Temporary (and permanent, for that matter) import permits (TIP) for Mexico can be confusing. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to consult Mexico’s Banjercito website for updated information about legislation or even your Mexican insurance provider who may also be able to provide details about Temporary Import Permits for vehicles.
One of the most confusing topics to come up recently is the law that allows drivers to Mexico the ability to import only one vehicle under their name. For instance, a single driver may obtain a Temporary Import Permit for his car or, perhaps, a trailer, but not for a motorcycle that the driver also wants to bring along. Another driver must register to obtain a permit for this vehicle and, furthermore, must accompany this vehicle. Many drivers will allow a spouse or parent to apply for the permit, but the law can be difficult for some to understand.
Also, keep in mind that permits are not required for driving anywhere within the Baja Peninsula or within twenty-five miles of the border. However, if you drive beyond this territory and do not have valid permits for your vehicles, they can be subject to confiscation. Luckily, much of the permit process can be handled from home online. (https://www.banjercito.com.mx/registroVehiculos/) However, drivers must pick up their permits in person and sign final paperwork to obtain their Temporary Import Permit.
Moreover–and this is quite important–these vehicle permits must be returned to a Banjercito office in person. These offices are located at border crossings. Deposits for these permits are substantial and you risk losing yours if you choose to mail in your permit or fail to return it at all. This is the current rule and there does not appear to be a change in sight even though much of the process has now been streamlined for online users.
To get started with the permit process you can visit the Banjercito website. Travelers may request their permit between seven and sixty days of entry into Mexico. Also, keep in mind that you can only request a permit that is for a vehicle in your name or your spouse’s, children’s, or parents’ names. If you plan to reside keep to the peninsula area, you won’t have much concern about these permits. However, you certainly don’t want to risk your vehicle if, once in Mexico, you decide to explore beyond the “Free Zone” of the Baja Peninsula.
Be sure to discuss any questions you have with your Mexican insurance carrier or contact Banjercito for more information about Temporary Import Permits. Also, permanent import permits are much more complicated and will necessarily require the help of a Banjercito staff member. Once you obtain your permit, be sure to keep it with you at all times. Also, you must also have your Mexican insurance with you at all times too in order to avoid any complications with Mexican authorities. By taking care to obtain the permit you need before your trip, you’ll save yourself considerable headaches and enhance your stay in Mexico.