When planning to visit Mexico with your vehicle, you’ll need to decide where you’re traveling. If you don’t plan to go beyond Mexico’s travel-free zones, you won’t need a Mexico vehicle permit (although you will still need to have Mexican insurance). However, travel beyond the border area or away from the permit-free zones, you will need to apply for a Mexico vehicle permit. This permit is available from Banco Nacional del Ejército Fuerza Aérea y Armada (known as Banjercito for short). Keep these tips in mind as you plan your driving excursion to Mexico.
Mexico Driving Permits Overview
Foreign drivers in Mexico will not need a Mexico vehicle permit within 16 miles of the border with the U.S. or anywhere in the Baja Peninsula. Permits are also not required in permit-free zones like Rocky Point. If you want to drive elsewhere in Mexico, you’ll need to apply with Banjercito for the required vehicle permit.
Applying with Banjercito for a Mexico Driving Permit
The most streamlined way to start the permit process is online at the Banjercito website. Applicants can apply from home, pay via the internet, and await their temporary Mexico vehicle permit in the mail. Banjercito requires at least seven days to process the permit. If you prefer, you can pick it up in person at a Banjercito agency office when you cross the border.
Verified Mexico Driving Permit
If you receive your permit from Mexico in the mail, you will have received a temporary permit. You will still need to visit a Banjercito office so its officials can verify your documents. If you’ve applied online, this process is typically quick. Once your documents check out, you will receive your verified Mexico vehicle permit. If you do not pre-register, you will have a much longer wait for your verified permit.
Applicants are required to pay a fee (currently these fees are $50 and under depending on the type of vehicle in question) and a deposit. The deposit varies in accordance with the year of the vehicle. The deposit is also considerably more expensive. You will receive your deposit back after you return your Mexico vehicle permit in person back to Banjercito. If you do not return your permit after your trip, you will forfeit your deposit.
Keep in mind that you will need to present your passport, naturalization papers, or resident alien card to secure your verified permit from Banjercito. The agency will also need to know your vehicle’s VIN number and your home address. If you have any other questions, be sure to visit the Banjercito website for its updated information. And don’t forget your Mexican Auto Insurance!