Traveling to Mexico
U.S. Department of State
All U.S. citizens traveling outside of the United States by land are required to present a WHTI-compliant travel document such as a valid passport, U.S. passport card, Trusted Traveler Program card (NEXUS/SENTRI/FAST) Compliant document to return to the United States. For more official information regarding travel to Mexico, visit the U.S. Department of State’s website at Travel.State.Gov
Mexican Auto Insurance is required in all of Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Sonora, Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Durango, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas, Nayarit, Jalisco, Aguascalientes, Colima, Guanajuato, Queretaro, and Michoacán. For the latest entry requirements, visit the Embassy of Mexico’s website or contact the Embassy of Mexico at 1911 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006, telephone (202) 736-1600, or any Mexican consulate in the United States.
Helpful Mexican Insurance Links
The essential information you should know before traveling to, and from Mexico:
• U.S. Passports
• Smart Traveler Enrollment Program
Mexico Travel Safety
Most people who travel to Mexico have a wonderful time and don’t encounter any problems. However, as in other tourist destinations throughout the world, crime is a fact of life, and as a tourist, you may be targeted for theft and scams. The best prevention is awareness of the situation and the risks you may face. In order to increase your chances of having a safe and pleasant vacation, follow these tips for Mexico travel safety.
Unfortunately, many of the United States drivers in Mexico put off the purchase of Mexican insurance in Mexico. They sometimes do not see why they would need it. They do not feel that they lack the capability to avoid an accident while driving in Mexico. Insurance appears to them like an unwanted expense.
Such drivers fail to know that Mexican law is different from United States law. In the United States, a driver who is involved in an automobile accident will not be held responsible for that accident while at the scene of the accident. In the USA, a person gets a presumption of innocence, until he or she is proven guilty. Mexican auto insurance is needed in Mexico because a driver involved in an accident is considered guilty of causing that accident until he or she is proven to be innocent.
In the USA, the authorities who arrive at the scene of an accident cannot prosecute any of the drivers that are involved in that accident. Sometimes, a driver can be given an alcohol breath test. If the test is positive, then that driver could be charged with a crime. In Mexico, the law gives the law enforcement officers authority at the scene of a car accident. Those officers can hold each person involved in the accident responsible for the resulting damages. Each driver must show proof of the capability to cover those damages. Auto insurance in Mexico can protect you from being detained.
What You Need Concerning Insurance for Mexico Travel
• Make sure the Mexican car insurance is from a reputable company.
• Make sure you carry proof of Mexican insurance in the vehicle, accessible at all times.
• Make sure you have Mexican auto insurance with very good coverage to cover property damage and personal injury.
• And if you’re separated from the vehicle, take the Mexican car insurance ID cards with you.
Driving and Mexican Law
Mexico’s law is based on the Napoleonic Code where guilt is assumed over innocence. This means all drivers must have a Mexican insurance policy from a company that is authorized to do business in Mexico in order to cover injuries or damages.
In addition to the Mexican insurance, you should also consider a plan that covers bond fees and legal aid. In Mexico, it’s considered a criminal act to have a traffic accident. While the police are investigating who is at fault, your vehicle may be impounded and you’ll be detained by Mexican authorities.
Selecting a Plan
The quickest and easiest way to find Mexican insurance is online. When selecting a plan, look for one that provides the following:
• Medical expenses for driver and occupants.
• Third-party (civil) liability.
• Partial theft and vandalism.
• Physical damage and total theft of a vehicle.
• Roadside assistance.
• Legal assistance and bail bond.
Ensure the plan covers you during your whole stay in Mexico. The best way to protect yourself when driving in Mexico is to have a good Mexican insurance policy to back you.