Vehicle Permits

Bonding, Getting and Canceling

Last Update 13 December 2014

The following information applies only to mainland México.
The rules for Baja are different. Vehicle permits are not required in Baja.

New Bond Requirements

Getting a Permit  updated 13 December 2014

Canceling the Permit updated 22 August 2014

Questions for Banjercito  If you have questions, e-mail this bi-lingual answer man: Erik Fernandez Carranza <>

The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) has issued a decree which states that beginning on June 11th, 2011 anyone applying for a temporary import permit for vehicles must make a deposit in the amount determined by the following table:

Vehicle Model Year

Amount to be paid in Mexican Pesos based on applicable exchange rate

2007 and later

USD$ 400

2001 until 2006

USD$ 300

2000 and earlier

USD$ 200

This deposit is compulsory and can be paid by credit card, debit card, or cash (in US Dollars only).

Users must keep in mind that if the deposit is charged to a credit card, the charge will be made in Mexican Pesos and will be calculated based on the exchange rate of the day on which the payment is made. This deposit will be refunded to the same credit card on the next banking business day after the vehicle is fully returned and based on the exchange rate of that day.

The vehicle must be returned on time and within the time period stated on the temporary import permit. If the vehicle is returned after the stated time period, the entire deposit amount will be transferred to the Office of the Treasury on the day following the expected return date, as allowed by current law.

This bonding requirement has a collateral effect on your vehicle permit when you renew or change your visa.  This is discussed  in Living in México with Your Car

What happens if your credit card is lost or stolen and you cancel it?  Can the refund still be made?  Yes.  You must notify Banjercito of this fact and provide an alternate account number where the money can be reimbursed.

In addition to the bond, you must pay a fee of about $50 dollars for the permit.

Getting a Permit

There are three ways to get your vehicle permit -- certain consulates in the USA, via the internet, and at the border.  Getting a permit at the border used to be a breeze -- wait time of 30 minutes or less.  Now long delays are being reported (two hours or more) because of the delays caused by the new bonding procedures. Getting the permit in advance is an attractive idea.

These Consulates have a Banjercito office where a permit can be obtained.

Arizona -- Phoenix

California --  Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino

Colorado -- Denver

Illinois -- Chicago

New Mexico --  Albuquerque

Texas -- Austin, Dallas, Houston

This Banjercito website is where you can order your vehicle permit to be delivered to your home in advance of your trip to Mexico.

The first panel allows you to select your preferred language. If you select English, a second panel will present additional options. Select Americano.

After wadding through a bunch of tedium, you will "sign" your name agreeing to follow the rules.

Along the way, you will be required to fill out an INM form.
If it comes up in Spanish, click on the British flag in the upper left corner. Later the Banjercito application will ask for the file number generated by this INM form. There is an explanation of what to do with this INM form when you cross the border.

Remember to take with you the original permit and the originals of any documents you used for your permit. Your vehicle may be inspected by Mexican authorities when entering Mexico or anytime during your stay.

The online application process will tell you to send in copies of the documents.  The copies can be sent via snail mail, e-mail or fax.  If you fail to send the documents, Banjercito will hound you until you comply.

Along with the permit, Banjercito will send you a sticker, which you must place on the inside of the vehicle’s windshield, next to the rear view mirror. This should be completed before entering Mexico. When entering Mexico, an immigration and customs inspection will be performed.

You can apply for the permit up to 60 days before your scheduled trip to Mexico and no later than 10 days before your trip. This ensures that the permit will arrive by express carrier (FedEx, etc) in time for the trip.

When you receive your permit sticker, you will also receive a note requesting three things: copies of the personal information page of your passport and your vehicle title.  You will also need the send a signed "Promise to Return" letter.  You may send this material by mail, or you may e-mail scans to the provided e-mail address. You must do this before the permit expires, or you will never be allowed to get an advance permit in the future. When applying at the border, the following rules and instruction apply. 

This was copied from a Banjercito website that is no longer on-line with some additions by me.

You must have in your possession originals and one copy of the required documents.

I. Personal documents: Depend on the nationality of the person importing the vehicle.

If the importer is a Mexican citizen, provide one of the following documents:

• Resident alien card

• Proof of work authorization in the foreign country. Authorization must be valid for more than one year.

• Foreign passport as proof of foreign citizenship in addition to the Mexican.

• Dual Citizenship: Certificate of naturalization or passport from the foreign country and a Mexican passport.

Note: Mexican citizenship laws establish that Mexicans entering or leaving Mexican territory must identify themselves as Mexican citizens without exception, even if they hold multiple citizenships.


If the importer is a foreign citizen, provide 

• Foreign passport

Note: When entering Mexican territory, you must first apply for a tourist visa (Visitante) or have an Residente Temporal visa


II. Vehicle documents:  

If you are the owner of the vehicle, you will need a document that certifies legal ownership of the vehicle -- one of the following options:

• Vehicle title

• Valid vehicle registration certificate

• Invoice

• Notarized permission to take the vehicle outside of the country from the leasing company or the financing institution.

If you are not the owner of the vehicle, you will need any one of the following options:

• Family property: A document that proves ownership and a document that proves the importer’s relationship with the vehicle owner such as spouse or children. Valid documents include marriage or birth certificates.

• If the vehicle is the property of a company, you must present a document that proves ownership and a document stating that the importer is an employee of that company.

• A leasing contract which includes the importer's name

Important aspects to keep in mind for the temporary importation of a vehicle:

a)  A temporary import is only possible for one vehicle at a time. Except an RV towing a vehicle can both be registered by the same person.  This does not apply to pickup campers.

b)  The maximum load capacity for a temporary vehicle import is 3.5 tons, not including the weight of the vehicle.

c)  You may tow with your vehicle one to three off-road motorcycles, beach cars or dune buggies, or four-wheel motorcycles or ATVs, equivalent to the number of people traveling inside the vehicle. You must be able to provide proof of ownership for the vehicles being transported and they must be returned along with the towing or transporting vehicle.

Street-legal vehicles are not allowed under this provision.  Special permits are available for towing street-legal motorcycles for sporting events.  Contact Banjercito for details via the e-mail listed at the top of this page.

d)  It is not permitted to sell the temporarily imported vehicles on Mexican territory or use them for commercial activities.

e)  The vehicle must be removed from México within the authorized timeframe as stated in the Temporary Import Permit if it was registered using a Visitante 

f) If it was registered using a Residente Temporal;, the registration remains valid so long as the visa is valid, including renewals. HOWEVER you must notify Aduana when you renew your RT.  Read here for details on how to do this.

III. Service and bond fees:

Credit and Debit cards:

• The card must be issued in the importer’s name.

• The card must be valid internationally.

• The card must be issued in a foreign country. [not  from Mexico]

• The card must have the Visa or MasterCard logos. Other cards are not accepted.

• The card must be activated to accept charges made in México.

Cash: Only USA dollars are accepted for the fees. 

Canceling your permit when you leave México.

Make sure to visit a BANJERCITO module located at the border crossing when you are leaving Mexico. Present your vehicle and the Temporary Import Permit in order to register the vehicle as having returned to the country of origin. BANJERCITO will issue a return certificate.  They will then return your cash bond or issue a credit to your card if that was used for the bond. It usually takes three days for the refund to be posted on your card account.

If the credit card you used for the permit is no longer in use, you will need to fill out a form to authorize the refund to be credited to a different card.

Your cash deposit may not be returned on the spot.  If their cash box is empty when you checkout, you may be required to return the next business day to get your money.

It is very important that you complete the vehicle return operation. If you don’t complete this step, Mexican authorities will assume that your vehicle remains in Mexico, which can cause problems in the future. The vehicle is considered returned, when you physically present the vehicle at the border module and the authorities validate the return from Mexico.

Be sure to keep this receipt and bring it with you if you drive to Mexico in the future.  You may need it to prove that you removed your car last time.  Screw-ups with their computer system do occur!

If you left without canceling the permit and find that you cannot return with the car, there is a way to get it off the computer.  It is neither simple nor fast, but it is possible.  Aduana says it will take about three months. Don't hold your breath.  There have been reports of a year-long wait.  If you need more information, call 1 877 448 8728 from the USA or Canada.  They only speak Spanish.

You will need to write a notarized letter in Spanish explaining why you cannot return with the vehicle.  Be sure to include your contact information -- mail address, phone and e-mail. 

The submittal should include a copy of the ownership document you used to get the permit (title, registration card, etc) and the following supporting evidence:

If it was wrecked:

Police and insurance company official reports

Photographs showing the damage. Include a picture of the windshield sticker still in place as well as a picture showing the VIN.

Remove the sticker and include it along with the permit paper.

If it was stolen:

Police and insurance company official reports

The original permit paper

If it was sold (or lost it in a divorce):

Proof of the sale and any other evidence that the transaction took place outside México.

Remove the sticker and include it along with the permit paper.

Be sure to keep copies of everything you send to Aduana.

Send the package of information to:

Administración General de Aduanas
Administración Central de Operación Aduanera
Administración de Operación Aduanera “3”
Av. Hidalgo No. 77, Módulo IV, 1° piso, Del. Cuauhtémoc
Col. Guerrero, C.P. 06300, México D.F.


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