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

Duplicate Car Insurance?

Duplicate Car Insurance?

U.S./Canada Registration and Mexican Car Insurance

If you have to have Mexican Insurance when you drive in Mexico, why should you have to keep your domestic insurance? Mexico Insurance “mex-insurance” requires your vehicle to be “legal to operate” which means it has to have current registration. But your state won’t let you register without U.S. insurance! So it seems you’re forced to have duplicate insurance. Or does it?

Oh Canada!

In Canada, it’s simple. All you have to do is present to your Canadian broker the Mexican Insurance policy. He/she will refund your Canadian Auto Insurance for that term! That’s it. No duplicate insurance for Canadians.

Two Solutions to Avoid Duplicate Insurance for American tourists

Solution 1: Register Your Car in your Home State with Affidavit of Non-Operation

Most states will allow you to file an “Affidavit of Non-Operation.” If you read the fine print, it does NOT mean that you won’t drive your car. It simply states you will not operate on your state’s roads. As the California affidavit reads:

The above described vehicle is not being operated or parked on any California roadway so as to require evidence of financial responsibility. I understand that if the vehicle is operated or parked on a California roadway prior to complying with all applicable registration and financial responsibility (liability insurance) laws, I will be subject to citation.

–California DMV Affidavit for Non-Use

This allows you to keep your registration current, and avoid paying duplicate insurance in the U.S. Please pay attention to the timing of these forms. Some states require 60-75 days to process. With that said, give yourself plenty of time. If the registration expires, you’re going to have to go in person to renew.

California Registration Requires Insurance unless you file an Affidavit of Non-Operation

Arizona Forms

In Arizona, it’s called a “De-Insured Certificate” which notifies the Motor Vehicle Division that the car will no longer be on Arizona roads and no longer requires insurance in Arizona

New Mexico Forms


Solution 2: Find a State that Does Not Require Insurance and is Friendly to Non-Residents, ie: South Dakota

There are only two states that do not require insurance, Virginia and New Hampshire. Unfortunately, both states require local residency to register your car. In South Dakota a small county in the southern part of the State called Clay County will let you register as a non-resident without smog or insurance requirements. Apparently the State has taken down most of the information related to this process. You can call the Clay County DMV (Treasurer) here:

  • 605-677-7123

Drinking and Driving Laws in Mexico

It’s no secret that people visit Mexico to have a good time–and that good time, sometimes, involves alcohol. Cities like Tijuana, Rosarito Beach, Cabo San Lucas–these places draw vacationers from all over the world. There are lots of bars, clubs, and events where the alcohol flows quite freely. If you are driving to Mexico and… Continue Reading

Mexico Travel Tips

Mexico Travel Tips to Know for Enhancing Your Experience  A large, diverse country, Mexico provides international travelers with a thrilling and unique travel experience. This is especially true among American travelers, as it ranks among the top destinations in the region. There are many considerations travelers have in traveling to Mexico, including how to find… Continue Reading

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.… Continue Reading

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