2 min read
18 Mar

Yes, you can bring your US plated-vehicle into Mexico but there are some important rules to know ...

For importation you will need:

  • Title for the vehicle or a letter from your creditor indicating you have permission to bring it into Mexico
  • Temporary Vehicle Import Permit (TIP) - apply online here. You can apply up to 6 months in advance but no shorter than 10 days in advance.
  • Obtain Mexican Car Insurance 
  • License/registration of the vehicle
  • Copy of your Drivers License
  • VIN (Vehicle Id number)
  • 16% IVA (Sales tax) will be charged at customs

Registration & Nationalization

  • Tourists & Temporary Residents. As a tourist or temporary resident you can bring your US plated car into Mexico without obtaining Mexican license plates. In this case, with a TIP (Temporary Import Permit) the car will have permission in the country for as long as your visa.

    • Tourist Visas - Vehicle must be removed from the country after 6 months  
    • Temporary Residents - Vehicle can remain in Mexico after expiration if Visa is renewed.
    • Tourist visa converted to temporary resident - The car doesn’t have to be removed from Mexico, you only need to notify customs within 15 days of your change of immigration status.
    • Trailers & Motorhomes - Permits for trailers & motorhomes are good for 10 years regardless of your Visa length.
    • Off-road Vehicles, Motorcycles & Watercrafts - You can bring up to three vehicles in this category under the same TIP as your trailer.
    • Registration Payment - Pay for TIP registration at Banjercito online or in person using an international credit card. You will be provided with a special sticker which allows the car to be legally driven in Mexico.
      Be sure to have the following documents in original and copy:

      • Passport 
      • Birth Certificate
      • Vehicle Title
      • Vehicle Registration
      • Driver’s License
      • Proof of Return of any Previous Vehicle (If applicable)
      • If you are not the vehicle owner, provide proof of your relationship to the owner (marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.) 
    • The maximum weight for all vehicles, including motor homes, is 7,716 pounds (3.8 tons)
    • If you do not remove your vehicle from Mexico before your permit expires, you will be subject to penalties and your car can be confiscated!
  • Nationalizing Your Vehicle. If you are entering Mexico as a Permanent Resident, you may not bring a foreign plated car into Mexico on a TIP. Instead, you must nationalize the car. Nationalizing the vehicle gives you permission to keep it in the country indefinitely. 

    • Permit required from the Secretary of Economy
    • Only vehicles manufactured in North America (Mexico, US or Canada) can be nationalized in Mexico

      • Vehicles manufactured in North America which are exactly 10 years old (from date of import) do not need a permit 
    • Temporary residents converted to permanent residents - If you change your residency status to Permanent resident while your vehicle is permitted by a TIP, you must take the vehicle out of the country. At that point you can choose to sell it or nationalize it for re-entry.
    • Nationalization rules are complex, reach out to a customs broker to let them handle the process for you!

Mexico's Free Zone
If your vehicle will stay in the Baja Peninsula then you won't need a permit. Learn more about the "Free Zone" in this great article by www.mexpro.com to see if this applies to you.

Original image from: https://www.mxici.com/blog/?tag=mexico-tourist-auto-insurance
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