By: Rebekah Mullinix
I’ll admit since it was my first time I was a little anxious about returning (or canceling) the FMM and TIP as we crossed back into the United States. You probably already know that w\hen you leave Mexico at the U.S. border you have to return your FMM and TIP. The FMM is your temporary visa, and the TIP is the Temporary Vehicle Import Permit. There are several steps to take to exit Mexico and enter the United States properly. We crossed at Eagle Pass, TX/Piedras Negras, MX. This article addresses what you will need to cross the border and what to expect.
Exiting Mexico Procedures: Returning your FMM and TIP
Stop at the Banjercito BEFORE You Reach the Border.
Stop at the Banjercito at marker 53.4 km, which is about an hour from the border, which is open later than the Banjercito by the Eagle Pass 2. Here you will cancel your FMM and TIP. You may be thinking “Won’t I get in trouble if I don’t have those documents?” This will not be a problem because 20 miles into Mexico is a Free Trade Zone meaning you don’t need an FMM or TIP to be in these areas.
Canceling The Temporary Import Permit (TIP)
Upon arriving at Banjercito, there is an office building and to the left of it is a small booth. You will get in the line of cars to get to the drive-through booth. This line moves relatively quickly, so don’t be discouraged by the seemingly long line. Once you get up to the booth, you will give the agent your TIP. They will take pictures of your automobile as well as the VIN number and the information on the inside of your door. In return, you will receive the packet including the receipt and TIP. From there you need to park in the parking lot, so you can cancel your FMM and get your TIP refund.
Canceling the FMM (Tourist Visa)
Once you park, you will enter the office building. First, you need to get in the line to the right to cancel your FMM. You have to do this first. To cancel your FMM you will need to also show your passport(s). Once you get your passport back and speak with the officer, you can move to the third and final step. the officer will stamp your FMM but will not return it.
Receiving The TIP Refund
The third step is to get in the line for the Banjercito refund. A number will appear on the screen showing which window is available for the next person in line. Once you are the next person in line, wait for the beep, a number will appear and you will go to the corresponding window. You will need your TIP and passport. The person to who the TIP is registered will have to do this part of the process. They will make a copy of your passport and give you two copies of a form to sign and issue a refund. This concludes the daunting task of returning your FMM and TIP.
Entering the United States
As of July 2021, a covid test is NOT required to enter the United States via the land border.
Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras Border Crossing: What to Expect
There are two crossings at Eagle Pass: Eagle Pass 1 and Eagle Pass 2. There was no line at Eagle Pass 2. First, you will see some cones and Mexican Border Guard. Show him your passports and then proceed to the toll booth. It is 30 pesos to cross the bridge. This is important to know so that you hold on to 30 pesos before you cross. Once you are on the bridge, about halfway, a United States Immigration officer will ask to see your passports. This is when you have exited Mexico and entered the United States immigration. There are several available lanes to drive through. Pick an available lane and stop at the stop sign until the light turns green. Once the officer waves you in, you will speak with the border agent. They will ask you the typical questions: how long have you been in Mexico, what was your purpose there, where are you going, are you bringing anything back, do you have any fruits, vegetables, or animal products. We told him that we had some souvenirs, candy, hats, ceramic statues, etc. He asked us to roll down the back window and open the cover to the bed of the truck to do a visual inspection. After that, he inspected the undercarriage of the car and we were on our way. There were parking spots where you can go if you do need to be further inspected, but when I was there I did not see anyone in that section.
Declaring Cigarettes and Alcohol: Texas Only
Once you drive out of the customs area and there is a small booth where you can declare cigarettes and alcohol. From my understanding, only in Texas are you required to pay taxes on those items. If you have items to declare you will stop and talk with the office. If you do not, you do not have to stop, you can just drive through.
Will your insurance claims be denied if you don’t have an FMM? Learn more here