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Comprehensive Guide to Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for Vehicles in Mexico


Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for Vehicles in Mexico

A Temporary Import Permit (TIP) is essential for anyone planning to bring a vehicle into Mexico temporarily, excluding certain designated areas known as the “Free Zone.” This guide covers everything you need to know about obtaining and using a TIP, including requirements, the application process, and crucial regulations.

Geographical Exemptions for TIP

Free Zones

The Free Zones where a TIP is not required include:

  • North and South Baja

  • Areas along the US/Mexico border up to approximately 16 to 20 miles into Mexico

  • Parts of Sonora west of Highway 15 to Guaymas, and portions east of Highway 15, north of Highway 2

Quintana Roo

A TIP is not needed in Quintana Roo, but you must have a valid FMM tourist card. Vehicles arriving from the south (Belize) do not require a TIP either.

Temporary Importation Laws

Key Regulations

The most relevant sections of the temporary importation laws for bringing a foreign-registered car into Mexico are found in Articles IV.1 to IV.10. These regulations outline the legal requirements and restrictions for TIP holders.

Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for Vehicles in Mexico

Obtaining a Car Permit (TIP)

Validity for Tourists

A TIP issued to tourists is valid for up to 180 days. You can obtain your TIP at various Mexican consulates in the United States or at the border upon entry.

Consulates for TIP Application

Mexican consulates where you can apply for a TIP include:

  • Chicago, Illinois

  • Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Texas

  • Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Sacramento, California

  • Albuquerque, New Mexico

  • Denver, Colorado

  • Phoenix, Arizona

TIP Requirements

To apply for a TIP, you need:

  1. A valid US passport.

  2. One of the following documents:

  • Vehicle registration

  • Title of the vehicle

  • Financing contract and a letter of authorization

  • Receipt of payment to DMV and current insurance

  • Leasing contract in your name

Relationship Verification

You can only request a permit for a vehicle registered in your name or that of your spouse, child, or parent. Proof of relationship (birth certificate or marriage license) is required.

Fees and Security Deposit

The cost of the security deposit depends on the vehicle's model year:

  • 2007 and later: $400 USD

  • 2001-2006: $300 USD

  • 2000 and previous: $200 USD

Payment Methods

The deposit can be paid with cash or credit card. It will be refunded to the same credit card upon cancelation of the permit at Banjercito’s border offices.

Important Notice

Cancellation of the TIP can only be done at Banjercito’s offices at the border.

Entering Mexico with a Pre-Approved Temporary Resident Visa

Initial 30-Day TIP

If entering Mexico with a pre-approved Temporary Resident (TR) visa, your TIP is valid for 30 days. You must complete your TR visa and extend your TIP at Aduana before it expires.

Travel via Ferry

La Paz Baja Ferry Port

A TIP is not required in Baja, but it is required if taking the ferry to the mainland. La Paz Baja ferry port (Pichilinque) has a Banjercito office for TIP issuance.


RVs can obtain a TIP for 10 years if the person is a tourist, and no deposit is required.

Insurance Requirements

Mexican Insurance

Your vehicle insurance from the US or Canada is not valid in Mexico. You must obtain Mexican-specific vehicle insurance.

Financed or Leased Vehicles

You need a letter of permission from the lien holder to bring a financed or leased vehicle into Mexico. This letter must be provided when requesting a TIP.

TIP Application Process

At the Border

Obtaining a car permit at the border can take 30 minutes or more. You must also stop for an FMM tourist card.

Online Applications

Applying for a TIP online is generally discouraged due to potential complications in case of cancellations or incorrect information.

Document Submission

You may apply for a TIP between 10 and 60 days prior to entering Mexico. Once your payment and documents are accepted, the TIP will be emailed to you within 10 days.

Carrying the TIP

You must print the permit and carry it in your vehicle at all times. Vehicles weighing more than 3.5 metric tons (7,716 lbs GVRW) are not eligible for a TIP.

Extending a TIP

Validity and Extension

For a foreigner, the TIP expiration date matches the time allowed by immigration authorities. Temporary Residents must present the ANEXO 3 form and a copy of the resident card to Aduana before the TIP expires.

Salvaged Vehicles


Vehicles with a salvaged title are generally not allowed a TIP and cannot be nationalized. Insurance may be void in case of an accident with a salvaged vehicle.

TIP Status

To check your TIP status, click here.

Selling a Vehicle with a TIP in Mexico

Legal Restrictions

It is illegal to sell a foreign-plated car in Mexico. If you must scrap a vehicle, it must be done at specific locations, and proof of destruction must be provided to authorities.

Who May Drive Your Foreign-Plated Car

Authorized Drivers

Vehicles with TIPs can be driven by the importer, their spouse, parents, grandparents, siblings, children, or grandchildren, even if they are not foreigners. Foreigners who are tourists or Temporary Residents can also drive the vehicle.

Unauthorized Drivers

Mexican nationals such as maids, gardeners, or mechanics cannot drive your vehicle without the TIP holder being present. Violations can result in car confiscation and fines.


A Temporary Import Permit (TIP) is a crucial document for those looking to bring a vehicle into Mexico temporarily. Understanding the requirements, application process, and regulations ensures a smooth experience. Always verify the latest rules and consult with authorities when planning your trip

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