Driving Foreign Plated Vehicles in Mexico

Driving your foreign plated vehicle in México is easy, but not as simple as just driving across the border. If you have a non-Mexican license plate and intend to drive in México there are a few things you should know.

Whenever a non-Mexican citizen is driving in México with U.S. or Canadian plates, they should have México tourist auto liability insurance. And they should be sure to read their terms and conditions carefully to understand the restrictions or exclusions the policy may have regarding coverage.

For example, many México tourist auto insurance policies, including those issued by Mexpro, require all drivers to have a valid non-Mexican driver's license. A Mexican licensed driver will void their tourist auto policy.

There are also restrictions on who can drive foreign plated vehicles in México. Generally, a Mexican citizen cannot drive a foreign plated vehicle, though there are some exceptions listed below

Similarly, a permanent resident cannot drive a foreign plated vehicle, but again, there are some exceptions.

The consequences of driving a vehicle in Mexico with U.S. or Canadian license plates–when you are not authorized–is seizure of the vehicle. It is very expensive to get a vehicle back once impounded.

Mexican Nationals Driving Foreign Plated Cars in México

México has restrictions on when its citizens can drive foreign plated vehicles. Generally, a Mexican citizen MAY NOT drive a foreign plated vehicle México, EXCEPT In the following circumstances:

Mexican authorities typically will confiscate and impound any foreign plated vehicle that is found being driven by a Mexican national, unless they can provide proof of the exceptions above.

REMEMBER THAT ANY OF THESE COULD VOID YOUR MEXICO INSURANCE POLICY. Speak to your insurance agent to get the specifics.

Permanent Residents Cannot Get Temporary Vehicle Importation Permits (TIPs)

With some exceptions, when someone has permanent resident status in México, they cannot legally drive a non-Mexican plated vehicle inside México.

Permanent residents can, however, drive foreign plated vehicles in areas in which there is no Temporary Import Permit (TIP) required, such as all of the Baja peninsula, the western part of Sonora, the border zones, and Quintana Roo.

Some expats who have resided in México long enough to become permanent residents have had to nationalize their vehicles by going through the process of importing them into México. Once a vehicle is nationalized it can then get the required Mexican registration and license plates.

Possible Complications

And even though the Mexican government may allow the exception to the rules for Mexican Nationals and Permanent Residents, many insurers may still choose not to provide any coverage because of the potential complications that can arise.

México Tourist Auto Insurance

Tourist auto insurance is designed for drivers and vehicles that are from another country. Thus, a México tourist auto insurance policy is not a good fit for a Mexican driver, and most will not cover a vehicle driven by a Mexican driver.

Be sure to carefully read all insurance application documentation, policy declarations, and the policy terms and conditions, to ensure you understand what things the policy will and will not cover. Speak to a qualified agent who specializes in México tourist auto insurance to get clarification about your policy.

Are you looking for a tourist auto policy?

If you are shopping for a México tourist auto insurance policy, please visit our website at: www.Mexpro.com. If you have other questions or need assistance with your policy, please contact us