the issuing company. Tourists and their vehicles are not allowed to remain in Mexico beyond the return date indicated on the Temporary Importation Permit, usually up to six months. Since requirements may vary for those who have obtained temporary residence in Mexico, it is recommended that the precise requirements be verified with Mexican customs authorities. In case of an accident or theft of the vehicle, a police report should immediately be obtained and presented to the nearest customs office, no later than two days after the occurrence.

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Banjercito Locations and Hours of Operation

Baja California Norte (California Border Points)

Tijuana
8am-12am - 7 days a week

Otay Mesa
8am-12am - 7 days a week

Tecate
8am-8pm Monday-Friday
10am-2pm Saturday
Closed on Sunday

Mexicali
24 hrs - 7 days a week

 

Sonora (Arizona Border Points)

San Luis Rio Colorado
8am-12am - 7 days a week

San Emeterio (Sonoyta)
8am-12am - 7 days a week

Nogales
24 hrs - 7 days a week

Naco
8am-12am - 7 days a week

Aqua Prieta
24 hrs - 7 days a week

Cananea
8am-6pm Monday-Friday
8am-1pm Saturday & Sunday

 

Chihuahua (Texas Border Points)

Ciudad Juarez
24 hrs - 7 days a week

Palomas
8am-12am - 7 days a week

Ojinaga
24 hrs - 7 days a week

Piedras Negras
24 hrs - 7 days a week

Ciudad Acuña
24 hrs - 7 days a week

San Jeronimo
24 hrs - 7 days a week

Nuevo Laredo
24 hrs - 7 days a week

Reynosa
24 hrs - 7 days a week

Nuevo Amanecer
8am-12am - 7 days a week

Ciudad Camargo
8am-12am - 7 days a week

San Jeronimo
24 hrs - 7 days a week

Matamoros
9am-6pm Monday-Friday
9am-4pm Saturday
Closed Sunday

Puente Nuevo
24 hrs - 7 days a week

Puente Ignacio Zaragoza
9am-9pm - 7 days a week

Puente TLC
9am-6pm Monday-Friday
9am-4pm Saturday
Closed Sunday

 

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