Mexico has very strict rules regarding the entry of foreign motor vehicles. Travelers are allowed to bring only one vehicle into the country at a time. It is the owner's responsibility to obtain a Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit (solicitud de importación temporal de vehículos) at the customs office at the U.S.-Mexico border or, in some cases, within 30 km of the authorized border zone (zona fronteriza). Travelers should ensure that they obtain a permit upon entry and cancel this permit before exiting Mexico. Watch for signs indicating customs checkpoints and Banjercito Bank locations (where permits can be issued and cancelled). Areas that DO NOT require Mexican Vehicle Permits:
Do not proceed to the interior of Mexico without having obtained the proper permit. Travelers without a vehicle importation permit may be incarcerated, fined and/or have their vehicles seized at immigration/customs checkpoints.
In order to increase tourism and facilitate investment in Sonora the free Zone program was launched; a unique program to Mexico. Visitors form the United States and Canada can enter and leave the State of Sonora and enjoy the tourist attractions without needing a permit, within the zone that covers the northeast part of the state, up to the municipality of Empalme and all the border areas.
Even though the entering program Only Sonora has existed since 1996, the State Government launched this attractive Free Zone on December 14th 2006 that only requires obtaining a permit if traveling further than kilometer 98 of the Federal Highway No. 15. If the visitor wishes to go further tan this point, a permit can be obtained at any Banjercito branch office, located along the border of the United States and Mexico, which is valid for 180 days after complying with all the necessary requirements. The vehicle permits are available at the check point at Kilometer 21, just south of Nogales on Highway 15. Call 1-800-4-SONORA if you are entering from another border crossing. Permits must be returned at this same location with the 180 day period.
When applying for the Temporary Importation Permit, present the original plus two(2) copies of all documents. Originals will be returned. While in Mexico, other persons are allowed to drive the car only if the permit holder is in the car with them. The fee for the Temporary Importation Permit is US$34 plus local tax, which is not refundable. In addition to the fee, tourists are required to leave a guarantee in any of the following forms:
Go through the "Declarations Lane" and stop at the customs office when crossing the border. Look for a "Modulo de Control Vehicular". All documents and the credit card name must be in the same name as the person driving the vehicle across the border.
Leased or financed Vehicles must provide a "Letter of Authorization" from the bank or leasing company. The bank or leasing company should be notified well in advance as they will normally require proof of comprehensive and collision coverage from your Mexican Auto Insurance policy.
The cost to obtain a Mexican Vehicle Permit are
1. $29.80 at the border
2. $39.60 from Banjercito offices in the United States.
3. $49.50 from the Banjercito website
Credit Cards: If you have a credit card (VISA, Master card, AMEX, Diners Club), in the same name as the registered vehicle's name, you will be charged a non-refundable fee of $16.50 . This will be done at the Banjercito Office.
NO Credit Card:
You are required to make a cash deposit if you do not have a credit card.
1. 2000 and newer models are $400.00.
2. 1995-1990 models are $300.00
3. Model years prior to 1995 are $200.00
Temporary Vehicle Import Permits are good for up to six months. This allows you to enter and exit Mexico for six months. After the permit is expired, a new permit is needed, as vehicles with expired permits are subject to having the vehicle confiscated by Mexican authorities.
Arizona Border - Sonora
Aqua Prieta: 24 hours / 7 days a week
Cananea: 8am-6pm Monday - Friday
Nogales: 24 hours / 7 days a week
Naco - Anexo: 8am-12am - open 7 days a week
Sonoyta / San Emeterio: 8am-12am - 7 days a week
San Luis Rio Colorado: 8am-12am - 7 days a week
California Border - Baja California Norte
Mexicali: 24 hours / 7 days a week
Mexicali Annex: 8am-4pm Monday - Friday; 10am - 2pm Saturday; Sundays closed
Otay Mesa: 8am-12am- 7 days a week
Tijuana: 8am-12am - 7 days a week
Baja California Sur
La Paz: 9am-2pm - 7 days a week
U.S. Citizens entering or leaving Mexico by land are not required to have a U.S. passport to cross the border until June 1st, 2009.
Information on required documents for entering and leaving Mexico, such as visas, permits, tourist cards and Mexican Vehicle permits.
If you are planning to drive in Mexico there are things you will need to know. Find information such as Mexico Maps, toll roads, traffic tickets and more.