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What should I do before traveling to Mexico?

What is a must on the check list before I go?

Purchase your Mexican auto insurance policy here

• Take with you your photos ID’s.
• Take your vehicle registration.
• Fill up the gas tank.
• Check the tires.
• Change your dollars to pesos.
• Bring the directions of your destination and/or a map with you.
• Take more than one copy of your Mexican car insurance policy.

What are some important things to know before my trip?

If you are planning to travel to Mexico beyond the 'Border Zone' (The border zone is considered 13 miles to the south into Mexico, including the states of Baja California, Quintana Roo, and some areas in Sonora). Mexican authorities will request a 'temporary import vehicle permit' for American or Canadian vehicles. This permit is issued only by Banjercito. You may get this permit in Banjercito's offices located on the border stations, some consulates, but we strongly recommend to get it online through Banjercito's website.

This site will show you all the details and updated information (costs and requirements) you need about your permit, so you can enjoy a safe trip to Mexico.

Sonora Only Program
The state of Sonora operates a program known as "Sonora Only" for visitors who stay only in the state of Sonora. The "Sonora Only" permit requires less documentation than the standard 'Mainland Mexico Vehicle Permit', and the 'Sonora Only' permit is free. If you plan to travel in mainland Mexico outside of the state of Sonora, you will need to get the standard Mexico Temporary Import Vehicle Permit.

The Sonora Free Zone program for vehicles has expanded!  This means that those who plan to travel with vehicles in the state of Sonora north of Empalme/Guaymas no longer have to register and obtain a vehicle permit.  If you plan to travel to the San Carlos-Guaymas area and no further into Mexico, this option applies. This also applies to trailers, boats, etc.

It is very important that you bring all your personal documents and your vehicle registration before traveling to Mexico. We recommend you to visit the following sites to get all the basic information such as: Permits, authorized drivers, return vehicle comittment, etc.

Tips to travel in Mexico and emergency contacts published by U.S. Department of State: Click here

Driving your car in Mexico
Safety tips:

• Make sure your registration and driver's license are valid. Your vehicle can be impounded if these are not current.

Purchase Mexican insurance.

Make two copies of your Mexican car insurance certificate; one to keep on your person and one to keep in the vehicle.

Make a copy of your vehicle registration and keep the copy in your vehicle and the original on your person. In case the vehicle is stolen, it will facilitate proving ownership.

Rules of the road:

- Traffic violation laws vary from state to state.
- Speed limits are stated in kilometers
(1 mile = 1.6 kilometers).
- Drive slower than the maximum speed limit, never over the limit.
- 60 mph = 100 km/hr
- Yellow lights are a signal to stop, not just to slow down.
- In many cases, the "fast lane" is a passing lane only. You should move over into the slow lane once you pass someone.
- Lanes can merge much quicker (with not much time to merge).
- Construction sights can come upon you suddenly with little warning.
- Using a cell phone while driving is a mayor traffic violation.
- Watch for cross walks, in many areas pedestrians have the right-of-way.
- Driving boundaries or "comfort zones" are smaller, people will drive closer.
- Keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you, as many times the brake lights do not work.
- Vigilance of the roads is necessary to avoid animals, people, and other obstacles that are not marked.
- It is wise to avoid driving at night.
- Crossing the border:

Before you cross the border, be aware of the signs telling you where the declaration lanes are if you need to declare anything to the Mexican customs officials. If you need a vehicle permit or a tourist card, you may drive thru this lane as well, park, and obtain those documents.

If you don't need to declare anything, you may cross in any lane that says "Nothing to Declare" (Nada que Declarar). But this doesn't mean that you won't be questioned or searched by customs officials. When you cross, you will see a traffic light with a red and a green light. Red means you have been selected for secondary inspection and green means continue on your way unless an official tells you the opposite. If you are selected for secondary inspection, you must pull over into the customs facility. There, they will conduct for the most part, a quick search unless they find something that should have been declared. Usually they check the trunk and take a glance inside the vehicle. A kind and gentle behaviour is always appreciated by the officials.

Toll Roads and the Green Angels (Angeles Verdes):
The green angels are mechanics who patrol the Mexican toll roads in green trucks to offer free assistance in case of a breakdown (labor and towing are free, but to replace a part would be at the car owner’s expense). In addition, they are equipped to give tourist information as they are connected to government offices via a network. Although their services are free, tips are appreciated. Take notice of the emergency signs along the road with phone numbers. If your vehicle breaks down, pull over to the side of the road and lift the hood to signal them. Call one of those numbers depending upon which toll road you are on and the green angels are on their way to help. The extensive network of toll roads is country wide. To view a map of the routes that are patrolled by the green angels, go to: Click here

Military Checkpoints:

Military checkpoints are set up along certain roads and highways. As you approach the checkpoint you will see several young men dressed in army green uniforms with guns. Some tourists do get nervous at this sight, but their purpose is to find drugs and imported items being transported illegally. At some checkpoints you may even see a sign posted by the government for tourists so they feel more secure about the process. Be sure to slow down or stop if you are asked to. They may ask you a couple of questions (in Spanish) to find out where you are coming from (¿De dónde vienen?) and where you are going (¿A dónde van?). They may do a routine check of your vehicle. Cooperation and showing respect is the key for a smooth exit.

Do I need to name each driver on the policy?

No, but you must name in the policy the primary driver, and the title holder or the owner of the vehicle. The system will request both names.

Note: If the owner or title holder is not riding with you, carry a letter signed by the owner authorising you to drive the vehicle to Mexico (If the owner of the vehicle is a company, you could register the company’s name where the system is asking for the names of additional insured drivers)

Do I need to insure the trailer, boat, or another vehicle towed with my main insured vehicle?

You can choose to insure other vehicles or additional units you are pulling or towing by the main vehicle to be covered by insurance. gives you the option to insure on the same policy other vehicles that are towed in case you plan to drive them, or additional units while been towed/carried by the main vehicle.

What if I need additional days of insurance?

You can simply login to the website and from 'My Account' section, purchase a policy for the additional number of days you need. If you need asistance please call our TOLL FREE NUMBER: 888.734.8760

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