Home » Baja Directory » Baja Driving Information » Mexican Customs


Mexican Border CrossingEntering into Mexico - Mexico Border Crossing

To enter Mexico by land, you will need either a valid passport or your original birth certificate along with a valid photo ID such as a drivers license. Citizens other than U.S. or Canadian may have other requirements such as a visa. As of June 1st. 2009, you must have a passport to enter back into the United States by land. Failure to provide a passport will result in huge delays while the Customs agents try to determine your citizenship. Please contact a Mexican consulate or embassy near you for up to date entry information.

NOTE: If you are entering Mexico by any means other than airlines or cruise ship and staying for over 72 hours and/or traveling more than 20 miles beyond the border, you will need a Tourist Card.

What do I have to do when crossing the border into Mexico?

Select carefully the lane to enter the country:

  • Nothing to Declare Lane - It is used when your exemptions do not exceed the permitted limits
  • Self-declaration Lane - It is used when you bring goods worth more than the personal or family exemptions, or when the amounts of goods exceed those amounts allowed in your personal luggage

Upon crossing the border, your vehicle will activate the Automated Selection Mechanism (stop light). When crossing the border on foot you will be asked to activate the mechanism:

  • The red light indicates that your luggage will be inspected
  • The green light indicates that you can drive through the Customs facilities without inspection

If you or your vehicle have been selected for inspection, a Customs Inspector will conduct the examination. If the Customs Inspector finds goods that should have been declared and you did not do it, the Inspector will classify and appraise the goods and will impose the corresponding sanctions. If you mistakenly choose the wrong lane, you may approach a Customs Inspector and ask for a classification and appraisal of your goods for the corresponding payment of duties and taxes.

What can I bring into Mexico duty free?

The items allowed in your personal luggage, according to the length of your trip. Up to 75 USD per person in permitted goods, or its equivalent in other currencies. Passengers traveling with family members (spouse and children) may combine their personal exemptions only when arriving together on the same vehicle. In order to claim this additional exemption, passengers must have the corresponding commercial invoices or receipts available. Beer, alcoholic beverages, manufactured tobacco and motor vehicle fuel (except for the fuel contained in the vehicle’s fuel tank) may not be included in this additional exemption.

Which goods are restricted from taking into Mexico?
  • Some food items - especially plants and seeds
  • Cigars and cigarettes - up to 20 packs per person
  • Liquor and wine - up to 3 liters per person
  • Film or videocassettes - up to 12 rolls/cassettes
  • Medicine for personal use - must have a prescription if the medicine is psychotropic or if you needed one to get the medicine in the first place
  • Illegal controlled substances & drugs - a no no!
  • Firearms - only for hunting and must obtain a permit from the Mexican Consulate in advance

Baja California Wineries

Ensenada and Baja California Wineries

Baja California offers amazing wineries with tastings offerd daily. Get complete Ensenada wine information


Mexico Auto Insurance

Mexico Insurance

Get a FREE quote and print your Mexico Auto Insurance policy in minutes, completely eliminating the hassle of stopping at the border.


Baja Surfing

Baja Surfing

Baja Surfing offers good surf and fun times. Get up to date swell and surf conditions for surf breaks in Baja California.