Temporary Vehicle Import Permit for Mexico
A Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit (TIP) allows non-Mexican citizens and Mexican citizens living abroad to take vehicles across the border into Mexico from other countries, such as the U.S. and Canada. It is required for areas outside the free or border zone. Only people with the immigration status of "visitor" (FMM), Temporary Resident, Temporary Resident Student, or Mexican citizens living abroad are eligible for a TIP.
A TIP can ONLY be obtained through Mexico's Banjercito government agency.
Please note: Mexpro has no affiliation, authority or connections with Banjercito.
If you plan to drive a vehicle beyond the Mexico Free Zone you will need to purchase a Mexico Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit (TIP).
The vehicle import permit can ONLY be obtained from Banjercito, the official Mexican issuing agency. Get your permit online at the Banjercito website or at the Mexico border. Online purchases must be made 10 to 60 days prior to travel into Mexico.
The TIP is valid for any type of vehicle weighing less than three and a half metric tons (7,716 lbs. GVRW), for a maximum of 180 days.
If your vehicle is registered as a motorhome you can get an RV TIP that is good for 10 years.
In Sonora, you are only required to obtain a permit if you are driving outside of the Sonora Free Zone, which is the area of Sonora that is west of the 15 highway and north of KM 98. If you only plan to travel in the Mexican State of Sonora, you can buy a Sonora ONLY Vehicle Permit at a lesser cost.
You do NOT need a Temporary Vehicle Import Permit for driving in any part of the Baja California Peninsula, Quintana Roo, the northwest portion of Sonora (the area west of the 15D and north of Guayamas), and within 25 kilometers of the borders.
Despite any advice, official or unofficial, vehicle permits cannot be obtained at checkpoints in the interior of Mexico, except at the ferry terminal in La Paz, Baja Sur. You must have a valid FMM to obtain a TIP at that location.
Please note: Mexpro has no affiliation, authority or connections with Banjercito.
It is recommended that you carry three black and white copies of each of these documents. (Mexico considers color copies to be attempts at forgeries.)
Passport, passport card, or green card
If you are not a Mexican citizen, a Mexican immigration permit — such as a Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM) tourist permit, business, or immigrant permit/visa.
A non-Mexican driver's license with photo
Original and photocopy of the title and registration of the vehicle issued by a foreign authority in the applicant's name. If the title or registration is in the name of a spouse, a marriage certificate must be presented. Only the owner of the vehicle and/or his/her spouse can get a TIP.
Proof of temporary Mexican auto insurance for your vehicle.
In addition, if you are bringing a leased, financed, or company car into Mexico, you will also need the following:
Leased Vehicles: Lease contract and notarized letter of permission from the leasing company.
Financed Vehicles: Credit contract and notarized letter of permission from the lienholder or lending institution.
Company Car: A notarized letter of permission confirming the employment relationship and authorizing the employee to import the vehicle into Mexico.
TIP Declarations and Payment
In addition to having the required documents, you will need to do the following:
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.
Pay approximately $51.00 USD at the border or $45.00 USD online, plus IVA (tax) with cash or a non-Mexico issued credit card. The cost can vary based on the peso exchange rate and will likely increase from time to time.
Pay a deposit:
$400 U.S. — 2007 model year and newer
$300 U.S. — 2001 – 2006 model years
$200 U.S. — 2000 model year or older
The deposit will be refunded if the vehicle import permit is canceled within the 180-day period and no violations have taken place.
According to the Banjercito website, the IVA and deposit amount can vary depending on the peso to dollar exchange rate.
An International credit card (American Express, Mastercard, Visa) in the name of the driver of the vehicle (importer) or cash 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.
Obtaining Your Permit Online
Banjercito recommends buying online. 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.
Online purchases must be made 10 to 60 days prior to travel into Mexico.
You must purchase your FMM online before buying a TIP online.
Don't forget that when you buy your FMM online, you must stop at the border and get immigration (INM) to stamp/validate it. Bring both your printed FMM AND your receipt to show proof of payment.
You will receive your permit by email. Print it and your receipt, and keep the printed copy with you while driving in Mexico. Use your email as verification of your TIP purchase. If you do not have Internet, your printed copy will be your backup.
Obtaining a TIP at the Border
Banjercito will send you an email with your TIP and give you a printed copy, along with your receipts. Keep your email and copy with you at all times while driving in Mexico.
Getting a TIP at the Mexican Consulate
You can also buy a permit at one of the following Mexican Consulates in the U.S.
- Arizona: Phoenix
- California: Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Sacramento
- Colorado: Denver
- Illinois: Chicago
- New Mexico: Albuquerque
- Texas: Austin, Dallas, Houston
Banjercito will give you your receipts and a copy of the TIP, which will also be sent to your email. Keep a copy with you at all times while driving in Mexico.
How it Works
If you are stopped for TIP verification the officer should scan your TIP using a cell phone application. Sometimes there will be no cell service so you will need to verify using your paperwork.
Multiple Entries with Your Vehicle
Once you have a vehicle import permit you may drive your vehicle across the border multiple times during the valid length of your permit.
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 spouse, children, parents, and siblings are permitted to drive the temporarily imported vehicle in Mexico, without the owner present, as long as they are not permanent residents of Mexico, and have a non-Mexican driver's license. One should carry documentation verifying your relationship to the owner.
Other persons may drive the vehicle as long as the owner is in the vehicle and they have a non-Mexican driver's license.
Canceling Your Permit
You MUST CANCEL/SURRENDER YOUR VEHICLE IMPORT PERMIT UPON YOUR FINAL RE-ENTRY INTO THE U.S. If you do not, you will lose your deposit, and will not be allowed to get another Temporary Import Permit. This is how Mexico verifies the vehicle has left the country.
You CANNOT surrender and buy a new permit online or anywhere within the interior of Mexico.
You do not have to exit Mexico from the same port as you entered to cancel your permit. You must cancel and surrender your permit at an approved Banjercito TIP return location on the border. Find border locations for Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.
Get more details on how to cancel your Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit on Mexpro's blog.
Vehicle Import Violations
The following will result in the loss of your deposit fee.
- Driving a vehicle with an expired vehicle import permit in Mexico.
- Selling an imported vehicle in Mexico.
Other Important Facts
- Temporary Vehicle Import Permits (TIPs) cannot be renewed.
- You cannot surrender and obtain a new TIP within the interior of Mexico.
- You cannot surrender and obtain a new temporary permit through a Mexican Consulate abroad.
- You cannot surrender and obtain a new TIP online.
- If a vehicle has not been returned to Banjercito offices at the border and the TIP cancelled, a new permit cannot be issued.
- You will not be given a TIP if your vehicle has any restrictions in the U.S. or Canada (determined by the Vehicle Identification Number or VIN), like 'salvage' or theft.
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 temporary vehicle importation permit offices in border areas.
If the proper permit is not obtained before entering Mexico, do not proceed to the interior. Without the proper permit you could be incarcerated, fined and/or have your vehicle seized at immigration/customs checkpoints.
Sonora ONLY TIP
In Sonora, you are required to get a TIP if you will be driving outside the "Free Zone," which is the area west of the 15 highway and north of KM 98 (Guaymas). If you do drive outside the free zone, you have the option to purchase a "Sonora Only" Vehicle Importation Permit for a reduced price.
RV/Travel Trailer TIP
RVs and Travel Trailers require a TIP specifically for those vehicles. If you plan to drive your RV outside the free zone in Mexico get an RV Importation permit.