Taking A Car to Mexico Permanently: How to Import a Car to Mexico

American Expats in Mexico

If you would like to permanently import your car to Mexico—and by that we mean getting your car registered with the Mexican government—it is different throughout the country. Yet, first a bit of advice. If you are considering importing a car to Mexico, you might just want to sell your car and purchase a new one once you are a resident. It can be quite difficult to legalize your car in Mexico. Taking a car to Mexico permanently is not simple, and there is a strict criterion for nationalization. There is a very good chance that your beloved vehicle won’t meet these meticulous standards.

Though we do not know how the new agreement will play out when it comes to how to import a car to Mexico, for the time being NAFTA still stands as the law of the land. Mexican states that any vehicle in Mexico for more than 180 days must be imported and registered in the state of your residence. As per NAFTA, Mexico has full discretion over which vehicles it lets Americans import. Cars in Canada may be imported, however you may not import a car to Mexico that has been registered in Canada. You are only allowed to import one car to Mexico unless you are registered as an importer with an RFC for resale.

It is a fact that Mexican Customs (Aduana) does not allow permanent residents to drive a foreign plated car. This is hotly debated because the law is rarely enforced, however Mexican Federal Law states that after 180 of an “indefinite period”, it is illegal to drive an American plated car if you are a Mexican permanent resident. Though local police won’t enforce this issue, the federales will confiscate and impound the car.

For the purposes of this article, the criteria for importing a car to Mexico will be broken down into two regions: North/Northwest border states, and the rest of the country.

WHAT TYPES OF CARS ARE ALLOWED INTO MEXICO?

Only cars, vans, trucks, and SUV’s that are manufactured in North America are allowed to be registered in Mexico. The first digit of your vehicle identification number (VIN) begins with a 1 – 5, then you are made in North America.

NORTH/NORTHWEST BORDER STATES:

f you settle along 20km of the border—in the states of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, Chihuahua, Sonora—then the rules are slightly more relaxed to accommodate the needs of American expats who commute. Also the entire Baja California peninsula counts in this category. The truck, car, van, or SUV must be 5-10 years old.

THE REST OF THE COUNTRY:

Any states below the 20km of the border (except the Baja Peninsula) have different laws to permanently import your car to Mexico. The rest of the country except the states mentioned above only allow cars, trucks, SUVs, or vans that are either 8 or 9 years old.

IMPORT TAX & DUTIES (ARANCEL) TO IMPORT A CAR TO MEXICO:

There is a duty fee to import goods to Mexico. This varies from the age and location of the car, truck, van, or SUV.:

 

  • If you are within 20km of the border or the Baja Peninusla, the import tax is 1% of the value of the car.

  • If you are in the beyond 20km from the border in the rest of the country, the import tax is 10% the value of the car.

CERTIFICATE OF ORIGIN (CERTIFICADO DE ORIGEN):

A little known trick is that you can get a 0% import tax if you have a certificate of origin. To discover how to get a certificate of origin to import a car to Mexico with NO IMPORT TAX, click here.

IF YOUR CAR IS TEN YEARS OLD:

If your car is ten years old, these are considered special circumstances. The value of the car decreases significantly, therefore the import tax is raised to 10%. This is only along 20km of the border or the Baja Peninsula—not the rest of the country.

VALUE ADDED TAX:

A Value Added Tax – or VAT tax (Impuesto al Valor Agregado – IVA in Spanish) is a tax is basically a goods and services tax. To import your car to Mexico 16% of the value of the car taxed.

CUSTOMS AGENT FEES (AGENTE ADUANAL):

Mexican law states that you have to hire a customs agent (agente aduanal) to facilitate importing a car to Mexico permanently. You must go to customs agent when crossing the border, to get the import request and pay all fees and taxes. It is best to contact your agent a few weeks before you want to import your car to Mexico. Any other method of taking a car to Mexico permanently is illegal. These fees will vary between person and company.

*To contact an agente aduanal, click here.

*For more information, click here.

*For information on crossing the border, click here.

*WeExpats drew upon the work of Qroo Paul for this article. If you would like to learn more about import laws, click here. And to read more material written by him and his wife, click here to read all their articles.

*To learn about how to get around keeping your own car in Mexico without registration or smogging issues in the United States, via a loophole in South Dakota, click here.

Interested in getting health insurance while living abroad? Get a free quote today by clicking below.

Comments (94)

  • Jerome P Davis

    I am Permanente but US citizen and want to drive my 2011 BMW to Mexico permanently. What do I need to do to make this as easy as possible?

    Reply
  • Shevonne

    Do I need to have my car inspected and insured while I live in Mexico for several years? I will be there on a temporary residency visa.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Shevonne, to be honest, I am not absolutely positive as to the nuances of the regulations involved in getting your car registered under a temporary visa. However, I do know that your next step should be to contact an agente aduanal. In English, these are called customs brokers, and they will be familiar with the nuances of getting your car into Mexico. A quick search yielded this customs broker, however feel free to research into your own. https://bit.ly/2GOqaV3

      I hope this helps!

      Reply
    • David R

      Shevonne, if you are here on a temporary resident visa, you do not need to get your car inspected but you do need to get insurance. Insurance from Canada or the USA is not valid in Mexico. You need to get Mexican car insurance.

      Reply
  • Jean

    I have become a permanent resident in Mexico and wish to import my old beloved truck from the USA. My truck is 19 years old, with little value. It is registered as a recreational vehicle, not commercial. Can I import such an old car to Yucatan? I am planning to take the car over on the ferry from Houston to Progreso. It is advisable to also seek a certificate of origin? Thank you

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Jean, my understanding is that you cannot import an old car. The restrictions are very precise and very strict. However, what I would recommend is contacting a customs broker or (agente aduanal in Spanish). They will have more information, perhaps there is some loophole or way of getting around the current law. A quick search yielded this result, however you might want to investigate further and find one better suited for your needs:

      https://www.livingstonintl.com/services/customs-brokerage/mexican-customs-brokerage/

      I hope this message finds you well! 🙂

      Reply
  • Dan

    I wuant to take a f350 what year and make and model you recommend me to take I need to take it to Mexico City? Thanks in advance

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Dan, if you are trying to get to Mexico City with your f350, then it must be at least 8 or 9 years old. It cannot be older than 9 years old, or newer than 8 years old.

      We recommend you contact a customs broker which can help you figure out solutions to bringing your car across the border into Mexico. In the comments above, we have been posting links to customs brokers. A quick search revealed that these might be able to help you in your quest to bring your f350 to Mexico City: https://blancocustomsbrokerage.com/services/mexican-customs-broker

      We hope this message finds you well. 🙂

      Reply
  • Blanca S Castillo

    I am a US citizen and I travel to Jalisco Mexico at least 4 times a year . I would love to take my suburban SUV and leave it over there , so every time I go I can have a driving car . What are the requirements and charges? Is there like a special permit to be able to keep my truck over there? Please advise.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Blanca, obviously it depends on the make and model of the vehicle. As it states in the article, bringing your vehicle into Mexico permanently is difficult because of the restrictions placed on vehicle that are allowed to be imported.

      There are some ways around this, but consider them questionable grey areas. For certain, if you are a permanent resident, you can have your vehicle for the length of your visa. See more here: https://nomad-ish.com/bringing-a-car-to-mexico/

      Also, if you have a tourist visa, our understanding is that you can drive your car for at least two months in Mexico. We would recommend reading these two blogs as well:

      https://weexpats.com/keeping-car-mexico-using-south-dakota/

      https://weexpats.com/driving-mexico-foreign-license-plates/

      Lastly, Sonia Diaz’s blog is a wonderful source of information. She writes extensively about this issue. We would highly recommend her blog. http://www.soniadiaz.mx/

      We hope this message finds you well.

      Reply
    • Pascal Jolicoeur

      Hello, I live in Canada and I am looking to buy a house in Playa del Carmen. I would only stay there 3 months a year. I undersand that to bring a canadian car it must not have been registered in canada.. does this mean that I may import only a new car or there is a way to bring a used car directly from a canadian dealership? Thank you for you time!

      Reply
      • Raf Bracho

        Hello Pascal, we highly recommend just purchasing an inexpensive car in Mexico. If you have a permanent residency visa it will become very difficult to bring in an American car–let alone a Canadian car! However, if you do want more information as to how it may be done, we highly recommend you discuss this with an agente aduanal in Mexico or a customs broker in Canada.

        We hope this message finds you well.

        Reply
  • Roman

    I am a Mexican Citizen, I bought a 2015 car in the US. I would like to bring it with me in my trip back to Mexico. Is it possible to legalize the car in Mexico?

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Roman,

      You are certainly in one of those gray areas where I am not certain. It does not fit in the restrictions allowed into Mexico, which are very strict. I would ask a customs broker in the United States, or I would ask an agente aduanal in Mexico.

      Here is a link for a customs broker in the United States that might be able to help you: https://blancocustomsbrokerage.com/services/mexican-customs-broker

      Here is a link for an archive of agente aduanales in Mexico that may be able to help you:
      http://www.comercioyaduanas.com.mx/aduanas/agenciasaduanalesmexico/

      We hope this message finds you well and we wish you the best of luck in moving your car back into Mexico.

      To contact a

      Reply
    • Mariduh

      I’m in born in California but moved to Nevada state just purchased a explorer 02 due to covid 19 I can’t do nothing to get the tags I have the registration tittle but I’m trying to my car to mx Jalisco what are the requirements can I get temporary permit to take my vehicle.

      Reply
  • Eduardo Gutierrez

    I have a 2004 accord v6 coupe 6 speed mt. Very rare car, hard to find here in the states and next to impossible to find in Mexico. Is there a broker here in Miami? could it be possible import through port of Tampa to port of Tuxpan, or do I have to go through the border? I have dual citizenship, Mexican and American.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Eduardo! It sounds like a sweet ride! 🙂 I would recommend asking the customs brokers in Maimi about the particulars about how to go about importing your car (if it’s even possible), and what ports you can go through.

      Here is a list of the top ten customs brokers in Miami. We hope one can give you the information that you need to import your car to Mexico! Hoping the message finds you well.

      https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=customsbrokers&find_loc=Miami%2C+FL

      Reply
  • Cliff du Fresne

    Your article states a car that has been registered in Canada cannot be imported to Mexico, but a US car can. Is that true?

    What is the last year I can import my 2011 Toyota Highlander?

    Reply
  • Mike

    I’m a US citizen married to a Mexican Citizen. We are planning to move to Mexico in the near future. I’m wondering if I can purchase a trailer and move our belongings there, then leave the trailer in Mexico, then drive my truck back to the states and sale it? Do they treat trailers the same as motorized vehicles as far as taxes or special fees?

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Mike, I am not sure if trailers have special fees. However you will likely have to pay taxes on all the goods that you import to your knew home in Mexico. It used to be the case that Mexican citizens could import their belongings from the United States for free, so your wife might be the best way to getting your belongings into Mexico, however the last I knew, the Mexican government was beginning to tax these goods. This is why I recommend speaking to a customs broker who can tell you exactly what to expect in the state that you cross into. 🙂

      I hope this message finds you well!

      Reply
    • Manuel

      Hello. I have a dual citizenship. Mexico and USA citizen. I live in California and I want to import my 2011 Mitsubishi Lancer evolution to Mexico, I’m planning on moving to Mexico soon. I want to know what I need to do to register my car in Mexico. Thanks

      Reply
      • Raf Bracho

        Hello Manuel, surprisingly you may be able to import your car legally to Mexico! It is right at the perfect age. You should contact a customs broker in California or an Agente Aduanal on the other side of the border.

        If you read the comments, there are lots of good contact sources in the comments of this blog.

        We hope this helps!

        Reply
  • Sergie

    Thank you for this!! Very helpful info, as i’m about to move to Mexico and have replica sports car 20 years old. Sounds like there’ll be tons of issues with this thing. Not sure. The links you provide in the write-up are gold to me. Many thanks.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      You’re very welcome Sergie! We’re happy to help. 🙂

      Reply
  • Sherry

    Is there a Customs Broker in Ohio so I may get info too?
    Thank you for your time and help.

    Reply
  • krystin nguyen

    I have a 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer and I’m driving to Mexico with it and hoping to be able to leave it with my father in law what do I need to do and how much would I need to pay to get it done

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Krystin, as the article states it really depends on where you are going. However, your car may be too old to take into Mexico. I would recommend contacting a customs broker in your area, or one along the Mexican border where you intend to cross. They may know of some way to import your car so you can get it to your father. Where do you reside?

      Reply
  • Humer Rodriguez

    i want to take my honda civic del sol 94 to mexico, but you think they will approve it if i replace the catalytic converter with an after market not CARB compliant?
    Thank You

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Humer, our understanding is that you cannot bring in a car older than ten years old. However, it would be best to communicate with a customs broker. You should try and reach out to one near the border crossing of your choosing. They can likely help you bring your car to Mexico, and they would be able to answer your request about the after-market catalytic converter. Where are you crossing the border?

      Reply
      • Humer Rodriguez

        i know if i take it to my city, Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua in a dolly i can register the car in the government office, even if is a little bit old but the car has to comply some emission test. i just wanted to know if the car (Honda Civic Del Sol SI 94) complies with the Emission regulations of Mexico.
        i would be crossing the border in Ciudad Juarez.
        Thanks for your answer.

        Reply
  • Natalie Vegas

    Could you clarify this sentence please? ”Cars in Canada may be imported, however you may not import a car to Mexico that has been registered in Canada. ”
    Can I import a car that is 10 to 15 years old and made in North America and plated in Canada?
    We would be crossing in Texas, at the free trade international bridge.
    Thank you 🙂

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Natalie! This may be a typo, and I’ll have to update the content. Cars that are built in Canada can be imported to Mexico. You can tell by the VIN number. However, cars that have been registered in Canada cannot.

      Check out this article that says, “At this time cars built in Canada may be imported but not cars registered in Canada. “http://www.bajainsider.com/article/how-import-your-car-mexico”

      However, this is under NAFTA. I have no idea how the new agreement may change these qualifications. You should speak to a Canadian customs broker about this, or a Mexican one.

      We hope this helps!

      Reply
  • Alex

    I have a 1999 Ford SUV that I would like to permanently take to Mexico(specifically)Colima, Jalisco, or Michoacan. Is it a waste of my time to even try because its 20 years old or who can I contact to find out. Also, what would be the difference between crossing in San Diego boarder or Nuevo Laredo boarder?

    Thanks,

    Reply
  • MICHAEL MARTIN

    I am looking at importing a vehicle from Great Britain. Land Rover Defender 90. What year vehicle can be imported?

    Where do you recommend shipping the vehicle? which port or state in Mexico?

    I am a US Citizen and own property in Baja Sur.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Michael,

      The law states that cars which are only 8 or 9 years old can be imported to Mexico. Therefore, your ’90 LandRover is too old. Our main recommendation is that you sell all your possessions before you move.

      However, if you need to move your car from the UK to Mexico, I would speak to a customs broker to see what they can do.

      Here is a customs broker that works from the UK to Mexico, I would contact them:

      http://www.mercatorcargo.co.uk/where-we-ship/exporting-to-mexico/

      We hope this helps!

      Reply
    • Jose

      Michael, did you figure this out yet? I have a car in Spain that i wanted to bring with also.

      Reply
  • Ro White

    I am a Canadian citizen who drove a Canadian register vehicle to the state of Oaxaxa where we have a condo. I leave the vehicle there year round and spend the winters there. I have a temporary resident card which I renew everyyear An immigration lawyer has told me this makes it legal. I keep the Canadian plates up to date and have insurance for both countries. Can you advise if this truly is Legal?

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Roddy,

      Our understanding is that you can bring a car for the duration of your *temporary visa* and then it expires, however you might want to research into this further concerning the particulars of your situation.

      Here is a link with some valuable information. We hope this helps.

      https://mexlaw.ca/foreigners-registering-vehicle-mexico/

      Reply
  • Mary

    Hi,
    We moved to Mexico 19 years ago. 3 years ago we imported our vehicle. Now are needing to deal with importing our trailer. Any ideas on how to do that? Or costs? Any ideas how to avoid driving it illegally from southern Mexico to the border? Thanks.

    Reply
  • Uneet Shah

    I am moving to Mexico city on work visa and want to take my 2014 honda accord from texas with me mor likely 4 years, what are the options for me

    What fees do i need to pay, i mean any customs or registrations?

    Reply
  • gustavo rodriguez

    my brother wants me to purchase vehicles in the us so he can sell them in mexico but i cannot find anything on how i can do that legally do you have any suggestions

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hey Gustavo,

      The truth is that you would have to be purchasing very specific cars. I’m not sure it would work as a business model. However, you should ask a customs broker or agente aduanal for how to import cars legally for sale. We hope this message finds you well.

      Reply
  • Patrick Clarke

    I’ve been here 4 years on a temp visa but want to import permanently. Am I required to drive to the border? As I’m in Cancun thats a long drive. Can i import a Canadian car at the Belize border?

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Patrick, for this type of situation, you should speak to a customs broker based in Belize about your Canadian car. Also, if you read our article, they say you can only import a car that is 8 or 9 years old.

      The USMCA (new NAFTA) deal may have changed the particulars of your situation, however importing a Canadian car to Mexico is more complicated than an American car.

      This article might help: http://www.bajainsider.com/article/how-import-your-car-mexico

      Reply
  • jose

    Hello Raf
    I want to import a car that was sold in Mexico at one time at new car dealers. The cars were imported back in 2011 thru 2016 to the dealer and then sold to in Mexico, These cars came from the UK. I read that you can import a new car as long as its under a certain KM and has to be considered new still. I think up to 5 years as long as its under 500km, do you know if this is true?

    Reply
  • Dennis

    I brought an older (1998) Rav4 with me to Qroo by the belize border. I no longer need the vehicle and have two options. I have an offer from a friend in Belize who would be willing to purchase it, or (as that looks to be a fairly complicated process) I’m also considering just having it junked as it’s pretty old and as I I understand it I cannot sell it to a Mexican citizen (and it’s definitely not worth shipping back to the US just to dispose of it). I’m really wondering about how I can effectively ‘de-register’ it back in CA where I’m from. Since Qroo is a ‘frontier’ state the vehicle still has it’s california plates.

    I just want to make sure that if/when I go back to the US I’m able to get this vehicle OFF my name (and visa-versa). Anyh idea how I can accomplish this ?

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      That is a very good question. I would probably just junk the vehicle if I were you. Concerning your question about deregistering a vehicle in Mexico, I have no idea, but that would make its own good article. Cursory research yielded nothing on the subject, unfortunately. I would recommend speaking to a customs broker, agente aduanal, or a lawyer.

      We hope this message finds you well.

      Reply
  • Laura

    Hi there, is there a retention time a vehicle must be at customs, prior to release for permanently legalizng in Mexico? My mother was told her car needs to held for 10 days, although she has a certificate of ownership in her name. My sister gave her the vehicle and transfered title to her.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Laura, if that is what you were told at customs, then I would trust the customs agents. However, this is the first we have heard of it. Please keep us posted!

      We hope this message finds you well.

      Reply
  • Ren Sunny

    Do you have any info on importing an Italian Made Motorcycle (Moto Guzzi) as a permanent resident.. or point me to someone? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Ren, I am happy to help put you in contact with someone. 🙂 I would recommend speaking to a customs broker. I just need to know where and how you are planning on moving to Mexico. I would recommend finding a customs broker in the area where you plan to cross the border or land in immigration.

      If you look in the comments of this article, there are loads of links that might help.

      We hope this message finds you well

      Reply
  • Kinga Alliet

    HI: I am a Canadian resident and would like to bring a car into Mexico with a trailer with a vintage car on it. Not to import, but for temporary stay (less than 180 days) in Mexico. What are the laws with transporting a car on a trailer into Mexico temporarily?

    Reply
  • Eric

    Which customs brokers do you recommend in Mexicali and/or San Luis for importing cars to Mexico? Also, is it true that Aduana import fees are waived until the end of 2019? I thought I saw that on a website about a month ago but cannot find it again. A friend also said the same thing. Please advise. muchas gracias.

    Reply
  • Rick Weil

    I hold Mexican permanent residency and am building a family compound in Baja California Sur. I would like to drive my US plated car down the Baja and use it while I am in residence in Todos Santos ( 2 months at a time), but I do not wish to permanently import the car. Is this allowed?

    Reply
  • Basil Yokarinis

    Hi, i have a slightly opposite situation. I’m a Mexican permanent resident, and also a Canadian resident. I own a Mexican car (built and bought in Mexico), which I’d like to drive to Canada. I realize that getting my car *into* Canada is beyond the scope of this article, and I’ll research that separately.

    My question is, once i have imported and registered my Mexican car in Canada (as a Canadian resident, i cannot drive a foreign car into Canada without importing it), does it now stop being a “Mexican car”? Or would i be able to maintain registration in both countries. My ultimate goal is to be able to drive my car freely between Mexico and Canada.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hi Basil, I’m sorry but I have absolutely no idea. This is outside of our purview. We hope this message finds you well. 🙂

      Reply
  • Catalina Fuentes

    I am a US Citizen and want to make my 2004 Toyota Tundra permanently in Nayarit Mexico. Do you know what I need to do and what it will cost me?

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Catalina! I’m afraid that the restrictions to bring in cars into Mexico are very difficult. If you are looking to import a car permanently, then it is likely too old. However, you can speak to a customs broker in the US (near the border in Baja) or you can find an agente aduanal. Contact them several weeks prior to importing. They may be able to help you.

      There are great sources in the comments of this article. Read all the threads 🙂

      We hope this message finds you well.

      Reply
  • Kyle. L

    Hello. I have a more unique question. I have recently moved to Mexico city with my family from Canada. I am wondering how to import an atv into the country. Is it considered to be a car because the engine is a 1000cc.
    It is a 2013 CanAm. I hope to see a reply.
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Kyle, I would recommend speaking to a customs broker or a Mexican (agente aduanal). It really depends on what port you will be driving through, but you might be able to import the atv.

      Reply
  • Tatiana I.

    Hello.

    I have a unique circumstance. I am in Mexico with my 2010 Honda Element on a tourist visa/TIP. However, I will be obtaining Mexican citizenship before my TIP expires.

    As a dual citizen with a US plated car, what are my options for nationalizing the car so I can remain in Mexico without having to cross back over the border every 6 months – including the ability to drive to the USA anytime I need to and switching back to my USA plates? Or perhaps I can drive a Mexican plated car in the USA?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      I’m not sure that it is a good idea to switch your plates back and forth. I would recommend just nationalizing the car (while you still can because it’s 9 years old) and then driving into the United States with your Mexican plates.

      We recommend speaking to an agente aduanal or a customs broker to help you import a car. 🙂

      We hope this message finds you well.

      Reply
  • Ben Lenon

    I would like to gift my U.S. registered 2005 Toyota to my Mexican girlfreind. Would that be possible?

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      By the letter of the law, it is too old to import to Mexico. However, I would speak to a customs broker or an agente aduanal to try and see what they can do for you.

      We hope this message finds you well.

      Reply
  • Fernando Rodríguez

    Hello Raf, question for you. I have a Mazda CX-7 2012 that I’d like to take to Guadalajara. I’m a citizen of both Mexico and the US. What would I need to do and is my car eligible? I’m thinking in doing so in spring of 2020. Thanks!

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Fernando, I’m pretty sure that you can bring your Mazda into Mexico when it is 9 years old. That’s just around the corner. If worse came to worst, you could import it with a TIP, and then try and register it in Mexico in 2021. . . Check out our TIP article here: https://weexpats.com/tip-mexico-get-temporary-vehicle-importation-permit-mexico/

      I would recommend speaking with an agente aduanal or a customs broker along the border where you plan to cross. They can help you with the particulars of your situation.

      We hope this message finds you well!

      Reply
  • Gerardo CasaMadrid

    Dear Raf,
    I am a dual US/Mex citizen and would love to give a car to my Mom in Mexico City.
    I tried to get one up there but the options for the money are not promising!!
    Where can i find info on how-to do this. I would be the driver there once a month, at least!
    Thanx!

    Reply
  • Bonnie Sims

    Unfortunately no one enforces the law here in B.C.S. There aren’t even any immigration nor customs officers at any of the borders in B.C., people just drive right into Mexico! I know lots of foreigners with permanent residency and they all have vehicles(lots of junkers too) with plates from Canada and the USA. This is not at all fair for the citizens of this country who do abide by the law. If Mexico would step up to the plate as far as fining and enforcing laws(legally, no mordidas) the country would have a lot more $.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Bonnie, for obvious reasons we did not mention it to anyone (and we don’t recommend breaking the law to anyone), but yet we agree. This law is rarely enforced, and that’s a shame. However, it does give them an excuse to pull you over and ask for a bribe at any time.

      Reply
  • Jaymes

    I live in Texas, could I import a 1999 lancer evolution vi, and have Mexican plates without having residency?

    Reply
  • ozzie

    Hi there, I know of someone who crossed a vehicle with a TIP and left the vehicle there permanently. He let the TIP expire and then purchased a state registration plate that allows him to drive permanently, but only in his home state. Do you know if this is legit?

    Reply
  • Andy Zama

    Assuming my car meets all the criteria to be imported to Mexico from the US, what is an average time for the import process to take? Just looking for a rough estimate, is it weeks or months? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Hello Andy,

      It really depends on the port. I would say between 3 and 8 weeks. You should contact a customs broker at your border crossing for more information.

      We hope this message finds you well.

      Reply
  • Micheil Gerrie

    I don’t get the…. If it has ever been registered in Canada you can’t import it. Then in the next breath talking about importing a car older than 8 to 10 years being cheaper for duties and VAT. Am I missing something because any vehicle that old would clearly have been registered.

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Micheil, currently Canadian vehicles are not allowed to be imported into Mexico.

      The next breath refers to vehicles registered in the United States.

      Here is more information: http://www.bajainsider.com/article/how-import-your-car-mexico

      You should speak to a customs broker to see if the laws have changed after the new organization that replaced NAFTA changed the rules.

      We hope this message finds you well.

      Reply
  • mario m suarez

    hola tengo un mercedes clase C 1995 en San Antonio y quiero traérmelo a Mexico hay alguna manera de importar el coche como coche clásico.
    gracias

    Reply
    • Raf Bracho

      Buenas Mario, si hay manera de traerlo al pais, tendras que preguntarle a un agente aduanal en Mexico.

      Reply
  • Taylor Crockett

    I know this is a post about permanently bringing your vehicles to Mexico, but are there restrictions about temporarily bringing a Japanese import to Mexico? Was not made in North America, but we will only bringing it in for a couple of months at a time.

    We travel to Oaxaca once a year for 2 months. We would like to drive there from the US in our vehicle that was imported from Japan and bring it back after the 2 months. Any issues with bringing a vehicle not made in North America if we plan on bringing it back? Also, I travel back to the US for work, while my wife and kids stay in Oaxaca. I’m a US Citizen, my wife is a US Permanent Resident and a Mexican Citizen. Can she legally drive the vehicle in Mexico?

    Reply

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