Mexico “No Drive Day” Restrictions

Mexico City (District Federal) No Drive Restrictions

When you can drive in Mexico City and When you can not

Monday: no driving if license plate ends with 5 or 6. Tuesday: no driving if license plate ends with 7 or 8. Wednesday: no driving if license plate ends with 3 or 4. Thursday: no driving if license plate ends with 1 or 2. Friday: no driving if license plate ends with 9, 0 or a letter. Saturday and Sunday: All vehicles may be driven.

Vehicles with Foreign License Plates and those vehicles not from Mexico City, the State of Mexico or states that have reciprocal agreements with the government of the Federal District (Monday to Friday)

Foreign-plated vehicles (mostly affecting those from Belize, Canada, Guatemala and the United States) and those from Mexican states that do not have a reciprocal agreement with Mexico City and the State of Mexico are not exempted from the license plate restrictions. In order to be exempted, they must submit to voluntary emission-testing in Mexico City and their vehicle must not be older than 8 years old. This testing is done every 6 months. Should they pass and receive a 0 or 00 stickers, they will be allowed to travel freely through Mexico City and Mexico State, even in the case of an environmental contingency. Like locally plated vehicles, they must continue to test every 6 months until their vehicle turns 9 years old after which they must follow the rules below.

If a vehicle owner chooses not to test voluntarily or is no longer eligible for a 0 or 00 sticker, they are subject to a set of rules separate from locally plated vehicles.

The first restriction, begun on July 1, 2008 and fully enforced as of September 1, 2008, is they are not permitted to drive from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. from Monday to Friday.

The second restriction is similar to that of locally plated vehicles, being not allowed to drive one day from Monday to Friday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. based on the last digit of one’s license plate.

Weekday Plate’s last digit Sticker color
Monday 5 or 6 yellow
Tuesday 7 or 8 pink
Wednesday 3 or 4 red
Thursday 1 or 2 green
Friday 9 or 0 and those with letters only or temporary plates blue

Example: A vehicle from Texas has their last digit being a 3. Thus under the rules above from Monday to Friday, they cannot drive between 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. However, on Wednesday, they have the additional restriction that they cannot drive between 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The only way they can get around this is to obtain a 0 or 00 sticker should their vehicle be 8 years old or newer.

No foreign-plated vehicle or vehicle not from the State of Mexico or the Federal District is eligible for a 00 sticker.

Currently, Mexico City and Mexico State have reciprocal agreements that recognize emissions stickers from the Mexican states of Hidalgo, Michoacan, Morelos, Puebla, Queretaro, Tlaxcala and Veracruz.

However, one must also keep in mind the next category, the Saturday restrictions that also apply.

 Saturday Restrictions

A new restriction that began on July 5, 2008 applies only to locally plated vehicles with a 2 sticker and non-local vehicles that do not have a 0 or 00 sticker.

Depending on the last digit of one’s license plate, vehicles are not permitted to circulate in Mexico City or Mexico State on Saturday between the hours of 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on one Saturday a month.

Example:

Weekday Plate’s last digit Sticker color
First Saturday of the month 5 or 6 yellow
Second Saturday of the month 7 or 8 pink
Third Saturday of the month 3 or 4 red
Fourth Saturday of the month 1 or 2 green
Fifth Saturday of the month (if it exists) 9 or 0 and those with letters only or temporary plates blue

 

 A vehicle from Texas has their last digit being a 3. Thus under the rules above from Monday to Friday, they cannot drive between 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. However, on Wednesday, they have the additional restriction that they cannot drive between 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. And on the third Saturday of the month they cannot circulate between 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The only way they can get around this is to obtain a 0 or 00 sticker should their vehicle be 8 years old or newer.

Example: A vehicle from Mexico City has a 2 sticker and the last digit of their license plate is a 3. Thus under the rules they cannot drive on Wednesday from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. and the third Saturday of the month from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

 Environmental contingency

Under certain conditions, an environmental contingency is declared. This affects vehicles that do not have a 0 or 00 sticker or are subject to some other exemption. Although rarer in previous years, it is important to check with local authorities and pay attention to local news outlets to understand what restrictions (hours) and to whom it affects. Such restrictions are often changed every 6 months and are related to the levels of ozone and particulate matter in the air, which are measured hourly.

Special Pass for Tourists and Programa Paisano

Currently Mexico City, but not Mexico State, offers a special pass known as a Pase Turistico, that allows one to drive in the city for up to 2 weeks and be exempt from the Hoy No Circula program. One does not need to do a voluntary emissions test with this special pass. However, one can only receive this pass if one’s vehicle is a 1993 model year or newer, Free Tourist Vehicle Pass for Mexico City

During part of early December to early January, Mexico City and Mexico State participate in a special program with the federal government called the Programa Paisano. One part of this program permits, without any special pass, for foreign-plated vehicles regardless of model year (those with plates from other than states in Mexico) to pass freely through the metropolitan area without regard to the Hoy No Circula program.

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