Technically, it is referred to as a Temporary Import Permit, but from here forward, will be referred to as Vehicle Permit. You are temporarily importing the vehicle into the Republic of Mexico, for your personal use when traveling into the interior of mainland Mexico.
There is NO need for a Vehicle Permit if you are traveling anywhere in Baja California.
NO Vehicle Permit is needed if traveling to what is referred to as the “Frontera” or immediate border that contacts Mexico to the U.S mainland of Mexico (NOT Baja California) This area generally covers all mainland Mexican border cities and towns, such as Cd. Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Matamoras, customarily up to 26 kilometers…You only need a Vehicle Permit along the Frontera if your stay is going to be longer than 72 consecutive hours.
You will need a Vehicle Permit when traveling into the interior of mainland Mexico, generally just outside of each Mexican border city, heading into the interior of mainland Mexico. Left click your mouse onto the Map of Mexico below. Note: This is informational only, and subject to change, as everything is. It is your responsibility to verify requirements prior to your trip.
WARNING: if you proceed past the last Port of Entry outside of the Free Zone or Frontera, as mentioned above or denoted on the map, without applying and acquiring the Vehicle Permit, your vehicle will be subject to confiscation, which is NOT a covered condition on your Mexican Tourist Auto Policy.
Vehicle Permit Expirations are determined by the type of visit you are making in Mexico. As a tourist/visitor to Mexico, they are good for up to 180 days. It is important that you know when your Permit is scheduled to expire, and that you not be in the mainland interior of Mexico with an expired permit. You are also required, by Mexican law, to turn in your Vehicle Permit prior to its expiration date, and prior to reentering the U.S. You can do this at any Port of Entry while exiting Mexico, but the Port that issued your Permit is best. Failure to follow this requirement could lead to fines, revocation of the importation bond you purchased when getting your Vehicle Permit, and quite probably a huge inconvenience if you ever visit the interior of Mexico in the future. Advice: DON”T DO IT!
If you leave Mexico to reenter the U.S. prior to your Permits expiration with plans to reenter Mexico in the future, you (the owner) should stop at the Aduana (Banjercito) offices at the border to request a permit to exit and return multiple times, or have Aduana remove the import-sticker. Most people accustomed to frequenting Mexico do not do this, as it is an inconvenience. However, and I saw this on another blog, and it is correct, if your permitted vehicle is stolen, totaled, or sold while in the U.S. then you have lost the opportunity to properly turn in your Mexico Vehicle Permit, and brother, you are already in the system! Your Bond is forfeited, and your right to import another future vehicle is jeopardized and possibly permanently terminated.
All countries have their sovereign laws, and some might seem quirky, or unnecessary. The primary reason(s) behind Mexico’s vehicle laws is because for years hundreds of thousands of U.S. Registered vehicles were sold illegally in Mexico without the proper importation duties and taxes paid. This is how they combat that…
We are here to assist, advise, council, and educate our friends who travel, and not just sell them a piece of paper.
Now go enjoy your adventure! If you have any questions, please feel free to call or E Mail.
For all of your Mexico Auto, Homeowners, Motorcycles, Boats and International Health Insurance needs, please call us at 1-800-434-3966 OR Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at mxici.com to issue your own policy. We appreciate your business!