I have been asked about bringing a car to Mexico several times in the past month. So, I thought I would explain the procedure for any that are curious. Please note that this applies to cars being driven into Mexico with foreign (Canada, USA) license plates.
A) You are allowed a total of one imported vehicle per person. That vehicle's title must be in the name of the person importing it.
B) You are allowed to bring a foreign plated vehicle into the country if:
- You have a "non-immigrant" status on your travel visa. This means that your FMM is for "tourist" or FM3. If you have an FM2, you have "immigrant" status and are not allowed.
C) The questions that I have received have been about the length of time that your importation permit is valid.
- If you have an FM3: Your permit will be valid as long as your FM3 is valid. We have had our car here for several years and the permit has remained valid because we continually renew my husband's FM3.
- If you have a tourist visa: According to the lovely customs lady I spoke with to confirm this point over the phone ----- Your permit will be only valid for the length of time that your original tourist visa is valid.
In other words: If you bring a car into Mexico with a tourist visa, your visa can be authorized for a maximum of 180 days. As long as THAT PARTICULAR visa is valid, the vehicle import permit is valid. If you leave the vehicle behind and re-enter at a later date, the vehicle permit is no longer valid because your original tourist visa has expired.
D) When you leave Mexico with your vehicle, be sure to stop at the aduana offices to cancel your permit. This way, when you desire to re-enter at a later date, you will be free to do so.
For more info (in English) and a toll-free number that you can call with any questions, check out this website.
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Amber Pierce-Schulz is the Broker/Owner of Mayan Riviera Properties, specializing in Puerto Morelos Real Estate and Puerto Morelos Vacation Rentals. We are members of AMPI and Federally Certified Realtors.