Those traveling outside the Free or border Zone (defined as the an area between 20 and 30 kilometers from the border with the US) with their vehicle must obtain a temporary import permit or risk having their vehicle confiscated by Mexican customs officials. At present, the only exceptions to the requirement are travel in the Baja Peninsula, and in the state of Sonora only for vehicles entering through the Nogales port of entry.

You need the following to obtain a Vehicle Importation Permit.

    • Evidence of citizenship
    • The Vehicle Title and registration certificate
    • A Valid Driver's License with photo
    • If the vehicle is financed, is a rental car, is leased, and/or a company car, a notarized letter of permission is required from the lien holder or lending institution.
    • To pay a processing fee to either a Banjercito (Mexican Army Bank) branch located at a Mexican Customs office at the port of entry, or at one of the Mexican Consulates located in the US.
    • Effective June 11, 2011, Mexico has implemented a new policy for the issuance of temporary vehicle permits.

The Changes are as follows:

      • The fee for importation of a vehicle is $44.00 USD plus IVA; this fee is the same whether the permit is obtained at the border, consulates or online.
      • A guarantee deposit for the return of the vehicle to the US, regardless of the form of payment, we be applied to all vehicles. The amount of the guarantee will be determined by the year of the vehicle. The guarantee will be refunded upon cancellation of the permit at Banjercito offices, as long as it is prior to the expiration date of the permit. The refund will be made in the same form as the deposit was made.
        • 2007 - Newer $400 USD
        • 2001 - 2006 $300 USD
        • 2000 - Older $200 USD
      • If the vehicle is not returned to the US prior to the expiration date on the permit, or the permit is not canceled upon exiting Mexico, the guarantee deposit will be forfeited.
      • Before Banjercito issues a permit, they will verify the VIN # to make sure the vehicle does not have any restrictions to be driven in the US or Canada, in which case the permit will not be allowed.

It is important that we remind our customers to cancel the permit at the border prior to returning to the US, to ensure that they receive their guarantee deposit back.

Our recommendation, as long as the customers have enough time (between 7-10 days), is that they process the temporary importation permit online. This will improve their experience and avoid the time spent at the border crossing.

Apply for a Vehicle Importation Permit Online Now through the Banjercito website.

Travelers should avoid individuals outside vehicle permit offices offering to obtain the permits without waiting in line, even if they appear to be government officials. There have been reports of fraudulent or counterfeit permits being issued adjacent to the vehicle import permit office in Nuevo Laredo and other border areas. If the proper permit is not obtained before entering Mexico and cannot be obtained at the Banjercito branch at the port of entry, do not proceed to the interior. Travelers without the proper permit may be incarcerated, fined and/or have their vehicle seized at immigration/customs checkpoints. For further information, contact Mexican Customs about appropriate vehicle permits.

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