Everyone wants to take their new vehicle on a roadtrip. You have the dependability and all the luxuries afforded by a new vehicle. If you are planning a roadtrip to Mexico, it makes perfect sense to take your new ride across the border. However, if you are financing the vehicle, there are some important steps that need to be taken before heading off toward your Mexican adventure. You will need to contact your lienholder for written permission to take your financed vehicle across the border. You’ll need to allow your lending institution ample time to issue permission and get the document to you. Finally, you’ll need to get Mexican insurance to cover the vehicle for the length of your stay south of the border.
Temporary Import Permits
When driving into mainland Mexico, you must obtain a Temporary Import Permit for your vehicle. This is to help govern the introduction of foreign vehicles into Mexico. These permits are issued for the length of your stay in Mexico with a maximum time allotment of six months. Permits can be renewed prior to the expiration date for extended stays. All permits must be returned to the border authorities before leaving Mexico.
Contacting Your Lienholder
The first and most important step is to contact your specific lienholder and notify them of your plans to take your financed vehicle out of the country. There may be special requirements or an approval process that needs to be completed before permission is granted to enter Mexico with the vehicle. The lienholder may have restrictions on the length of time they will allow you to have their vehicle out of the country, so be sure to ask. Your account must be in good standing with the financial institution and certain lienholders may require a minimal amount of credit history established before permission will be granted. Keep this in mind if you just purchased the vehicle.
It will take your lienholder time to process your request for permission to take the vehicle across the border into Mexico. Typically permission can be granted within 48 to 72 hours. During the busy holiday season, lienholders receive a high volume or requests, so turn-around times of a week or more are not uncommon. You will always want to ask your particular lienholder what the expected time will be for processing your permission request. Most lienholders can fax or even email the permission letter to you for faster service.
Obtaining Mexican Insurance
Most lienholders will require proof of insurance for Mexico before issuing a permission letter to you. A few lienholders may require specific coverage limits and deductibles, so be sure to ask for any special requirements when you contact them about your permission request. It is easy to obtain Mexican insurance online prior to your trip. There are several reputable online sources, but make sure to look for some important features of the coverage offered. These key features include the policy deductibles, limits of liability, additional benefits such as road and or travel assistance, and if the policy allows for repairs to be made in the US or Canada. This last item can be particularly crucial with new vehicles for a couple of reasons. First, the lienholder may require any repairs to be done in the US, and second, with newer vehicles, the parts and equipment along with properly trained technicians to perform the repairs may be virtually impossible to find in Mexico.
Once you have your permission letter and Mexican insurance policy in hand, you’re ready to take your financed vehicle into Mexico and start your roadtrip – enjoy!