Without permits, Mexico can confiscate your carBy Jonathon Shacat
Wick News Service
SIERRA VISTA — People who travel by car to certain tourist destinations in northern Mexico need to make sure they have the necessary permits for their vehicle or they could face some stiff consequences.
In June, Ramon Mena, of Sierra Vista, was driving to Bacoachi, Sonora, to attend a quinceanera, and he stopped at a checkpoint in the Rio Sonora region south of Cananea. A Mexican official asked him for his vehicle permit, but he did not have one, so his 2002 Kia Sedona was confiscated.
In December, he contacted the Herald/Review to give an update on the status of his case. He provided copies of Mexican government documents stating that in order to get his car back he must pay more than 111,000 pesos, or about $8,500.
“I’m not going to pay it. The car is only worth a couple thousand dollars,” he said in December, adding, “We need to advise people that this is what happened. We need the public to know that this is what is going on.”
In August, Oscar de la Torre Amezcua, the Mexican Consul in Douglas, told the Herald/Review that he advises people to stop at a Port of Entry along the border and ask Mexican officials about any requirements, especially if they might travel beyond the Free Zone.
People need a temporary vehicle import permit in order to drive a vehicle beyond certain points in northern Mexico if they are planning to go to popular destinations such as Banamichi (three hours from Bisbee) in the Rio Sonora region or the Mata Ortiz pottery village (four hours from Bisbee) located near Casas Grandes in Chihuahua state.
If traveling by car, the driver must get a vehicle permit either in Agua Prieta, Naco or Cananea. The following documents are needed: a tourist card, a passport, a credit card, a driver’s license and the vehicle’s registration