• Going to Mexico? Car Insurance Policies for You

    When driving to Mexico, car insurance is required. Many popular vacation destinations in Mexico are traveled to via airplane, so bringing your car is not an option. However, some resorts such as Rocky Point on the north end of the Sea of Cortez are within driving distance. Because your liability coverage in the United States is not valid in Mexico, special temporary car insurance is required by law to travel south of the border in your car. There are a number of differences in car and insurance laws that you must be familiar with before driving to Mexico. Insurance is required for other reasons besides liability coverage.

    Driving in Mexico

    A good number of the 16 million Americans who visit Mexico each year do so in their own car or other vehicle. Your U.S. driver’s license is valid in Mexico, but your American car insurance policy is not. The first thing to do before you hit the road is secure a temporary insurance policy on your vehicle. A reputable company such as Mexpro is one of your options. Mexican liability insurance is required to travel by personal vehicle to the country. It is recommended, however, that you purchase full comprehensive and collision insurance before entering by car, truck or RV.

    Possible Consequences

    If you are involved in an auto accident in Mexico, there is a good chance you will be taken into custody by the police. Fault will be determined as will your ability to pay any penalty imposed. Again, you must have your U.S. passport with you at all times and when driving, you need your driver’s license. It is against Mexican law for anybody other than a car’s owner to drive it unless the owner is present in the car. Should this not be the case, your car may be seized indefinitely.

    Required Permits to Enter

    Aside from mandatory liability and recommend full coverage insurance, if you plan on staying longer than 72 hours or venturing beyond the so-called “free zone”up to 30km past the borderyou will need a permit. It is called an FM-T and known as a Mexican Visitor’s Permit. Each traveler is required to hold such a permit.

    If you are bringing your car into the country, in addition to the visitor’s permit you will need a temporary import permit for your vehicle. If you do not obtain this, your car could be confiscated. There are only a couple of exceptions to this rule: traveling to Baja Peninsula and visiting the state of Sonora through the port of Nogales. Both permits have a fee associated with them.

    Another requirement is the posting of a bond that guarantees you will export your vehicle from the country after the time of stay. A deposit of a certain amount is necessary for this bond and can be redeemed at an office of the Mexican consulate after you leave the country.

    Insurance Policies

    Permits, a bond, passport, driver’s license and temporary Mexican car insurance are all requirements when you take your vehicle into the country. Car insurance is not only the law. It could also spare you the headache of a stolen vehicle, damaging traffic accident or possible seizure by the authorities. Companies such as Mexpro offer basic liability coverage, but full insurance is recommended as a safety measure.

    When traveling to Mexico in your personal vehicle, learn about and take the appropriate steps to ensure you return to the states with your car and personal finances just the way you left them.