FAQ – Driving in Mexico

Driving in Mexico sounds daunting for the first timer but it’s really not bad. Many of the rules are similar to the United States but there are a few things to know. Border crossings, Mexican street signs, customs, toll roads and Mexican auto insurance all play into the equation. Here are a few answers to common questions regarding driving in Mexico and how auto insurance works south of the border.

Do I Need Mexican Car Insurance?

Mexico’s federal law requires every vehicle to have Mexican auto insurance coverage. Mexico does not recognize your US or Canada issued insurance. The liability limits vary by by state. In the case of an accident and especially a fatal accident, the law will likely see proceed with a criminal case and possibly a civil case as well. The best course of action for driver’s is to carry high liability limits.

How Much Does Mexican Car Insurance Cost

The cost varies based on term and type of coverage. We issue policies by the day for short trips but also for 6 and 12 month terms for longer trips, second homeowners and frequent visitors. The price will fluctuate based on liability limits and full coverage options. For budget insurance, our Qualitas liability program is excellent. We also offer full coverage with the option for theft coverage as well.

What if I Have a Car Accident in Mexico?

Accidents happen and all of our insurers have a claim number to call immediately. The police report and adjuster report are used in the claim process. You will file the claim on the scene, notify the insurer if the vehicle is moved and follow up when back in the USA or Canada. Most claims are settled within 30-days. The claim amount for damages are only issued after deductible limits are met.

What Types of Coverage are Offered?

Our auto policies have the option for liability only or full coverage. We also offer liability and full coverage programs for RV’s, ATV/UTV and campers. Watercraft coverage and homeowner policies are also available. Travel policies are issued through a third party partner. Our quote process is quick and easy. You can have an auto policy issued in minutes.

How Does Legal Assistance Work?

Legal coverage comes into play after an accident. Accidents are often considered criminal or felony events and the driver can be detained while law enforcement investigates the accident. Legal assistance brings an attorney to your assistance to advocate for your release and release of your property.

Can I Drive in Mexico with a US License?

Your US or Canada drivers license is recognized in Mexico and is an acceptable form of identification as a driver. It does not function as a substitute for your passport however when ID is needed beyond the ability to drive. You can obtain an international drivers license if desired as well.

Crossing the Mexican Border by Car

Driving across the Mexico border is common. In fact, more than 70-million vehicles cross the border in a normal year. Every border crossing is different with some offering 24-hour crossings and others with limited hours. You will need to follow several simple steps when crossing into Mexico and again when crossing back into the US.

Medical Care in Mexico

Expat residents can purchase special health insurance for Mexico but temporary travelers require a different program in most cases. Mexico has quality medical care options but travelers will pay out of pocket or with a credit card upfront. Carrying travel insurance that covers medical will typically reimburse for medical expenses. Medical transport back to the United States is an important part of many travel insurance policies.

Do You Need a Passport to go to Mexico?

Yes, you need a passport to cross the Mexico border regardless of your mode of transport. Your passport will also be needed on the return to the US.

Is Mexico Safe?

You will find travel advisories for Mexico on the US State Department site. Each state and region has different advisories. Based on our experience, Mexico is safe for travelers who are aware of the surroundings and those who check routes diligently and take necessary precautions. Every country and place in the world is not without danger and Mexico is generally welcoming towards tourists. Pay attention to special advisory situations and travel with caution.

Is it Safe to Drive in Mexico?

Driving in Mexico is a bit different from the US. The roads in places like Baja often have less traffic and are easy to navigate. That said, they are more narrow and the shoulders can drop off suddenly. Driving at night is not recommended for this reason. Loose livestock can also cause issues at night. On the mainland, driving depends on the road. You will find winding mountain 2-lanes, long toll roads with great surfaces and side roads lined with topes (speed bumps). Traffic can be outright hectic in some cases and it’s good to prepare routes before entering cities and congested areas.