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*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.

If you plan to drive a vehicle beyond the Mexico "Free Zone" you will need to purchase a Mexico Vehicle Import Permit. The temporary vehicle import permit can be obtained from Banjercito, the official Mexican issuing agency. It is valid for any type of vehicle, weighing less than three tons, for up to six months (180 days). The permit may be purchased online at the Banjercito website or at the Mexican border. One can purchase the permit online 7-60 days prior to travel into Mexico.

Simply put, the Mexico Free Zone refers to all of the Mexican state of Baja and portions of Sonora. Also called the Hassle Free Zone, Liberated Zone, Perimeter Zone or Free Trade Zone, the term is a "customs designation only for that area located along the Mexican international land borders and which run inward up to the point at which the Mexican Customs authorities have their first 'interior' check point." This is usually about 20 to 26 kilometers in from the border towns - exceptions are on the peninsula of Baja California and places like Puerto Peñasco where it runs to the ocean front along the main highways.

You do NOT need a Temporary Vehicle Import Permit for driving in any part of the Baja Peninsula or the Sonoran Free Zone. In Sonora, you are only required to obtain a permit if driving further than kilometer 98 of Mexican Federal Highway No. 15.

You can obtain a "Sonora ONLY" Vehicle Import Permit if you only plan to travel in the Mexican State of Sonora.

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

Documents Required for a Mexico Vehicle Import Permit

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

  1. Original and photocopy of Passport

  2. Original and photocopy of Driver's License issued outside of Mexico

  3. If you are not a Mexican citizen, a Mexican immigration permit-such as a tourist, business or immigrant permit.

  4. Original and photocopy of Bill of Sale, Deed to Property and Vehicle Registration issued by a foreign authority in the applicant's name. If the title of the vehicle is in the name of a spouse, child, or parent - a birth certificate or marriage license must be presented.

  5. For Leased Vehicles: Lease contract and notarized letter of permission from the leasing company.

  6. For Financed Vehicles: Credit contract and notarized letter of permission from the lienholder or lending institution.

  7. Company Car / Car belonging to a Corporation: a notarized notarized letter of permission confirming the employment relationship and authorizing the employee to import the vehicle into Mexico.

  8. Certificate of canceled import permit for any prior temporary import permits

  9. Proof of temporary Mexican auto insurance for your vehicle.

You will also be Required to:
  1. Sign a declaration, pledging to return the vehicle within the 180 day period for which the permit is valid and not disobey any other regulations concerning the permit.

  2. Pay $44 US plus a tax (IVA) for processing the permit with cash or with a non-Mexico issued credit card.

  3. Pay a deposit. The deposit will be returned upon your return to the US, and amounts to:

    • $400 US - 2007 model year and newer

    • $300 US - 2001 – 2006 model years

    • $200 US – 2000 model year or older

The above numbers come from the Banjercito website. According to the website, the IVA and deposit amount can vary depending on the peso to dollar exchange rate.

The deposit will be refunded if the vehicle import permit is returned within the 180 day period and no violations have taken place (see below).

An International Credit Card (American Express, Mastercard, Visa) in the name of the driver of the vehicle (importer) will be needed to pay the fees. Your card number could be held or charged for the import amount. Be sure to contact your credit card company upon your return, to be sure you've received a refund.

Vehicle Import Violations

The following will result in the deposit fee being cashed by the Mexican government.

  1. Not returning the vehicle to the US border within 180 days to exit Mexico or to renew the permit.

  2. Driving a vehicle with an expired vehicle import permit in Mexico.

  3. Selling an imported vehicle in Mexico.

Other important Facts:

Obtaining a Vehicle Import Permit Via the Internet

Applying for the Permit online on the Banjercito Website will speed up the process and allow you to avoid potentially long lines at the border. After submitting the required information to the website, you will receive a pass code. After 24 hours and within 15 days of obtaining the pass code, you can visit any Banjercito location (on the US/Mexico border) to obtain your permit document.

Multiple Entries with your Vehicle Import Permit

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

Mexican Auto Insurance

Temporary Mexican automobile insurance is required in order to obtain a temporary vehicle import permit. Buy Mexican Auto Insurance now from www.Mexpro.com.

Canceling the Permit Upon Exiting Mexico

You do not have to exit Mexico from the same port as you entered to cancel your permit. Your temporary vehicle import permit 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.

Other Drivers

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.

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. 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 offices in 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.

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