Previously, we wrote an article outlining the regulations for importing a car into Mexico. That article has many details about how to get permits, where to go, etc. and if you have not already read that article, you might want to read it first. This new article outlines the recent modifications to those rules. The modifications will be enforced beginning June 11th 2011.
Things To Know About Temporary Car Imports into Mexico
If you are planning to process a permit for the import of your vehicle into Mexico, you should consider the following six points.
The cost of the process is now $44 USD plus VAT (16%), whether you apply for the temporary importation permit at the border, at a consulate or on the internet. Previously, the charges were $29.70 USD at the border, $39.60 USD at a consulate and $49.5 USD on the internet.
Security Deposit Required
In all cases, and regardless of the form of payment (cash or credit card), you must leave a security deposit when you import the car. Previously, this deposit was only necessary if you paid for the import in cash. This deposit will be used for taxes if you neglect to return the car, or for any infractions of the law committed when driving that particular car. It will also be forfeited if you do not comply to the terms of the temporary import. The deposit varies according to the year of the vehicle, according to the following chart:
|Year of the car||Amount of the guarantee in dollars|
|2007 and after||$ 400.00|
|2000 and before||$ 200.00|
If you do not return the car before the permit expires, the deposit will be applied and will not be refunded. If the payment was made with a credit card, your credit card will be charged.
Before issuing the temporary import permit, Banjercito will verify that the car has not been used in a crime or any other sinister activity, or if it is restricted or prohibited for circulation in the United States or Canada. If Banjercito discovers any negative response to their verification activities, you will not be allowed to import the car.
Check For Accuracy
When you are filling out the paperwork for the temporary importation of your vehicle, it is your responsibility to check that the recorded information in the paperwork is accurate. Specific information to verify is the brand, model, serial number and expiration date of registration of the car.
Inform Of Status Changes
If you are an expatriate with the migratory status of a “non working” immigrant (rentista) or a non-immigrant, your permit will be valid only as long as your migratory status, including extensions and renewals. As a foreigner, you must notify the customs authority that gave you the car permit within 15 days following the date that your extension, renewal or change in immigration status is authorized. If you fail to do this, your temporary permit may run out and you will forfeit your deposit.
Canceling Your Temporary Importation Permit
If your vehicle is stolen or has an accident in Mexico or the United States, or is sold or traded in the United States or Canada, you must cancel your temporary importation permit at the Central Administration of Customs Operations. This is located in Mexico City at the following address:
Central Administration of Customs Operations (Administración Central de Operación Aduanera)
Av. Hidalgo Núm. 77, módulo IV, primer piso,
Delegación Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06300, México, D.F.
For more information you can call 01-800-463-6728 from Mexico and 1-877-448-8728 from the United States and Canada, or e-mail CIITEV_AduanaMexico@sat.gob.mx.
Thank you for this revised look at bringing your car into Mexico – it’s helpful to know about these requirements ahead of time. I had no idea car make played a part in the security deposit.
What happens if your vehicle becomes mechanically useless, dead?
Phil, you will need to rent a tow that takes it out of Mexico and then do whatever you want with it; or you can request to tax authorities to be witness of the destruction of the vehicle, at your expense, and that the results of the destruction become possession of them.
As a foreigner, you must notify the customs authority that gave you the car permit within 15 days following the date that your extension, renewal or change in immigration status is authorized.
We’r FM3 rentistas,and we renew it every year on October.You mean from now on we have to contact authority in Tamaulipas every year about our renew visa? How we can do it?
Is there any way I can have my step father drive the car to Mexico for me, it is my name on the registration and title paperwork? I am getting the import sticker online for the car and they are mailing it to my US address. I am all the way in ajijic and have decided I need my car to get around a little better. If I have to go to the border, can I meet him on this side where they issue his FMT? The problem with crossing back over is that I just submitted the paperwork for my young daughters FM3 (work got mine for me as soon as I arrived) and I would have to wait on her FM3. They have all the original Birth certificates etc… to get her out and in the country again.
Arnaldo, yes from now on you should notify custom authorities about your renewal within the following 15 days. You do not have to contact the Tamaulipas customs office; if you live in Yucatan for example, you only need to notify the customs office of Progreso with a letter stating that you renewed your FM3, a copy of it, a copy of your passport and a copy of the import permit of the car.
Shannon, if the import sticker is under your name, your step father cannot introduce the vehicle on your behalf. You would have to cross the border and meet him there if you want but you have to be driving the car or in the car at least since you will be the legal temporary importer. If you need further advice, please contact me to firstname.lastname@example.org
Since FM3 cannot be obtained outside Mexico. Car will be temporary imported under tourist visa. When obtaining FM3 – just take paperwork to Aduana (Puebla) and get extension on importation papers?
John, actually FM3 can be obtained outside of Mexico, but it is not the definitive FM3, but a temporary one that you have to exchange in the next 30 days after you enter Mexico. However, you can enter Mexico on a tourist visa and temporarily import your vehicle; once you get the FM3 the import permit will be automatically extended for as long as your FM3 is valid, but you have to notify to Aduana that you changed from tourist visa to FM3.
if you enter mexico with an FM3 NO INMIGRANTE, Do we need a car import sticker and is it left on the vehicle while the FM3 is current?
Len, if you enter Mexico with an FM3 and a vehicle, yes you need the import sticker for it and it should be left on the vehicle for as long as the import is valid, which is the same as the validity of your FM3.
There is an error in the explanation of the new rules.
” If you fail to do this [notify Aduana of a change of visa status], your temporary permit may run out and you will forfeit your deposit (and your car will then be in Mexico illegally).”
You will forfeit your deposit, BUT your can will still be legal as stated in Article 106.
Thanks, Rolly! You are absolutely right. We fixed it in the article.
What if you lose your Importation permit ? Is there a way to get a copy ?
Kirk, if you lose your import permit you have to give notice through a letter to the Attorney General´s Office (Ministerio Público). They stamp that letter and you keep it instead of the import permit.
Wow that doesn’t sound easy or good ! The sticker is on the vehicle, Do you know what could happen if you get stopped without it ? Thanks
Here in San Miguel we keep getting information about the new changes and it still seems unclear about (if you have an FM3 and it is renewed each passing year do we still need to return the permits for a new one each year) IF this not true I would love to find the original writings from Aduana , So we high lite it and keep it in my car….Great post everyone
Kirk, if you don´t have the sticker, you should at least have the import permit document in your car; if you get stopped without it, the police can take any measure, from taking your driver´s license to your license plate.
Casa Schuck, when you renew your FM3, you should notify custom authorities in order to not lose the deposit you left at the border when you did the import procedure; this is written here, 4th paragraph: http://www.aduanas.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2008/vehiculos/141_10028.html, although, it is only in Spanish.
thanks Adriana for your replys, the sticker is on the vehicle but the actual import permit is lost, so I guess I will have to try to get one from Attorney General.
Kirk, if you need assistance for this, contact me to my e-mail email@example.com; we have done it for other expats.
First off, allow me to say I am very impressed with the content on your website. I will be arriving in Mexico on a diplomatic posting and am having trouble finding information on car registration. In your opinion, is it easier to bring my current car (US titled BMW 3) to Mexico or to purchase a new or used car there? Another option I thought of was to purchase a small SUV with commonality in Mexico (Toyota RAV4) and take it with me. Registration fees, taxes, etc. all come into play. Thank you for your advice, and thanks for the great resource on the web.
Daniel, thank you for your comments about our website, we appreciate them. Regarding your question, we always recommend to buy either a new or used car here, because if you bring your car from the States you are not allowed to do anything with it here: sell it, exchange it or transfer it. Once you bring it you will be provided with a temporary import permit which can only be cancelled when you take the car outside of Mexico. However, if you are going to stay for a short time in Mexico, it can be an option for you to bring it. When bringing a car imported temporarily into Mexico you don´t need to pay taxes, only the fees mentioned above in the article. It is a very simple procedure that you can do on your own. If you have further questions, you can contact me to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two questions. I left a truck in Mexico about 10 years ago. Will there still be consequences after all that time?
Second problem. I bought a truck about 7 years ago and the guy disappeared without giving me the title. Turned out there was a lien by Ford. I have been using 30 day registrations all these years. Can I take the truck into Mexico with a valid temporary registration?
Chris, for the first question… was the truck a US-registered truck? If so, there will probably be some consequences, but we aren’t sure what they would be. For the second question, again… it’s a little more complicated than we can answer off the top of our heads. You can either contract with Yucatan Expatriate Services to research this issue for you (at a cost) or you can contact a Customs Broker (check our Affiliates page for contact information: https://www.yucatanexpatriateservices.com/affiliates) and ask them. Good luck!
I have a valid FM3 and live in Valladolid. A friend also with a valid FM3 also lives in Valladolid. He has his car here from North Carolina – legally registered, NC plates, Valid import sticker. I want to buy his car and keep it registered in the US – South Dakota. Can this sale be done at Aduana in Progreso? Can his import sticker be transferred to me or cancelled and a new one issued to me by Aduana in Progreso?
Harriet, this procedure cannot be done at Progreso, you have to take the car to the border (Belize) to do it: cancelling the current permit and issuing the new one under your name.
I changed from an FM3 to an FM2 this past February. I drove my truck when I first moved here in 2006, and have not notified Aduana ever since that time, as I was told previously that as long as my FM3 was valid, the truck was legal. Now from what I’m reading here, it sounds as though I was supposed to be notifying Aduana every year when I renewed? I was told that requirement wasn’t in effect any longer. Now I’m confused. Should I go to Aduana in Progreso to let them know I now have an FM2? Will there be a fine or something? The original sticker I received at the border is still attached to the windshield, and I have the paperwork. What do I need to do?
Linda, there has been some misunderstanding and confusion with this part of the regulation. However, in a recent talk we had with an officer from Aduanas, we were told that holders of a temporary import permit should notify every year when they renew FM3 or FM2 or when they change from FMM to FM3 or from FM3 to FM2. Here at YES we can help you with the paperwork. Please contact me: email@example.com.
I have a copy of the law given to me by a lady at the bank in Progresso that states that the sticker must only be changed (if you have a FM Visa – of any kind) if the car is taken OUT of the country. Otherwise, it is renewed automatic when you get your new FM. I keep it in my car and have used it a few times – with no problem. Has the law changed?
Leroy, the law has not changed, you don´t have to change stickers every time you renew FM3 or FM2 or when you change from one to the other; you just have to notify the “aduana” office of your renewals or changes with a letter stating it and copies of documents such as your new visa, passport and import permit. The sticker remains the same.
I am confused (to say the least). I am married to a Mexican citizen and just got my FM2. I went to Banjercito in Progreso and they informed me that because my FM2 DOES NOT have the word “Rentista” I cannot bring one of my cars from Florida. I had asked to be able to work and do business in Mexico, and that was granted. But I do continue to be sustained by my income in the States. The lady in Banjercito suggested I get my FM2 changed, but I am sure that will be another long wait. My question is; Is it true that you “must” be a rentista in order to bring your car on a temporary bases?, after all the FM2 does expire yearly. Any help will be appreciated.
JC, what you were told at Banjercito is correct, you must have an FM2 “rentista” to be able to import your car temporarily. If you change your FM2 to rentista it will take approximately 1 month but you won´t be able to work or do business in Mexico. What you could do is change to an FM3 to work and do business.
And there is more…without “Rentista” on your FM2, you cannot even DRIVE a foreign plated car.
When we drove our car out of Mexico in October and then returned we were stopped at the “check point” about 50K from the boarder and we had our new FM2 Visa that allowed us to work – no longer ‘rentista’. We got a red light and when we showed the man our Visa he said, “You have a company here in Mexico?”, and we said yes! All he said was, “Very good, drive on.” Not one word about no longer being “rentista”, Texas plates or anything.
I have been stopped here in Merida as well and still not one word. This is the only place I have read about this new lay. Can you please give the link that takes you to this law on the Internet? In the process of changing over from “rentista” to allow us to open our company not one person (lawyer, account, bank, immigration etc.) has said one word and as I have said, after the fact we have still not had one ‘official’ that has stopped us question this.
We need an Internet link for the law please.
Well I get it. If one can work and earn a living here it is only logical that the money is spent helping the Mexican economy (buying from a domestic dealer). Our case however is that my wife loves that car and has had it for eight years. We might have to wait one more month and then bring the car to get Yucatan’s plates on it however much that will cost.
Thanks Adriana and Rolly for the input.
Leroy, it is stated in the “Ley Aduanera” or “Customs Law”, here´s the link: http://www.diputados.gob.mx/LeyesBiblio/pdf/12.pdf. This is a link to the whole law and it is in Spanish; if you read Art. 106, IV, a) it says that vehicles imported temporarily into Mexico can stay in Mexico for as long as the immigration characteristic of the owner is valid and the 2 characteristics they mention are: “inmigrante rentista” (which is the same as FM2 rentista) or “no inmigrante” (which is the same as FM3).
Exactly JC, if you live in Mexico almost full time and you work here, the Government expects you to buy a car here. For the permanent import (get Yucatan´s plates) keep in mind that you will only be able to do it if the car is 9 or 8 years old, no more, no less and it should be manufactured in the US or Canada.
Thanks Adriana. I am all for supporting the local economy. In fact the second thing we bought after our house was a car. There just happens to be a special attachment to this car on the part of my wife. As you’ve mentioned it is a 2004 model so by 2012 it should qualify.
If I shipped a vehicle from Florida to Progreso would I be able to acquire a (180 day) temporary import permit in Progreso? I would fly into Merida and get an tourist card (also for 180 days). I would probably return to the US the same way. This also hinges on the freight quote I get.
Marty, yes you can ship it to Progreso through “Linea Peninsular” and they will give you the necessary paperwork so you can go then to Banjercito in Progreso to obtain the permit. Here´s the website to Linea Peninsular: http://www.lineaships.com so you can contact them.
I come into Q.R. about 4-6 times a year for a week at a time each time with a 6 mo. FMM (not 2 or 3). I legally brought my 06 Chev in by ship and got my original sticker. 6 months later I drove to Belize and came back in and had it renewed for 6 more mos. I am about to do the same in January but I have been told my FMM is all I need and I dont need to go to Belize and renew anymore. Is that true?
Dennis, no it´s not true; if you had an FM3 that would be true, you wouldn´t need to go to Belize anymore, as long as your FM3 is valid. However, since the FMM expires after 6 months, you do have to renew your sticker every time you get a new FMM. In order to avoid this, you should change to FM3.
I drove my car from North Carolina to Costa Rica. I did not cancel my Mexico temporary vehicle import permit when exiting Mexico into Guatemala. Can I cancel the permit from Costa Rica? TIA.
Hank, no you can´t.
In 2010 I had a villa built in the Yucatan. I got my FM3 and drove a van down. I paid fees with a visa at the border and I have current Mexican insurance. I have renewed one time since I got there. When I go for a holiday out of the country, do I have to keep my FM3 renewed for my van to legally be in Mexico? Can I get into trouble if I don’t? I do not want that. Also, I have started renting my villa out. Is it advisable to open a corporation? If I do, my accountant wants me to start adding it to my Canadian Income tax here. I don’t want to pay tax in both places. Can you give me any insight on what i should be doing? Also have they revamped their rules?If I sold the house, would I have to pay capital gains? But if I live in the house for 5 years, 6 months a year, will I not have to pay? Thanks so much for your help:)
Sally, yes you have to keep your FM3 valid in order for the import permit of your van to be valid as well. If you don´t do it, your van´s import permit will expire and it will be illegal in Mexico, hence if you drive it and you get stopped by the police they could take it away. About the villa, if you own it through a trust and you don´t want to open a corporation, you could rent it through the bank that holds the ownership of the trust. Of course you will have to pay more of annual fees because they will be doing other activities for you other than just holding title of the property. If you sell your house and you have an FM2 you won´t have to pay capital gains tax, since you will be proving is your primary residence. For more information about taxes and if it is convenient or not for you to open a corporation for the rent of your villa, please contact the financial advisors of “De la Paz Costemalle-DFK”, an accounting firm affiliated to the YES network: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your reply ….. someone living close to wherei built said this in an email ….Can this apply to me in any way ? As info i told you previuos ,and if it dose what exzacaly is the registration ?
Email below –
FM3…… well you don’t need the FM3 but you need to keep the registration current for the van in order to keep insurance for Mx. If your not planning to drive the van out of state, then you don’t need the hologram. Quintana Roo is a free state.
Thank you sally
Sally, it does not matter in which state of Mexico you are; every car in Mexico imported temporarily needs to have an import permit and that is only valid if the FM3 or FM2 are current. He says in his e-mail that you don´t need the FM3 and only need to keep the registration current, but the only way the registration keeps current is by having an FM3 or FM2. Hope this answers your question.
Adriana said “it does not matter in which state of Mexico you are; every car in Mexico imported temporarily needs to have an import permit ”
That is not correct. Both Baja states do not require a
TIP, but they do require current license plates. I have heard, but not verified, that the same is true in QR.
Sally and Rolly, staff of Banjercito confirmed to us today that Quintana Roo does request temporary import permits for their foreign-plated vehicles; however not all states of Mexico require them like we previously mentioned, the two Baja California States do not. Thank you for the information Rolly.
Info from someone living in same area as my Villa >QR
would this work for me i am 45 minutes away from Belize boarder ….Re below
The day of my FM3 renewal I went to Banjercito at the Belize border to
renew my hologram. My hologram was issued with my FM3 number as one of
the unique identifiers (No. Forma Migratoria). Because the FM3 number
did not change, it turns out that the hologram is “automagically”
renewed whenever my FM3 is renewed.
The nice lady at Banjercito explained this all to me then took my
Hologram paperwork and underlined the No. Forma Migratorio, then added
the pages out of the Diario Official of the Mexican Congress with the
specific applicable section highlighted (attached), a copy of the FM3
that is associated with the hologram, a copy of the vehicle title,
copy of photo page of Passport of hologram holder, and a copy of the
drivers license of the hologram holder. She stapled this into one
packet with the Import Permit on top and sent me on my way. No fee, no
new paperwork, no new hologram. Happy Ending (smile)
Great Sally! Actually that is what we tried to explain to you, that you did not need to renew your import permit, but that you had to keep your FM3 current for the import permit to keep its validity.
Last time i renewed i went to imagration office in Chelumal , and i could start the renewal 30 days before my renewal date .
If the date on my renewal is April 18th can i go to the Belize boarder and do these 30 days before same as at the imagration office ?
The reason i am asking is because i have a flight booked in April to come to Canada for a knee surgery .And right on April 19th i will not be in Mexico ????
Also is it possiable to change your renewal date on your fm3 ?
Thank you …i wish i new of this Q&A a few years ago had a ton of questions 🙂
Sally, you can start the renewal process at the maximum 2 months before your FM3 expiration date and you have to do the application at the Immigration office that is closer to your domicile. The only way you can change the renewal date of your FM3 is if you let it expire (with the corresponding penalty) and then you apply again whenever is more convenient for you. However, this option won´t work for you because you have an imported car and you shouldn´t let your FM3 expire because your import permit will expire as well.
Adriana thank you ….If this is so and i can start my renewal 2 months before my renewal and not one month before the renwal date on my fm3 ….then this solves all my problems and will be perfect time line for me 🙂
I was told and read it was 0ne month before …is this a new rule ?
Sally, Immigration authorities recommend that you start the renewal procedure 30 days before, however, you could even do it one day before it expires and it will still be ok; but since you never know which kind of difficulties you may face, it is always advisable to start ahead of time. The 60 day period is not a new rule, we were told about it at the Immigration office; we have actually not seen it in written but we have applied for procedures 60 days before their expiration date and they have been accepted.
Hola. We were directed to your site regarding these new rules in bringing our vehicle into Mexico. Very helpful.
We entered thru Nogales approx. Dec. 20th. and yes, we paid this new $400 Secuirty Deposit on our credit card.
Now….we are thinking about returning home in early April, 2012. We recall that there is a ‘Station’ just before Nogales, where we have our Car Permit/sticker removed, and we get a receipt to show when we returned etc. etc. but we would appreciate (& perhaps others?) on the process we should expect for the $400 return/ where/ how etc. etc.
Thanking you in advance
Larry, you will get the reimbursement of the deposit on your credit card the next working day after you make the cancellation of the temporary import.
I am a current holder of an FM3 but am planning to apply for an FM2. I have a US vehicle here in Mexcio. IF/when I recieve my FM2 am I still allowed to maintain my US plated vehicle here in Mexcio? One consultant hs told me that since I recieve my work payment in the US that I do not qualify as rentista and thus with a FM2 am not allowed to have a US vehicle. If I am allowed to keep it do I need to return to the permiting location and reregister under an FM2?
Rsc, if your FM2 is “rentista” yes you can maintain your US plated vehicle in Mexico. “Rentistas” are those non-Mexicans who live in Mexico without working here, just with the income they get from abroad. You won´t need to return to the permiting location to register it under your FM2, but you will have to go to the nearest Customs office notifying with a letter that you have changed from an FM3 to an FM2, along with copies of the import permit, your passport and your FM2.
What a great weath of information! Well done with your site.
We drove our vehicle to Progreso through the Brownsville crossing and got our permit and sticker. The truck had a major mechanical issue and has sat in out driveway, we are now having it repaired. The issue is that the permit has expired for over a year and a half now and we are wanting to drive the vehicle back to Canada. Where would we go and what would the process be to renew the permit to get the truck out of the country.
Thank you Alex! As you may know your truck is currently illegal in the country with an expired import permit. What you should do to take it out of Mexico is request an exit permit called “retorno seguro” to tax authorities (Secretaría de Hacienda); they will grant you with 4-5 days to drive the truck with the sole purpose of taking it out of Mexico. If you need assistance for this process, please e-mail me to email@example.com
We just returned from Mexico on Sunday. Our refund has still not been credited to our bank account. I’m worried that, since we entered Mexico at 12:## in the afternoon, and returned to the States at 3:## in the afternoon on the day of expiration, it will be considered late. I don’t recall seeing a time of day on the permit, but I suppose that’s not real proof of anything. Should I be worried?
Kyle, if at the border they said your permit was on time to be cancelled, then you should not worry and your deposit should be refunded. It should take one day, but sometimes it delays a little. Try waiting a couple of days more.
Thanks for the reassurance. Sure enough, the deposit was reimbursed sometime last night. So, we crossed back north on Saturday, my bank hadn’t heard anything yet upon opening on Tuesday morning, and the money was transferred sometime Tuesday evening. So, I guess I have a definitive answer: the time of day does not matter upon returning your vehicle to the States, just the date.
I currently hold a FM3 No Inmigrante (cargo de confianza-Lucrativa) since we have a Mexican company. We would like to drive to Mexico with our canadian licence car belonging to our canadian corporation. Is-it possible to get a temporary importation permit for our car?
And if so, what are the required documents?
France, yes it is possible to temporarily import your car under your FM3 cargo de confianza. You just have to present at the border in the Banjercito office the following documents: title of property of the vehicle, your passport, your FM3 and make a payment of 51.04 USD. You´ll also have to leave a deposit in USD with your credit card; the amount of the deposit varies according to the year of the vehicle and will be reimbursed to you once you cancel the import permit, as long as you didn´t let it expire.
Great job on this! I heard a RUMOR that there was going to be a restriction placed on the age of a vehicle that could have a temporary permit extended. Someone went to get their permit extended and said the Aduana told him it would be the last time he could do it because his car was too old? Know anything about this? If there is an age limit what is it? Thanks
Roger, no, we have not heard of this before. There is no age limit for importing vehicles temporarily as far as we know; we will investigate.
Hi, thank you very much for the very comprehensive information. I am currently living in Switzerland and will be transferred to Mexico City for a 2-3 years assignment with an International Organization (it’s my understanding that I will be granted diplomatic status upon my arrival). I was initially thinking of shipping my personal vehicle (which is a 6 years old Lexus RX) and use it there for the duration of my assignment and ship it back later on if necessary in order not to be hit hard by depreciation. Then, I received conflicting information from my admin colleagues that Mexico doesn’t allow importation of used vehicles, so I’m totally confused and would therefore very much appreciate any comment or advise that anyone could provide me in this regards. If it’s permissible to do so, would you know if I should keep my Swiss registration plates or can I get the Mexican plates (diplomatic maybe). Thanks so much in advance.
Thuta, you can bring your vehicle from Switzerland and import it temporarily keeping its original license plates. What you cannot do is import it permanently because according to Mexican Customs Regulations, vehicles subject to be imported permanently need to be 9 or 8 years old (no more, no less) and should have been produced in the US, Mexico or Canada.
Adriana, Thank you so much for the good news. So, if I understood correctly, I will not be allowed to use the Mexican diplomatic plates on my car (which I would have been allowed to do so if I bought a car over there or import it permanently) but I still wouldn’t be restricted to have it there with the Swiss plates for the duration of my stay,,,right? Interesting. Will I then be able to buy an insurance over there? As the car will be arriving by sea, where can I find the information on the documentation to present? Thank you so so much for your precious advise.
You´re welcome Thuta. Yes, you won´t have restrictions to bring your car from Switzerland with its own license plates as a temporary import. The car will remain legal in Mexico as long as your visa is valid, I assume you´ll be applying for an FM3, since as tourist you´d only be granted with 180 days to be here and you plan to stay more. Yes, you´ll be able to buy insurance for the car. For the import procedure, you´ll need to hire a customs broker, depending on the port the car will enter; they will be able to advise you on the documentation you need to present. Have you chosen a port yet? Here´s my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I sent a note to you in June regarding our truck and expired permit and returning it to Canada. The truck is now repaired and we will be going to get the “retorno seguro” thanks to your help. The question we now have is….. The permit is in my wifes name but the regestration of the vehicle is in both of our names and since she is now pregnant and will not be making the drive with me how can we get the permit changed to show my name…We stopped at the port in Progreso and they indicated that this was a mistake they made at the border when we came down and that we should go into Merida to the INM office try and get my name added. Any thoughts??
Alex, the only way you can change the information in the import permit is by taking it to the border and cancelling it, of course, the importer must be in the vehicle to do this. The Immigration office cannot change a vehicle´s import permit information, only Banjercito can (they are the authority that issues them). There is an office of Banjercito in Progreso where they could guide you on what to do, have you contacted them? If not, here´s their phone number: 969 935 26 57. Good luck!
Adriana said on August 26th, 2011 6:08 pm
“the police can take any measure, from taking your driver´s license to your license plate.”
I’ve been informed that the police in Mexico MAY NOT “take” your drivers license.
Which statement is correct?
Mike, according to the Driving Regulations of the State of Yucatan, the police can take your driver´s license based on the commited infraction (Title 17, chapter II, article 465).
We have a US licensed truck at our home in QR. We drove the truck into MX in 2011. I have a tourist visa for 180 days. We were issued a TIP at the time of entry into MX. We have left the truck at our home and the TIP is now expired. We assume we have lost our deposit. Can we go to the border and renew the TIP? Is our MX car insurance still valid if the TIP has expired? What if we remain in QR and do not renew?
Greg, yes you have lost your deposit, because the TIP should have been cancelled before it expired in order to recover it. The truck is illegal in Mexico now and should not be driven. What should be done is to request a permit to drive it out of Mexico called “Retorno Seguro” (safe return) which will give 4-5 days to drive it legally for the sole purpose of taking it out of the country. This permit is requested at the tax offices of the State of Quintana Roo. Your car insurance remains valid even if your TIP is expired. If the truck remains in QR with an expired TIP, you run the risk of getting the car confiscated if you get stopped by the police.
My husband does not want to renew his FM3 which expires Jan. 5, 2013. We will be in QR Jan. 2-Mar.3, ’13 and want to drive our AZ car which has been in QR for several years back to AZ. Two questions: How do we keep the car past the expiration of the FM3 until March, and are there any specific requirements for giving up an FM3?
Lynda, if your husband doesn´t want to renew his FM3 the recommendation is to return the car before the expiration date of the FM3, because once is expired the car will become illegal in Mexico and to take it out of Mexico he will have to request an exit permit called “retorno seguro” to tax authorities (Secretaría de Hacienda); they will grant you with 4-5 days to drive the truck with the sole purpose of taking it out of Mexico. If you need assistance for this process, please e-mail email@example.com. Regarding the process to give up his FM3 he should leave it at Immigration while exiting Mexico, however if you do it after the expiration date he will be illegal in Mexico, as there are new rules for Immigration in Mexico we still don´t know how they will affect this process. We should wait for them to be in place in Nov 9th in order to have more information on this.
If you drove a car to mexico in 2006 and left in 2007, got a sticker but didn’t stop to have it removed. Is it OK? Was the law different then.? Because we are thinking of driving back in an different car and don’t want to have any problems.
Nicole, as you never got your sticker removed, it is very likely that the customs registry still have the car under your name, you should check with them first, before driving your car and trying to import it again. If you need help with this please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: No removing the sticker on an auto
This was a major problem a few years ago. We brought our truck into Mexico and left without having the sticker removed. We sold the truck in Houston, Texas to a man from Central America. When we tried to bring my car into the country they said I could not because I still had a truck here. We explained, however, it did not matter. We were told, “the computer says you have a truck here. You will have to bring the truck to the boarder and have the sticker removed.”
A lawyer and 4 months later the problem was resolved!
I have enrolled in 2 years School in Mexico with FM2 Visa. I am US born citizen.
I want to take a car to Mexico for 2 years while I am in school. My car is on lease. I understood that Mexico do not allow to take care which are leased or Finance (without fully owned). My plan is to take my uncle’s car. The car is on my Uncle name with Pink Slip. I am out of USA and scheduled to drive to Mexico on 4th Jan. from USA. I have only one day in USA.
Q1) What is the process to take Car to Mexico?
Q2) What kind documents do I needed to take car with me?
The car is on my uncle name, same last name,. Do I need to transfer to my name? If we do not get the original Pink Slip for transfer in time then what do I need to do?
Q3) where can I get Auto insurance which is good for Mexico coverage?
Q4) Any other important information I need to take car over there?
Alex, which type of FM2 do you have? Only FM2 “rentistas” can import vehicles temporarily. In order to keep you car legal in Mexico those 2 years you´ll just need to renew your visa before it expires. These are the answers to your questions: A1 and 2) at the border you should go to the Banjercito office and present your passport, your visa, title of the car in your name and pay the fee of 51.04 USD for the import. The title must be in your name; A3) If you are coming to the Yucatan State we can provide you contact info. of an insurance broker so he can provide you with some options; A4) Consider you will need to leave a deposit that will be reimbursed to you once you take the car out of Mexico (see chart above in this article).
I’m currently on an FMM, entered through chetumal in a belize plated car.
Got the tip sticker etc.
I want to leave the vehicle in ensenada whilst visiting the USA.
I then want to return to ensenada and continue to use the vehicle.
What would you advise?
I recently visited Mazatlan, Mexico via auto. My date of Nogales entry was 07-12-2012. I departed from Mexico on 16-12-2012. I did not stop to cancel temporary import permit 16-12-2012 and did NOT have my Holographic Sticker removed on this date as I am planning to return to Mazatlan via the same auto on 21-03-2013 and returning to the United States on 30-03-2013. My Import for Vehicle is Valid until 06,04 2013. Do I need any “return certificate” to bring my vehicle back into Mexico?
Curious if there is information on the following situation I have. I have a US plated car that is tied to my immigration documents and it was in an accident last summer. The car is in my position but is not drivable due to the accident. I would like to bring working car into MX to replace this one. I live only about 3 hours from the Belize border. What are my options? I assume:
1. I can report it as being in an accident as stated above, correct? If I do will I need to have the car towed to a government scrap yard, or will it just remain in my possession? How long does it typically take to clear the old car off my record with this route? weeks? months? a year?
2. I can load it onto a grua and take it to Belize if I can find a scarp buyer there (I would assume) and at the border MX will take our paper work, remove the sticker and clear the car from my record, correct? How long does this typically take to have the car removed from my record? weeks? months? a year?
3. Repeat #2 except drive it the long drive to the US.
Tony, you can´t leave the vehicle and then re-enter with a new FMM, because the TIP won´t have relation with your new FMM; for your information, if you decide to take the car out with you to the US, you wouldn´t be able to re-enter Mexico again with it because a non-Mexican can only do one temporary vehicle import in a year. Your option would be to change your FMM to a temporary resident visa while in Mexico and you could leave the car in Mexico while you travel to the US.
Raymond, in order to import your car again you need first to cancel the still valid import permit it has. This is only done at the border. Sometimes Mexican custom agents go to Mexican consulates in the US to cancel import permits that were not cancelled at the border; you may want to call this number: 18774488728 followed by these numbers in the menu: 7-2-2-1-1, to ask to which consulates and on which dates they will next.
Dan, you can opt for options 1 or 2 or 3, the three are fine and legal. However, we think it´d be faster for you to chose number 2. Once you take the car out with the tow truck, at the moment you cancel the import permit at the border the import will be cleared out of your records.
We have years of FM3 and FM2 status and will be required to switch to permanent residency in May. One of our cars was manufactured in Germany, based on the VIN. Recent information has been cirulating about an Amparo for 2013 which will allow us to nationalize my car. Do you have any information on that? What I see circulating is from an insurance company. I’ve asked for a quote for both our cars but haven’t received a reply yet. Just wondered if this was legitimate and if the Amparo is going to help us. Thanks.
Shipped my car in from USA. I had a 6 month Mexico visa (Residencia Permanente). I just got my Residente Permanente card from Mexico city VIA INM. Now, what about the car ???
Susan, we´ve heard of this amparo from that insurance company as well, but we have tried to confirm it with local custom brokers and custom authorities and they say they have not heard of it.
Stephen, with the permanent resident visa you cannot have a foreign license plated vehicle in Mexico; custom authorities and Banjercito are saying that these cars must be nationalized or taken out of the country. To nationalize the car it should be model 2004 or 2005 (until November 1st 2013) and the VIN number should start with 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.
I am a permanent resident, Can I import my 1998 Lincoln continental and if yes what must I do?
Mark, as a permanent resident you cannot import vehicles temporarily into Mexico. You could only import it permanently if the car was model 2004 or 2005 during 2013.
I brought my US-plated car to Mexico in 2008 and have been on an FM-3. I have to change to a permanent resident visa.
1. Do I have to take my US-plated car out of the country? Unfortunately, though bought in the US it was manufactured in Japan–the VIN starts with a J.
2. HOW LONG do I have to get my car out of the country once I switch to a permanent residence visa? And what is the process?
I am a Mexican citizen, American wife and we lived 35 Yrs. in U.S. We own a home outside Mazatlan. She has an FM3 on it’s 2nd yr. and to renew Nov.2013. Our car, now a part of her FM3, is a 1997 U.S. suv. We will be driving out to U.S. soon. The car is in excellent physical and mechanical condition and we don’t want to bring in a 10yr. old car which we know nothing of it’s history. As a Mex. citizen can I re-enter with the car in my name and nationalize it myself ?
Algarra, answering your questions:
1) Yes you have to.
2) Custom authorities have not specified a time frame to take it out, they just say that the vehicle is illegal when you acquire the permanent resident status. Our interpretation to this is that you must take it out as soon as possible and through a “retorno seguro” permit, since you won´t be able to drive it legally with your permanent resident visa.
Abel, you could import temporarily if you can prove you are a legal resident of the US or a visa proving you have worked for a year or more in the US. The title of property of the vehicle should be in your name as well. However, you won´t be able to nationalize it since only 9 or 8 year old vehicles can be. If you choose to import it temporarily, first your wife needs to cancel the current temporary import permit of the vehicle.
Thank you.. A couple more questions:1) Is “temporary” for me 6 months, also? 2) When we leave MX. in April we will have the car “sticker” removed, as we are taking a small trailer back to U.S. to sell, and will return in Nov. … We would like to use the On-Line site through banercito.com to advance register the car for our return. Is this site still available? AND, Will there be any problem attaching the car back to my wife’s FM3 when we return? Thank you again. Abel
My wife is in the middle of her 2nd yr. FM3 (1st RENEWAL). As “grandfathered in” is it true we can renew the car in her name/FM3 until she declares Permanent or receives her Permanent status/card at the end of her 4 yr. FM3 (approx. Nov 10, 2015 ?)
Abel, answering your questions:
1) Yes, only 6 months for you.
2) Yes, the site is still available and you won´t have any problem attaching the car back to your wife´s FM3 when you return as long as she didn´t import it the first time in 2013, since a non-Mexican can only import 1 car per year.
About your final question, it is still unclear if temporary resident visa holders will be able to have temporary imported vehicles into Mexico. Our advise is that you check the laws again when the time is closer.
Thank you for all patient responses to my numerous questions. One more, please:
As stated we will be in the U.S. for a few months this year, returning in time for my wife to renew her FM 3. in Nov. If we decide to buy another car while there, to bring back to Mexico AND since her FM 3 status continues for another 2 yrs. approx., what year(s) vehicles would you suggest we consider? Thank you again, Abel
You´re welcome Abel. According to the current Mexican customs rules, the permanent import of vehicles can only be done for those that have 9 or 8 years at the moment of the import and should be manufactured in Mexico, Canada or the U.S.
We so appreciate the help you have given for our numerous questions. I don’t know why more States and Expat Organizations don’t do likewise for their local State Expat. people.. BUT, finding you was most helpful… and for several of our friends, as well. Thanks again! Abel
You´re welcome Abel, we´re glad we could help you!
My wife going to renew her FM3 rentista this october for third time.Are they going to give her a FM3,or a temporary resident?We have a american car and like to be ready to bring it back if needed.Thanks
Aldo, she´ll be applying for the temporary resident card for one more year; in 2014 she´ll be applying for the permanent resident card.
My wife and I have been living in Mexico full time for the last 5 years + and have had FM3 visas up until the end of last year. We chose not to renew them immediately due to some family health issues that required us to travel a lot back and forth to the states.
We used to go to Cancun and be bake to renew our aduana sticker but they closed that office and we were told (when that office closed) that it would stay with our immigration as long as that was current.
Now that we are in on tourist visas, we do plan to renew and get a 4 -year temporal visa later this month (we kind of screwed ourselves on the permanent option), but from what I am reading my car is technically illegal now.
My questions is this. Once we have our immigration squared away as a residente temporal. Can we then just change to permanently import the vehicle instead of taking it back out? We have no plans to bring the car back to the states.
I am hoping I won’t be required to go out to the US and back…can I cross in Belize and do the same thing for a temporal if we don’t import permanently?
Thanks in advance for the help.
Ron, yes, your car is illegal in Mexico now because you left your FM3 expire. You´ll need to request a “retorno seguro” permit to drive it out (Belize is an option) so you cancel the current import permit and then re-import it under your new migratory status (tourist or temporary resident). In order to import it permanently the vehicle should have 9 or 8 years old (no more, no less) and be manufactured in the US, Canada or Mexico. If you need further information, please contact us at email@example.com
Question – brought the car in June first 2012 with a non immigrant NON lucrativo visa issued from the consulate (formal card was issued in Merida) Go this morning for the affiliation appointment (but understand that the card will not be given at this time) for a 3 year renewal. What is the process for the extension to the vehicle permit? I am additionally concerned because the charges you claim is only a deposit was PAID IN FULL the day we brought the vehicle in -so are you suggesting that on June 1 when the vehicle permit technically expires they will charge another $400 (the vehicle is a 2008) unless we notify someone by then. Keep in mind the renewal process is still ongoing.
Amy, after you get the resident card you have 15 days to present the notificacion to Customs in Progreso. You present a letter explaining that you have renewed your migratory status in Mexico and attach copies of your passport, your new resident card, yout temporary import permit and a utility bill with your address. In case you do not present this notification within the 15 days you will lose the deposit you left when you crossed the border, but you won´t have to pay again. If you need our assistance for this, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
I have been in MX for many years but still have some furniture in washington. Is there a way for me to buy a 1 ton cube van and go get it. If not what would be the least expencive solution. Also I am within a year of being an Immigrant if that matters.
Steve, yes, but you will have to pay duties for the things you will import, if you have already imported your “menaje de casa”, since you are only allowed to do 1 duty free import.
I was more worried about driving a Mexican plated 1 ton truck through to Washington and being able to return with it. The furniture is all nice but used and I have not used my menaje de casa so I can probably work out the duty part at the border???
Steve, sorry, we did not understand your question then. About driving a foreign plated car in the US, it is better that you check there with customs their regulations; for bringing it back, you won´t have problems. The furniture should be at least 6 months old. You will need to hire the services of a customs broker.
Hi! Thanks so much for your website and your obvious dedication to replying to questions. I looked through the posts and didn’t see the answer I needed, so: I am a teacher coming into Mexico with my car on a new FM3 visa in August. I will, of course, want to go home for Christmas. Will I have to drive the car out of Mexico to keep it legal, or can I leave it, fly to the states for 2 weeks and come back without losing my deposit? Also, do you know if the Mexican consulate in Atlanta, Georgia has the ability to issue my paperwork and insurance when I go to pick up my FM3? Thanks again!!!
Evie, thank you! Regarding your question: according to the new Immigration rules that came into effect in November 2012, the FM3 was replaced for the Temporary Resident status, so we´re assuming that is the one you will have. If that is the case, then you will be able to do the import and leave the car in Mexico legally as long as your temporary resident card does not expire. The Mexican consulate does not provide paperwork related to the temporary import of vehicles.
This is all great info but the more I read, the more confused I get. We are US residents with a rental apartment on Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo. Because of family matters in the states, we always have to come back in less than 6 months so have thought that a tourist visa is all we would have to have. Now my husband has decided that he would like to have a car on the island. As we understand it, we could buy one in Cancun but cannot insure/register it while on a tourist visa. If he drives a car down from the states, paying the fees mentioned at the border, does the car have to go back to the US at the end of the 6 months? We had hoped to be able to take the car out of MX but to Belize and then back but it sounds like that may not work. Any advice on a workable solution would be much appreciated.
Karen, it is correct what you say that with a tourist visa you won´t be able to register a Mexican plated car in your name. With a tourist visa you can have a foreign plated car in Mexico but you´ll have to take it out of the country (the US or Belize) before the 6 months expire and then come back on a new tourist visa and a new import permit for the car.
In a recent (yesterday) email from CIITEV_AduanaMexico:
I asked about the Free Zone status of Q. Roo as relates to driving a FL registered and tagged vehicle here. I am a Residente Permanente card holder. I was told,
copy and paste
Good morning Mr. Spiegel,
Thanks for contact us.
Effectively, Quintana Roo is considered a Free Zone, so as long as you won’t drive out of there you won’t have any problems. On the other hand, you cannot request for a new temporary import permit because of your stay condition (Residente Permanente is not allow to have a foreign car here in Mexico). If you want to drive out of Quintana Roo, we recommend you to consider nationalizing your car.
So, according to Aduana, I do not need a permit to drive my USA car in Q. Roo. Yes?
Stephen, what the Aduana person told you is correct.
But that is not what an Aduana person told the U.S. Consular Agent, Samantha Mason (Playa del Carmen) in referring to Q. Roo as a Free Zone. Supposedly, Aduana’s info was incorrect (calling Q. Roo a “Free Zone”). Some clarification in writing from governmental higher ups would be great.
Allan, thank you. We talked to Aduana people in Mexico City and that is why they told us; however, we will try to obtain something in written from them.
That would be great if something could be obtained in writing from Aduana.
Also, I just received an email from a Customs Broker in Chetumal that once one has his Residente Permanente status, his/her car (with a Temporary Import Sticker) can not be nationalized. True or False?
Hi Allan and the rest!
I wanted to add something to this as well, which is what is going on at the Belize border. When people are returning with cars from Belize, Aduana is giving them an option to get a car permit for the entirety of Mexico OR allowing no permit and free entry of the vehicle if it is only being driven in QR. All bets are off if you leave QR and your car could be impounded.
It wouldn’t be the first time the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing in Mexico, but this is a recent change as of this year and it does seem to be a new designation for QR.
I have personally talked to a half dozen people that this has happened to this year. They drive down to renew their permit (by crossing the border and returning from Belize) and are told it is not necessary to have one in QR.
I am also looking forward to seeing something more official in writing from Aduana! In practice this certainly seems to be the new deal for QR.
Thanks for everything you do there YES!!
“an Aduana person” ? With all due respect, did Ms. Mason have this in writing? and how high up was her Aduana person? Perhaps she can get a definitive statement in writing for clarification. Certainly the information I got was good for me, if it is factual. If not, I would appreciate, as we say in Playa, the “emes”
Allan, it is true, you cannot nationalize a vehicle if you become permanent resident.
Thank you for the information Ron! We´ll definitely try to get something in written, more “official”.
To Ron Burdine:
Does this info apply to someone with Residente Permanente with a foreign plated vehicle? I assume not but only to a Residente Temporal.
As the Banjercito module handles the issuance Temporary Import Stickers, how does Aduana play into this?
When the Federal Police stop you in Q.Roo do you just tell them that Aduana at the Belize border said that in Q.Roo you do not need a sticker. Afraid that they would just laugh at that before they……..
Ron, Allan, Mr. Moderator, et al,
Allan, the opposite is true. As I have been told, as a Res Perm, I may NOT have a permit and have the choice of “keep the vehicle in Q Roo” or nationalize.
Res temp get a TIP and can drive anywhere in Mexico.
Steve, let’s talk. I think you are mistaken and you cannot have a permit if you are Res Perm.
If anyone wants to send me an email to email@example.com, I will gladly forward my emails from Aduana to you. They told me I must cancel my outdated TIP at Chetumal. After doing so, I may nationalize or stay in Q Roo.
I plan to drive to Chetumal to cancel my existing but outdated TIP.
I used a url found on this site to enter my VIN, found the value Mexico places on my car and the tax. I don’t know if Q Roo imposes an additional fee above the Aduana one.
As you know, they require the use of a “broker” to facilitate the nationalization. I will decide to nationalize or not depending on the total cost. I have had my emails from Aduana translated into Spanish for presentation to Feds and Muni if need be. BUT, it sure would be nice to have an official statement from the Gob.
Yes we are all waiting for something a bit more official. What I seriously doubt however is that the Mexican authorities (Aduana and Banjercito) at the Belize border would repeatedly send people into QR without a sticker or permit and tell them they don’t need it as some sort of trick so the the Federal Police impound their cars. This has been going on for 6+ months now.
IF QR is in fact a newly designated “free state” for vehicles it won’t matter whether you are permanente or temporal as long as your car stays in QR…you get a pass. This is the case in the whole of Baja and Northern Sonora.
Why would they do that unless it’s policy?
Allan, Ron, et al
Today, a representative of Banjercito confirmed what I have been advised by Aduana.
I had always doubted the “Free State” designation of Q. Roo until I realized the Chetumal Walmart and Chedraui parking lots are full of Belician plated vehicles, none of which had any kind of import sticker and seem to transit freely from Belice into Mexico. I’ve seem these Belician plates as far as Akumal but never in Merida.
Hi everyone, the title 3, chapter 3.4, number 3.4.7 of the general rules in matters of foreign trade in Mexico for 2012, which are valid for 2013 (REGLAS de Carácter General en Materia de Comercio Exterior para 2012 in Spanish) says that “vehicles owed by non-Mexicans can be driven in the zone 20 kms parallel to the Mexican border, as long as they have valid foreign plates and a non-Mexican is inside the vehicle while it is being driven”.
I guess that means the Q.Roo “free zone” is a 12.5 mile strip along the border with Belize!
Is the “Mexican border” only land borders or is the ocean a border?
Stephen, “Mexican border” is only referring to international borders, with the US and Belize, not the ocean; sorry for the misunderstanding.
Thank you YES for the information there. I do appreciate that specific clarification. What that section also doesn’t talk about are the free zones specifically like Baja and Northern Sonora. if QR is now considered a free zone maybe it is noted there?
Is there any explanation for what is being done at the Belize border? As I have mentioned above and many others have confirmed, people coming in or back from Belize are being told they do not need to renew their car permits if they are driving in QR.
It seems they would be aware of that especially if it is a recent change in policy there at the border. Previously this has been a standard practice if you needed to renew your car permit.
Thank you as always YES and community for any insight or official information we may come by.
Hi, by free zone, aduanas means the whole state of Quintana Roo, not only the 20 kms line; other free zones in Mexico are: the States of Baja California and Baja California Sur and the municipalities of Caborca and Cananea in the State of Sonora.
So does that mean that someone with Residente Permanente status can legally drive a U.S. plated in Q. Roo and only Q. Roo?
Hi I went to Mexico entering through Naco Sonora ,I went to Cananea & took a highway that travels through Bacoachi ,when we got to the check point they asked for my permit which I didn’t have because I thought it was a zona libre ,we got escorted back to Naco where they impounded my car ,my registration has my last name from my previous marriage and I explained that I divorced and changed my name back to maiden name ,they said I had to prove that the names on license and registration are the same person & I would be maybe charged a fee for the no permit. please help don’t know what to do….
Yes Allan, Q. Roo or the other states and municipalities in Mexico considered free zones.
Mirna, we are very sorry of what has happened and unfortunately we cannot help you from here (we are in the State of Yucatan, southeastern Mexico). We suggest you to contact an attorney from the area where you are so he can help you solve this.
My partner and I are moving to Sayulita for the year to teach. We finally got out NUT number to get our visas and are planning to head in through Nogales next Wed, October 2,2013. I assume we will be importing our car temporarily, but isn’t that just 6 months, or does it stay valid for as long as our visa?? Also, do we need to get Mexican plates? What is the best/cheapest option for insurance?
Also, what is the safest route to take and what would be the safest town to stop for the night midway?
Jamie, which visa did you get at the Consulate? Regarding the route to take, please login to http://www.YoListo.com so that in its forums other expats can share with you their experiences when crossing the border.
I entered Mexico on a tourist visa and did a temporary import of my truck. It is now time to repeat that process one more time. Originally I entered through Matamoros and paid a $300 US deposit on the truck in cash. Now I would like to exit through Chetumal, cancel my truck import with Banerjito, then exit to Belice. I want to return directly to Mexico on a new tourist visa and re-import my truck. Will I have a problem with my deposit since it was in cash and I am exiting from a different place into a different country?
Gary, you will recover your deposit no matter in which Mexican border you cross.
SO… every time I think I finally have this together– i get confused again… hubby brought the car into MX 8/24 on a tourist visa (180) days. ( We are living in Q.R. but want to keep the car legal if we ever decide to take it back to the US, or out of Q.R. ) WE leave MX for a few weeks in Nov. by air and when we return will have another 180 days. Do we still have to take the car out (to Belize) and back in before the original 180 days is up to keep it legal?
Karen, in order to keep the vehicle legal in Mexico with a tourist visa, you must take it out of the contry before the visa expires or before you leave the country with that tourist visa, otherwise when you come back the tourist visa that you will have will be different and not the one attached to the import permit.
so the visa doesn’t expire until february, but we have to fly back for a few weeks in Dec. which means that he will come back on a different visa i guess…effectively negating the legality of the car even though the original visa it WAS attached to would have been good til Feb. I guess that means the car won’t be ever leaving Q.R.
I canceled my temporary import permit on my car at the closest border to my location, near Guatemala. Is my car now considered “out of the country” by legal standards? I got my refund, they took the stickers off, and they gave me a stamped return receipt. Do I need additional documentation? Do i need to notify INM or get a document from them? or is that sufficient that I canceled it at the guatemala border with banjercito?
Karen, it is correct what you say.
Theresa, you don´t need anything additional and you don´t need to notify Immigration; what you did and you received is enough to consider the import permit cancelled.
Last January I received my residente permanente status. I was given a letter by the Aduana granting my car an indefinite status (Mazatlan office). We headed out to Guatemala and Belize and the Yucatan but while on the trip we received word that they “made a mistake” and the car was required to be imported or removed from the country in 6 days. Since the car was manufactured in Japan it wasn’t actually eligible to be imported (also wasn’t old enough either). So I drove the car back to Washington. I don’t understand why they sell this exact car (a Toyota FJ Cruiser) in Mexico but I am not allowed to import it. I bought it specifically for my travels in Mexico and Central America.
So, why does one get a permanent status? I like having one because it saves me on entrance fees but is there any tax advantage? I will lose thousands of dollars if I sell my FJ and then buy a used piece of junk that is 10 years old and not reliable. I can’t really afford to buy a new car for cash either and the Mexican cars that are not exported really lack in basic safety features we take for granted north of the border. Giving us permanent status seemed like a good thing but they should have given us a one-time chance to import our existing cars or at least some reasonable amount of time, not just 6 days.
I want to drive my car from Atlanta to Chapala in August, entering on a tourist visa, rent a house and fly back to the states for a couple of weeks before driving back down with my wife in her car. May I leave my car in Chapala legally for a couple of weeks? Someone said I can leave it in a bonded warehouse lot.
Herb, if you fly out of Mexico leaving the car here, it will become illegal. The reason is because the TEMPORARY IMPORT PERMIT of it will be under your tourist visa’s number and when you leave the country that tourist visa will be cancelled and the TEMPORARY IMPORT PERMIT too.
I want to drive my car from Canada, can we get a temporary import on a salvaged car?
Helene, you can get a temporary import only if you can provide a document in your name that proves ownership of the car (title, plates registration, sales invoice, lease contract, etc.)
Hello, I run a guide service which takes people to a climbing destination near Monterrey. My car tag expires soon but I’m not going to be able to go get it taken off because I am really sick and can’t make the drive. I’ll be returning with clients in October in the same van will I have any trouble getting another car pass then? What do I need to do to make sure I don’t have any issues so my clients aren’t waiting on me. I do realize I’ll be forfeiting my deposit.
Adam, please clarify in order to answer your questions: where is the van right now? which migratory status do you have? When does your migratory status expire? When does your temporary import permit expire? Thank you
I had a 6 month car pass. I don’t know the actual status. It would be a visitor pass whatever that is. It expired June 27 so I know I lost my deposit. I couldn’t return as planned because I was ill. If there is a way to be able to have a different visa for both my van and myself I would appreciate it. My clients pay for a travel visa and spend money in Mexico. Thank you.
Adam, the only thing you can do is go to the border, cancel the expired permit and enter again with a new one for 180 days. Also, since the temporary import perrmit is already expired, you shouldn´t be driving it, so you must request an authorization from the tax office called “retorno seguro” (safe return). This will give you 5 days to drive the car legally through Mexico to a border. You can read more about it here in this link from Mexican customs (it is in English): http://www.sat.gob.mx/aduanas/vehiculos/importacion_temporal/Paginas/aspectos_generales_ingles.aspx
My father has residents in Cabo San Lucas and wants to drive his van down there to leave what does he exactly need? It is registered in United States
Matt, if your father is a temporary resident in Mexico, when he crosses the border with his van, he’ll just need to show the title in his name, his passport and his temporary resident card. The fee of the temporary import permit is approximately 40 USD and he will need to leave a deposit of between 200-400 USD depending on the year model of the van. This deposit will be reimbursed to him once he returns the van to the US and cancels the temporary import permit on time. He´ll only be able to keep the car in Mexico as long as he keeps the temporary residency, once he becomes a permanent resident he will need to take the van out of the country, since permanent residents are not allowed to have foreign plated vehicles in Mexico.
Is a bill of sale sufficient for my vehicles to cross the border from CA to Mexico
I will be obtaining a residente temporale visa and I’m trying to figure out a way to permanently import my 2012 US-built Canadian car. I’m hoping that the 4 year rule will apply through NAFTA and I can do a permanent import at a border in Texas. However, I don’t want to drive all the way to Merida – can I then re-enter the US and drive to Houston….and then send the car via ocean to Progreso? Appreciate any advice, thanks.
Will, according to the Mexican Customs Law, the person interested in crossing a foreign plated vehicle to Mexico, must show proof of ownership or possession, presenting for such effect any of the following original documents with a non-certified copy:
– Title of ownership or valid registration of plates with evidence of them as owners of the vehicle, issued by the competent authority of the foreign country.
– Leasing agreement on behalf of the importer, with a letter of the Leasing company authorizing the temporary importation of the vehicle.
– Credit agreement on behalf of the importer.
– Document with evidence of the working relationship of the importer and the document showing proof that the company owns the vehicle.
Brenda, according to Customs Regulations in Mexico, only vehicles that are new, or 9 or 8 years old (not more tan 9, not less tan 8) can be imported permanently into Mexico; yours is a 4 year old vehicle, hence, not eligible to be imported permanently. You could import it temporarily under your temporary resident visa and keep it in the country until you become a permanent resident (in the following 4 years), since permanent residents cannot have foreign plated vehicles in Mexico. And yes, you could send your car from Houston to Progreso.
Hola Adriana Justin one questione.I imported a vehicle momentarily with a tourist visa by paying us $ 200 going from Tijuana to Oaxaca now I have to leave the country before the 180 days provided for by the visa obviously the vehicle remains in Mexico . What risk at the airport ? I have to do something befor i leave ? Or the maximum riso is lost 200 and the car?
Mezza, you cannot leave the car in Mexico because you imported it on a tourist visa, the moment you leave the country, the tourist visa will be cancelled along with the temporary import permit of the vehicle. However, if you must leave the car, you will lose the deposit and if anyone drives an ilegal car, the risks are confiscation of the car or paying fines up to 40,000 pesos if the police stops you and notices it is ilegal.
adriana thanks for the reply . I have another question for you . my visa and permission for the car expire in June, can I possibly leave the country without a car and come back before the time allowed to finish without suffering consequences?
Mezza, no you can´t. As soon as you leave the country on your tourist visa, it will be cancelled along with your import permit, even if you leave before the 180 days end.
If you drive in and fly out, how would they even know? In the past [and I know things change ALL the time with cars here] I would fly in and out and leave my car here. This was using the old FM3. Once I became a Permeant Resident I changed the cars over.
Does the sticker that goes on the window have a date marked on it? Maybe all those times my car was not legal and the police simply looked at the date on the paper work – that showed it was legal – and thought it was OK. Just wondering out loud.
Leroy, if you get stopped by the police, they could ask to see your import permit, which has en expiration date and if you are on a tourist visa with a different date, they will know the car is ilegal. The sticker does not have a date, but the import permit does.
I have a tricky situation. My brother gave me his car (a beat up old minivan). I didn’t change the title or registration into my name for my lack of address, and I drove it into Mexico. In La Paz the Banjercito people reluctantly gave me the vehicle permit in my name. I’m now near the Guatemala border and I would like to cross, and cross all the way to south america but I’m realizing my fluke luck with getting the permit in Mexico will likely not happen in every country. I need to resolve this before leaving mexico. If I could trade the car for another with good paperwork or get a title here or anything.
I am part owner of a mexican corporation. Can I import the car through the corporation somehow?
Mucho gracias amigos!!!!!!!
Daniel, you cannot trade a foreign plated vehicle in Mexico. The Mexican corporation could only import it permanently if the vehicle´s model is 8 or 9 years old at the time the import takes place (not less tan 8 years, not more tan 9 years) and if the VIN number starts with a 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 (which means it was NAFTA manufactured).
I entered Mexico at Guadalajara via air and was issued a 180 day tourist visa. After a couple of months I flew to Tijuana and walked across into the US on the new CBX airport border crossing. On previous trips in and out of Mexico my Mexican visa is collected (returned) by the departing airline. However, no one ever collected or even looked at my visa returning to the US through the new CBX TERMINAL. I am driving back in a few weeks, this time bringing my car. Since my previous visa is still in effect as far as Mexico is concerned, should I have any problems returning and receiving a new 180 day visa?
Henry, when you cross the border you can show the 180 days visa you did not turn in if you had any problem and just explain the situation.
RE Mezza’se question:
There are many legitimate reasons someone with a Tourist visa and TIP vehicle must fly out of the country for a short time and return to Mexico. What are we supposed to do to keep the vehicle legal if the TIP expires when the visa is cancelled at the airport? Maybe if we make a copy of the original visa tied to the TIP before turning it in we at least can prove the vehicle would still have been legal.
Marty, we understand that sometimes the regulations can make things hard for us, but what you suggest, even though will prove you brought a car legally, won´t impede that the car becomes ilegal, if imported on a cancelled tourist visa.
It would be of interest to approach aduana administrators with the scenario and see what they suggest or maybe they would address the situation via regulations. However, this is not an unusual or nefarious issue and should have a simple solution. You shouldn’t have to forfeit your vehicle just because you had an emergency that required you to leave the country temporarily by plane!
My wife and I are moving to Yucatan later this year. She will fly down and I will be driving our car. The title of our car lists both of our names as owners. If she is not with me when I cross into Mexico will there be a problem getting the TIP?
Sean, no, there should not be any problems; however, just to be cautious, we´d suggest carrying a copy of your marriage certificate and a copy of her passport.
Can I drive my car out of Mexico to Belize when my import and visa are about to expire and get a new one when I return to Mexico in a few days? What about the deposit I paid at the US border- will that be forfeited if I did not cross back into the us?
Shannon, yes you can. The deposit will be given back to you in the same way you paid it once you cancel the import permit (it does not matter at which border).
My wife and i will be moving to Progreso soon. I was wonder how the new electric car tariff works. Hopefully we will be getting the permanent resident straight away. I wanted to bring my 2016 Nissan Leaf.
Steve, I’d suggest you to check this information with a customs bróker in the Progreso area. We recommend Agencia Aduanal Cervera (http://www.cervera.com.mx/index2.html)
My permit has been approved as of November 15th and I gave not received the permit by mail. Is there anyway to check on its status we were planning to leave immediately.
Phil, the permit can be delivered within the following 11 business days after the payment was made. If you paid it on Nov 15th, the 11th day is December 3rd. It can still arrive between today and Monday next week.
Hello, can I renew my 180 days car permit in the same year? I mean could I have two 180 car permit days in one year.
Flora, yes you can!
Flora, I am no expert but my understanding is that SAT issues temporary importation permits that are coterminous with the applicant’s immigration status. That is, your car permit and your immigration status end the same day. If you were issued a 180-day permit, I suspect you entered Mexico as a visitor, since temporary residence is issued in one-year increments and permanent residents and Mexican citizens are ineligible for temporary importation of vehicles.. If you are here as a visitor, you can only spend 180 days legally in Mexico in a calendar year. So I don’t see how you can renew your car permit. Y.E.S., am I correct about this?
David, thank you for your input. What you say is correct; however, Flora’s question was if she could get 2 import permits of 180 days in the same year, and the answer is yes: she can drive the car out of Mexico before the 180 days expire and then return with a new 180 day import permit.