In addition to obtaining the FMT (tourist visa/pass) at Immigration when you cross the border, you will also need to obtain a permit for your vehicle. Note! Make absolutely certain that you stop at and obtain your vehicle permit, otherwise your car will not be legal.
What to Expect at Mexican Immigration and Customs
You will get either a green light to pass without inspection, or a red light, which means a customs officer will inspect your luggage and ask if you have firearms, drugs, certain electronics and other items that are not allowed or cannot be imported duty free. Don?t worry. It is a simple procedure.
Many people are intimidated at the prospect of going through an inspection and therefore are paranoid about getting the red light. You guessed it. If you are focused on not getting the red light, invariably you will get red.
Our advice - think green and be calm. In our ten and a half years living in Mexico we have traveled a lot, both by air and car and perhaps only once or twice have we got the red light. We think green and it works.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES ATTEMPT TO BRING GUNS OR DRUGS INTO MEXICO. There is ZERO TOLERANCE.
Tourist Permit FMT Fee
- Mexico charges a fee to all tourists and business visitors arriving in the country. The fee is approximately US$22, and the money collected is handed to the Tourism Ministry to promote Mexican tourism.
- Airlines normally collect the permit fee on behalf of the Mexican government and include the cost within the total airfare (under 'taxes and surcharges') so in the majority of cases, there will be no need for you to pay the fee separately.
Although it is not difficult to drive into and through Mexico once you know the correct procedures, many people prefer to fly in the first time and learn all the nuances and then they feel more comfortable driving the next time. Of course, we will be the first to tell you the best way to get all the accurate information and total peace of mind is to first take an 8-Day Focus on Mexico program, after which you’ll feel very confident knowing you have all the information, knowledge and experience to handle most any situation, plus you’ll have our personal phone number to contact us should you run into trouble along the way. When you attend a Focus on Mexico Program, you will receive your personal Focus Driving Kit, which contains all kinds of information on Bringing in your vehicle, plus related topics: (Note! If you have already booked on our program and plan to drive down, please let us know and we can send you the kit in advance.)