What Should You Know Before Driving Into Mexico?

Beautiful Mexica Destination for a Road Trip

Are you dreaming of taking an exciting road trip to Mexico? What should you know before you go?

Can you read the signs?

If you need one special skill before driving into Mexico, it’s the ability to understand at least some basic driving vocabulary in Spanish! Does that sign say stop, yield, or do not enter? Better to know in advance!

How far will you go?

Decide before you travel how far into Mexico you’ll venture and how long you’ll stay. Depending on how far from the border you’ll travel, you’ll need to apply for different documents allowing that travel.

What ID will you need?

          — Passport

          — Driver license

          — Tourist card (if driving more than 12 miles into the country)

What ID will your vehicle need?

          — Vehicle title

          — Registration

          — Vehicle import permit

Do you need vehicle insurance?

Yes—and that vehicle insurance has to be from a Mexican insurance company. You can get insurance online or near the border.

Are the roads good?

Toll roads in Mexico tend to be in good repair. However, you will need to pay for those good conditions with frequent tolls. Non-toll roads may sound tempting, but they tend to be narrow and quite bumpy, since potholes might not be repaired fast.

Miles per hour? Think again

Speed limits are not marked in miles, but in kilometers. That is tricky when your speedometer is marking miles but the signs are insisting on kilometers. Before heading out on your trip, you can make a list of speed limits and the conversion into kilometers.

Is your vehicle ready for the adventure?

Since potholes may be deep and speed bumps high, you might want to avoid taking a low-riding vehicle into Mexico. Also, make sure you do all your regular vehicle maintenance before starting out.

Avoid driving at night

Given the condition of roads and possible dangerous parts of towns, it’s better to limit travel in unknown areas to daytime hours.

Stock up

Since you don’t know where the next pit stop might be, it’s good to take the essentials with you. That can include water, toilet paper and snacks.

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