Traveling To Mexico By Car

By BobbyRica | October 10, 2010

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Though getting to Mexico by air is less of a hassle, driving to Mexico can be a great experience too. Heck, my buddies and I usually trek to the border with my SUV. But lemme give you some advice. Driving to Mexico may be lots of fun, but don’t ever think that even though Mexico is a Third World country, you can get away with anything there. It’s rougher there than here. So think before you do anything stupid. Don’t fuck around.

When you and your friends decide to visit Mexico by car, you need to remember two things. Mind you, these two things are a MUST and when things get out of hand, they will save your ass, sooner or later. First thing you should do before you even think of driving to the border is to carry Mexican car insurance. If the shit hits the fan and you injure someone, chances are you’d have a taste of the pokey whether it was your fault or not. And a Mexican jail is something you should avoid like the clap. But the good thing is, if you have insurance, it saves you the humiliation and tears. Second thing: leave the country with the car that you enter in. Mexico has a high rate of illegally sold vehicles from the States. The Mexican government has then decided to use very strict regulations when Americans bring their cars to their borders.

When you are about to cross the border, you need to have the following documents ready: title or registration of your vehicle, a certified true copy of your birth certificate or passport, a major credit card and a valid driver’s license. All these must have the same name of the bearer of the documents. Yes, that means the driver. If the car belongs to your spouse or family member, you still can’t bring it with you to Mexico. Otherwise, get a notarized letter of permission from the bank, lien holder, rental agency or company that gave you the car. Expect to pay a $22 charge on your credit card after submitting your paperwork. When the immigration official hands you a car permit and a sticker, that means you can use your car to go around Mexico. But mind you, the permit is only valid for six months. When you return to the States, you will turn in the permit and sticker before the permit expires. Remember the car permit is different from your tourist visa in Mexico.

For getting insurance from Mexico, you can do this well in advance. You can have the paperwork done at a branch of Sanborn’s Mexican Insurance. You can find them online here. There will still be procedures to go through, but all your paperwork will be in order, and Sanborn’s express window will ensure that you get through relatively quickly. Remember to pay the $15 charge for this service. Also, when departing from Mexico, return the tourist card along with the car permit.

Now, when you’re in Mexico, try not to do anything stupid. In transit, you must always be in your car at all times when it is driven. No other person can borrow it from you without you as a passenger. Make sure your driver’s license is valid. You can also use an international driver’s license. The paperwork can be a hassle, but it saves you from any unnecessary trouble with the local authorities.

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