Category Archives: Driving in Mexico

driving in mexico can be an amazing experience. However, don’t fall into the traps of not understanding the difference. Mexico has specific laws, KM/H instead of MP/H, and other. Start here to learn some differences

Mexican Free Zone

The Mexican Free Zone designed to attract tourists. Formerly the “hassle-free” or “liberated area” – officially it is called the “Free Trade Zone.” This zone is about 15-20 miles into Mexico all along the Mexican border. Its intention is to reduce government requirements (Mexican government requirements) for tourists visiting and spending money in the area.

In this free zone, customs import requirements, are essentially nonexistent. This also removes the Tourist Permit requirements, the Vehicle Import Permit requirements, and any other duty requirement. It does not, however, give you permission to do anything illegal, like bring a gun into Mexico.

Baja California – One Giant Free Zone

Baja took this to a whole new level by making the entire peninsula (Baja North and Baja South) a free zone. Technically, until and unless something changes, you can move freely about Baja as a tourist with little regard for permits and visas.

Baja South Map
The map of Baja California South

Puerto Penasco – Rocky Point – Sonora – Free Zone

The northwest portion of Sonora is also Free zone, well beyond the 20 miles. The official marker is the Mexican Federal Highway 15 and the 2 Highways


Do I need a TIP in Free Zone? NO

You do not need the TIP in the free zone but if you travel beyond, you might need one.

Don’t forget to return your TIP Sticker at the border when you return. IF you forget, you forfeit your deposit and you won’t be able to come back with another vehicle until it is returned

DO I need Mexican Car Insurance in the Free Zone? 

Yes. If you plan to drive across the border, you need Mexico car insurance–even in the free zones. Many drivers mistakenly believe that their comprehensive car insurance policy in the U.S. will protect them in Mexico. While this is true when driving in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. insurance carriers do not have an international coverage agreement. So, if you are planning to trip to Mexico’s free zone, you’ll have to apply for Mexican car insurance–even if you only plan to be there for the day.

You can apply for a short-term Mexican car insurance policy but if you make frequent trips to the free zone or elsewhere in Mexico, it will save you money over time to get a long-term policy. Don’t risk driving anywhere in Mexico without a Mexican car insurance policy. You can be arrested and taken to jail if you get into a car accident and don’t have Mexican auto insurance. All drivers in Mexico must have auto insurance or proof that they can pay for repairs in full.

Driving: in Mexico vs the US

Driving through Mexico’s scenic countryside is a dream which thousands of American tourists partake in every year. Thanks to the government’s massive infrastructure expenditure, Mexican roads are now safer than they’ve ever been. American drivers need to keep a watch on differences in local driving habits and conditions to avoid making mistakes. Some key differences… Continue Reading

Eco-Travel Mexico

Planning an eco-travel vacation in Mexico is an exciting prospect since this dynamic country is filled with millions of acres of protected landscapes as well as extraordinary historical sites and natural attractions. If you want to experience authentic Mexico and its wide range of environmentally interesting destinations, the subsequent text offers a rich sampling of… Continue Reading