Sonora Vehicle Permit (TIP)

There is a bit of confusion regarding Sonora vehicle permits, and the fact that Rocky Point/ Puerto Penasco (in the State of Sonora)  is a permit-free zone.

So… which is it? Sonora Only, or permit-free?

Free Zone Map – Click Map Above to Download Your Own Copy

When you travel in Mexico, all of Baja and the area west of Mexico Highway 15 to the coast of the border with Baja is permit-free; also the area from Douglas-Agua Prieta via Mexico Highway 2 west through Cananea to Imuris and everything north of that highway to the US-Mexico border. The southern end of the free zone is at KM98 on Mexico 15, just south of Empalme. Communities in the Free Zone include:

Agua Prieta, Naco, Cananea, Nogales, Puerto Penasco (Rocky Point), Sonoyta, San Luis Colorado, Cborca, Imuris, Magdalena, Santa Ana, Hermosillo, Kino Bay, San Carlos, Guaymas, and Empalme.

Here are some maps of Sonora:

Vehicle Permit Sonora (TIP)

There is NO REQUIREMENT for Sonora Temporary Import Permit (TIP) in San Carlos. The trip from the United States requires that foreigners obtain a tourist permit (FMM), but they are not required to obtian a car permit if they are traveling by private automobile. The requirement is only if you travel south of Guaymas. The area where these car permits are available is referred to as “El 21” as it is 21 kilometers from the border or at the border itself.

Sonora Map
Map of Sonora

The key is Highway 15. East of 15 in Sonora, get a Sonora-only permit (cheaper when you buy it at the Banjercito, but not when you buy online). So, there’s Baja and the Free Zone (half of Sonora – described above), and then there’s the other half of Sonora that qualifies you for a cheaper special permit, and finally the rest of Mexico.

You may not need a Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for your car in Sonora, but you still need the usual paperwork: driver’s license, passport, FMM, proof of car ownership, passport, mexican car insurance, etc.® – providing quality Mexico Insurance online since 2003.

2 Responses to Sonora Vehicle Permit (TIP)

  1. I am only traveling to Hermosillo Sonora I’m going on vacation 2 months taking my car I don’t want to get in trouble driving inside of Mexico without a permit and car Insurance how do I do that???

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.