Drive or Buy A Car In Mexico?
If you’re considering driving to Mexico from the States, I have some good news for you: Your American driver’s license is valid in Mexico!
At the border you will need to get a temporary car-importation permit. It’s relatively easy. All you need is a valid driver’s license, your current, original car registration registered in your name, a copy of the original car title, and a valid international major credit card.
If your vehicle is financed you will need to take a letter stating that you have permission from the lending institution to take the car out of the country.
If you have an FM3 (Non-immigrant visa – what we call a perpetual tourist visa), you can have a foreign car as long as your FM3 is valid. (If you have an FM2 (Immigrant visa) you cannot bring in your American car.)
If you do bring your car into Mexico, you cannot let anyone drive it other than family members or it might be confiscated by Hacienda (the Internal Revenue).
Incidentally, you can also purchase a car in Mexico and get it legally registered no matter what type of visa you have.
Do remember, that for almost all American auto insurance companies, your coverage stops at the border, so get your Mexican insurance before you start your trip. You can easily get it on the internet, and I list one company in my book, Retire In Luxury, on page 29, with a phone number and how much we paid. Or you can just stop just before you cross the border at any of many places that offer that service, and buy your insurance.
It’s that easy!