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Crossing the Mexico Border

Entrance and Exit Regulations

The enchantment of Mexico is but a bridge away from much of Texas. Visitors find Mexican shops and markets colorful and fascinating, filled with a variety of gift, handicraft and art items at attractive prices.

Border crossing is easy and simple; there are no fees other than for auto insurance or special permits such as hunting and fishing licenses and bridge tolls.

General Travel Information

Officials of the National Immigration Institute, posted at border entry points, require a passport, birth certificate, voter registration card, or any other document that proves citizenship. A
Mexican tourist car is required for visiting Mexico beyond the border cities, or for stays longer than 72 hours. The free tourist cards are available from Mexican immigration authorities at the border.

Foreign nationals should have a passport and appropriate visas both for entering
Mexico customs. An automobile permit is required when driving into the interior of Mexico beyond the border cities. The permits, good for up to 180 days, may be obtained at the border after the tourist card has been stamped by Mexican immigration officials. A $10 fee must be paid by the vehicle’s owner using a major credit card on whose face the word "bank" appears. Vehicle Title of Ownership is required. If the vehicle owner is not in the party, written permission from the owner for a specific time period must be presented. The individual to whom the car permit is issued will have his tourist card stamped to that effect, and it is mandatory that he accompany the auto and surrender the permit upon leaving Mexico. Auto tourists must stop at Mexico’s Federal Inspection Points located on all principal highways to the interior, usually about 12 miles from the border. There auto permit must be presented for inspection, and baggage inspection may also be required.

Mexican Auto Insurance

According to Mexican civil statutes, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle in Mexico without auto mobile insurance issued by a
Mexican insurance company. Auto accidents are considered criminal offenses in Mexico.
Foreign-Made Articles Taken Into Mexico

Foreign-made articles such as cameras, watches and jewelry should be registered before entering Mexico.

Mexican Currency

Visitors to Mexico border cities will seldom need Mexican currency. U.S. dollars are readily accepted at the current exchange rate. Mexican banks, large hotels / motels and tourist service facilities provide currency exchange if needed.


Mexico enforces rather stringent regulations about animal pets, and many visitors to Mexico find it more convenient to leave pets at veterinary boarding facilities in Texas border cities. For pets taken into Mexico , owners must present a rabies vaccination certificate dated not less than one month nor more than 12 months previously, and International health Certificate (form 77-043) signed by a veterinarian stamped (fee $20) at the border or at the Mexican consulate where tourist cards are obtained.

Hunting and Fishing In Mexico

Mexican authorities must be contacted for current regulations, hunting and fishing licenses, and procedures for taking in firearms and ammunition. Any game legally killed in Mexico may be should be registered that the dead animal originated in Mexico.

By Jaid Chambers
Published: 2/25/2007