How Much Is To Legalize A Car In Mexico

Legalizing a Car in Mexico: A Comprehensive Guide

Importing a vehicle into Mexico requires proper legalization to ensure its legal operation within the country. The process involves obtaining a Temporary or Permanent Import Permit, which grants permission to drive the vehicle for a specified period or indefinitely. Understanding the costs associated with this process is crucial to avoid unexpected expenses.

Cost Breakdown

The total cost of legalizing a car in Mexico varies depending on the type of vehicle, its value, and the duration of the permit. Here is a detailed breakdown of the expenses involved:

  • Temporary Import Permit (TIP): This permit is valid for up to 180 days and costs approximately $50-$150. It is suitable for short-term stays or for vehicles that will be exported back to their country of origin within the permit period.
  • Permanent Import Permit (PIP): This permit allows the vehicle to remain in Mexico indefinitely and costs around $200-$400. It is typically obtained for vehicles that will be used for extended periods or for those that are being purchased and registered in Mexico.
  • Vehicle Value Tax (ISAN): This tax is based on the value of the vehicle and ranges from 2% to 10%. It is calculated using the Mexican Automotive Value Guide (Guía de Valores de Vehículos Automotrices).
  • Environmental Verification Fee (VE): This fee is charged for vehicles that meet certain emission standards and costs approximately $20-$40. It is required to obtain a license plate and registration.
  • License Plate and Registration: The cost of license plates and registration varies depending on the state in Mexico where the vehicle will be registered. It typically ranges from $100 to $300.
  • Insurance: Vehicle insurance is mandatory in Mexico and the cost varies depending on the type of coverage and the value of the vehicle. It is recommended to obtain a policy that meets the minimum coverage requirements set by the Mexican government.

Additional Costs

In addition to the aforementioned expenses, there may be additional costs associated with the legalization process, such as:

  • Agent Fees: If you choose to use an agent to assist with the legalization process, they may charge a fee for their services.
  • Transportation Costs: If the vehicle is being imported from outside of Mexico, transportation costs to the border or port of entry will need to be factored in.
  • Storage Fees: If the vehicle is not immediately cleared through customs, storage fees may apply.


Legalizing a car in Mexico involves various costs that can vary depending on the vehicle and the type of permit obtained. By understanding the breakdown of expenses, you can budget accordingly and ensure a smooth and cost-effective legalization process. It is advisable to research the specific requirements and costs for your vehicle and consult with a reputable agent or customs broker for guidance.


Q: What is the difference between a TIP and a PIP?
A: A TIP is a temporary import permit valid for up to 180 days, while a PIP is a permanent import permit that allows the vehicle to remain in Mexico indefinitely.

Q: How long does it take to legalize a car in Mexico?
A: The legalization process can take several days to complete, depending on the availability of documents and the efficiency of the customs office.

Q: Can I drive my car in Mexico with a foreign license?
A: No, you will need to obtain a Mexican driver’s license or an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive legally in Mexico.

Table: Estimated Legalization Costs


Vehicle Value Temporary Import Permit Permanent Import Permit
$10,000 $50-$150 $200-$400
$20,000 $50-$150 $200-$400
$30,000 $50-$150 $200-$400


Closing Statements

Legalizing a car in Mexico is a necessary step to ensure its legal operation and avoid potential penalties. By understanding the costs involved and following the proper procedures, you can navigate the process efficiently and enjoy the benefits of driving your vehicle in Mexico.


  • The costs provided in this article are estimates and may vary depending on individual circumstances and the specific vehicle being imported.
  • It is recommended to consult with a reputable agent or customs broker for the most accurate and up-to-date information on legalization costs.
  • The information provided in this article is for general guidance purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.