Temporary Vehicle Importation
Mexico Vehicle Import Permit
If you plan to drive a vehicle beyond the Mexico “Free Zone” you will need to purchase a Mexico Vehicle Import Permit. The Mexico Free Zone, also known as the the Liberated Zone, or Perimeter Zone or Free Trade Zone 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.)
NOTE: YOU DO NOT NEED A VEHICLE IMPORT PERMIT FOR DRIVING IN ANY PART OF THE BAJA PENINSULA OR THE SONORA FREE ZONE (In Sonora, you are only required to obtain a permit if driving further than kilometer 98 of Mexican Federal Highway No. 15.)
NOTE: YOU CAN OBTAIN A “SONORA ONLY” VEHICLE IMPORT PERMIT IF YOU ONLY PLAN TO TRAVEL IN THE MEXICAN STATE OF SONORA.
The temporary vehicle import permit can be obtained from the Banjercito website, at the border or at a Mexican consulate in the following cities: Phoenix, Albuquerque, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, Denver and Chicago. One can purchase the permit up to six months prior to travel into Mexico.
Despite any advice, official or unofficial, to the contrary, vehicle permits cannot be obtained at checkpoints in the interior of Mexico.
Important Documents Needed to Apply for a Mexico Vehicle Import Permit
It is recommended that one carry three copies of each of these documents.
1. Evidence of Citizenship, i.e. A Government Issued Passport
2. If you are not a Mexican citizen, a Mexican immigration permit-such as a tourist, business or immigrant permit.
3. The Vehicle Title and registration certificate. A bill of sale is not valid proof.
4. A Valid Driver’s License with photo.
5. Certificate of canceled import permit for any prior temporary import permits.
6. If the vehicle is financed, is a rental car, is leased, and/or a company car, a notarized letter of permission for importation of the vehicle into Mexico is required from the lien holder or lending institution.
7. An International Credit Card (American Express, Mastercard, Visa) in the name fo the driver of the vehicle (importer).
8. If the title of the vehicle is in the name of a spouse, child, or parents – a birth certificate must be presented or a marriage license.
These documents are needed when you travel to Mexico whether or not you purchase your vehicle import permit online or not.
If you are traveling to Mexico as a tourist, you must obtain an tourist permit. The permit allows you to visit or make multiple trips to Mexico for a maximum period of six months (180 days). The Mexican Immigration official issuing the permit has sole discretion in determining your length of stay and may ask you the expected duration of your trip. As a tourist, you are not authorized to conduct any type of business activity in Mexico.
An business permit is required in order for you to conduct any business activity, including attending business conferences, conducting meetings, or visiting maquiladoras. The permit allows you to remain in Mexico or to make multiple trips for a period of up to 30 days. The permit is required within the border zone (within 18 miles of the border) as well as for business travel to the interior of Mexico.
Obtaining a Vehicle Import Permit Via the Internet
Apply online by clicking here to get to the Banjercito Website. 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 to obtain your permit document.
Purchasing a Vehicle Import Permit Online: You have the option to purchase your Mexican vehicle import permit online.
- Mexico import permits may be purchased online for auto, RV and boat/watercraft.
- The permit will be mailed to you.
- 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 date.
- You must cancel your permit at a Banjercito location on the border upon your return to the U.S.
Applying for a Vehicle Import Permit Online: You have the option to apply for a Mexican vehicle import permit online.
- Mexico import permits may be applied for online for auto, RV and boat/watercraft.
- Speeds up the process of obtaining your permit at the Banjercito location at the border.
- The permit may be applied for up to 1 day before you depart to Mexico.
- You will be issued a pre-registration code which you will need to take with you to the Bajercito location at the border.
- You must cancel your permit at a Banjercito location on the border upon your return to the U.S.
Temporary Import Fee
The fee for importation of a vehicle is $44.00 USD plus IVA; this fee is the same whether the permit is obtained at the border, consulates or online.
Temporary Import Deposit
A guarantee deposit for the return of the vehicle to the US, regardless of the form of payment, we be applied to all vehicles. The amount of the guarantee will be determined by the year of the vehicle. The guarantee 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.
- 2007 – Newer $400 USD
- 2001 – 2006 $300 USD
- 2000 – Older $200 USD
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.
Before Banjercito issues a permit, they will verify the VIN # to make sure the vehicle does not have any restrictions to be driven in the US or Canada, in which case the permit will not be allowed.
It is important that we remind our customers to cancel the permit at the border prior to returning to the US, to ensure that they receive their guarantee deposit back.
As long as the customers have enough time (between 7-10 days), it is recommended that they process the temporary importation permit online. This will improve their experience and avoid the time spent at the border crossing.
Accepted credit cards for securing the deposit are MasterCard, Visa and American Express. Your card 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.
Mexican Auto Insurance
Temporary Mexican automobile insurance is required in order to obtain a temporary vehicle import permit. Click here to obtain Mexico Car Insurance
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.
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 U.S. If you do not, you may not be allowed to drive into Mexico again without the permit.
Other persons driving your vehicle in Mexico
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.
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.
- RV or Travel Trailer Vehicle Import Permit (for up to 10 Years).
- “SONORA ONLY” Vehicle Import Permit
- Vehicle Import Permit FAQs
Travel Safe With Quality Mexico auto insurance Coverage! We Offer The Best Car Insurance for Mexico Online.
The Free Zone, also known as the the Liberated Zone, or Perimeter Zone or Free Trade Zone 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.
This area, for customs purposes, is not considered part of Mexico, in that items brought from other countries into this zone are not considered imported into Mexico, and items of (the interior of) Mexico brought into this zone are considered exported from Mexico (as well, items brought into the interior of Mexico from this area are considered imported into Mexico).
In this area, the businesses may import goods (from abroad) into it duty free (if they are not produced therein) (additional exceptions not permitted are items like alcoholic beverages, beer, cigarettes, cigars, and race horses) to satisfy their needs for the manufacturing, assembly and transformation process of industry therein located. Once the process is complete they can return them abroad (in a new product or not) without export duty from Mexico.
This customs designation of “Free Zone” is in direct relation to the “Manquila” program, whereby assistance is provided for entry of goods into it to assist in the export of products from Mexico and to build up the border areas of Mexico.
Under certain restrictions, the products made in this “Free Zone” may be imported into Mexico without import duties.