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Vehicle Permit to Travel to Mexico FAQs

Q: Do I need a vehicle import permit to drive in Baja or at the border?

A: No. If you plan to drive a vehicle beyond the Mexico "Free Zone" you will need to purchase a Mexico Vehicle Import Permit. The Mexico Free Zone, also known as the the Liberated Zone, or Perimeter Zone or Free Trade Zone is a customs designation only for that area located along the Mexican international land borders and which run inward up to the point at which the Mexican Customs authorities have their first "interior" check point (this is usually about 20 to 26 kilometers in from the border towns - exceptions are on the peninsula of Baja California and places like Puerto Peñasco where it runs to the ocean front along the main highways.)

Q: Do I need a vehicle import permit if I drive in Sonora?

A: Maybe. You are only required to obtain a permit if driving further than kilometer 98 of Mexican Federal Highway No. 15.

Q: How much does a vehicle import permit cost?

A: Effective June 11, 2011, the fee for importation of a vehicle is $44.00 USD plus IVA; this fee is the same whether the permit is obtained at the border, consulates or online. https://www.banjercito.com.mx/registroVehiculos/

Q: Do I need a vehicle import permit if I am towing boat?

A: Yes. The cost is around $50 U.S.

Q: What if I have rented or have a lein on my vehicle?

A: If the vehicle is financed, is a rental car, is leased, and/or a company car, a notarized letter of permission is required from the lien holder or lending institution. To obtain this letter, you oftentimes need proof of Mexican auto insurance.

Q: I'm not a citizen of the U.S., can I still apply online?

A: Only U.S. and Canadian citizens can apply for a temporary vehicle import permit online.

Q: If I purchase my vehicle import permit online, how far in advance do I need to apply?

A: You can apply for a temporary vehicle import permit up to six months before you plan to travel to Mexico. You should not apply online for a permit less than 10 days before you plan to travel to Mexico. Remember: you can always purchase your vehicle import permit at the border, it just may take more time.

Q: If I purchase my vehicle import permit online, what documents do I need to take with me to obtain my permit?

A: You will need all the documents required when you applied for your permit. Click here to see required documents.

Q: If I obtain my vehicle import permit before leaving the U.S. what documents do I need to take with me to the border?

A: You will need all the documents required when you applied for your permit. Click here to see required documents.

Q: Do I need Mexican Auto Insurance if traveling outside the Mexican "Free Zone" with a vehicle import permit?

A: Yes. You can purchase Mexican Insurance in 10 minutes or less online with www.Mexpro.com

Q: How long can I stay in Mexico after purchasing my vehicle import permit?

A: The vehicle import permit is good for up to six months (180 days). You can enter and exit Mexico as many times as you wish during the period your permit is valid. If you travel to Mexico without a valid permit your vehicle can be confiscated by Mexican authorities.

Q: Why do I have to cancel and return my vehicle import permit upon exiting the country (at the end of it's valid period)?

A: A guarantee deposit for the return of the vehicle to the US, regardless of the form of payment, we be applied to all vehicles. The amount of the guarantee will be determined by the year of the vehicle. The guarantee will be refunded upon cancellation of the permit at Banjercito offices, as long as it is prior to the expiration date of the permit. The refund will be made in the same form as the deposit was made.

  • 2007 - Newer $400 USD
  • 2001 - 2006 $300 USD
  • 2000 - Older $200 USD

If the vehicle is not returned to the US prior to the expiration date on the permit, or the permit is not canceled upon exiting Mexico, the guarantee deposit will be forfeited.

Q: Where do I return/cancel my temporary import permit?

A: At any Banjercito located on the border. It does not have to be the same border location where you entered Mexico.

Q: What happens if I drive my vehicle to Mexico and do not get a temporary vehicle import permit?

A: If you are caught your vehicle may be confiscated by Mexican authorities.

Q: What if I have an accident that totals my vehicle or it is stolen while visiting Mexico? How do I cancel my permit?

A: Contact Mexico customs at these phone numbers: (from Mexico) 01-800-463-6728, press option 7 for "comercio exterior" (from U.S.) 1-800-475-2393; or this email address: CIITEVAduanaMexico@sat.gob.mx.

Q: Can I sell my car while in Mexico?

A: No. It is illegal.

Q: Can I bring motorcycles, boats and trailers with my vehicle?

A: Yes. Towed vehicles must be on your Mexican auto insurance policy for it to be valid. It is recommended you obtain Mexican insurance for boat(s) and motorcycle(s), as well.


RV Specific Vehicle Import Permit Questions

Q: How long is my RV or travel trailer permit good for?

A: The RV and travel trailer permits are good for up to 10 years!

Q: Is my pickup truck with a slide-in camper eligible?

A: The 10 year RV temporary import permit is ONLY allowed for RVs or converted vans.

Q: What if I am towing a vehicle with my RV?

A: You are allowed to tow a second vehicle, but that vehicle is only eligible for the six month vehicle import permit.


Sonora Only Vehicle Import Permit Questions

Q: Do I need a vehicle import permit to travel to Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco)?

A: No. The cities of Rocky Point (Puerto Peņasco), Guaymas, San Carlos, Hermosillo, Bahia de Kino, Caborca, Father Kino Missions, Magdalena and Santa Ana are all part of the Sonora, Mexico free zone and do not require import permits. You are only required to obtain a permit if driving further than kilometer 98 of Mexican Federal Highway No. 15.

Q: How much does a Sonora Only Mexican vehicle permit cost?

A: About $30 if purchased from Banjercito at border locations, $50 online.

Q: Why would I want to buy the Sonora only permit online if it costs more?

A: Only for expediated service at the border. However, you can pre-register online and pay at the border, saving yourself time and money at the border.

Q: If I pre-register for my vehicle import permit, where do I obtain my permit?

A: You can obtain your permit at the Banjercito border locations in Agua Prieta, Cananea or Empalme. Or, you can get it at the Phoenix, Arizona Mexican Consulate location.

Q: How far in advance can I purchase a permit online? Pre-register online?

A: You can purchase your Sonora Only permit up to 60 days before you travel to Mexico. Please allow 10 days minimum to receive your permit. https://www.banjercito.com.mx/registroVehiculos/

You can pre-register for your trip to Mexico up to the day before you leave for your journey. Be sure you provide your email, as your pre-registration code will be emailed to you. Take the pre-registration code to the Banjercito border location to obtain your permit.


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