If you enter Mexico as a tourist or temporary resident and bring your own car with you, you might have acquired a TIP* (Temporary Import Permit) that is exclusively associated with your vehicle’s unique identification numbers.
The TIP is issued as a sticker that is placed on the windscreen of your vehicle demonstrating that its presence in Mexico is legal. The TIP is administered by Banjercito and is valid for a long as your tourist permit (a maximum of 180 days), or for as long as you hold a current Residente Temporal visa (maximum 4 years).
When you drive out of Mexico, you surrender this sticker to Mexican Customs (Aduana) which proves that you exported the vehicle, unless you plan to re-enter Mexico with the same vehicle while the TIP is still valid, in which case you can apply for the Retorno Parcial procedure at the border and use this to exit and re-enter with the same car while its TIP remains valid. See this section of the driving in Mexico guide for more details about multiple exits and entries.
A number of people have written to us asking what they should do if they forget to surrender the TIP when they drive out Mexico to the USA or Belize and don’t plan to return. If you don’t surrender the TIP for cancellation at the border, or don’t apply the Retorno Parcial procedure, as far as the Mexican authorities are concerned you still have that car in Mexico. There are two ways to cancel your TIP if you left Mexico without surrendering it:
Go back to the Mexican border: You’ll need to return to the Mexican border (it does not have to be the same crossing through which you entered Mexico) with the same car and its TIP intact, and surrender the permit to Banjercito to get your permit cancelled.
Visit a Mexican Consulate to apply for the cancellation: Mexico has consulates in states across the US, Canada and in Belize, but not all consulates offer a TIP cancellation service. Contact your nearest consulate to ask them if they currently offer the service—you can find a list of Mexican Consulates abroad on Mexperience.
Bringing Your Car to Mexico?
To learn more about driving to Mexico with your vehicle, read our guide to bringing your own car to Mexico and remember that you’ll need to insure your vehicle while it’s here – see auto insurance for your car in Mexico for further details.
* If you visit the Baja California peninsula, the state of Sonora, or don’t take your vehicle beyond the border ‘free zone’ then you don’t need a TIP for your car. See the link above about bringing you car to Mexico for more details.
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