Relocating with your Car to Mexico

Relocating with your Car to Mexico

So, you are thinking about relocating to Mexico, and you want to bring your family car with you; after all, you have some great memories of the old beauty. But, the question is, can you bring your car with you? This is a question many people ask themselves when they move to Mexico from the USA or Canada, and in most cases the answer is “yes”, but there are some considerations.

Here is what you need to know when relocating with your car to Mexico

Driving Within the “Free Zone”

The “Free Zone” is an area inclusive of all land 22 miles (or 35 kilometres) south of the USA border. Within this area, you can drive your vehicle without applying for a temporary vehicle import permit. Beyond this point there are guarded checkpoints, and in order to pass these you will be required to show certain documentation including proof of ownership for the vehicle, and, of course, a temporary import permit.

Driving Beyond the “Free Zone”

Please ensure that you obtain your permit before attempting to leave the “Free Zone” as you cannot buy one at the checkpoint. Temporary import permits allow you to keep your own vehicle with you for as long as your own visas are valid, provided that you take your vehicle with you when you leave. If you are entering with a tourist visa (as opposed to a Temporary Residents Visa), you may bring a vehicle with you without the need for proof of ownership so long as you can prove that you have permission to travel with the vehicle into Mexico. For example, you can drive a rental car to Mexico if you have the right documents, which include a permit and proof that you are insured to drive the rental car within Mexico’s borders.

Vehicle Rules and Limits

Each eligible adult may bring only one vehicle with them beyond the “Free Zone”, so anyone within a family who is over the age of 18 may bring their own car if they wish. There are, of course, some exceptions to the one vehicle rule:


  • An RV towing a car may be registered to one person so long as both leave with that individual.
  • Three single person vehicles may be towed behind a car beyond the “Free Zone” (one per passenger up to a limit of three), but may not all be registered to the driver of the car. Single person vehicles include: ATVs, Mopeds, Motorcycles
  • Trailers do not count as a vehicle.


In all cases, however, proof of ownership must be provided, and additional vehicles must be removed from the country in the same manner as they came.

Vehicle Rules and Limits

How Long Import Permits Last

Your temporary vehicle import permit lasts as long as your current visa, inclusive of extensions, and so your car/vehicle may stay with you as long as you are in the country. If you change your immigration status while resident in Mexico you will not need to apply for a new permit, but if you leave the country with your vehicle after its expiration you will be required to surrender it before you re-enter the country. What this means is that you need to get a permit each time your take the car into Mexico.

Unfortunately, according to current import laws in Mexico. Those people who are already have permanent residency status will not be able to i a vehicle into the country with them.

The laws of a new country are always confusing, but we hope this has cleared things up a little for you!