Updates to Aduana, INM & Banjercito Procedures for Visas and Importing Cars – The Article

 Sidelight:  This article describes how things work with Aduana & Banjericito at the Belize-Mexico border outside Chetumal.   If you want more general information about Temporarily Importing vehicles using a Temporary Import Permit (TIP), or  permanently importing vehicles,  or driving issues in Mexico,  please see our main article on Driving in Mexico at:

Continuing with this Article:
We spent yesterday afternoon (June 22, 2012) discussing issues about Mexican visa and temporary import permits with 2 different INM border agents, 3 different Aduana officials (including 30 minutes with a supervisor) and with 2 Banjercito personnel and a Banjercito supervisor at the Chetumal / Belize border: Subteniente Lopez / Santa Elena border crossing.

Drive to Chetumal, exit at the Subteniente Lopez / Santa Helena / Belize border exit from the highway before you get to Chetumal city. Follow signs to the Santa Elena (Helena)/Subteniente López crossing. At the border crossing, go just a little past (50 feet?) the little INM office at the border and make a U-turn into the Banjercito/Aduana parking lot on your left. There are only about 5 parking spaces, so it’s not a big lot. Don’t cross the bridge.

Banjercito employees start the process of canceling your TIP, using your passport, vehicle registration/title, and TIP document. They take a foto of your vehicle VIN and they remove the TIP sticker, and cancel the TIP.
You then have the choices of:
~ Drive back into Q. Roo, and keep the foreign-plated vehicle in Q, Roo, because it is a Free Zone. (need to maintain current US/Canadian plates & registration though)
~ Drive into Belize’s Free Zone of Corazol and sell the vehicle to some business owner/manager there.
~ Sell the vehicle to a foreigner who has R. Temporal visa, and they get their own TIP.
~ Walk/stroll into the Free Zone of Corazol for some truly duty-free shopping – at prices far far below the airport Duty Free shops. Liquor can be especially cheap.

Here are summaries of the key points from our border visit with Aduana, INM, and Banjerctio:
~ The Banjercito officials were very emphatic about encouraging people with Temporary Import Permits for vehicles, that they start updating their INM permits process as early as possible (30 days before the expiration date), and they said to notify Aduana in person, in writing, of the extension of the car permit expiration date by AT LEAST a week before the expiration date, and 2 weeks if possible. (This means notifying Aduana of the new expiration date at least 22 days before the official date reported on Aduana websites.) . . .

They said that the system between Aduana and Banjercito for updating expiration dates is not always working rapidly, and the STRONGLY ENCOURAGED notifying Aduana in person with an official letter long before official “15 days after the issuance date” of the renewed INM permit.

~ Talking with the Banjercito supervisor, and directly watching her enter the car permit information for a lost paper copy of a permit (still had a valid sticker and current FM2 – and I had a clear view to read all of the Banjercito computer data entry screens and search results), they clearly use our passport numbers to track our temporary import permits. The supervisor typed in the owner’s passport number, and all of the key data regarding him and his permit and his vehicle popped up.

~ Even with an intact sticker, valid FM2, official TIP permit number & VIN etc printed out from their system, and the Banjercito personnel confirming the VIN and validity of the TIP ~ they required that the owner abandon (apply to cancel) the old existing TIP (because of the loss of the paper copy of the permit). After cancelling the existing TIP, Aduana and Banjercito required a fresh $400 deposit (previous deposit was forfeited because he was beyond the 15 day grace period after receiving his new FM2 – lost even though the prior deposit was made back in 2008).

~ Even though gringos report that they must physically leave Mexico to renew an FMM, we got 1 adult and 1 teenager new FMMs, (surrendering their old FM2s) at the small INM office on the Mexico side of the border, without leaving Mexico and with no overnight stay in Belize.

~ All of the info in this post fits what we have reported in past Yucalandia articles, so, we were pleased to travel to the Belize border with the friend to act as translator & facilitator – giving multiple chances to confirm in person in detailed discussions of some contested items regarding INM, Aduana, and Banjercito procedures – by asking supervisors of each gob. org. specific questions, repeated several times with slightly different wording each time, to confirm that we understood.

If you’d enjoy reading more details on getting a Mexican Visa, Importing a Car, or the Care and Feeding of Your TIP (Temporary Import Permit), then check out these articles:
Moving to Mexico: FMM, FM2, or FM3?
Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico
New Requirements for Bringing Foreign-Plated Cars into Mexico: Banjercito Rules

~ After 4 years of occasional traffic stops, and multiple checks at police and military retens in Mexico, for the first time ever, the owner of the vehicle was asked to show his paper copy of the Temporary Import Permit. This happened today at the Q. Roo – Yucatan intrastate border near Dziuche. (We did not offer him the permit, he asked for it immediately after seeing the Texas plates on the van.) The Aduana agent at the state border checked the paper permit information against the new sticker and the VIN, and waved us through…. We mention this because he said that we must have documentation of the TIPs new expiration date, and the paper copy of the TIP, and the sticker in place, all with us in the vehicle, or the vehicle could be confiscated. The owner grinned, because this was the first time in 4 years that he was completely legal – as of just yesterday afternoon.  

~ Consequences of trying to use the mail to register a new TIP permit expiration date:
The Banjercito computer program automatically confiscates the deposits 15 days after the permit’s “old” expiration date. If the expat waits until the end of their FM2 or FM3 permit’s expiration date to start renewing their INM permit, and INM takes 2 weeks to process the renewal, then there really is no time left for expats to use the mail to deliver a letter on-time to Aduana in Mexico City before Banjercito confiscates the deposit.

This means that it does not seem possible to use the mail to effectively make the systems work.

Is it better to do things in ways-that-work, or is it better insist that we are “right” about some theoretical legal point? (See perspectives below about theory vs. practice).

~   ALL of the agents and supervisors we talked with at Santa Helena – Subteniente López, Q. Roo border crossing treated us WONDERFULLY. INM, Aduana, and Banjercito agents were helpful, prompt, patient, very friendly, and very professional. (thrifty, brave, clean & reverent?)  Every single one provided detailed precise easy-to-follow information of exactly what we needed.

We actually arrived a bit late (4:50 PM) at the Banjercito office at the border in the town of Santa Helena, as they officially close at 5:00 PM.   It was already 5:00 PM when we finished the Q&A session with them about the car permit stuff, and they could have simply gone home for the day.

  Instead, the Banjercito supervisor told us exactly which Aduana office to go to (upstairs), whom to see, and she offered to stay late to print out the proof of the old TIP permit to submit to Aduana, and then to process the new Banjercito permit, so we would not have to wait in the long lines the following morning.

The Aduana personnel were also very helpful: personally drafting and printing the special request letter we needed to cancel the old lost permit, plus Aduana’s personnel made multiple foto-copies (of driver’s license front and back, etc) for us to give to Banjercito. In the meantime, while Aduana was doing their entries and paperwork, the Banjercito took fotos of the VIN, removed the sticker, and pre-prepared ALL their paperwork, (anticipating Aduana’s approvals),  so they were completely ready to finalize the Banjercito processes immediately after Aduana finished their parts.

Even though the Banjercito window was officially closed, they kept a side-door open for us, and gave us lots of TLC.

Due to people staying late and going-above-and-beyond, we walked straight from Aduana to the side-door of Banjercito with our new papers, where we simply gave Banjercito a credit card ~ bing, bang, boom ~ the process was done smoothly with no waiting in lines. We were back on the road by 5:45.

KUDOS to ALL of them !

~ Maybe a little honey really does go a lot further than vinegar…? ~

(Sweet-talk & polite deferential respectful behavior vs. accusations, pressuring, dumping-frustration, and attempts at bullying ???) We consistently choose and seek ways to pull-the-levers, twist the knobs, & push-the-buttons to get our pellets and avoid the shocks.

~ According to the Chetumal, Quintana Roo Banjercito office** supervisor: Once the deposit has been confiscated, she said they really cannot refund it. She said that Banjercito has NOT been receiving rapid/timely updates from Aduana of expat’s permit’s new expiration dates, so she emphasized that it is the car owner’s responsibility to file their notice of the new expiration dates with Aduana in-person at least a week before the annual expiration date to make the systems work.

Hope this helps clarify some confusion over how things really work,

** The Chetumal, Quintana Roo Banjercito, INM, and Aduana offices we used were actually the border offices at the Subteniente López crossing on the Mexican side of the crossing between into the Free Zone of Corozal, Belize.

Please Continue to Make Comments and Replies to Help Keep This Information Current! 
Disclaimer: This information is not meant as legal advice. It is for educational and informational purposes only. Government policies vary between States and offices, and Mexican Government officials have broad discretion in how they individually enforce policies, so, your personal experiences may vary. See a professional for advice on important issues.


If you like this article,  check out our main article on Driving in Mexico & Importing Cars into Mexico at:


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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
Steven M. Fry

Read on, MacDuff!

54 Responses to Updates to Aduana, INM & Banjercito Procedures for Visas and Importing Cars – The Article

  1. Pingback: Updates to Aduana, INM & Banjercito Procedures for Visas and Importing Cars | Surviving Yucatan

  2. slilley says:

    Thanks always for your timely articles. Especially like your tips on behavior. Respect and politeness are important in all aspects of living.

  3. Jay says:

    Hi. What year is this activity takng place? 2010 or 2012?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Jay,
      These changes were put into place in July, 2011. This means that by next week, a year will have passed since the rules were put into place, and all expats with vehicles in Mexico with Temporary Import Permits should have registered their 2011 or 2012 INM permit changes (new expiration dates) with Aduana.

  4. Mike Welch says:

    question my wife and I are driving down in July and I have my FM3, I know the sticker is good for a year so when I re-new are you saying I have to drive all the way back from Cozumel to the border where I crossed re-new the TIP sticker

  5. Nancy Walters says:

    This yearly registration was in place many years ago and then no more. The last time I checked it was before 7/11 and I was told as long as my FM2 was valid, so was my permit. I got this info in Progreso with a piece of paper showing the law to show to the police if I was stopped. So now you are saying they have changed the law again back to how it was years ago and we have to do this yearly. I have a car I drove down in 2008 and is no longer road worthy to take out of Merida. I have heard the tales of junking the car and removing the VIN numbers, sticker and also the paper that accompanied the sticker to begin with and all must be returned to the border you crossed to get into the country. My mechanic told me I can not drive to Chetumal with the car, let alone Reynosa. Any comment on that, anyone.

  6. Nancy Walters says:

    Thanks for the info. To my knowledge I have never been charged on my card for the fee since I entered the country in 2008. I have not driven a lot like I used to in the old days and now the car is tired and should be put out of its misery. I like the part in the very long and informative article between you and Rolly about taking it to the aduana and saying “It’s all yours”. I will never be bringing a US plated car in again so all I worried about is them charging my CC for a 1994 van with over 200,000 miles on it. I am sure you understand where I am at. All my many years in Mexico and I finally am stuck with a car I can’t get rid of. Darn.

    • yucalandia says:

      I have a friend who is going through this exact process with his near-dead car. The Aduana website information is ultimately not helpful. Extended discussions with 2 different Aduana offices at Progreso (with 2 hours of waiting and discussions) were NOT fruitful. They ultimately told the friend he has to go to the Hacienda office in Merida. We (Yucalandia) are closely tracking (and participating) in this car disposal process, and when we find out exactly how it actually works, we will write an article giving a report of detailed instruction on how to do it.

      If the hassles are too large, the friend says he will use our local junkyard (Dehuesedero) connections to make the vehicle disappear. Like you, the friend will never do another temporary import, so, there is no-harm / no-foul for allowing the car’s permit to linger unused on the Aduana records.

      I will try to remember to send you an email at Hotmail when we resolve the problems with the friend’s car.

  7. Nancy Walters says:

    Bless you and I feel for your friend, Twelve years in Mexico and I never dreamed I would be in this position. The last dying car I drove to Texas from San Miguel where I lived in 1999 with a battery that smelled like rotten eggs, a rigged system to bypass the defunct computer and a brand new engine. I made it, ditched it, and came back on a bus. Didn’t own a car again until I returned to the US where I bought this one used in 2002. It has been a great van going to San Miguel, back to Oregon and then here.
    Thank you so very much for keeping me informed on this really awful situation.
    And by the way, thanks for cooking at the picnic last Tuesday.

  8. J_CozDiver says:

    Hi. I am a wee bit confused. I live in Cozumel and just drove my car down from US and crossed the border at Nueveo Laredo. I drove all the way to Cozumel (except for the ferry part! 😉 My sticker is good for six months. I was told I would have to drive to the nearest border to renew my sticker, which would be Chetumal. Is this correct? Would I also need to notify someone in the office 2-3 weeks before i go there to renew? Confused why you directed a previous posted to do it in Cancun. Sorry If I didn’t read this clearly. Gracias!!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi J_Coz,
      You correctly understood the part about going to Chetumal (or other border crossings with both Aduana and Banjercito offices). I don’t know where the part about going to Cancun came in.

      The Banjercito supervisor at Chetumal advised starting FM2 or FM3 renewals several weeks early, to give time for Aduana to complete their process and still have time to notify Banjercito before the expiration date (plus 14 days) passes. Since you are NOT renewing your auto import permit, you only need to arrive at the border before Banjercito closes on the date of your permit, to preserve your deposit. You are NOT renewing your auto permit – because the permit expires when your FMM visitor permit expires (6 months).

      You get your new FMM at the little INM kiosk window at the point of the Mexico side of the border, just before you leave Mexico. Auto permit: You will need to turn in your old auto permit to Banjercito before 5 PM, (drive through the Mexico exit point and then, before you enter Belize, ~ do not cross the bridge ~ instead, between the 2 Aduana buildings, make a U turn to park in the small Banjercito parking lot (in front of the Banjercito service windows) just off the right of the lanes for entering Mexico Aduana’s checkpoint for coming into Mexico.

      Banjercito personnel will remove your sticker, and take your new FMM (& copies of documents) to process to give you a new auto permit and new sticker.
      Travel safe, maybe stop at Bacalar to have a nice lunch by the lagoon with siete colores de agua.

  9. Christine says:

    Steve, I’m seeing conflicting information. I’m leaving on Wednesday the 26th to go to Reynosa where I hope to renew my Vehicle Import Permit and FMM without going back to the US and turn around to come back to SMA. Hopefully this will allow me to keep the original deposit with them and not go through another credit card charge? The permit/visa are due to expire on the 27th. One piece of your post says that some people have been able to do this. I found one blogpost from 2011 that said there was no Banjercito office in Reynosa! That’s a bit unnerving…everything else says there is.

    Since this is the first trip I’ve made to this border (came in Agua Prieta in April and drove down the west coast), I’m taking a Mexican national with me…a ranch hand I know…so I’m not alone. And the dog is coming too. I guess if they make me go over the border I’ll have to leave Julio and my dog Ben (who has papers but from April) on the Mexican side and come back in?

    Any comment? Does my plan sound feasible, or have problems. Thanks,Christine

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Christine,
      We have not been through the border crossing at Reynosa, but a quick search of the Banjercito site on the internet shows 5 pages of their official sucursales. The Reynosa entries are labelled

      “Plataforma Fiscal Reynosa” ( http://www.banjercito.com.mx/site/siteBanjer/Bicentenario/PDF/Modulos_iitv.pdf )
      Puesto: Encargado de Modulo (Gerencia = management office)
      Horarios: Lunes a Domingo 24 horas
      Tel: 899 922 4860

      Nuevo Amanecer
      Puesto: Encargado de Turno (Where you file apps for your permit)
      Horarios: Lunes a Domingo 6:00 – 00.00
      Tel: 899 921 1901

      The addresses of these 2 Banjercito offices in Reynoso can be found on the webpage listed above. If you are concerned, then type the address of “Nuevo Amanecer” into google maps, and zoom in to see the actual location relative to the border and other main streets.

      When you turn in your old FMM, it causes the existing vehicle temporary import permit (TIP) to expire. You will have to get a new TIP and pay a fresh deposit. If you used a credit card, then you have to wait to get your old deposit back.

      You should not have to leave Mexico to get a new FMM and new TIP.
      Happy Trails,

      • Christine says:

        Thanks Steve. That’s a load off my mind!!!


      • Kim says:

        Hi Steve
        So here’s the deal….I drove a van and utility trailer down from Canada last March and have done everything that needed to be done with my FM3 and Aduana because I left both vehicles in Mexico. In a couple of weeks I will be driving down again with a different van and trailer, and my motorcycle will be inside the utility trailer. My Questions are:
        1. Am I allowed to have 2 vans, 2 trailers, plus my motorcycle attached to my single FM3? Or should these new additions be registered in a different person’s name (such as my wife)?
        2. Will Aduana have issues with me having all of these vehicles registered and renewed on an annual basis?
        3. Do I have to get special documentation for my motorcycle since I am essentially “shipping” it across the border in my trailer?
        Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated….Thanks a lot!

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Kim,
        1. No, only one van allowed per FM3. They track this by computer database using your passport ID no, so there is no wiggling through on this point. They might let you slide by with multiple trailers – as Aduana tends to generally pay little attention to trailers. Aduana actually gave us some poor Canadians trailer title and paperwork by accident when we imported our truck and trailer. It was late in the day when we noticed their error, and they just told us to go on through, with the wrong paperwork on the trailer…

        2. No issues, because you are allowed only one car/van/pickup truck.
        …. but you mention your wife….

        Go back to #1, and register your 2’nd vehicle, trailer, and bike under your wife’s FM3.
        But you then need to treat her well, or she gets that whole schmear…

        3. Special documentation would mean a title, a current registration, and a letter from any lien/loan holders granting you permission to temporarily import the bike into Mexico.

        Comments or Suggestions:
        Do not take the coastal route, by NOT crossing at Matamoros. It is much slower, has 1,000’s of trailer damaging topes, and goes through very risky areas in Tamaulipas and Vera Cruz. Instead take the central route, crossing at Bridge 2 in Laredo, cross at 7 AM or 8 AM, do NOT stop in Nuevo Laredo, except for Customs, Immigration, and Banjercito. Do not enter Monterey, take the bypass and take toll roads when possible. If you are heading to south eastern Mexico, take the Arco Norte from outside Queretaro over to Pueblo. Try not to drive at night on unfamiliar roads in Mexico. Don’t accept candy from strangers, just exchange smiles.

        Actually, I wrote a long a detailed article for Yucatan Living on this. See: http://www.yucatanliving.com/destinations/driving-through-mexico-to-yucatan.htm

        Also check out our articles on the quirks and tricks to driving in Mexico by going to the right of the black navigation bar below our header Foto of the Maya ruins at Edzna – and click or hover on “Driving in Mexico” to see a drop down menu of our other articles on driving here.

        Happy Trails,

  10. Kim says:

    Hi Steve
    Yeah, last March we actually followed the exact route that you recommend through central Mexico – the Arco Norte is a great highway! Construction delays were brutal as we made our way up into the Yucatan but otherwise our passage was hassle free and quite enjoyable. Here’s hoping for the same this time around…
    Thanks for your advice again….

    • yucalandia says:

      Glad to help.

      Keep the comments coming, because conditions in Mexico can and do change rapidly.
      Current first-hand reports from reliable expats are the best way to help all of us.

  11. Kim says:

    Hi again Steve
    Further to my last post, is it permissible to add my motorcycle to my FM3 when I already have a van temporarily imported on my FM3? Or do I have to bring my motorcycle in on my wife’s FM3 (since there are no vehicles attached to her FM3 yet…)?

  12. Kim says:

    Hi again Steve
    Please clarify… I am temporarily importing a van, utility trailer (with a motorcycle inside) with my FM3 because the actual owner already has 2 vehicles temporarily imported under his name. He currently has all 3 vehicles insured under his name in Canada but I have purchased Mexican insurance under my name to facilitate a smooth temporary importation at the border. Will the authorities take exception to his name being on the Canadian insurance policy, and MY name being on the Mexican policy? Should I get his Canadian insurance policy transferred into my name?
    Thanks for your input!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Kim,
      No, because Mexico does not care about your Canadian insurance. You have a good plan.

      Are all the vehicle titles and registrations in your name? If not, get notarized letters from your hubby describing your legal relationship, and saying that as his spouse, he grants you all rights and responsibilities for the vehicles and that he grants you full permission to take his vehicles into Mexico, indefinitely.

  13. colin says:

    I have not seen any comments on junking a foreign plated car in Mexico
    My 1999 Ford is presently in a mechanico’s to replace both heads The cost is more than the car is worth so I want to send it to a Yonke or have the mechanic buy it.
    What is the procedure for scrapping it (forms, Aduana etc,etc) Any help would be great Thanks

    • yucalandia says:

      I have a friend who has just cut up a school bus/RV for scrap. He has a Notario writing him a letter to Aduana certifying that the vehicle was junk, as determined by a mechanic, and certifying that the vehicle has been cut up for scrap and does not exist anymore. I think the letter says that the vehicle was not been sold, but has been destroyed. Include the vehicle make, model, year, and VIN, along with the permit number, the passport number and name used to register the vehicle with Aduana, and the original STICKER and original Aduana permit.

      According to the friend: Submit all of this to Aduana, with a cover letter (with all the data mentioned above) that asks Aduana to cancel your old Temporary Import Permit. You may have to submit this application to surrender the Temporary Permit, in person, to your local Aduana office. Airport Aduana offices do not handle these things. Be sure to get and KEEP the receipt/documents that Aduana gives you proving that the permit has been successfully canceled.

  14. Pingback: Unexpected Effects of Having a Trailer with Your Car’s Temporary Import Permit (TIP) | Surviving Yucatan

  15. Ian says:

    Hi Steve –

    Congratulations on a really well organised and informative web site.

    I am writing to ask your opinion on my “special” case – it seems everybody has a “special” case …

    I have a 1973 VW Camper Bus that I last imported to Mexico as a tourist (under an FMT) in JUN2003 at Sub Teniente Lopez, QRoo where I had driven across from Belize. They gave me 30 days. On the FMT copy I have there is a stamp and cash register notation showing that I paid MXP 205 to Banco Mercantil del Norte in Cancun three days after crossing into Mexico. I left Mexico BY PLANE within the time limit of my FMT and have been back many times since (by plane) with no problems.

    My question is how can I regularise this situation ? Either get a new permit to make the vehicle legally drivable in Mexico under some Temporary regime or perhaps now it is 30 years old, I could even import it permanently ? What kind of sanctions if I ‘fess up to the vehicle over staying its permit to be in Mexico by … 11 years … The vehicle is in great shape, so the scrap yard route is not appealing, even if I have to remove the vehicle from the territory, that’s OK but how can I get permission to move / drive it to the border for that purpose, I would not want to drive a non legal and therefore uninsurable vehicle in Mexico.

    I do have all the original papers from Aduana, Banjercito even a copy of the original FMT with cashier stamp and the sticker is still on the windshield (I think).

    Maybe you have come across a similar situation and can share solutions that have worked for someone else ?

    Thanks in advance,


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Ian,
      The VW bus became officially illegal the first time you flew out of Mexico (when you surrendered/cancelled your old FMT).

      You do have good options:
      1. Drive the vehicle ONLY in Quintana Roo, and get valid current US (state) registration and plates. Under this option, you take advantage of the special rules that Q. Roo is a Free Zone, and expats can drive fully US-licensed foreign plated vehicles within the state. You would take the VW to the Belize border at Chetumal/Subteniente López – surrender the old paper TIP and windshield sticker, without leaving Mexico (stay on the Mexico side of the border crossing), and then drive back into Q. Roo.

      2. Use a special customs broker agent to do a paper-only import of your old VW, which seems to cost about $2,000 USD …

      3. Take a scenic drive to the US-Mexican border, and do an normal permanent import (including surrendering your old TIP) for … $800? => Get a quote first from a Customs Broker before driving. To be legal driving across Mexico, get a 5 business day Retorno Seguro permit from Hacienda/SAT before traveling.


  16. Ian says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for your reply.
    Just after posting I found your section on “Retorno Seguro” which was very helpful as I did not know about that method of mitigating my illegality .. how very considerate and reasonable the Mexican system appears to be and how very informative their government web sites are.

    Your reply does prompt two further questions:

    1) To keep vehicle and drive within Q.Roo only, as a foreign registered vehicle, is that option available only to Foreign Tourists (FMT) or also available to FM3 and other status ?

    2) Why the $ 1,200 (USD ?) discrepancy between your option (2) importing at Chetumal border (?) and your option (3) importing at US border crossing ?
    Also, does one have to be an FM3 or Mexican national to be the permanent importer into Mexico? i.e have a Mexican SS number or equivalent.
    Could I permanently import it as a FMT / foreigner ?

    Thanks again,

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Alan,
      1. Either Visitantes, Temporary Residents, or Permanent Residents are allowed to operate their foreign-plated vehicles in Q. Roo.

      2. The Aduana offices at the Belize border crossing near Chetumal do NOT do permanent vehicle imports. There is a broker who happens to live in Chetumal who offers a paper-only service – working with a car dealer in Tamaulipas near the US border. The “paper-only” process involves more people/brokers than doing it at the US order = higher costs.

      Only Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente permit holders or Mexican citizens can permanently import a car.

  17. Ian says:

    Great info. Thanks Steve.

  18. linda says:

    thank you for all of this information. i, too, have a special circumstance. my husband and i drove our belize-plated vehicle into mexico in may and got a t.i.p. good for 180 days (expires early november). we now need to fly to the u.s. for a family function in sept. will this affect our tip?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Linda,
      Your TIP’s expiration date is linked to your INM permit, so when you cancel your INM visa to fly out of Mexico, your car TIP expires immediately and lose the $$ deposit.

      You seem to have 2 options:
      – take the car to the Belize border now and surrender the TIP now, and recover the deposit and then… re-enter Q.Roo using just your valid current US or Belize license plates and registration. Since Q. Roo is a special border zone – “free zone” “zona libre”, it is just like Baja California – where no TIP is required – just current US or Canadian registration (or current Belize registration?) for foreign-plated vehicles with foreign owners. You can only drive in the free zone of Q. Roo this way – not Yucatan state or Campeche state.
      – allow the TIP to expire when you fly out, (losing the deposit), and then get a new TIP at the Belize border when you return.
      Happy Trails,

  19. Henry says:

    Is there a way of tracking the temporary import permit

  20. Henry says:

    OK can you send me the link to track my permit

  21. Gil Johnson says:

    Hi! I need some help with the process for extending our stay in Mexico. We crossed at Laredo and obtained a 180 day tourist visa and a TIP for our US car. Both expire in 17 days. We would like to stay longer and plan to go to the Belize border to obtain a new 180 day tourist visa. What is the process for extending the TIP so we do not lose our $400 deposit?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Gil,
      Our main article on Cars & Mexico has this info. Details at this address:

      Since you have entered Mexico on a Visitante Vias, you have to cancel~surrender the paper TIP document – having Banjercito remove the windshield sticker … before it expires, to preserve the deposit.

      For readers with Residente Temporal visas: With a Residente Temporal visa, you would notify Aduana in writing of your annual renewals of your INM visa, reporting your ‘new’ RT visa’s expiration date, before your TIP expires, requesting that Aduana issue a new extended expiration date for your TIP to match the renewed expiration date of the TIP.

      All the best,

  22. Dominique Levesque says:


    Your blog is amazing and filled with verry helpful information thank you.
    I am looking for an information on bringing a car by boat from Florida to Cancun.
    I am Canadian and have 2 small children which is why I cant drive to Cancun from Montreal it will take forever. I have a temporary resident visa and my car is a 2015 KIA Sorento. I cant seem to find how to proceed and how much it will cost me once it reaches Mexico. Here is what I found out maybe you can help me with the rest. It takes a week to reach Cancun, it will cost 1500$usd for the boat and the paperwork. Once it reaches Cancun I have to go get it at the puerto and pay a fee, I imagine it is the same as the fee you talk about in the other posts. But I also heard I need to pay a tax of some sort and do not need a custom broker. Can you help? As you can see I am quite lost!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Dominique,
      The typical way to bring your car into Mexico would be to apply for a TIP at Banjercito~Aduana using your INM visa when you enter Cancun.

      There is one possible other option due to Q. Roo being a Free Zone like Baja California. IN the free zones foreigners can drive their vehicle around the state legally, without a Temporary Import Permit, as long as the foreign-plated vehicle has a current registration back home.

      Unfortunately, there’s a weird twist to Mexican law, in that the official Port of Cancun (where the car is delivered – disbarked) is FEDERAL property … and the Mexican Feds do not necessarily agree that foreigners can drive foreign plated vehicles in their Federal Zones (like in the Aeropuerto or Puerto) … They likely will require you to get a TIP from Banjericito-Aduana …

      Happy Trails,

  23. Bojana Anthony Milovic says:

    Hi Steve,

    My husband and I (Mexican residents FM2) have purchased a ’99 Toyota 4runner with Florida plates in Mexico, not knowing that the owner hasn’t imported it and that we can’t drive it as is.
    Since we were informed of this by the Federales we have been trying to nationalize the car within Mexico but only coming upon dead ends.
    Since we live in Quintana Roo, we are planing to drive down to Belize with the previous owner and then import it back to Mexico.
    I just wanted to check with you is the information in this article still valid and will we be able to make the switch.

    • yucalandia says:

      First, there is no such thing as an FM2 since 2009. I would guess that you have Residente Temporal visas (since 2012) that allow you to drive to the Chetumal-Belize border Aduana office (Santa Elena) to get a TIP on the vehicle … but that may not be possible since the vehicle title is not in your name. … Time to get a proper title in YOUR name. … If Florida will not allow this, maybe you should get a South Dakota title & SD plates & registration from Clay County SD … which requires a valid US address in some state that does not neighbor~touch SD.

      Re our accuracy, please read our main article on Vehicles in Mexico: https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/

      Fortunately, Federal regulations on the ‘Free Zones’ (like Q. Roo) have been remarkably stable for over a decade.

      As always, once you are driving around Q.Roo with valid~current Florida registration & valid plates, avoid driving in Federal areas (like the Cancun airport), because Federale Police sometimes impound foreign plated vehicles w/no TIP when on their property. It does not happen often, but it does happen sometimes.

      Next… Consider how you will be able to continue to renew the Florida plates & registration to keep from having your vehicle impounded in Q.Roo due to expired Florida registration? … Florida require regular emissions tests to get registration, (si?).

      In other words, It’s best that you get a title in your name & get a TIP in your name….. otherwise your Florida seller may have stuck you with a mess with only unpalatable solutions:…
      ~ Get a valid TIP at the Belize border … or
      ~ Drive the vehicle to the USA using a Retorno Seguro and either sell the vehicle there … or get valid US registration and get a TIP at the Mexico US border Aduana crossings. … or
      ~ Drive the vehicle to Belize and sell it there.

      Wish we had better news … but it seems your seller just got cash$$ from you, while transferring his problems to you.

      Hope he gave you a big discount on the price,

      • Kristi Draper says:

        Florida does not require an emissions test. However, Florida DOES REQUIRE the owner have the state-mandated minimum $20,000 liability insurance in order to keep the registration current.

  24. Kristi Draper says:

    Hola, Steve. Many thanks for your ongoing updates.
    I am getting ready to sell my foreign-plated pickup truck and need to make sure I am going about this the legal way. Here are the essentials:
    1. Me and my truck live in Quintana Roo.
    2. I have permanent resident status.
    3. The truck has Florida plates and current FL registration.
    4. Before I got my PR immigration status I cancelled my TIP through Banjercito at the Belize/MX border. The truck does not have a TIP sticker on the windshield and does not leave QR.
    5. I understand because of my PR status I can no longer legally drive my foreign-plated truck ANYWHERE in Mexico, including Quintana Roo. **Correct???**
    6. Another gringo with a Temporary Resident visa who also lives in Quintana Roo wants to buy my truck.

    >> After reading your posts and your reader’s posts I plan to do the following: <<
    1. The buyer drives my truck to Belize zona libre Corazol. I follow along in my other legal, Mexican-plated car. Even though I still own the truck, I can't legally drive it because of my PR visa status, yes? But someone with visitante or TR can drive it, yes? I'm thinking of police filtros, etc. where documents might be checked on the way to Chetumal. Call me paranoid.
    2. In the Belize zona libre Corazol the buyer and I officially complete the sale transaction.
    3. The buyer drives it back into Mexico to the Subteniente López Banjercito office and obtains their own TIP. But because this is Quintana Roo, does the buyer even need to get a TIP from Banjercito?

    Your thoughts?
    Many thanks!!

    • yucalandia says:

      “5. I understand because of my PR status I can no longer legally drive my foreign-plated truck ANYWHERE in Mexico, including Quintana Roo. **Correct???**”

      Under formal official Aduana law, ANY foreigner can drive their foreign-plated car INSIDE Q, Roo as long as the vehicle has current valid registration back in your home state~province & has current plates + plus you mush have current Mexican vehicle insurance. … As long as you do NOT drive on Federal property (like the Cancun airport), Residente Permanentes and Residente Temporals and Visitante visa holders can ALL drive their foreign plated vehicles INSIDE Q. Roo, because Q. Roo is an OFFICIAL FREE ZONE, like Baja California.

      Under those guidelines, your buyer can simply drive back into Mexico (Chetumal – Subteniente Lopez) from Belize, without getting a TIP, but the vehicle must continue to have current valid Mexican insurance, plus current valid plates & registration back in the USA.

      If the buyer gets a TIP, they can drive outside of Q. Roo, and may be able to get away with driving around Q.Roo when the current US registration & plates expire … but they might run into problems if the plates are expired … so they must be sure that their insurance company is OK with this.

      If you & the Buyer agree to use the last option (the Buyer gets his own TIP) , then you need to give the Buyer a GOOD durable Carta de Poder (Power of Attorney) – transferring all rights & responsibilities of owning and operating the vehicle (specify VIN, make, model year) exclusively over to the Buyer. Further stipulate that you maintain no future rights nor responsibilities for any future uses of the vehicle.

      The Buyer then uses this Carta de Poder to get his TIP at the border, and carries it in the car in case any police or Aduana agents~officials question~challenge the Buyer operating the vehicle.

      Happy Trails,

  25. Hello there,
    at the moment I have a problem and maybe you know a solution: We entered Mexico with two motorbikes, registrated them with the TIP and left on time. But Banjercito only transferred one deposit back and does not respond to any trys of contacting them. How would I get my money back?

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