Friday, January 20, 2012

Importing your Foreign Vehicle into Puerto Morelos by Ferry

Update: Read the updated rules and regs for updated cars here.

Update Aug 2015: Readers now report that the boat leaves Miami on Tuesday and arrives in Puerto Morelos on Thursday.

I sat down with fellow Puerto Morelians, Tom and Lynette Klinge, to find out about their recent experience in shipping their car from Florida to Puerto Morelos.  I thought I would share their experience with you, in case you decide to import your vehicle.

Firstly, you will need to transport your car to Port Everglades (Miami), Florida as this is where the shipping company, Hyde Shipping, is located. Some choose to drive the vehicle to Florida, while others choose to have it hauled there.

Tom and Lynette chose to drive their vehicle to the Hyde Shipping Offices in Florida. They were quick to mention that their Hyde Shipping Representative, Joe Rodriguez, was extremely helpful and supportive during the shipping process. (I have included his contact information at the bottom of this article.)

At the time this article's writing, Hyde is shipping weekly with the boat leaving Florida on Thursday and arriving in Puerto Morelos on Tuesday.  Your vehicle will need to be in Florida several days prior to the designated departure day. (Tom and Lynette's vehicle actually arrived a day ahead of schedule, on Monday.) Your vehicle will need to be in Florida several days prior to the designated departure day.

Hyde Shipping will be responsible for shipping your vehicle from the dock in Florida to the dock in Puerto Morelos. Upon arrival, it is your responsibility to retrieve it and deal with the customs agents at the port in Puerto Morelos.

Once is your vehicle arrives in Cancun, you will need to go into Cancun's SAGARPA office to get your import letter stamped. The Hyde Representative, Joe Rodriguez, coordinated this with Tom and Lynette.

At this point, you will also need your Temporary Import Permit and Sticker for your Vehicle.  For this Permit & Sticker, you have 2 options:

1) You can apply for it prior to shipping your vehicle. Apply 3-4 weeks prior to your departure date to be certain that you have the paperwork in time.  To apply in for your import permit in advance, you will need to visit the Banjercito Bank Website.  You can apply online through their website.

Tom and Lynette applied for their permit in advance using Banjercito and said that it was definitely worth it.  They found their Banjercito Representative to be very helpful and it was quite an easy procedure.  Once the permit was shipped to them in the U.S., they affixed the sticker it to their vehicle window prior to having it transported by Hyde.

2) Alternatively, you can go to the customs office in Cancun and apply for your Temporary Import Permit & Sticker.  Your Hyde Shipping Representative can also guide you through this step of the process, but it may be well-worth doing it in advance to save yourself the hassle.

Tom and Lynette arrived at the Puerto Morelos Port with originals and copies of the following: Passports, Vehicle Title, the paperwork from the Temporary Import Permit, and the SAGARPA Letter.  (If you choose to receive your Temporary Import Permit in Cancun, rather than applying early, you will also need to bring this paperwork with you.)

After meeting with the customs agent and the port official, they paid approx. $45 USD for the one day that the car had been at the dock. (They charge a daily storage fee.)

Costs will vary depending on the type of vehicle you ship.  Tom and Lynette reported that their Temporary Import Permit was approx. $300 USD and their cost from Hyde Shipping was $750 USD.

Important Notes:
  1. Plan to ship your vehicle empty - no other household items in the vehicle.
  2. If you plan to leave your car in the country for longer than your original tourist visa (valid up to 180 days), you must have an FM3. See my post, Importing a Foreign Vehicle into Mexico, for more info.

Contact Info:

Hyde Shipping
Rep: Joe Rodriguez
Phone: 305.913.4950

Twitter and Facebook Readers can view the original post and leave comments at:

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.


  1. I would love to know where that customs office is in Cancun. We have had a vehicle here for 5 years and have been told that now we have to take the car out of the country in order to import it and get a new sticker. We went to the immigration office in Cancun and we have to apply for a letter of permission just to drive the car to Belize, and the application with a million documents has to first go to Mexico City to be processed. A royal hassle to say the least. And once we get the letter, we have 5 days to go to Belize and back.

  2. The Playa del Carmen US consulate rep is having a meeting in Puerto Adventuras on Feb. 7 specifically about car imports and the new immigration regulations. I've also wondered where you can get import stickers here or update Aduana with your current visa renewal. I've heard Punta Sam, but also heard that they may not issue them there any longer. I think Merida might be an option too. I have read that you're supposed to notify them beginning Aug 30, 2011 when your visa is renewed annually even if you already have a sticker.

  3. MikiandDaphne: I am not certain where it is. But, I have found that if you call the customs (on the Mexican customs website), they have been very helpful in answering questions.

    Anonymous: Could you email me info about the Feb 7th meeting? Thanks!!

    1. Amber, MikiandDaphne.

      A couple of weeks ago I imported 2 vehices at the same time - via Hyde Shipping - a small truck and a motorcycle. I spent a good deal of time dealing with Customs at Puerto Morelos and came away with a fair bit of knowledge. The Customs Office for TIP's is located at Puerto Juarez, next to the Harbour Masters building.The young lady working there has a decent knowledge of english and the process is quick and painless- as long as you have all your documentation, as well as copies of the same. They close at 3:30. The 'new' place to go to renew TIP's is the Aduana yard located between terminal 2 and 3 at the Cancun Airport,you can't miss it. I temporarily imported my truck and permanently imported my motorcyle - all on a 180 day tourist visa. I did a large portion of the legwork myself for the truck and the contents I shouldn't have brought which I had to fill out forms and import separately - at a cost of 44 pesos. I did hire a Customs Agent while at the Aduana in Puerto Morelos simply because my lack of Spanish made it impossible to complete by myself. For the articles that I wasn't suppose to bring in, The Customs Agents at Puerto Morleos were kind enough to provide the forms and list of documents required to retrieve it myself, as well as provide a young man to assist me who spoke english. To permanently import the motorcycle I used a Customs Broker out of Cancun that specialized in motorcycles. That was one of the most interesting parts of this experience - Brokers seem to specialize in certain import items. They did all the import paperwork in 5 days and the cost was quite reasonable. On the 6th day I meet them at the Aduana in Puerto Morelos and they brought my motorcyle out of the Customs yard in the back of a truck and 8 mexican men literally helped me lift my 600 lb motorcyle out of the back of the bigger truck into the back of my little truck - without a scratch. Cost was 12 red Tecates ( and 6 Coronas). The paperwork provided by the Broker was sufficent enough that I was able to walk into the DMV in Playa del Carmen and after going through the usual time consuming process - but with no real issues - I now have a Mexican registered motorcycle with a proper plate - all on a 180 tourists visa. We are currently working with an Auto Customs Agent out of Cancun to have the little truck taken out of my name and put into someone elses. We have been told it is possible but haven't completed the transaction as of it. I will keep you posted. Hope this info helps someone.

    2. Hi Daphne
      I am in the process to move from Miami to Cancun and would like to take my car along. Would you be available to give me some more pointers?

    3. Does anyone know the name or website of the customs broker in cancun that specializes in motorbikes thanks!

  4. I am glad that the couple in this article had a good experience with their shipment. From what I am learning from others whom have used this shipping company, and our experience, this was not the case. We shipped a Jeep and a golf cart, the experience is not one I would want others to encounter. Our bill of laden was not done right and it cost us a large sum of money to get our shipment. We had all our paperwork done right, all our permits, insurance. Hyde shipping messed up their paperwork which resulted in our shipment be held for ransom. When confronted with our situation the end result was that they were going to do nothing to help. Our end result was we either pay or we lose our shipment. I do not usually attack a situation like this, I use it as a learning experience and move on, but as I stated before we are not the only people this has happened to. This leads me to the conclusion that there is a problem. I have collected documents, both mine and others that show a pattern. I am writing because I do not want others to feel the helplessness that we encountered with this experience. If anyone would care to see the documentation collected feel free to contact me. Email:, and good luck with your shipping.

  5. the paperwork is worth it?? or i should sell my car and get another one in Cancun?
    i live in Montréal,Canada!!
    thanks for your help!

  6. we did this together with a friend of us, who shipped his car down, it was a lot of offices in one day, not easy because there was a spelling mistake in his name on the document, but in the end it worked out pretty good. not sure which company it was, but as always people in these offices are very friendly and without bribe it just worked out great. actually the biggest problem was that his car battery was empty and it was an automatic vehicle, so getting it out of the container ( almost same size like teh car) was not easy :)

  7. Hi
    We are moving to Cancun in September and the blog has very good information regarding the temporary import of vehicles. Can anyone help me with contact information of a customs broker in Morelos with whom you had a good experience to help me in the release process?