Car trip

Driving to Mexico: What You Need to Know Before You Go

Road trips can be an incredible adventure but crossing borders will require a few documents and permits; we have gathered a checklist of tips and requirements for your trip to Mexico.


You must have a valid passport to enter Mexico. All travelers, including minors, must have a valid passport to travel to Mexico.

Valid Driver’s License

Canadian and US driver’s licenses are valid in Mexico.

Vehicle Documents

Proof of vehicle ownership and registration, or a lease contract in the driver’s name and an affidavit authorizing a temporary import if there is a lien on the vehicle.

Visitors Permit – FMM

Canadian and US citizens will fill out a Multiple Migratory Form or Forma Migratoria Múltiple (FMM) – visitors permit. Carry it with you in case you are stopped by immigration and turn it in as you leave Mexico.

If you wish to save time, fill out the FMM online https://www.mexicotouristcard.com/.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Mexican Liability Insurance

US or Canadian automobile liability insurance is not valid in Mexico; in fact, most collision or comprehensive policies are not valid in Mexico. We recommend you purchase a policy before you leave, ensuring full protection as you cross the border. https://guardianinsurancemx.com/mexico-foreign-plated-auto-insurance/

If you are involved in an accident without liability insurance, you will be detained until fault is determined, and you can prove you have the means to pay for the damages.

TIP – Temporary Import Permit

If you are driving your car into Mexico and plan to travel outside the free zone, you need a temporary vehicle importation permit. Driving outside the free zone without a TIP will put your vehicle at risk of confiscation or hefty fines.

You will pay a deposit which will be refunded once you return the vehicle to the Banjercito office at the border, provided you return before the expiry date. The deposit is based on the age of the vehicle.

MODEL                   DEPOSIT

2007 and later         $400 USD

2001-2006                $300 USD

2000 – older             $200 USD

The permit expiry date will coincide with your FMM. The cancelation of TIP must be processed at Banjercito’s offices at the border. Always keep the TIP in the vehicle.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Health Insurance

Either short term travel insurance of annual private health insurance is a must. If you are hospitalized in Mexico, you will not be released until the bill is paid.

Good to Know

  • Do not take a firearm across the border without a permit from the Secretariat of National Defense.
  • Do not bring marijuana or illicit drugs into Mexico.
  • Carry a copy of your prescription if you bring a controlled medication.
  • Impaired driving is a serious crime in Mexico; foreigners will not receive special treatment if caught drinking and driving. If you are involved in an accident, you would go to jail.
  • Bribing the police is illegal; if they ask you to pay on the spot, refuse and request the ticket so you can dispute it in person. If the charge was bogus, chances are they will let you go.

Safe Travels!

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