Are you looking to permanently import a vehicle to Mexico? Though there are many companies that can help you, it is important to ensure that you know the process of importing the vehicle.
Once the reformed immigration law of Mexico got introduced back in 2012, the rules for importing a foreign vehicle changed quite a bit. However, this mainly concerned those seeking permanent imports and not those who wanted temporary permits as the rules for the latter remained rather straightforward. Here are some of the details that you might want to take into account.
Getting Vehicle Permits at the Border.
If you intend to drive beyond the free zone which is more than 25 km, you would have to have a TIP – Temporary Import Permit (TIP). The exception is for the states of Sonora and the Baja Peninsula as well. You need to get this obtained at the border as they are not available later on in internal checkpoints.
Tourist Permits – the FMM User Permit.
If you are intending to visit the country with a tourist permit, you can go ahead and import the car but you need export it back prior to its expiration date. The FMM permit is going to last for up to 6 months or 180 days. It can’t be renewed afterward.
Residence Temporal Permit.
If you hold this particular permit or you have a Residente Temporal Estudiante permit, you can import the car with a TIP. However, the vehicle is going to remain legal in the country for as long as the permit is active and valid.
Entering With a Residence Permanent Permit.
If you are carrying this particular type of permit you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of the TIP – regardless of whether you have the permit for non-lucrative or lucrative intentions. However, you can handle the process to import the car permanently. It is highly advisable that you work with a reputable shipping agent to when doing so.
Expats Holding Permanent Residence Status in Mexico.
If you have a car with foreign plates in the country now and you have an FM2 or if you decide to go ahead and switch from temporary to permanent residence, you would have a few options regarding what to do with your vehicle.
You can export the car permanently by taking it out of Mexico. You can export it and then re-import it back by using the services of a knowledgeable broker. You are going to need the professional auto shipping services to help you out with all of the procedures.
You can also export the car and then sell it to a person who is holding a Residente Temporal permit. You can also export the vehicle by sea. Keep in mind that this could cost you around $1,000 and $1,500 based on the destination and the overall distance. With all this in mind, there are certain things that you’d also have to consider in addition such as whether you want to apply for a “Retorno Seguro” permit.
Written By:Joe Webster
Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.
After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.
With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.