Have you ever dreamed about hopping in your car and taking a road trip down to Mexico? Well, put those dreams into action and grab some Mexico Car Insurance and pack your bags for an adventure of a lifetime!
This summer a few friends and I actually lived this adventure by driving from Phoenix, Arizona to Hermosillo, Mexico. With careful planning and safety first, we were able to see Mexico up close and personal and experience the excitement of driving in a foreign country. I must admit I was a little nervous about this endeavor, with the complications of the recent immigration bill in Arizona and our cars having Arizona license plates! I thought this could pose a real problem in Mexico. But it was not the case and by following my tips and helpful information I believe you can drive in Mexico safely. Please note that there are always risks when traveling internationally and you must be prepared and use common sense.
Things You Will Need
Passport – When crossing the border you may have to show your passport to the Mexican officials. We did not, but you will most definitely need to show your passport upon returning to the United States. Another option is a US Passport Card. The Passport Card is more convenient and costs less than a passport book. No matter what, you will need one of these to return to the US!
Mexican Car Insurance – Most US insurance carriers do not offer Mexico car insurance. You will need to purchase insurance through one of the many companies that offer this coverage. Online was the easiest way that I found to compare prices and purchase this coverage.
Vehicle Permit – To drive past the 21k checkpoint in Mexico you will need to purchase a Vehicle Permit. These can be purchase before you leave the US. At different Banjercito Offices located in Arizona, Texas and California your permits can be purchased before you leave as well as online at http://www.banjercito.com.mx/site/siteBanjer/iitv/instruccionesIITV_ing.html
Original Title or Registration – Also you will need to carry your lienholder’s notarized letter of permission to take your vehicle into Mexico. It also goes without mentioning you must carry your valid Drivers License.
Pesos – There are many tolls along Mexico’s highways. Very recently these toll booths have stopped accepting US currency. Carry plenty of change with you to pay for these tolls.
Very Important Tips
Cell Phones – Make sure that if you do not have an international plan included in your cell phone package that you add one. Having a cell phone with you on the roads in Mexico will be a huge security factor.
The Green Angels- If you have an emergency while driving in Mexico call the Ministry of Tourism’s hotline at (55) 5250-8221, extension 130/297. The “Green Angels,” are a task force of radio dispatched trucks with bilingual crews. Their services include protection, medical first aid, mechanical aid for your car, and basic supplies. There is no charge for their services, they charge only for parts, gas, and oil. The Green Angels patrol the highways daily, from dawn until sunset.
Do Not Travel After Dark- Common sense prevails when you do not travel Mexico’s roads after dark. Also stick to highways instead of less traveled roads.
Check Points – When entering checkpoints remove your sunglasses and roll down your window. Fully cooperate with the officials and you should not have any problems. At one military check point we were asked to remove our suitcases so they could send them through a scanner. Yes, this took time but I am sure if we had protested it would have taken much longer!
Stay Alert- Many of Mexico’s Highways are lacking sufficient shoulders or turn outs. If you go off the road just a little it could be disastrous!
Obey All Traffic Laws- Particularly watch your speed. Remember your vehicle has US license plates!
Crossing the Border- Try to plan to cross the border in the early part of the day, especially if you have a long stretch to drive.
Vehicle – Make sure your car is in good mechanical condition before you go. Check your tires, windshield wipers, all your lights, have an oil change and make sure all fluid levels are full. Prepare your car for the trip!
Hopefully these tips and the important information shared will help you to get ready for the adventure of a fun and safe road trip in Mexico.
Green Angels Website