Puerto Vallarta by Car

As we know, currently, the border strip is restricted to essential activities due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, in this article, you will find the basic information to travel by car from the United States to Puerto Vallarta.


immigration documentImmigration

There are three categories under which a foreign citizen can request for entry to Mexico:

a) Visitors

b) Temporary residents or

c) Permanent residents


“Visitor without permission to conduct remunerative activities” is the category of entering the country as a visitor with a car; the fee is around USD 20.00.

If the goods you carry do not exceed personal luggage allowance, you can use the lane “Nothing to declare.”

If you are traveling with additional items whose value exceeds USD 75.00, you must pass to the “Self-declaration lane.”

Temporary import foreign vehicle

There are two ways to process this permit:

1) Directly at the border module, consult https://consulmex.sre.gob.mx/leamington/index.php/non-mexicans/other-services/121-travel-mexico-land for the paperwork to must show at the border.

2) Online through Banjercito (Mexican Army Bank), from 60-7 days before entering the country.

immigration-vehicleThe procedure cost is 40.00USD plus 16% tax.

A guaranteed deposit for failure to return the car or committing an infraction is required. The amount is calculated on the car’s model year, 2007 and later models amount, is around USD 400.00.

The United States and Canadian drivers’ licenses are recognized in Mexico. The primary acceptable documents are a valid passport, passport card or green card, a passport, driver’s license, photo, birth certificate, deed, or property register on your behalf.

To take into consideration.

If you pass by the procedure above, you cannot sell the automobile in Mexico and must be returned to the country of origin. We explain you later how to make a definitive importation.

At your return, there is a procedure before Banjercito to get the return receipt.

Suppose the import permit is expired and the automobile is still in Mexico. In that case, you will lose the deposit and maybe be imposed by a fine.

Finally, foreign liability insurance coverage is not valid in Mexico, so we strongly recommend purchasing a full coverage insurance policy.


On the road

Once you have your permit and insurance policy, we recommend checking your car with your mechanic before leaving your country.

Also, and be sure to carry an extra tired, oil, essential tools, a gasoline can, flares, etc.

In Mexico, there are two types of highways:

highway puerto vallartaThe free ones are called “Carretera Libre”, old narrow roads, without police presence, connecting small rural communities.

The fee Highway or “Autopista de couta” are freeways quota modern roads. The Federal government is responsible for these infrastructures and maintenance.

Every year make an inversion to road construction, improvements, and maintenance.

On these highways, there is a permanent police presence ensuring user’s safety.

Roadside checks are along the way to pay the fee.

In every one, you will find hotels, restaurants, gas stations, mechanics, public bathrooms, basic health facilities, etc.

Angeles Verdes (Green Angels) is an English-speaking patrol along every federal highway, from 8:00-18:00 every day, to give free mechanical and other assistance in the case of an incident.  Mexico emergency number is 0878 or hotline 800-903-9200

Our recommendation is to travel only in the freeways and try to travel during the daytime.

Three options to get to Puerto Vallarta

1) From the border at Nogales Sonora

Take the National Highway 15D from the border at Nogales Sonora. This highway passes through the Sinaloa estate, where is Mazatlán. You can stop there to see this beautiful old colonial town in the Pacific Ocean. Then continue to Tepic, and Guadalajara sings, and Highway 200 heads you to Puerto Vallarta.

2) From the border at Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua

Take the National Highway 45D through Chihuahua City and Jiménez, then take the Highway 49 to Gómez Palacio- Torreón.

Continue to Highway 40D to Durango, which intersects Highway 15 south of Mazatlán.

Take into consideration that this route includes an area called “Devils Backbone “for the dangerous stretches of road. So, you can go to Zacatecas from Torreon and then to Guadalajara and take Highway 200 to Puerto Vallarta.

3) From the border to Nuevo Laredo

Take the 85 Carretera libre to Highway 85D, bypassing Monterrey estate, then Highway 40D to Saltillo, and Highway 15 to Mazatlán.

This route is the perfect opportunity to visit Nuevo León, Monterrey´s capital, Mexico’s most modern and thriving cities.

Visiting Mexico by car is an extraordinary experience. It allows you to make stops in beautiful places during your trip to Puerto Vallarta.

Travel throughout Mexico is a beautiful experience, a combination of landscapes through the coast, desert, forest, and beautiful colonial and modern cities.

Once in Puerto Vallarta we will be waiting for you to show you the property of your dreams. Contact us at Ryan Donner y Asociados