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-My car registration and title.
-Mexican insurance policy for the car.
Cars in Mexico are very expensive. Mexican authorities frown on you taking
your car into the country, selling it for a healthy profit without paying duty,
then scampering back north across the border. Be warned--follow Mexican
Mexican and/or international drivers' licenses are not required for visitors
on a tourist visa. You must have copies of current U.S. or Canadian drivers'
licenses of all drivers who will operate the vehicle in Mexico. Check to be sure
that your license does not expire during your stay in Mexico.
A fee of approximately $24 U.S. is charged by the Hacienda or Treasury
Department for temporarily importing your vehicle. It can only be paid by
credit card, so bring along a Visa, MasterCard, or American Express credit
card. The name on the credit card must be the same as on the title. The vehi-
cle cannot be sold in Mexico, and the sticker on the window they provide must
be surrendered when leaving the country.
Vehicle insurance: Your U.S. insurance is not good in Mexico, so I highly
recommend purchasing Mexican insurance, unless of course you like to live on
the edge and are willing to gamble and don't mind spending some time in a
Mexican jail. Like any insurance, you don't really know if it is good unless you
have occasion to make a claim. There are several insurance companies in
Nogales, Arizona that will be happy to sell you Mexican auto insurance.
Remember that offices do not open until after 9:00 a.m., so plan accordingly.
Most insurance company rates are based on the value of the vehicle, and the
sectors of Mexico that you will operate the vehicle.
I have used the following insurance companies:
Lewis and Lewis Insurance: They are located in Beverly Hills, CA and can
be reached by calling (800) 966-6830, or email at They also
have a website at They are agents for the
Mexican insurance company Qualitas, CIA de Seguros, S.A. de C.V.
Juan Fco. Chong Robles: Juan is an agent for the Mexican auto insurance
company Seguros Comercial America. You can also get insurance from them
through International Gateway Insurance Brokers, Inc. in Chula Vista, CA. You
can call Juan at 982-0260, or email him at juanchong@Mazatlá
While I have never personally filed a claim, they came highly recommend-
ed and had reasonable rates. Lewis and Lewis rates were lower. I also recom-
mend a legal assistance policy.
Customs: It is possible for you to bring in a reasonable amount of person-
al effects. For good or bad, the amount varies depending on the customs
Char les A. Hall