You may be wondering what permits you’ll need for your trip to Mexico. In this article, we’ll cover the permits you’re required to have to enter, travel throughout, and leave Mexico. You can get all these permits online if you act ahead of time. We recommend obtaining your permits beforehand so you can enjoy your trip and avoid any hassle.
If you’re a USA or Canadian citizen, you don’t need to obtain a visa to travel throughout Mexico. You do, however, need to get an FMM tourist card from the INM (Mexico’s immigration department). FMM stands for Forma Migratoria Multiple. You can get your FMM tourist card one of several ways:
If you’re driving across the border, you can get your FMM tourist card at the port of entry
If you’re visiting Mexico via a cruise, you’ll have to get your tourist card at the first port of call
When flying, the airliner will hand out FMM forms during the flight
Skip the hassle and get your FMM tourist card online via the INM’s website
An FMM tourist card can be made valid for up to 180 days. Be sure to hang onto it as you’ll need to surrender it at the Mexican border when you leave.
The FMM tourist card costs 500 pesos, or about $24 USD. However, if you’re traveling for 7 days or fewer in Mexico, the fee is waived.
If you don’t plan to travel more than 16 miles over the border, you may not be required to obtain an FMM tourist card.
After applying for your FMM tourist card, obtaining a permit for your vehicle should be your next step. Banjercito is the government entity through which you’ll need to obtain your vehicle permits. You can obtain a permit in a variety of ways:
Visiting a Mexican consulate
At the border
Use Banjercito’s application to obtain permits for vehicles, motorhomes, and boats.
You will also need to obtain Mexican vehicle insurance to drive your vehicle safely and legally throughout Mexico.
You may not need a vehicle permit if you’re traveling only on the Baja Peninsula. Likewise, if you stay within the border zone, which is within 16 miles of the border, you may not need a vehicle permit.
You can obtain a Sonora only vehicle permit here.
Before you apply for your vehicle permit(s) online, there are some important facts to keep in mind.
First, you can only request your permit online between 10 and 60 days before driving into Mexico. Banjercito requires that the vehicle is registered in your name, or the name of your spouse, parents, siblings or children. The applicant must be 18 years or older.
Your permit will be sent to your address within 10 business days of payment. After you receive your permit, you must make copies of the documents you submitted via the online process and send them to Banjercito. You can do this in one of the following ways:
Send scanned copies via email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail the copies to: Av. Industria Militar 1055, Col. Lomas de Sotelo, Del. Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico, D.F., CP. 11200
Deliver the documents to a Banjercito office upon your arrival in Mexico
To receive your Mexican vehicle import permit, there is both a cost and a deposit. The cost of the permit is approximately USD 60 (depending on the exchange rate) and the amount of the deposit depends on the year of your vehicle:
Vehicles from 2000 or older: USD 200
Vehicles from 2001 to 2006: USD 300
Vehicles from 2007 or newer: USD 400
As long as you return to the USA with your vehicle within the time stated on the permit and return the permit, you will receive your deposit back.
Or any documentation you obtain, for that matter. As with your FMM tourist card, you may need to surrender your permits upon leaving Mexico. Keep them somewhere safe, and make copies just in case.