Mexican Driving Permit

How to Obtain a Mexican Driving Permit and Why You Need One

Most travelers to Mexico know that they must have Mexican auto insurance to drive in Mexico; however, driving in certain areas of the country requires drivers to have a Mexican driving permit.  Driving within twenty-five miles of the border as well as throughout the Baja Peninsula and permit-free locales like Rocky Point does not necessitate a permit.  For those drivers planning longer excursions into the interior of the country to visit some of Mexico’s most extraordinary natural features, a permit must be procured from the Banco Nacional del Ejército Fuerza Aérea y Armada, or Banjercito as it is known.  

Applying for a Mexican Driving Permit

Applying for a permit with Banjercito is easy.  Travelers may apply for their permit in as many as sixty days before their trip.  Banjercito, however, requires a minimum of seven days, to approve and process a permit.  Banjercito recommends that travelers pre-register as that can substantially cut down the processing time; this way the agency can mail the permit directly to drivers. Travelers to Mexico can also pick up their Mexican driving permit as they cross the border and locate a Banjercito office.  

Pre-Registering for a Permit

Travelers can pre-register their vehicles along with recreational vehicles and even boats by completing the online application and submitting their payment.  Pre-registering dramatically cuts down on office-waiting time when procuring the permit from a Banjercito office.  The office will need to verify certain documents in person; however, the pre-registration process will result in a ‘temporary’ permit sent through the mail.  The temporary permit puts applicants on a fast track for full approval when they do visit the Banjercito office.  It’s essential that travelers remember to return their verified permit to the Banjercito office or risk losing their deposit.  

Paying for a Vehicle Permit

Permit costs vary so drivers will need to check with the Banjercito website to obtain specific information applicable to them.  Cars will typically incur a fee of $44 while boats and RVs will cost about $50.  A wide variety of Mexico’s tourist-friendly destinations are permit-free.  When paying for the permit, drivers must also expect to pay their deposit, a requirement for obtaining a Mexican driving permit.  Deposit fees are applied in accordance with the year of the vehicle.  Many drivers are often surprised to discover that deposits are much more substantial than the actual cost of the permit.  Banjercito requires drivers to return their permit in person or lose their deposit.  

Yucatan Road
Mexican Road Yucatan

Costs of a Vehicle Permit

The cost of a permit varies.  Cars incur a $44 fee.  RV’s and boats, on the other hand, pay roughly $50.  Again, the need for a permit varies; be sure to find out if your destination is a permit-free zone.  Many of Mexico’s popular destinations are permit-free.  At the time of payment, Banjercito also requires a deposit fee for the return of the permit.  Deposit fees are subject to year of vehicle, so be sure to visit the Banjercito website to find out more information about deposits and their updated costs.  Deposit fees are more substantial than permit costs, so it is essential to return with the permit and stickers in person to a Banjercito office in order to have this deposit returned.

What Do You Need to Register for a Mexican Driving Permit?

Travelers must present their documents to prove their citizenship.  Travelers may present their passports, resident alien cards, or records of naturalization.  A car registration or pink slip must also be presented.  Banjercito will request the vehicle’s VIN number as well as your home address.  Banjercito will also need to know the dates of your proposed journey.  Additional paperwork will be needed if a rental car or leased vehicle is to be used on your trip.  You can find a Banjercito office at border crossings; for more specific location information, check online with the Banjercito website.


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