Let’s say you’re ready to jump in the car for an adventure in Mexico. However, being an international destination, travel to Mexico requires preparation and consideration.
Driving in Mexico requires you to adapt to different styles of operations. For this reason, you likely will face risks that you may not be familiar with. Therefore, you have to take steps to obtain the right qualifications to drive south of the border. With the right care, you can ensure you have a great trip.
First, Understand the Risks You Face in Mexico
When you enter Mexico, you have to understand that you are in a foreign country. The law and driving practices will be different than those you experience at home. Even though the U.S. and Mexico have close ties, they still have significant differences. Because you’re entering Mexico, you have to be aware of the differences in driving in this country.
Let’s look at a simple example. Mexico’s official language is Spanish. Driving signals, regulations and other information are likely published in that language. If you aren’t prepared to navigate using Spanish directions, you may put yourself at risk. Differences in driving laws mean you may have to follow practices with which you aren’t familiar. Therefore, before you go to Mexico, brush up on driving tips associated with this country.
Remember, You Have Insurance Requirements
Like most U.S. states, Mexico and its states require drivers to carry auto insurance. However, here’s the catch. Neither Mexican federal nor state laws recognize U.S. auto insurance policies. Therefore, you must carry a Mexican auto insurance policy issued by a Mexican insurer.
Many American agencies work with Mexican insurers to issue policies to tourists. Therefore, you can likely get coverage before you leave for your trip. Your Mexican policy can likely contain similar coverage elements to your American policy. However, you can’t simply obtain an identical policy. You will have to work with your agent to set policy levels according to Mexican guidelines. Nonetheless, you can often get liability, collision, towing, bail bond and other types of coverage. Your agent can help you determine the best policy for your needs.
Mexico Should Recognize Your Driving Qualifications
Even after you get Mexican insurance, you still have other driving requirements. Mexico recognizes most U.S. drivers’ licenses as valid operating permits. You likely won’t have to get a foreign license or pass any tests to drive your vehicle.
Nonetheless, before leaving home, make sure all of your qualifications are up to date. Ensure that your drivers’ license is active and not at risk of expiring during your trip. Also, if you plan to operate a specialty vehicle, like a motorcycle, get the right endorsements on your license. Don’t forget to make sure your vehicle’s title and registration are up to date. Take care to protect these documents during your trip.
Get the Proper International Travel Documents
Failing to enter Mexico legally with your vehicle may result in problems. You should always ensure you have the right travel permission to drive in Mexico.
For example, you may have to apply for an import permit to bring your car into the country. An import permit helps ensure you can travel freely throughout the country. Furthermore, as a foreign national, you will need your passport and possibly visas. Carrying these documents with you will help verify your identity as a visitor to the country.
Protect Yourself While Traveling in Mexico
Remember, once you enter Mexico, you will be in a place that is different from the U.S. Therefore, while you travel, you have to remain vigilant to respect the law. Always take precautions to obey the law and keep both yourself and other drivers safe.
- Always keep your vehicle secure. Some areas of Mexico may pose risks of vehicle damage, theft, vandalism or other problems. Therefore, keep a close eye on your vehicle at all times. Usually, it is only best to travel in safe, well-patrolled areas. Do some research about your intended destinations before travelling. You can learn about precautions you may need to take.
- As a precaution, make sure you have your vehicle serviced before you leave. This may help you avoid potential problems while you travel.
- Never neglect to keep your personal information safe. You should always safeguard your photo ID, insurance policies, passports and other documents related to identity or vehicle ownership. Keep the relevant travel documents in your vehicle whenever you drive. Always secure these documents if you must leave them alone.
Lastly, respect the road at all costs. You have just as much of a responsibility to do so in Mexico as you do in the U.S. Careful driving and attention to your surroundings will help you remain safe throughout your trip.
If you need Mexican auto insurance, give Mexbound a call at (619) 535-8777 today. We can help you get a fast, free Mexican insurance quote.