OK I say. Our motorcycle ride to Mexico is on. And now for the paperwork shuffle. First, I grab a manilla folder, next I do a little research and print off a few things. Since I’m traveling to Sonora, Mexico it says that the area I am traveling to (Banamichi) is not in a free zone. I.e. as in not touristy? The other part of Sonora, the touristy part does not require some of the paperwork requirements.
The Mexican paperwork shuffle says I need a valid passport to receive my Mexican tourist card.
Step 1 – Mexican tourist card – A little research on-line says that Mexican Instituto Nacional de Migracion has a web page and they say that I am able to on-line fill out and print my Mexican tourist card. firstname.lastname@example.org So far so good I say. Without a hick-up the form is downloaded, my printer is switched to color and it prints right out. Voila! Right. Wrong!
If this were any country other than Mexico then you could assume that you are done with the Mexican tourist card however, at the border, the Immigration guy just looks at what I printed on-line and pulls out an identical fill in the blank form, fills it out for me, stamps it and hands it back to me.
So why did I go to the trouble of going on-line and printing my own Mexican tourist card? Still a mystery to me. Even with a fully functioning bilingual vocabulary I am not yet able to get a straight answer.
Step 2 – The infamous TIP – Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit for Mexico. You need one of these puppies to visit the part of Sonora that we visited. Something like 98 kilometers south of the border you are safe. Don’t quote me. Beyond this point you need one of these.
$80 US dollars for car or motorcycle. Even though we are only staying a week; you still need one of these – good for 6 months. Once again, I am able to do an on-line version of the TIP. Says on the form it is an electronic preauthorization form from the Secretaria de Gobernacion – Institutio Nacional de Migracion. The form then downloads and you can print it out. It contains all the info they require, i.e. passport info etc.
Think you are done. Wrong.
When you visit the Banjercito the gal just looks at the form I completed and smiles. Another do over.
So why do anything on-line at all. Because it must make us gringos feel real good and educated. Next time don’t bother. Just show up hand them your passport and $$.
Buenos Dias. Bienvenidos a Mexico.
Step 3 – Mexican Insurance – This is an auto policy in case of an accident. It contains the required Mexican liability insurance plus any property coverage (i.e. motorcycle) you desire. For my 2017 Honda Africa Twin full coverage through El Aguila Insurance (on-line) coverage and print out of form, the cost total $82.46.
This is for a one week coverage. Expensive huh! $20.00 is shown as the policy fee charges. $3.00 goes towards travel assistance from Mexico.
Everything else I assure you is real cheap considering the exchange rate.
Asta la vista! See you in Baja next time.