You can visit Mexico in your car without any permit as long as you stay within the border zone (within 18 miles of the border) If you plan to travel further into Mexico, you will have to obtain a temporary vehicle import permit. This document will be valid for 6 months and you can get it at Banjercito, the official Mexican issuing agency.
Fee for Temporary Vehicle Import Permits
US$29.70, at Banjercito locations along the border
US$49.50, at Banjercito locations in Mexican Consulates or online.
(bring at least 3 copies of each just to be sure)
- If you are a Mexican Citizen one of the following documents proving your nationality: passport, proof of work authorization in the U.S., resident alien card, or naturalization certificate.
- If you are not a Mexican citizen, a Mexican immigration permit-such as a tourist, business or immigrant permit and passport or birth certificate.
- Title or registration verifying ownership of the vehicle. (A receipt of sale is not a valid proof)
- If you have been to Mexico in the past in this car then you need to show the “ Certificate of canceled import permit “
- For rental or company owned vehicles, you have to show a letter from the actual owner authorizing you to take the vehicle into Mexico.
- Temporary Mexican automobile insurance is required in order to obtain a temporary vehicle import permit.
If there is a Mexican Consulate in the area where you live you can save time by getting the permit there, you can do it up to 6 months in advance. Some of the cities are: Albuquerque, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Phoenix, Denver and Chicago.
Temporary Import Deposit
It doesn’t matter where you get your temporary vehicle import permit, the Mexican government requires a deposit in order to guarantee that your vehicle is returned to the U.S. The deposit may be paid in cash or secured with a credit card. The cash deposit amount varies in amount from $200 to $400 depending upon the age of the vehicle and is refunded when the vehicle is returned to any Banjercito border location so that the permit can be cancelled.
If you use a credit card, this will be imprinted by a Mexican official but the deposit amount will not be charged to your card unless the vehicle is not returned to Banjercito upon the completion of your trip for permit cancellation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: 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 may make multiple trips to Mexico for the term of the permit. However, you MUST surrender the permit to Banjercito on or before the date of its expiration TO GET YOUR DEPOSIT BACK.
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