Do I Need a Vehicle Importation Permit?
The temporary importation permits allow Mexican citizens living abroad and foreign citizens to take a vehicle into Mexico, whether you cross in the northern or southern borders of Mexico. To drive your US or Canadian registered vehicle in Mexico, beyond the border and free zones you need a temporary vehicle importation permit.
How do I get a Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit?
The temporary vehicle importation permit is issued by Banjercito at CIITEV offices at the port of entry or at the following Mexico Consulates (Consulados Generales de México) in Albuquerque, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Sacramento and San Bernardino.
You can also apply to obtain the permit online, Importación Temporal de Vehículos - banjercito.com.mx . The system will allow you to process the application 10 to 60 days before the intended date of crossing the border. It is recommended that you process the online permit at least two weeks in advance, prior to crossing the border.
Before issuing the temporary importation permit, Banjercito will look for theft, accident and restriction reports against the vehicle in the US and Canada. If a negative report is found on the vehicle, the permit will be denied.
How Much is a Temporary Importation permit?
The cost of the Temporary Importation Permit is equivalent to $51 USD plus tax in Mexican Pesos, at a CIITEV office at the border port of entry and at the consulate offices in the US. The cost of obtaining the permit online is the equivalent to $45 USD plus tax.
In addition to the cost of the permit, you will need to leave a refundable(**) deposit according to the year of your vehicle as follows:
** Refundable deposit - guarantees that the vehicle will leave Mexico prior to the expiration date on the permit.
Method of Payment matters.
You can pay with a credit or debit card in all three options, however, you can only pay in cash at a CIITEV Banjercito office. You will get your deposit back in the same form of payment you used to process it. Credit and debit cards are subject to exchange rates and international fees, this can fluctuate so you might have a dollar amount different in your bank statement depending on the exchange rate. If you choose to pay in cash, the deposit will be refunded to you in cash. If you do not return the vehicle to the US and leave it in Mexico for more days than the permit, you will lose the guarantee deposit.
Does a Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit Expire?
A temporary import permit is generally valid for up to 180 days. As a foreign citizen, the expiration date of your permit will be the same as that of your immigration status. You must return the vehicle to the U.S. before the temporary vehicle permit expires. Not doing so can result in losing the guarantee deposit and you might not be able to import another vehicle in the future.
If your vehicle is stolen or had an accident in Mexico, US or Canada, or sold/traded in the US or Canada, you must obtain a cancellation of your temporary importation permit.
What Documents are required to obtain the temporary importation permit?
If you are processing the permit in person it is recommended that you show originals and 2 black and white copies of each document. No color copies.
Dual citizens. Mexicans residing abroad. Permanent Resident Card (Green card), Foreign Passport or Passport Card.
Foreign citizens. Valid passport or Passport Card and Tourist permit issued by the Instituto Nacional de Migración (National Immigration Institute).
Non-Mexican Driver’s License with Photo.
Documents to prove the legal ownership of the vehicle to be temporarily imported, such as Title or Current License Plate Registration.
Mexico Auto Insurance for your vehicle.
If you are processing the permit online, you will need to scan each document (in PDF format and may not exceed 1MB) before starting the application.
Cancelling your Temporary Importation Permit.
During the application process you agree to register your exit from Mexico and return the vehicle to the US or other foreign country, by cancelling the permit before the maximum date of return printed in the permit at any of the Banjercito offices at the border, in order to receive the guarantee deposit back. This obligation is still in place, even if your vehicle is stolen while in Mexico or was involved in an accident and is not drivable. If you have partially exit/stopped the permit, to be used in multiple entries during the term allowed, make sure to cancel the permit before you sell or trade your vehicle in the US or Canada.
With the Temporary Vehicle Importation permit, while in Mexico, you will not be able to sell your vehicle, gift your vehicle, or use it as a commercial vehicle (for business as public transportation or moving goods). Temporary Importation permits cannot be cancelled in the interior of Mexico. Only at the border Banjercito offices.
VERIFY STATUS OF YOUR TEMPORARY IMPORTATION PERMIT
What Does Mexico Car Insurance Cover?
Third-Party Liability is mandatory in Mexico and by law the policy has to be issued by a Mexico Insurance company. While third-party liability is the only required insurance in Mexico, clients can also purchase:
Physical Damage and total theft*: Physical damage coverage provides compensation for physical damage to the vehicle due total theft, collision, overturn, fire, lightning and certain natural disasters.
Medical Payments: Medical payments coverage can help with the cost of medical expenses for the driver and their passengers after an accident.
Roadside Assistance: Roadside assistance provides help if the car breaks down on the side of the road.
Legal Aid and Bail Bond: This coverage provides legal services and bail bonds as required in the event of a covered loss.
*There are some exceptions to coverage. Policyholders cannot generally purchase physical damage coverage for Mexico auto insurance if they do not have American comprehensive and collision coverage.
Some American insurance providers offer a Mexico policy rider, which gives limited coverage for vehicles traveling to Mexico for a limited mileage from the border. This endorsement is not the same as having a Mexico insurance policy and does not suffice the requirement by law to carry at least Third-party Liability. Coverage under these riders can be only for collision, on reimbursement basis, excluding liability and losses will affect your US auto policy future rates.