Can a Mexican Citizen Drive an American Car in Mexico?

To answer the question outright, Mexico has a few harsh laws when it comes to Mexican citizens driving American cars. This is especially so when a citizen drives a foreign (US) car within or across homeland borders. The rules of the road are unfortunate, and very surprising, but if a Mexican citizen wants to keep their driver’s rights, they have to abide by it.

In the remainder of this article, we’re going to clarify a few things. Yes, it’s true that a Mexican citizen can drive a U.S. plated car, as long as the U.S. citizen is present in the vehicle, too. But, it’s a dangerous game. So before you think about getting behind the wheel of an American car, take a look at these three reasons warning you not to.

Three reasons for a Mexican citizen not to drive an american car in Mexico

Take Mexican insurance into consideration.

Mexican insurance is necessary if you’re driving into and around Mexico. Even if you have a rental car. Even if you’re driving your own personal vehicle.

When you sign up for Mexican insurance, you need to be aware of their rules and regulations. For example, whether or not Mexican licensed drivers are covered under your specific plan. Some do, some don’t. In either case, the primary policy holder must be a U.S. citizen, and he or she must be present in the car while the Mexican citizen is behind the wheel. If not, you will run the risk of having your vehicle confiscated - and this circumstance is never covered under any Mexican insurance policy.

Take Mexican customs law into consideration.

Mexican customs law is easy to read, and even easier to implement. It goes like this:

If you’re a U.S. citizen driving a vehicle into Mexico with U.S. plates, you may cross freely. If you’re a Mexican citizen driving into Mexico with U.S. plates, you'll likely be sent to secondary inspection, where documentation will be checked. If the documentation does not claim you are from the United States, the vehicle may be permanently confiscated by customs with little to no chance of recovering it.

Unfortunately, these circumstances incur very large fines in addition to confiscating the vehicle. That fine could be up to 80% of the vehicle's value, and it must be paid or it'll surely go on record.

An undoubtedly unbelievable situation, but it often happens. Why? Because Mexico’s belief behind this action is that a Mexican citizen is trying to smuggle the U.S. vehicle into the country. This vehicle is then immediately labeled as illegal "contraband."

Take other Mexican authorities into consideration.

Did you know that transit authorities can impound a U.S. vehicle if a U.S. citizen is not in the car while a Mexican citizen is driving? The only way to recollect the car is to go to the proper authorities with the owner, proper documentation, and title. Even then, you may not get access back.

If you have any questions about traveling to Mexico through the border, please visit our link. Our professionals are waiting by the phone, ready to help answer any concerns you may have.

While you’re at it, get a Mexican insurance quote from us to stay covered on the road, every step of the way. We’ll let you know the importance of holding our auto insurance, the rules of the road you should be aware of, the liability coverage our plan comes with, and whether or not you can have a Mexican citizen driving in the car with you. We promise to be faithful and loyal to you every step of the way. Our consultations are free and we’ll get you to Mexico with all the information and coverage you need.


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