Tourist Car Permits when crossing the border to Mexico & What parts of Mexico require Permits

Aside from the law requiring Mexico Auto Insurance, the law in Mexico also requires that vehicles entering the country which are of foreign origin (not registered in Mexico) must obtain provisional importation licenses, sometimes called temporary import permits, or tourist car permits. This law applies to everyone, even Mexican nationals who bring in foreign cars, although the requirements for foreigners are different. The only time that tourist car permits are not required is if the vehicle crosses the border between the US and Mexico, but stays within the border zone, which is about 18 miles inland.

Where Are Tourist Car Permits Required?

Tourist car permits are required in all parts of Mexico for foreign-registered cars for the duration of their use in the country. However, if you only plan to go to Sonora, you can obtain a permit for that state only, but you must specify Sonora only.

How to Obtain Tourist Car Permits

Tourist car permits (all of Mexico or Sonora only) may be obtained at any BANJERCITO branch anywhere from 7 to 60 days before entering the country. BANJERCITO is the Banco Nacional del Ejército, Fuerza Aérea y Armada S.N.C., which is the banking and credit service provider for the members of the Army, Air Force and Navy of Mexico, as well as the general public. There are BANJERCITO branches in Arizona, Texas and California. You may also apply for tourist car permits online from the BANJERCITO website, but the costs may be a bit more, and you will have to send scanned copies of the required documents.

Can I get a Permit for Any Vehicle?

Tourist car permits may only be granted for vehicles with a capacity of up to 3.5 tons, and private vehicles must be under the name of the tourist, his or her spouse, and children. Other requirements include (original and photocopies):

  • Passport
  • Valid Driver’s License
  • Vehicle Certificate of Title
  • Vehicle Registration
  • Proof of Mexico Auto Insurance
  • For loaned or leased vehicles, an affidavit the lien holder authorizing temporary importation
  • Cash or credit card payment for the guarantee that the vehicle will leave the country on or before the expiration of the permit
  • Payment of tourist car permit fee (currently US $48.84, subject to change without notice)

The amount of the guarantee depends on the model of the vehicle. This amount will be refunded when the vehicle exits Mexico, provided it is within the prescribed period of the permit. The required guarantee may be charged to a credit card or paid with cash. The amounts are as follows and are subject to change without notification; we recommend to check with Banjercito.

  • 2007-2012= US $400
  • 2001-2006= US $300
  • Older models= US $200

It is important that tourist car permits are surrendered before exiting Mexico and before the permit expires. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to drive into Mexico again. You can have your permit canceled by going to the Banjercito / Migracíon complex. An employee will record, scan and scrap off the car permit from your windshield and provide you with a computer-printed receipt that confirms your permit cancellation.

Another important aspect of tourist car permits is that it is strictly subject to the laws of the land. Any transgression of applicable laws will result in the disapproval or cancellation of the permit and other sanctions that may apply.

To find more information or to apply for a tourist car permit in México visit

To secure a competitive proposal for your Tourist Mexico Auto Insurance visit