A Mexican vehicle permit isn’t needed for driving in various regions of Mexico like the Baja Peninsula or within twenty-five miles of the border, but it is needed if you plan to drive to other Mexican locations beyond the main tourist destinations. Rocky Point, Guaymas and Hermosilla also do not require this permit; however, travelers who aren’t sure if their Mexican travel plans will require a driving permit should contact Mexico’s Banco Nacional del Ejército Fuerza Aérea y Armada; known more commonly as Banjercito, this agency has offices at the border crossings and issues permits for driving your car or RV in Mexico.
How to Apply for a Mexican Driving Permit
It is easy to apply on the Banjercito website for a vehicle permit. Registration is a straightforward process and the temporary permit can even be mailed to your home address. Travelers may request a permit as early as 60 days from their proposed trip to Mexico; however, the agency requires at least seven days’ notice to complete the application process. If you do not choose the mail option, you may pick up your vehicle permit at a Banjercito office at the time you cross into Mexico.
The Pre-Registration Process
Cars, RVs, boats—these vehicles may be pre-registered with Banjercito. Both the application and payment for the permit can be completed online. Pre-registering is recommended as it means spending less time waiting at a Banjercito office. Travelers who already have a temporary permit in hand can be streamlined through the check in process that will involve the presentation of required documents. Banjercito staff will also explain the importance of returning the vehicle registration and stickers to the Banjercito office in person in order to be reimbursed for the required deposit.
Permit Fees and Deposit Costs
Depending on the type of vehicle, the Mexican driving permit cost can vary. Cars are charged a $44 non-refundable fee. When making payment, you will also be required to pay a deposit which can be as much as $400. The high deposit rate helps enforce the necessity of complying with Banjercito’s stipulation that the permit and its associated stickers must be returned in person to a Banjercito office. Deposit fees are subject to the year of your vehicle. To find out more about the fees and deposits, visit the Banjercito website.
Required Information and Documents
When obtaining a driving permit from Banjercito, travelers must present documents that demonstrate citizenship such as their passport, certificate of naturalization, or resident alien card. Car registration or a pink slip must also be presented. Banjercito will ask for the car’s VIN number, your form of payment, the number of people who will be driving in the vehicle and your address should they need to mail your vehicle permit. Aside from this information, expect to inform Banjercito of your proposed travel dates. Especially important, Mexican car insurance is required by anyone driving in Mexico, but certainly needed at the time you obtain the driving permit. Travelers that lease or rent a car must present their lease or rental contract.
More Information about Banjercito
The Banjercito website is especially helpful and travelers can generally find all the information they need to register and understand the requirements. Visitors can also find out information from a Banjercito office at their border crossing. In order to get your substantial deposit back from Banjercito, be sure to return your permit to a Banjercito office; this requirement is strict and drivers who fail to do so risk losing their benefit or having to drive back to Mexico! If you aren’t sure if your planned Mexican destination requires a driving permit, be sure to contact Banjercito; they will inform you with more specific information related to your travel plans.