What do I need to get a permit for my car to go to Mexico?

Keep this in mind. If entering Mexican territory is the intention of a vehicle that carries a license plate from a country other than Mexico, the vehicle must first get a specific permit.

What do I need to get a permit for my car to go to Mexico?
Are you planning on driving down to Mexico from the United States? How to get a permission to drive a foreign car in Mexico. Photo by Nabeel Syed on Unsplash

You're driving from the U.S. to Mexico, right? Take note, because cars with license plates from outside of Mexico need a special permit if they want to drive into Mexico. People with Mexican license plates, even if they are from the United States, do not need to apply for this permit.

This process is called "Permiso de Importación Temporal de Vehículo" (Temporary Vehicle Import Permit) and can be done at the Mexican border, online, or a U.S. consulate. But you should check the prices first since each of these options has a different price.

How much does it cost for a foreign car to get a temporary import permit?

On the internet, the temporary foreign vehicle permit costs 45 dollars plus VAT. You can only pay for this option with an international credit card. If you decide to get the permit at a Mexican consulate, it will cost you 51 dollars plus VAT and will be ready right away. You can pay with a credit card or a debit card.

Chicago, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Sacramento, Albuquerque, Denver, Colorado, and Phoenix all have consulates where you can get it done. If the first two options don't work for you, you can also get this permit at customs (at the border with Mexico). The price is still 51 dollars plus VAT, but you can pay with cash, credit cards, or debit cards.

Lastly, if you've already chosen the option, you'll need to choose the model of the car before making the next payment:

2007 and later: US$400.
2001 to 2006: US$300.
2000 and earlier: US$200.

How to process the temporary import permit for a foreign vehicle?

The first thing you have to do to finish the process is going to the Banjercito website and fill out the information they ask for using the following documents:

  • Permanent Resident Alien Card (Resident Alien)
  • Passport (Non-Mexican)
  • Passport Card
  • Foreigners may only present a valid passport or passport card (Passport Card) and the official document issued by the National Institute of Migration: www.inm.gob.mx/pae
  • Cost and form of payment

If you have any questions, you can go to the Banjercito offices in the Mexican Consulates in the United States or call 55 56260500 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.