Posted August 27, 2015 by & filed under Border Crossing, Driving to Mexico, Legal, Tips.

Floating in Pool MexicoEven though Mexico is a super laid back place to vacation, there are a few things that could cause your trip to be stressful, delayed and not fun. The general population of Mexico is welcoming and generous, but this might be misleading when dealing with law enforcement, who may not be as lenient as one might expect. Mexico is another country, and the laws there are much different than in the US or Canada. When driving to Mexico use these tips to make sure you enjoy the wonderful people and experience of Mexico, rather than having to fly through hoops to get on with your trip.

1. Take your driver’s license and a passport, passport card, green card or SENTRI pass.

2. Make sure you have vehicle registration documents. It’s best if the registration is in the name of the driver.

3. You should have ownership documents for recreational vehicles like Travel Trailers, ATVs, Jet Skis, Boats, trailers, as well.

4. Get Mexico auto insurance. Unfortunately US auto insurance does not cover your a vehicle in Mexico. Mexico only recognizes Mexican domiciled insurers. Mexican laws are much stricter when an at fault driver cannot pay damages. If you are taking recreational vehicles, you should consider insuring them, as well.

5. If you’re traveling beyond the Mexico ‘free zone’ get a vehicle import permit. It’s required.

6. Know where you’re going. There are many maps available online. You may also want the list of Mexico border crossings and border waiting times before you go.

7. DO NOT carry guns, knives or any ammunition into Mexico. The laws are very harsh regarding these items.

8. Avoid speeding, fights, overintoxication and drugs.

9. Pets must have health certificate from a veterinarian, that was issued within 10 days before the pet arrives in Mexico.

10. Keep receipts for anything you buy in Mexico, you may need them to get through customs.

11. Do not purchase or bring wildlife, plants, fruit, coral, tortoise products or fireworks to or from Mexico.

12. Carry the US Embassy in Mexico’s phone number in the event of an emergency.

13. Make sure someone not traveling with you has your Mexico itinerary and contact information.

If you have any concern about getting into trouble in Mexico, get some legal assistance insurance. It will provide you with legal help from bilingual representatives and includes roadside assistance, medical assistance, travel assistance and more.

Mexico is an incredible country with friendly people, gorgeous countryside, beaches and loads of activities. Don’t spoil a good vacation by forgetting these valuable tips. Have a wonderful trip to Mexico!

5 Responses to “Tips for Driving to Mexico”

  1. Chuck Griffiths

    On my first trip driving into Mexico with my truck and RV trailer in 2016, I stopped at K21 for the visa and the authorities “made me” get a TIP for truck and trailer, even though I was not going beyond the free zone. When I exited MX two weeks later, I turned in the TIP for the truck but was told to keep the 10 year RV TIP in case I returned to MX with the trailer. The trailer was sold in the US in 2017, and I have proof of the sale with a copy of the buyer’s title from the state of Washington. I tried to cancel the TIP in Naco, close to where I live, and the woman at Banjercito told me she would not cancel it unless she “saw” the trailer. No way that can happen. I understand than within the free zone, a TIP is not required for a RV trailer. Now I want to return to MX with a newer trailer, but have concerns. Your advice would be appreciated. Thanks

  2. Steve Curry

    Be aware that the police in Sonayta ACTVELY target Americans. I go to Penasco about 10 time a year and it is rare that I don’t see a US car pulled over. On Summer weekends I have see 4 pulled over at once. The speed limit is 40kph (24mph.) Mexicans with Sonoran plates are allowed to drive a fast as they want and they will pass you like you are standing still. Don ‘t be tempted.

    In four years I have never gotten a “ticket” (i.e. “pay me here”.) On the way home make sure you are at 24 before you get to the 40kph sign. They have radar and wait just inside the line and you don’t want to be going too fast when your car peeks over the hill.

    I have had an annual Mexican policy with you for at least 5 years. No problems.


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