FYI- If you ever plan on driving to Mexico and taking your U.S. car here are a few things to know. If you are only going in the “border zone” – the first up to 20 km – you may not get checked. This is just a summary. The website Mexonline has a much more detailed procedure.
1. You need to have MEXICAN Car Insurance. Your US Policy will NOT cover you even if it says it will. If you do not have Mexican insurance and get in an accident you go to jail until damages are paid. We got our insurance through an online company – Nelson Insurance – and it cost around $200 for a six-month policy.
2. You need to have your vehicle’s title or registration. The title needs to be in the name of the person driving and that person must be in the car at all times, (of course if you don’t get stopped at the border you might be home free).
3. You get a car permit at the border that you MUST turn in before you leave or you are charged a fine for every day it expires. You must pay with a credit card as you cross the border going there so that they have it on file to charge you the fine. Ugh…
In Juárez, the only place to get a car permit is at the major customs checkpoint at Km 30 south of Juarez on Hwy 45D. You have to pull off the highway and go in to the building to wait. You have to give them a credit card where they charge a deposit that is refundable when you leave Mexico as long as you don’t violate the terms of the permit. You must keep the permit sticker attached to your car and when you leave the country make sure to have it cancelled. Otherwise the Mexican government may assume you left the car illegally in Mexico and charge a fine to your credit card. The stamp on your passport has a little car on it so you must leave the county by the same method that you enter.