Procedures for Temporarily Importing Vehicles into Mexico

Both Foreigners and Mexicans, who reside abroad and can prove they work outside Mexico are eligible to import their vehicles into Mexico on a temporary basis.  The requirements vary depending on whether the importer is a foreigner or a Mexican residing abroad.  The latter, as well as Mexicans who can prove that they have worked abroad for at least a year, must submit documentation confirming that they are temporary or permanent residents abroad.  Foreigners, if they enter the country as tourists, temporary residents or temporary student residents, must present their passports and the document issued by the Mexican immigration authorities. They will have to prove ownership or possession of the vehicle and must present an invoice, title or vehicle registration confirming ownership. With regard to leased vehicles, applicants must provide the lease agreement and the lessor’s written authorization to import the vehicle into Mexico.  All importers must formally agree to return the vehicle within the time period set by the tax authorities, as well as not to engage in any improper use of the imported vehicle.


Not anyone can drive a foreign vehicle once it is has been imported into Mexico.  As to Mexican residents abroad, the importer can drive, as can the corresponding spouse, ascendants, descendants or siblings, provided they are permanent residents abroad, As to foreigners who are temporary residents, temporary student residents or tourists,   when the imported vehicle is driven by any person other than the importer, such person must be travelling with the importer of the vehicle at all times.  Vehicles covered by this subsection must comply with the requirements indicated in the Regulations.  Breach of this rule can lead to serious penalties, including forfeiture of the vehicle.    A return guaranty deposit is required in order to temporarily import vehicles into Mexico, which varies depending on the vehicle model year.  For vehicles from 2000 and older model years, the guaranty amount is $200.00 dollars.  For vehicles with a model year from 2001 to 2006, the guaranty is $300.00 dollars, and for vehicles from 2007 onward a $400.00 return guaranty is required. Such guaranties are deposited with Banjército (Banco Nacional del Ejército), which will return the guaranty deposit upon return of the vehicle abroad within the term specified in the temporary import permit. Other units can be imported together with the vehicle, such as a boat of up to four and a half meters in length, including the trailer for transport, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, three wheeled motorcycles, quads, or jet skis.  Motorcycles being temporarily imported into the Mexico with foreign license plates should follow a similar procedure. The deadline for returning temporarily imported vehicles is 180 days and permits may be used over a 12 month period. Importers may use permits for multiple entries during the 12 month validity of their permits.


The information regarding the procedures can be obtained at INFOSAT, 1 following the toll free number.  From the Mexican Republic. 01 800 4636728 options 7-2-2-1-1. From the United States, (877) 448 8728.