RV/Travel Trailer Mexico Vehicle Import Permit

If you plan to drive your RV or travel trailer beyond the Mexico "Free Zone" you will need to purchase a Mexico Vehicle Import Permit.

*Please note: A Temporary Importation Permit (TIP) can ONLY be obtained through Mexico's Banjercito government agency. Mexpro has no affiliation, authority or connections with this organization.

Do I Need a Temporary Importation Permit for My RV?

If you are traveling in the Mexico Free Zone, also called the Liberated Zone, Perimeter Zone or Free Trade Zone, no.

The free zone extends from Mexican international land borders, inland, about 12 miles or 20 kilometers. The entire Baja California peninsula and a large portion of Sonora are also part of the free zone. The Mexican government gave these areas special customs exemptions to improve tourism, and therefore a vehicle import permit is not required.

YOU DO NOT NEED A VEHICLE IMPORT PERMIT FOR DRIVING YOUR RV IN THE FREE ZONE.

If you do not have an importation permit outside the free zone, at immigration/customs checkpoints in the interior of Mexico, you could be sent back to the border, incarcerated, fined, and/or have your vehicle confiscated.

Sonora Only Permit

In Sonora, you are only required to obtain a permit if driving further than kilometer 98 of Mexican Federal Highway No. 15. If you plan to drive your RV outside the free zone, but only in the Mexican state of Sonora, you can obtain a SONORA ONLY VEHICLE IMPORT PERMIT at same cost, but it is usually faster to process.

How Do You Get a TIP?

The temporary vehicle import permit can be obtained from Banjercito, the official Mexican issuing agency. The permit may be purchased:

One can purchase the permit online up to 60 days prior to travel into Mexico, or up to six months in advance at Mexican consulates offering permits.

*Despite any advice, official or unofficial, to the contrary, vehicle permits cannot be obtained at checkpoints in the interior of Mexico.

Documents Needed to Apply

It is recommended that one carry three copies of each of these documents.

  1. Evidence of Citizenship (a Government Issued Passport, passport card or green card)
  2. If you are not a Mexican citizen, a Mexican immigration permit - such as a tourist, business, or immigrant permit.
  3. RV Title and registration certificate.
  4. A Valid Driver's License with photo.
  5. Certificate of canceled import permit for any prior temporary import permits.
  6. If the RV or travel trailer is financed, rented, leased, or belongs to someone other than yourself you must have a notarized letter of permission from the lien holder, lending institution, or owner.
  7. An International Credit Card (American Express, Mastercard, Visa) in the name of the driver of the RV (importer).
  8. If the title of the RV is in the name of a spouse, child, or parents – a marriage license or birth certificate must be presented.
  9. Proof of Mexico RV Insurance.

These documents are needed at the Mexican border whether or not you purchase your RV or travel trailer import permit online or not.

Obtaining an RV Vehicle Import Permit Via the Internet

Apply online on the Banjercito Website. After submitting the required information to the website, you will receive a pass code. Once the payment is accepted, your permit will be sent to your address within 11 days.

Purchasing Online, How it Works

  • The permit may be purchased up to 60 days before you depart to Mexico.
  • You need a minimum of 10 days between when you apply online (and pay for your permit via credit card) and your departure to Mexico.
  • Once the payment has been accepted, the permit will be sent to your address within 11 business days.

By purchasing online, you speed up the process of obtaining your permit, saving time at the border and it is the recommended method, according to Banjercito.

You MUST CANCEL your permit at a Banjercito location at the Mexican border upon your return to the US.

Temporary RV Import Fee

The fee for importation of a vehicle is $51.00 USD plus IVA (tax), however if you process online the fee is $45.00 USD plus IVA. The price can vary depending on the peso exchange rate and will likely increase from time to time.

Temporary RV Import Deposit

A guarantee deposit for the return of the vehicle to the US, regardless of the form of payment, will be applied to all vehicles.

The amount of the deposit is determined by the manufacture year of the vehicle. It will be refunded upon cancellation of the permit at Banjercito offices — as long as it is prior to the expiration date of the permit. The refund will be made in the same form as the deposit was made.

Required Deposit for a TIP:

  • 2007 — Newer $400 USD
  • 2001 – 2006 $300 USD
  • 2000 – Older $200 USD

Accepted credit cards for securing the deposit are MasterCard, Visa and American Express. The card will be charged for the deposit and refunded only if permit is cancelled before its expiration.

Maximum Weight

You may be required to get an additional inspection if your vehicle weighs more than 7,716 pounds, or 3.8 tons. If so, you will be directed to the Aduanas (Mexico Customs) location, at the border. There may be an additional cost for vehicles inspected at Aduanas.

Duration of Permit

Temporary importation permits for motor homes can be issued for up to 10 years, but they MUST be registered as a motorhome in order to qualify.

If the motorhome is towing another vehicle, the maximum time limit on the temporary import permit is 180 days.

If you return your vehicle after the permit expires your deposit will not be refunded and you could be fined.

Towed Vehicles

If the RV or Trailer is towing another car, the attached unit would also undergo the Aduanas inspection. You need to be sure to disclose that you are towing when applying for the import permit.

There could be a difference in the price for vehicles that undergo the extra inspection. According to our sources at Banjercito, Aduanas would determine the cost.

If the motorhome is towing another vehicle, the maximum time limit on the temporary import permit is 180 days.

You will also need Mexican insurance for your towed vehicle, as well as your RV.

Multiple Entries

Once you have a vehicle import permit you may drive your vehicle across the border multiple times during the valid length of your permit.

Returning / Cancelling the TIP

If the vehicle is not returned to the US prior to the expiration date on the permit, or the permit is not canceled upon exiting Mexico, the guarantee deposit will be forfeited.

You do not have to exit Mexico from the same port as you entered to cancel your temporary importation permit. It can be cancelled at any Banjercito location along the border.

You MUST CANCEL YOUR VEHICLE IMPORT PERMIT UPON YOUR FINAL RE-ENTRY INTO THE US. If you do not, you may not be allowed to drive into Mexico again without the permit, and your deposit will not be refunded.

Other Persons Driving your RV

If the documentation shows the vehicle is registered in the name of a spouse, the importation can be done as long as the marriage certificate (and a copy) is presented.

The owner’s adult children are permitted to drive the temporarily imported vehicle in Mexico, as long as they have the same immigration status and birth certificates (or copies).

Other persons may drive the vehicle as long as the owner is in the vehicle.

Warning

  • Travelers should avoid individuals outside vehicle permit offices offering to obtain the permits without waiting in line, even if they appear to be government officials. There have been reports of fraudulent or counterfeit permits being issued adjacent to the vehicle import permit office in Nuevo Laredo and other border areas.
  • If the proper permit is not obtained before entering Mexico and cannot be obtained at the Banjercito branch at the port of entry, do not proceed to the interior. Travelers without the proper permit may be incarcerated, fined and/or have their vehicle seized at immigration/customs checkpoints within the interior of Mexico.

Mexican RV & Travel Trailer Insurance

Temporary RV Insurance for Mexico is required in order to obtain an RV temporary vehicle import permit.

More Information