Heading to Mexico
I’m sure a lot of you who are interested in checking Mexico out for retirement or for investing in property for future vacations or retirement, will probably choose to fly to your chosen destination.
Personally, I prefer the more relaxed and slower way, if possible and practical – the good old family car. We can start when we want, stop where we want, take side trips where needed or wanted, and really enjoy the trip. I guess it’s the old “stop and smell the roses” for me. I enjoy the trip as much as arriving at the final destination. So for the adventurous drivers out there, here is some info you’re going to find invaluable.
Remember, although Mexico borders our country, it is a foreign country with its own laws and customs, so you do want to be well-prepared.
When you have a date set for your excursion south of the border, one of the first things you should do is secure Mexican auto insurance. Carry it on your person, along with your passport, auto title, and auto registration. Do not put important papers like this into the glove compartment – keep them all on your person – securely.
If you’re entering Mexico at Nogales, which is south of Phoenix and Tucson, just follow the signs to the border. We use the truck route – no tourists and it’s usually a breeze getting into Mexico – instead of taking the usual route that’s lined up with tourists. Only possible hitch is that the truck route border station is only open 6 a.m. until 10 p.m.
But, I don’t suggest entering any earlier or later anyway. I strongly suggest no night time traveling on Mexican roads. All the border patrol did at this stop was to briefly check our luggage and wave us on.
About 15 miles into Mexico you get your necessary permits. At this border stop, you realize you have definitely left the United States.
When you are this far into Mexico, you have to secure a car importation tag (about $15 USD) at this checkpoint. Also, you will receive a temporary visitor permit ($15 which has to be paid at a bank in Mexico before you leave Mexico again).
Plan on about ½ hour to get everything processed at this border stop. An easy and usually successful way to accomplish everything at this stop is just to pretty much follow everyone else and hope that whoever is in front knows what the heck they are doing. It usually works out for us with no hitches.
Question: How many retirees does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Only one, but it might take all day or so…