Understanding Mexico Vehicle Permits
Travelers to Mexico must procure Mexican driving insurance in order to drive in the country of Mexico. If you plan to drive in certain areas–or beyond a certain distance from the border, travelers will also need a Mexican vehicle permit. This permit is from Banco Nacional del Ejército Fuerza Aérea y Armada, commonly known as Banjercito. Use this guide when you plan to apply for your vehicle permit.
Do I Need a Mexican Driving Permit?
If you plan to drive beyond 16 miles, or beyond the permit-free zone, you will need to apply for a Mexican driving permit. This permit is not required for driving anywhere in the Baja Peninsula (although, Mexican insurance is required). Drivers will not need to apply for a permit for driving in permit-free zones like tourist-friendly Rocky Point either. However, if you plan to take a longer excursion into the country, you should apply for the permit.
How to Apply for a Mexican Driving Permit
The process of applying for a Mexican driving permit is not difficult. Travelers should allow at least seven days for Banjercito to process. Ideally, it’s better to apply within a few weeks from the time you plan to enter Mexico. Pre-registering is ideal because the agency can then directly mail a temporary permit to you. However, you can also pick up the permit at a Banjercito office when you cross the border. Regardless, you must visit the office to procure the permit once the agency verifies your documents.
Conveniently, travelers can pre-register for a vehicle permit online at the Banjercito website. Complete the online application and then submit an electronic payment. Keep in mind that pre-registration does cut down on the processing time, but you’ll need to submit documents in person at a Banjercito office. This step cannot be skipped. Pre-registered applicants are fast-tracked, so it’s still a good idea to apply online.
Vehicle Permit Costs
Costs for the Mexico vehicle permits vary. Specific costs can be found on the Banjercito website. Currently, fees are $50 and under for cars, trucks, and recreational vehicles. In addition to the cost of the permit, drivers will also have to pay a deposit. The deposit varies in accordance with the year of the vehicle. It tends to be much more substantial than the cost of the permit itself. Mexico requires this deposit to ensure that drivers return their permit before leaving Mexico. If you do not return your permit, you risk losing your deposit.
Other Important Information
When you apply for a Mexico driving permit, you will need to present approved documents that prove your citizenship. These documents include passports, records of naturalization, or resident alien cards. The agency also needs information about your vehicle like its VIN number.
If you need more specific information or want to check for up-to-date pricing, be sure to visit the Banjercito website before applying.