Is It Safe To Drive In Mexico With US Plates?

Traveling down to Mexico through the United States is fairly easy, especially if you’re just driving across the border. A quick and easy getaway to a tropical vacation, sounds like a plan to us!

But if you’re driving into another country, you shouldn’t just make the impulse decision and go with the flow. Instead, you should make sure you know the rules and regulations about traveling abroad. Even though Mexico is so close to various parts of the U.S., it is still a completely different country with completely different policies in place.

That’s why we’ve conducted some research and gathered the relevant information for driving into Mexico. Are there speed limits? Yes! Should you know the general rules of the road? Yes! So keep reading to find out our provided intel, and if you have any additional questions at the end, head on over to to read some more informative blogs.

What are the most common driving rules and regulations in Mexico?

First of all, the legal driving age is 18. If you’re under 18 and get caught driving a vehicle, you will be reprimanded. Once you turn 18, you will need to undergo the appropriate tests to secure your driver’s license.

While you’re in Mexico, using a seatbelt is mandatory. This rule does not only apply to the driver, it also applies to the remaining occupants in the car.

Drunk driving is entirely illegal. You cannot partake of drugs or alcohol and get behind the wheel. The legal limit of blood alcohol content is 0.08%.

It is also completely illegal to use mobile devices while operating a vehicle. The system must be 100% hands-free to have a mobile device in hand.

What are some less common driving rules and regulations in Mexico?

Every country is different when it comes to their driving laws. Mexico has a few peculiar, more specific examples that you may have heard of in different areas. They include:

  • When an oncoming vehicle is flashing their headlights at you, it’s a warning to slow down. You may be approaching a narrow area on the road. The person who flashed has the right of way in this instance.
  • A person may also flash his or her lights at you to make you aware of something up ahead.
  • When a person driving a vehicle puts their left-hand signal on, it means that they are about to turn left and you have the right to pass his or her car. The same goes to the opposing right-hand signal about to turn right. There is a left and right lateral road specifically created for turns to allow other vehicles to lawfully pass.
  • At night, animals will roam the roads and it is extremely hard to spot them in the dark. Take caution because most areas are not well lit.
  • Be aware of speed bumps, also known as Topes. We suggest that you immediately slow down when you see a sign because the bumps may cause wear and tear on your car.

What are the speed limits in Mexico?

Like any other country, there are standard legal limits in different areas. High trafficking zones and areas filled with citizens’ homes may strategically differ. But no matter where you go, the road signs will communicate the exact legal speed limit.

Generally speaking, urban areas will have an approximate speed limit of 25 mph. Open roads will range up to an approximate 50 mph. Highways often range from 62 to 68 mph.

What do you need to bring with you if you’re driving in Mexico?

As an American citizen, you can’t simply cross the border without any legal documents and assume you’ll get away with it. You have to make sure the necessities are in reach, and if you have to, make a checklist to bring with you.

The following items must be with you at all times while operating a vehicle in Mexico:

  1. Valid driver's license
  2. Valid passport
  3. Proof of automobile insurance
  4. Registration of the vehicle

Take into account these tips and the rules of the road in Mexico to have a safe and smooth trip.


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