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Auto Shipping FAQ: Can We Move Our Car To Mexico?

Subscribe February 06, 2014
Car shipping process | Choosing an auto shipper | FAQs

Phil finally got the promotion he was working toward - his company was sending him to Mexico to head up their new operations. Phil and his wife were moving to Mexico City!

Cozumel is a beautiful place to live, and working at a resort was a dream come true. But what about their car? Could they move their car to Mexico? What did they need to do before going? Was it even worth it?

What to Know When Shipping a Car to Mexico

Going back and forth from the United States to Mexico as a tourist is no longer as easy as it used to be and moving there for work is getting more difficult as time goes on. Moving a car is no less complicated, but at DAS, we are well skilled at working through the most recent rule changes and the paperwork involved.

Moving a vehicle to Mexico involves more than driving across the border, if you’re intending to use your car while you are resident there.

For tourists, they can drive into Mexico but have only six months before they have to register the car. If it’s not registered within that time, the car cannot be taken back across the border and has to stay in Mexico.

For those staying temporarily, more than six months but less than a year, taking a car into Mexico involves making sure you have declared your car on your way into the country under that visa and have registered under the same terms as your visa (an FM3 visa applies here).

In Phil’s case, he was planning to move permanently to Mexico City, so he needed help in putting together the necessary paperwork to make it happen. We recommended using a customs broker to help.

Phil’s car was a 2013 Buick Regal, with all the bells and whistles. The Secretary of the Economy in Mexico regulates vehicles coming into the country permanently, and they required Phil to supply the original and a copy of his passport, his visa, vehicle title and registration, along with his driver’s license. He also had to get a letter from the lender on his car, giving their consent to the move.

How A Customs Broker Helps With Global Auto Shipping

Using a customs broker helped smooth the way for Phil’s car to get into Mexico. He started as soon as he found out he was moving, including getting his paperwork completed and the fees collected so the driver could just present everything to the customs border agent.

The broker was also able to help get the background check done on the car, which is required since the Mexican government requires verification that the car has not been used in a crime. The basic import fees and deposits are based on the age of the vehicle.

Once he got to Mexico City, he still had to go to the Motor Vehicle Department to get his license plates, but taking along his new assistant, who speaks Spanish, helped smooth the way.

Another Car Shipped to Mexico Successfully!

Phil and his wife got down to Mexico City and settled in quickly. They were very happy to have their car with them; it was a piece of home that kept them mindful of why they came to Mexico. By using DAS, the car arrived safely, on time and in great condition, ready to take the family exploring their new home country.


No issues to report, service was dependable and reliable. Our car was available before the scheduled date! Very much appreciated!
T. Rosenthal


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