10 Facts You Should Know About Driving to Mexico
1. You Need a Passport to Drive to Mexico
Make sure to bring your passport if you decide to drive across the border into Mexico so you can get back to the U.S. or Canada without problems.
2. You Must Have Liability Insurance From a Mexican Insurance Carrier
Even if your U.S. or Canadian insurance company offers coverage for your vehicle in Mexico, you still need to buy liability coverage from a Mexican insurance carrier for your trip to Mexico. This is mandated by Mexican law.
3. You Can Drive in the "Free Zone" Without a Vehicle Importation Permit
If you are driving in Mexico's Free Zone, which is an area with reduced customs requirements, you will not need to purchase a Vehicle Importation Importation Permit.
4. You Will Need a Vehicle Importation Permit if You Drive Outside of the Free Zone
If you drive outside of the Free Zone, you must apply and obtain a vehicle importation permit at the US/Mexico border or online at https://www.banjercito.com.mx. This will involve paying a deposit for your vehicle, which will be refunded upon your return to the US. The vehicle importation permit sticker will need to be placed on your windshield. You are required by law to return the permit when you cross the border back into the United States, at which point your deposit will be refunded. If you do not return the sticker (within the 180 days it is valid), you will lose the deposit and not be able obtain another permit for travel in Mexico.
5. Guidelines for Travel in Mexico Are On the U.S. Department of State Website
Before traveling to Mexico, check the guidelines that the U.S. Department of State posts on its website.
6. Choose Toll Highways for a Quick, Smooth Drive
Just like the U.S., Mexico has toll roads for high-speed, efficient travel. If you want to get down the Baja Peninsula quickly, for example, the toll road is the best way to go. If you have any trouble, the Green Angels will provide roadside assistance.
7. You Can Buy Snacks and other Small Goods From Your Car
When you are stopped at an intersection in Mexico, you may see vendors selling everything from spiced nuts to sodas to ice cream. Mexico is very entrepreneurial, and people sell things everywhere! For a few pesos you can even get your windows washed.
8. You Can Buy Mexican Liability Insurance Online
To make things easy and efficient, you can purchase valid Mexican Liability Insurance online before you travel to Mexico.
9. You Can Drive to Beautiful National Parks
Mexico has a number of wonderful National Parks that you can visit. El Pinacate y Gran Desierto de Altar Biosphere Reserve is a great example, within an hour's drive of the Arizona border.
10. Mexico Is a Wonderful Place to Go on a Road Trip
If you haven't taken a drive to Mexico, you are missing out. From gorgeous vistas, to friendly villages to delicious cuisines, Mexico is a must-visit. Just make sure to get your Mexican insurance and pack your passport before you leave!