A TIP is a permit that allows non-Mexican citizens to take a vehicle across the border into Mexico from other countries, such as the USA and Canada. It is required for areas outside the free or border zone. TIP stands for "Temporary Importation Permit."
Purchasing a TIP
The cost of a TIP varies depending on where you purchase it. If you make the payment in person it costs $51, but you can save money by buying the TIP online at the official Banjercito website (Mexico’s military bank) for $45. These prices are before VAT (a minimal tax).
You can buy a TIP in person at the CIITEV module, located at customs gates at the port of entry to Mexico, or at any of the United States’ Mexican Consulates. These are located in Chicago, Illinois; Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston, Texas; Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Sacramento, California; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Denver, Colorado and Phoenix, Arizona. At the consulate and online you can only pay by credit card, but at customs gates you also have the option to pay in cash.
In some cases Banjercito can deny a TIP for a vehicle; for example if there is a record of theft or accident against the registration in the USA or Canada.
In addition to the fee, you will be required to pay a deposit, which is refundable once the vehicle exits Mexico. The amount varies depending on the age of the vehicle. The deposit is considered a pledge to return the vehicle within the 180 day period for which the permit is valid. The vehicle must leave the country on or before the date specified on the permit. If the permit is not returned to the Banjercito location at the border when exiting the country, the deposit will be retained by the Department of the Treasury.
Cancelling a TIP
When you leave Mexico, it’s important to return your TIP so that you receive your deposit back, and the Mexican authorities know that you have taken the vehicle out of the country as expected. It may also be necessary to cancel your TIP for various reasons during the period covered by the permit, such as if the vehicle is stolen or in an accident.
How do you cancel a TIP?
In order to cancel your TIP, you must contact the Mexican Customs Administration HQ at the following address:
Av. Hidalgo núm. 77, módulo IV, primer piso, Col. Guerrero, Deleg. Cuauhtémoc, 06300, México, D. F.
When should you cancel a TIP?
It’s necessary to cancel the TIP if any of the following occur:
- Your car was stolen in Mexico or the USA
- Your car was in an accident in Mexico or the USA
- Your car was sold or traded in the USA or Canada
What if you are in the interior of Mexico when it expires?
The TIP will expire 180 days after you enter the country. If you extend your visit, for example if you are granted a VISA for a longer period, you will still need to extend your TIP at the border. You cannot renew a Temporary Importation Permit within the interior of Mexico—you can ONLY renew it at the border.
What happens if you don’t return the TIP?
If you don’t return your TIP when you and your vehicle leave Mexico, your deposit will be forfeited. There will also be no official record of the vehicle leaving Mexico, which could restrict you from getting another TIP for that vehicle in the future. In a few rare cases, vehicles have been impounded and vehicle owners escorted to the border.
If you are headed to Mexico and traveling outside the Free Zone, make sure you get a Temporary Importation Permit online, at an American consulate or at Banjercito at the border. The expense is worth avoiding troubles in the interior of Mexico. And don’t forget to return the permit at the border when heading back to the US, to obtain your deposit and to avoid any penalties. Remember the TIP is only good for 180 days. If you plan to extend your stay in Mexico, be sure to schedule a trip to the border to renew the TIP. You cannot renew it within the interior of Mexico.
Mexico auto liability insurance is required to obtain a TIP. Don’t forget to purchase insurance from top quality insurers from Mexpro.com. And, Happy Travels!