Border Crossing to Mexico: All You Need to Know + With Car


There are so many borders and they all pretty much work the same way. It is pretty common, for people who visit Mexico, especially from the United States to have many doubts, but the process is easy and if you follow the guide and have all your papers in place, even if you decide to take your car with you. Today we’re going to be talking about border crossings to Mexico.

We personally were coming in from Guatemala to visit Mexico in our own car, and our experience was easy and issueless, a lot of times we were told so many different stories, mainly incorrect ones. So I want to make sure that you are fully understanding what is needed so that it’s not a problem.

welcome to mexico border sign

Complete Guide for Border Crossing into Mexico

First, make sure that the border is open. If it’s a tiny border, they might be open, only from 6 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. But the majority of them, I’d say 90% of the bigger borders, are all 24 hours.

One of the big tips that we found, if you can enter or exit Mexico on a Sunday, that is the best day ever. There is hardly anybody going in and out because there are a lot of people that work across the borders.

Payment Fee

You have to pay a visa fee when you are entering Mexico. It’s usually around $12 more or less, it’s not that expensive.

Passport Up-To-Date

Make sure that your passport is up to date, six months minimum.

If you are traveling with your child and the other parent is not with you, make sure that you have a letter stating that they could enter the country with you. Especially from the country that you are coming from.

Two Migration Spots that You Have to Go Through

We personally came from Guatemala, so the first place we had to go to the Guatemalan migration. First, we had to get stamped out and make sure everything is good.

Then you have to cross over into Mexico and there’s usually like this no man’s land. In this particular case, we had a bridge that you have to cross over. There are usually people with bikes that you sit in front of or even a taxi that could take you over there.

Related Read: 5 Amazing Mexico Destinations Near the US Border

waiting in line migration from guatemala to mexico

Entering Mexico and Migration

Then you enter Mexico and that’s where you have to wait in line.

You have to first go show your passport, then they’re going to tell you to go and make the payment. Then you have to fill out the form that they also give you. After that, you have to get back in line to get back in to show your paperwork back.

Papers from Migration

They will be giving you a certain paper, two papers actually. One to show your payment and one, it’s kind of like an entrance paper. You cannot lose that paper, either of those papers. You will have a lot of problems getting out of the country when you want to leave, so make sure that you always keep that.

Those paper from migration are literally as important as your passport when you are exiting the country.

migration mexico border crossing

How Many Days Can You Stay in Mexico?

Furthermore, you’re also going to be given a certain amount of days. Every country has its own specific amount of days, but if you’re going to be traveling for two weeks, they might give you 30 days. Sometimes they’ll just give you 45 days or 90 days, really depends. But be as specific as possible.

I would even add on an extra few days for whatever reason. Because if you overstay, that is another massive issue that you have to deal with.

Entering Mexico With a Car

Entering Mexico with a car is different, it will be a few extra steps to do it but is really simple to do, you just need to come prepared. Always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

Have Money at Hand (Pesos)

First and foremost, it is really highly recommended to at least have several hundred pesos on you because we saw that when we enter the country, you have to do a fumigation of your car. It’s the same thing when you’re going to leave the country, you have to do fumigation. For some reason, they only want local currency.

It’s like 90 pesos, which is like $5. But the point is, it’s better to just have a little bit of foreign currency on you, it’s just good to have the actual pesos with you. Because one thing we did notice is that nobody really wanted our dollars.

There were many places for credit cards, especially tolls. Mexico has 1000 toll roads. I actually have an entire episode about driving in Mexico.

car fumigation mexico border crossing

Get Your Paperwork Done First

You have to get into the passport and car area for doing all the work now for your car.

You have to do your whole passport situation, paying the fee, getting your paperwork done, and everything. Likewise, you cannot do anything with your car until you have resolved that part of your entrance because then you move on to the car part of it all.

It is so important to have your insurance under your name, car insurance. You could also buy car insurance there.

But why? You have to have the name of the car papers in the name of the person who is driving. There are several people who were there who did not have a car, and it was also a motorcycle in their names. Even with a letter from the owner, they had massive problems. They could not get into the country.

Car Fee

For you to bring in your car, you will have to pay $50, per person. You are going to be getting a temporary, temporary permit to enter the country. What it means is that you will not be selling your car there. What they do is they take $400. You could either pay $400 in cash, either in pesos, or you could put on your credit card.

Highly recommended a credit card versus a debit card, because if there’s any issue, you could kind of dispute it and get your money back with a credit card. They’ll show you that you received it when you leave. But if there’s any problem, you have the document, and with a credit card, it’s usually easier to get the money back.

If it’s a debit card, it could be a lot longer, especially because the money is already taken out. The same goes for if you’re paying in cash.

Then they go and take photos of your car to make sure that when you leave the country, it’s the exact same car.

Related Read: How to Exchange Money in Mexico (Getting Pesos)

How Many Days Can You Stay in Mexico with a Car?

Now what is really important is what you’re going to tell them, how long you’re going to stay there.

For instance, if we told them that we are going to be entering for 30 days, they gave us a 60-day visa. That is the amount of time you will be permitted to have your car in as well. I know that sounds obvious, but a lot of times it’s not as obvious as you think. Make sure that you have all that cleared up.

Make Copies of Everything

You will need to have quite a lot of copies. I would recommend making a copy of everything before you arrive. That includes your car insurance and all of your paperwork. Make sure that the paperwork is completely up-to-date and that it is in the name of the driver so that you have absolutely no problem whatsoever.

Then what you will be needing to do is have a copy of all your passport stuff as well. There are usually a bunch of coffee shops right around the migration area.


Everything is computerized and really simple to just find the files for it. They give you this temporary permit, an importation permit. And when we were leaving the country, we had to show this temporary permit card. They went out, took more photos, compared them to the photos in the computer file, and gave us back the $400 as a credit for the credit card if you decided to take your car with you.

For leaving the country, just show everything once again as well and you are all good to go. It’s not hard, but if you don’t have that paperwork and all that done

So overlook the scary stories that you hear, because a lot of times those scary stories are not even told by the people to whom the scary story happened to. This is my own experience.

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Last Updated on August 17, 2023

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