Posted May 3, 2016 by & filed under Vehicle Import Permit.

Car RegistrationPlease note: A Temporary Importation Permit (TIP) is ONLY available through Mexico’s Banjercito government agency (website or on the border). Mexpro has no affiliation, authority or connections with this organization.

So who does need the Temporary Importation Permit (TIP)? The answer is—not everyone.

TIPs are required for vehicles traveling outside the Mexico Free Zone. The Free Zone refers to areas:

  • beyond 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the border,
  • all of the Baja Peninsula,
  • and most of Sonora (not included are areas further than kilometer 98 on Mexican Federal Highway 15).

So any area outside these boundaries, including those beyond kilometer 98 on Mexican Federal Highway 15, requires a Vehicle Importation Permit for travel with a non-Mexican plated vehicle.

If you are only traveling in Sonora, but are traveling beyond the free zone, you may obtain a Sonora Only Permit.

For those who need a permit, certain documents are required, these include:

  1. Passport, a passport card or green card.
  2. Driver’s License issued outside of Mexico
  3. Mexican immigration permit (for non-Mexican citizens only)
  4. Vehicle Bill of Sale, Deed to Property and Vehicle registration
  5. Notarized letter of permission from lienholder, leasing company or owner (if applicable)
  6. Certificate of cancelled importation permit (for previous TIPs)
  7. Proof of Mexico auto insurance

It is recommended you have three copies of each of the above, and a minimum of the original and one photo copy.

Other requirements include:

  1. Agree, in writing, to return the vehicle to a Banjercito location on the border within 180 days of purchasing the TIP.
  2. Pay a processing fee of $44 US plus tax (called IVA), non-refundable.
  3. Pay a refundable deposit on the vehicle (assuring its return). The price ranges between $200-$400 US, depending on the model year of the vehicle. You must pay with an international credit card in the name of the permit applicant.

Applying for a vehicle importation permit is best done on the Banjercito website. Certain restrictions apply, but if you qualify you likely will save time at the Mexico border. You can also obtain a VIP at the Banjercito office on the Mexico border.

You MUST cancel your Vehicle Importation Permit upon final entry back into the US. You may drive across the border multiple times within the 180-day time period that your VIP is in effect. However, you must cancel it before the permit expires and during your last entry into the US at the Banjercito office at the border. If you do not, you forfeit your deposit and you may not be allowed to enter Mexico again.

Be cautious of individuals outside Banjercito offices offering VIPS without waiting in line. Some fraudulent activity has occurred.

Without the proper Vehicle Importation Permit, a driver could be fined, incarcerated, and/or have the vehicle confiscated by Mexican officials at immigration or customs checkpoints. Be sure you go through the proper channels and get your VIP before you enter Mexico. And, have a wonderful trip!

For more information on obtaining a Vehicle Importation Permit visit our website.

5 Responses to “Who Needs a Temporary Importation Permit for Driving to Mexico?”

  1. Paula J Calan cagal

    I own a van I am from the us we want to take it down there to leave and register it there But we are not sure what we have to do can anyone please help me out with this?

      • Alex

        Page ‘Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit” of this website states that ‘A vehicle temporarily imported by the owner may be driven in Mexico by a spouse or adult children, as long as they have the same immigration status’. I tried to find the original Mexican law in Spanish that proves it, but was unable to do so. The page of the consulate in San Diego says that it also may be parents and siblings.
        I’d be grateful if you might find a link to this law or where I can purchase it if it’s not on the internet. Thanks.

  2. Laurie Neilson

    This June, my brother is driving a Uhaul truck across the border at Presidio Texas/Ojinaga Chihuahua from the US. Uhaul has already approved this and we have a deposit on the truck. He is going to wait a couple hours for me and I’ll arrive in a van with personal belongings that I’m taking to Oregon. We will transfer my belongings to the Uhaul truck and then drive back across the border together into Texas.

    After reading all your posts, I think my brother doesn’t need a TIP because he won’t travel outside the Free Trade Zone and he doesn’t need a Tourist Visa because he will be there only a few hours. Is this correct? I think the only thing the Mexican customs agents will want from him is the FMM card.


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