While visitors to the Baja Peninsula may drive throughout the region without a permit, it is necessary to contact Mexico’s Banco Nacional del Ejército Fuerza Aérea y Armada, or Banjercito as it is commonly known, to obtain a permit for driving elsewhere in Mexico. Permit aside, travelers who drive into Mexico must have Mexican auto insurance, in any case, which can be easily purchased at border crossings or even online. Travelers who plan to stay within twenty-five miles of the U.S.-Mexican border will also not need a permit—nor will they if driving to permit-free destinations like Rocky Point, Hermosillo, or Guaymas, for example, but other destinations in various Mexican states do require registration for a permit.
Applying for a Permit
Banjercito has some easy steps for registering and obtaining a Mexican driving permit. Their process allows travelers to apply as early as sixty days in advance of a trip, but a full seven days’ notice is needed for Banjercito to complete your registration and generate a permit. Pre-registration is convenient as the agency will mail the vehicle permit directly to you; however, permits can also be picked up directly from a Banjercito office.
Banjercito allows pre-registration for vehicles as well as boats and RVs. Travelers can complete their application online as well as submit payment. Pre-registration makes the process more streamlined and avoids any waiting time at the Banjercito office. Keep in mind, required documents will still need to be verified at the office even if the “temporary” permit is mailed. However, this formality is fast-tracked over the pre-registration process. After receiving the verified permit, travelers will need to return it to Banjercito on the culmination of your trip.
Costs of a Vehicle Permit
The cost of a permit varies. Cars incur a $44 fee. RV’s and boats, on the other hand, pay roughly $50. Again, the need for a permit varies; be sure to find out if your destination is a permit-free zone. Many of Mexico’s popular destinations are permit-free. At the time of payment, Banjercito also requires a deposit fee for the return of the permit. Deposit fees are subject to year of vehicle, so be sure to visit the Banjercito website to find out more information about deposits and their updated costs. Deposit fees are more substantial than permit costs, so it is essential to return with your vehicle and permit to a Banjercito office in order to have your deposit returned.
Information Required for Permit Registration
Travelers are required to present documents that prove citizenship (i.e. passports, resident alien cards, or a record of naturalization) and a car registration or pink slip. Banjercito will also want to know what type of credit card you will use to process your permit fees, number of people you expect to travel with, and your car’s VIN number. They will also want to know your address in the event they mail your permit to you. Aside from this basic information, plan to let Banjercito know your proposed travel dates. When picking up your permit, plan to have the required documents as well as your Mexican insurance. For travelers leasing or renting the vehicle they plan to drive to Mexico, other paperwork will be needed such as the lease contract or rental agreement.
At every border crossing, travelers will be able to find out more about Banjercito including their hours. However, this information can more conveniently be obtained online. Also, remember that permits and associated stickers must be returned in person to Banjercito. Travelers risk having to forfeit or return to Mexico to get their deposit back if they do not return these items. Be sure to include time for this important step on your travel itinerary. For more information or to ask a specific question, visit the Banjercito website or contact one of their border offices.