To drive a car into Mexico from the U.S., you will need a tourist card and a temporary vehicle importation permit, depending on where you cross. Some border areas ask for these, some do not. Both can be obtained at the border.  

Documents Needed

The following documents are needed for a Mexico vehicle permit and Mexico tourist card:

  • Proof of car ownership
  • Proof of registration
  • An affidavit from any lien holders
  • A valid driver’s license
  • Proof of citizenship

Vehicle Permit

Vehicle permits cost $44 and must be paid with a credit card. If you do not have a credit card, a bond and a processing fee will be applied. Permits must be displayed on the windshield during your stay.

Tourist Card

A tourist card can be obtained at the border with a U.S. driver’s license and proof of citizenship. Tourist cards are valid for up to 180 days.

Re-Entering the U.S.

Anyone reentering or leaving the country must present a passport, including U.S. citizens. All children and infants are also required to have their own passports. If you are taking your children abroad, you must provide proof of legal rights for them. Divorcees need divorce and custody papers and a notarized letter of consent from the other parent.

You may bring back up to $800 worth of purchases made from Mexico without having to pay taxes on those items.

*This information is provided to the best of our knowledge, for detailed information, please contact the Department of Homeland Security.