Driving Back to the USA
with Trip Plates

The following information applies only to mainland México.  The rules for Baja are different.  Foreign license plates must be kept current in Baja.

Since most of us living in México do not keep our USA license plates current, it has been a hassle to drive back North.  For a while Texas stopped issuing trip plates, or only issuing highly restrictive ones.  That has now changed so that it is once again possible to get temporary permission to drive in the USA with expired plates.

A cyber friend shares her experiences with us:

A trip plate is a temporary paper plate that is taped to the back window.  I simply explained that I had been in Mexico for awhile and was going to Seattle or Chicago and needed my car to be legal along the way.  Of course, I returned to Mexico within the specified timeframes.  I experienced no problems with either trip permit.

I got a 90-day trip plate for $15  USD in Douglas AZ.  I went to  the DMV office in Douglas, AZ.  It's not far from the border crossing. Address: 2050 Hwy 191, Douglas, AZ.

I got a 30-day trip plate for $28 USD in Laredo TX.  I went to the DMV in Laredo.  Address is 1110 Victoria St, Suite 107

I have insurance in Mexico thru Lewis & Lewis.  Before I leave Mexico to go over the border, I call Progressive Insurance and buy a short term (6-month) policy, which I cancel upon my return

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