Traveling to Mexico
Items you should NOT bring
It is very important to be aware of the laws in Mexico
applicable to banned items. As an example of “what you don’t know
CAN hurt you”, Canadian missionary Steve Frey is still in prison since
August 19, 2003, after being arrested in Reynosa for bringing in a case
of US non-prescription (over the counter) children’s cough medicine.
You may bring legal drugs into Mexico, but the following rules
All non-prescription drugs should be in their original container with
the labels undamaged or altered in any manner. More specifically;
place different drugs in the same container.
Do not place drugs in a
All prescription drugs must be in their original
prescription bottle with the label intact and readable.
Do not have a larger quantity in the bottle than is
stated on the label.
Do not bring in obviously larger quantities of any
drug (prescription or non) than is needed for your expected stay. Note:
You will be required to make an official statement of the duration of
your intended stay.
that are illegal in the US and Canada are also illegal in Mexico,
however the penalties for possession of them are much harsher here in
Mexico. To assist you in recognizing the harshness of the legal court
systems here; the average waiting time (while in jail) from the day of
arrest on drug charges, till your very first available court date to
face sentencing is currently eight (8) months. Sentencing of drug
smugglers is extremely harsh, with many being given double sentences as
a warning to other potential drug smugglers.
Do not under any circumstances bring any type
of firearm into Mexico. Do not bring any ammunition or even one empty cartridge into Mexico. If you are a law
enforcement officer, hunter, sports/target shooter, or keep a weapon for
personal protection, and could have unknowingly misplaced a weapon or any fired or
in your travel bags or vehicle, you are at great risk. You must do a thorough
search of your luggage and vehicle to be sure there are no weapons
related items with you when you come into Mexico. This is not one of those gringo rumors I mentioned earlier, this is a
serious offence. Mexican federal law prohibits importation of weapons and ammunition. Federal
prison sentences are handed out quickly, with zero tolerance, with no
possibility of release on bail or bond, and with very little legal
recourse to the accused for the breaking of this Mexican anti-weapons law.
U.S. Department of State
"U.S. citizens are warned against taking any type of firearm or ammunition into Mexico without prior written authorization from the Mexican authorities. Entering Mexico with a firearm, some kinds of knives or even a single round of ammunition is illegal, even if the weapon or ammunition is taken into Mexico unintentionally. The Mexican government strictly enforces its laws restricting the entry of firearms and ammunition along all land borders and at air and seaports. Violations have resulted in arrests, convictions, and long prison sentences for U.S. citizens."
Although this may seem to be an extreme bit of advice to consider,
we need to make mention of it anyway.
Do not bring any explosive device
or material into Mexico. This includes gunpowder, black powder, or
Do not transport ammonia, diesel, or other Nitromethane based
fuels or solvents, and the agricultural fertilizer ammonium nitrate in the same vehicle.
Beyond the fact that the combination of these items is considered by all
governments world wide to be a potential bomb, it is also highly
dangerous to you and your occupants should these materials come in
contact with each other. The Oklahoma City federal building bombing was accomplished
by the intentional act of simple agriculture fertilizer
and Nitromethane (fuel used in drag racers) being loaded into a van
together, and then mixed by a small detonator which led to the massive explosion
we all remember. Fertilizers and fuels to be used for ethical and legal
use are available here, don't haul
them into Mexico.
Driving and Vehicle Regulations:
U.S. driver's licenses are valid in Mexico. The Government of Mexico strictly regulates the entry of vehicles into Mexico. Mexican law requires that only owners drive their vehicles, or that the owner be inside the vehicle. If not, the vehicle may be seized by Mexican customs and will not be returned under any circumstances.
Do not allow anyone to use your vehicle at any time without you actually
being in the vehicle with them. Riding in a different vehicle behind or
in front of your own car while someone else (not insured) drives
it is not legal in Mexico. Do not loan your car to anyone not listed on
your insurance premium.
you do not have possession of the original title of ownership to your
vehicle, you need to contact your state Department of Motor Vehicles
or the bank or loan company that holds a lien against your vehicle to
procure a certified copy. The title need not be clear of liens.
Road Emergencies and Automobile Accidents:
If you have an emergency while driving, the equivalent of “911” in Mexico is “060”, but this number is not always answered. If you are driving on a toll highway (or
“cuota”) or any other major highway, you may contact the “Green Angels,” a fleet of trucks with bilingual crews. The “Green Angels” may be reached directly by (01)(55) 5250-8221. If you are unable to call them, pull off the road and lift the hood of your car, chances are they will find you.
We've seen them on every major highway we've traveled in Mexico.
Important: Automobile insurance
Mexican insurance is required for all vehicles, including rental vehicles. Mexican auto insurance is sold in most cities and towns on both sides of the border.
We can advise you on the most reliable companies and also how to
purchase insurance online and receive you official receipt by email.
NOTE: U.S. automobile liability insurance is
NOT valid in Mexico, nor is most collision and comprehensive coverage issued by U.S. companies.
You can, however, purchase a valid Mexican insurance (Mexican company) through a
reputable American agency. Motor vehicle insurance is considered invalid in Mexico if the driver is found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you are involved in an automobile accident, you will be taken into
temporary police custody until it can be determined who is liable and whether you have the ability to pay any penalty.
This is standard procedure in Mexico, and is not reserved for foreigners
only. Because of this procedure, proper documentation of valid Mexican insurance
for liability must be in your possession at all times when driving. We
advise that you keep a photo copy of your insurance papers in your auto
and also secure the original in a safe and separate place, such as your
purse or day pack. Be sure to have easy telephone number access to your
representative insurance agents within the nation of Mexico. A simple
phone call to your insurance company's agent to confirm to a police
official that you are covered and that they will cover any damages or injuries, will
aid in your quick release.
If you do not have valid Mexican liability insurance, you are asking for
trouble. As in the USA, if you are the driver in an automobile accident
with injuries involved, and you are uninsured, you may be prevented from departing the
immediate area of the accident by being placed in a local jail. Your
passport may also be blocked to prevent your leaving the country.
Without valid Mexican liability insurance you are almost certain to spend some time in jail until all parties are satisfied that responsibility has been assigned and adequate financial satisfaction
is received or guaranteed.
As in all civilized nations, drivers may face criminal charges if injuries or damages are serious.
It's very simple to avoid all these above problems; buy a valid Mexican
insurance policy before entering Mexico, keep the paper work with you in your car at all times,
and drive carefully.
In our concern for your well being while traveling here and during your
stay, we remain current on the laws that affect
. We will pass along valuable advice; plus we'll help you wade through (and
ignore) the hearsay and silly rumors that seem to abound among
“gringos” regarding trips to Mexico.
We recommend that you consult with your medical insurance company prior to traveling
to Mexico to confirm whether your medical coverage policy applies in
Mexico and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical
evacuation if necessary. To ensure proper reimbursement of medical expenses by insurance carriers,
we recommend that patients ensure they have sufficient documentation of their care and treatment before leaving the health care facility.
The U.S. Social Security Medicare Program does not provide coverage for hospital or medical costs outside the United States.
medical care in Mexico is excellent. World renowned physicians are
trained at Universities located in Guadalajara, which is only 30 minutes across
the mountains from us. Modern well equipped clinics and surgery units
are readily available here in our immediate area. The genuine concern
for your well being by Mexican Doctors and staff members will assure you
of the best medical care you could ask for.
Anti government propaganda:
We strongly suggest you not have on your person any type of
anti-government material. Although freedom of speech is part of the
constitution of Mexico, it is safer to not have your political intentions misinterpreted by
officials that happen to find such documents in your possession.
Although detainment over such matters is doubtful, you could be delayed
by an overzealous pro-government official just long enough to miss your
flight, or to make for an uncomfortable delay at the border while your
possible "terrorist background" is extensively researched.
is the “official” religion of Mexico. Do not carry with you or give out materials that are anti-Catholic. Do not publicly
speak out against Catholicism. With just one complaint of your religious
"intolerance" being lodged with a sympathetic official, you
could be quickly deported.
the Gospel to all of Mexico can only take place
through the love of Christ that dwells in us as Christians. God’s
love must be shown by us in our
actions as we go out among the people here. God loves these people very deeply and we
must also. It’s easy to do. When in their presence the Holy Spirit
will joyfully prompt you to recognize them as your brothers and sisters
just waiting for God’s truth and love to be delivered to them.