Have These 6 Things
Before You Go to Mexico
More than 20 million Americans travel to Mexico every year and a large portion choose to drive. If you are driving to Mexico, be sure you prepare for crossing the border, driving in the interior, and returning home by having these six things.
Going to Mexico
For the latest Mexico entry requirements: Visit the Embassy of Mexico website or call the Embassy at (202) 736-1000 or any Mexican consulate in the U.S.
Entering the U.S. from Mexico
When crossing back into the U.S. from Mexico, a passport, passport card (land travel), green card, or other WHTI-compliant document, is needed.
NOTE: The passport application process can take anywhere from one week to more than a month to complete, so it is best to get started well in advance of your trip to Mexico. If you are pinched for time or on short notice, you can elect to pay extra money to expedite the process. For more information about applying for and obtaining a passport visit www.travel.state.gov.
Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit
If you are crossing the Mexican border by car and you plan to travel outside the free or border zone you must obtain a temporary vehicle importation permit or TIP. Failure to buy a TIP puts you at risk of expensive fines, getting returned to the border, or having your vehicle confiscated by Mexican customs officials. At present, the only exceptions to the requirement are travel in the Baja Peninsula, and most of the state of Sonora.
The fee for vehicle importation is approximately $51.00 USD at the border or $45.00 USD online, plus IVA (tax), which can vary based on the peso exchange rate.
You will also be required to pay a deposit to ensure the vehicle is returned to the U.S. The deposit will be refunded upon cancellation of the permit at Banjercito offices, as long as it is returned prior to the expiration date of the permit (after six-months). Deposits cost between $200 and $400 USD, depending on the age of the vehicle.
Mexpro cannot provide Vehicle Import Permits and has no affiliation with Banjercito, the Mexican federal agency who issues TIPs.
Read our Vehicle Import Permit FAQs if you have questions.
Citizens of the U.S. and Canada who wish to visit Mexico as tourists, on business, as a journalist, for studies, or passing through Mexico, for a period not exceeding 180 days do not require a tourist visa. (Mexican Consulate, Toronto)
A Mexican RESIDENT visa is required for those staying longer than 180 days in Mexico.
Mexico Migratory Form (Tourist Permit)
All visitors to Mexico must obtain a tourist permit, called the Forma Migratoria Múltiple or Multiple Migratory Form (FMM). Random inspections take place in the interior of Mexico, where you may be required to present your FMM. So, it is important to keep a copy with you at all times.
The cost of an FMM is free if staying for less than 7 days. Otherwise, it costs $638 pesos (around $32, as of October 2022).
If traveling by land, you can get an FMM at your port of entry into Mexico or online. Mexican Customs (Aduana) may not check to be sure you have an FMM when you cross the border into Mexico, but you are still expected to get one.
The repercussions of not having an FMM include:
- Mexican insurance claims may not be honored.
- You may be detained for hours before being sent back to the U.S. border.
- In the event of an emergency that requires you to be flown back to the U.S., you will be delayed, as an FMM is required.
Mexico Tourist Insurance for Your Vehicle
U.S. and Canadian automobile liability insurance coverage is not accepted in Mexico. In addition, most collision and comprehensive insurance is not valid in Mexico. Check with your insurer on the specifics.
The U.S. State Department strongly recommends you purchase a full coverage insurance policy that will cover the cost of bail, in the event of an at-fault vehicle accident in Mexico.
Mexpro suggests you use only A-Rated Mexico insurers. While there may be some cheaper options available, it's best to use a trustworthy insurance provider you can count on to take care of your vehicle and occupants should you need to file a claim.
Mexpro provides Mexico full coverage and liability insurance from A-rated insurers. All our policies come with our exclusive travel assistance product that includes bail bond, medical, roadside, auto & personal legal assistance.
American & Canadian citizens planning to drive to Mexico should carry a valid driver's license at all times. U.S. and Canadian driver's licenses are recognized in Mexico. In addition, your Mexico Insurance policy is invalid if you do not have a valid, non-Mexican, driver's license.