Drive to Mexico | Mexico Travel Tips for Visa, Pets, Insurance & More


Traveling to Mexico in your RV can seem daunting,
especially for the first time. So today, I’m going to take the mystery out
of crossing the border and give you some easy steps that you can follow so you can get on
your way to that sandy beach in Mexico. Under the sun, soaking up the rays, maybe
a little cold beverage with some fruit around the side. An umbrella, perhaps, and a straw. Or, you could just keep it simple and do some
cerveza. All right guys, stay tuned. Hello everyone and welcome to Story Chasing. My name is Amber and I sold my house and quit
my job so that I could chase my dreams and travel full-time. And now, I’m helping people just like you
transition into nomadic life and beautiful places like tropical Mexico. So long as you know the requirements at crossing
the border. Today I’m going to give you the seven must-haves
when traveling across the border to Mexico in your RV or your car, if you’re going to
vacation over there. Especially if you’re going to be there for
over seven days and you’re traveling with pets. Now, I’ll tell you. When I first thought about traveling to Mexico,
even in a caravan with my Escapers group, it felt a little bit daunting to figure out
all of the requirements to get across the border. One of my number one fears was traveling to
Mexico was insurance. Thinking about the requirements for having
insurance in Mexico and making sure that my RV was covered and safe and that if I was
in an accident and it was my fault and that the other person’s vehicle was also covered. So tell me, what is your number one fear when
thinking about traveling to Mexico? Go ahead and leave me a comment below. Let’s talk about the number one must have
and my number one fear in going to Mexico and that is insurance. So, we’re talking about car insurance, RV
insurance. I actually went with a company called Sanborn
Insurance. And, I’ll provide a link down below in the
description box and the pinned comments so that you can find that. I went with Sanborn Insurance and the reason
why you want to get Mexican insurance is because Mexico does not recognize U.S. insurance. Even if your RV or your car is covered in
the United States, you’ll need to get insurance in Mexico because if you get in an accident
and you don’t have insurance you could potentially be taken to jail for it or cited and ticketed. So, you want to make sure you have Mexico
insurance. I’m with Progressive Insurance. I called Progressive. I knew I was covered in Mexico but I didn’t
know to what extent. So, I made sure that if I was in an accident
that my vehicle would be covered and the other vehicle would be covered as well. I wanted to find out what would happen if
I did get in an accident and what would I need to do. What Progressive told me is that if I was
in an accident and my vehicle was incapable of driving that my insurance would cover a
tow back to the United States so that it could get repaired. They would not cover any charges to repair
it in Mexico. So, because Mexico does not recognize United
States insurance, you need to get Mexico insurance. Because I was completely covered in Mexico
on Progressive, I decided to only get liability in Mexico. I also made sure that that Mexico insurance
had roadside assistance even though I had roadside assistance on my Progressive Insurance,
I thought it might be a little bit easier to have roadside assistance in Mexico on Mexico
insurance should I possibly need it. I went ahead and got that as well. Now, I was in Mexico for 10 full days and
because I’m in a van and I’m potentially going to drive that van around for all of those
10 days or some of those 10 days, I decided to get insurance for all 10 days while I was
there. If you have a tow vehicle, if you’re in a
trailer and you have a truck, you potentially don’t need to have insurance on your trailer
for all days that you’re going to be there. You can just get your trailer covered for
the days that you’re driving into Mexico and driving out of Mexico. But then only cover your truck for all of
the days. That way, because you’re going to be driving
your truck around Mexico, so you want to make sure that that’s completely covered on all
days that you’re there. But then you only have to cover your trailer
for the days that you’re actually driving with the trailer in and out of Mexico. I went ahead and covered my vehicle for 10
days, full liability. Just to give you some basis of cost, it was
$75 for me. That’s going to vary, depending on what kind
of coverage that you want to get with Sanborn. Again, I’ll provide a link below so you can
find that information. So, number one, make sure you get insurance. They might check it at the border as well,
so make sure you have that before you cross the border. The second thing you need to have, if you
have pets, is you need to make sure they have their rabies vaccination and a health certificate. If you go online and look at what are the
requirements to get into Mexico with pets, they’re going to cite those two things. Now, I will tell you I’ve been to Mexico twice
with my pet. One walking into Mexico through Los Algodones,
with my dog Lily and they never asked me for that information even though I did keep it
on me. When I traveled in my RV over there, they
also did not ask me for that information but I wouldn’t go over there not having it, just
in case. Because you don’t want to get to the border
and then all of a sudden not be able to get your pet over the border. That would put a huge damper in your vacation
plans and nobody wants that. Make sure you have the health certificate
and the rabies vaccination with you. The third thing that you need in order to
cross the border into Mexico is something called an FMM. You only need this if you’re staying for over
seven days. So seven days or less, you don’t need an FMM. What is an FMM? An FMM is basically short for a tourist visa. I was there for 10 days so I did need to fill
it out. It’s a really pretty easy form to fill out. I actually went online to complete it. I’ll give you a little tip here, make sure
you use something like Google Chrome that has a translate button on it because the first
part of filling out the form is in English, but when you get to the payment section, it
wasn’t in English at all and I had no idea what they were talking about. I had to hit the Google Translate button and
even then it did not completely translate everything. Especially if it was a picture on the webpage
and the picture had a word that was in Spanish. It wouldn’t translate a picture, it only translates
text. I did actually have to go into Google Online
and do Google Translate there as well. Meaning, I would take the word that was in
the picture and go to Google Translate, type that word in and then tell me what it said
in English. It’s really not a big deal, just make sure
you have that Google Translate on. Or, if you know Spanish, you’re a little bit
ahead of where I was with that. It’s very easy to fill out online. It’s basically just going to ask you, what
is your entry point into Mexico. We were entering from El Centro, California,
into Mexicali. There’s a little drop down for that and you
just would choose Mexicali or wherever you’re going to cross the border. You’re going to put the date that you are
crossing the border into Mexico and then you’re also going to put the date that you’re going
to depart Mexico and cross back over the border. Now, if that should change, if you want to
extend your stay, that’s completely fine. You don’t need to change your FMM. The FMM is actually good for 180 days. It’s just a starting point for you when you
cross the border. They just want to know what’s going on. The other thing that you need to put down
is where you’re going to be. If you have an RV park, like we did, we had
to actually put the address of the RV park that we were going to be staying at. You’re going to need to put some sort of address
on there for where you’re staying in Mexico. Now, you may be hopping around Mexico and
that’s completely fine, just find a place that you’re probably going to stay at some
point in time and put in that address. It asks you for some more information like
your name and your passport number, so you’ll want to complete all of that. The next think you’ll need to do is pay for
the FMM. Once you get to the payment screen, you’ll
put in your credit card information and then you’re going to see how much it’s going to
cost you and keep in mind that is in pesos, it’s not dollars, so don’t freak out. It’s like 500 and something pesos. When I paid for it my credit card statement
said it was about $30 once they did the conversion. You’re going to get an email once they approve
your FMM and you’ll want to click on the link inside of the email to go to the FMM form
and print out your FMM. Make sure you go ahead and print two copies
while you’re in there. The other thing that you need to be aware
of when filling out the FMM is that you need to make sure you fill it out within 30 days
of arrival to Mexico. If you’re thinking that you want to go to
Mexico in about six months and you’re super proactive and you want to go ahead and get
your paperwork done now. Wait to fill out the FMM. You cannot fill it out right now and have
it approved six months ahead of time. You have be within a 30 day window before
you cross the border so just make sure you keep that in mind. The fourth thing that you’re going to need
is a driver’s license. Now this may seem like a stupid thing for
me to tell you but yes, you definitely need to have your driver’s license. They might check once you cross the border. You need a license to drive. The good thing is you don’t need an international
driver’s license to just cross over the border and drive into Mexico for your vacation. So, just make sure to bring your U.S. driver’s
license with you. Or, if you’re Canadian, your Canadian driver’s
license. The fifth thing that you’re going to need
is a passport. You can take a passport card or you can also
use your traditional passport. Now, you cannot get into Mexico without that. They no longer use a driver’s license. Maybe I’m dating myself by saying that but
you used to be able to get into Mexico and Canada with your U.S. driver’s license. You cannot do that now. You actually have to have a passport or the
passport card. Make sure you have that with you. They will absolutely check that at the border. The sixth thing that you’re going to need
is to make sure you have your registration and or a title with you for a car to make
sure that you own it and that it’s actually registered. They may or may not look at that. In my case, I brought it with me, they did
not look at it. But you always want to make sure you have
it, just in case. You don’t want to get into Mexico or get to
the border and they turn you around because you don’t have the proper identification to
prove that you actually own your vehicle that you’re in. So, make sure that you bring that with you. The seventh thing that you’re going to need,
that’s only six fingers, the seventh think that you’re going to need is a copy of all
of the information that I just told you you needed. You want to make sure you have an additional
backup copy. Just in case it gets lost, or they happen
to take it for some reason. Just have an additional backup so that you
can have your passport number on there, your driver’s license number. Any of your pertinent information like your
insurance and everything so that you can have it handy in case it’s lost or it’s taken from
you. So, those are the seven things that you’re
going to need. Now let’s talk about actually crossing the
border. Before I actually got to the border, I put
all of my documentation into a little binder like this. And then I kept this up in the front seat
with me so that I could access it easily if I needed to. I even put my passport in there where it was
right here on the front. I made sure that, again, that was accessible
to me in the front so that I could grab it really quickly. When I actually got to the border, you have
to park your vehicle and then go into the Customs office so that you can show them your
passport and show them your FMM card. They’re going to stamp the FMM document and
they’re going to, obviously, look up your passport to make sure that you’re good to
go into Mexico. One of the reasons that I made sure that everything
was inside of here too, is that I could just grab this pouch, go into the Customs office
and show them all of my documentation so that, hopefully, I can make the process as easy
and painless as possible. And, hopefully get through the border very,
very quickly. The other thing is that there’s a border agent
that will want to come into your RV and inspect it. One of the things I did before I went to the
Mexico border crossing, the night before, was that I made sure that my RV was inspection-friendly. What I mean by that is, if I open this cabinet
up, is everything going to fall out of it if they open it up and inspect inside. So, I made sure … That happens in a van,
by the way, or an RV. Things jostle around when you’re driving. So, I made sure everything was tight in there. It was not going to fall out if they went
to open it and inspect it. I made sure that that was done all throughout
the RV. One of the things that you want to make sure
of is you are not taking anything illegal or that is prohibited into Mexico. The two number one very large things that
are a no-no to take into Mexico is one, firearms. Can’t take those in guys. No firearms, no ammo. The second one is no drugs. So, I’m talking about illegal drugs. Seems like a no-brainer. There are also recreational drugs, in the
United States, that are legal now, like marijuana. You want to make sure that you’re not taking
those over into Mexico. It is not legal there and you will be arrested
for that if it’s found. They do have drug-sniffing dogs around the
border so make sure you keep that in the United States. One thing that you can do for items that you
can’t take into Mexico is to find a friend who can keep them for you. Or, just go get a storage locker and put all
of that inside there. So, you just want to make sure that everything
in your RV is inspection-friendly and ready for them to board and look through. The cleaner you have it, the less things that
will fall out. I feel like the easier it’s going to be on
them and the easier it’s going to be on you. Just make sure that’s all set and ready to
go before you get to the border. Guys, I’m going to make this so easy for you. I’m providing a checklist on my blog that
shows you exactly everything that you need to do to cross the border so make sure you
click that link below in the description box or in the pinned comment to get that checklist. And remember, Create Do Live everyday. Right over here, there’s another video on
traveling to Mexico. Click that playlist so you can find more videos
on everything related to traveling to Mexico and how I spent my time in Mexico traveling
around San Felipe. All right guys, I’ll see you in the next video.

27 thoughts on “Drive to Mexico | Mexico Travel Tips for Visa, Pets, Insurance & More

  1. **CORRECTION** You need an FMM no mater how many days you are in Mexico, it's just free if it's 7 days and under.
    ★ Free Mexico Travel Checklist: https://www.storychasing.com/free-mexico-travel-checklist
    ★ Mandatory Mexican Vehicle Insurance: https://www.storychasing.com/mexicoinsurance
    ★ Blog Post: https://www.storychasing.com/drive-to-mexico-travel-musts-for-visa-pets-insurance-rv-car

    ★ Free Mini Course on Expenses & Budgeting for Travel:
    Get my full annual budget including personal expenses, a budget template for you, learn how to budget for your travels, and tips on saving money in your budget so you can start traveling sooner and live your best life.
    https://www.storychasing.com/rvexpenseminicourse

    ★ Tip Jar: https://www.storychasing.com/tipjar

    ★ My Favorite Gear & Equipment I Use (Amazon affiliate links)

    Kitchen:
    Stashers Bags: https://amzn.to/2BXiTQp
    Vitamix Blender: https://amzn.to/2PMPfQU
    Instant Pot: https://amzn.to/2PKOWG1
    Travel Berkey Water Filter: https://amzn.to/2RT5oYJ
    Favorite Instant Pot Accessory PIP: https://amzn.to/2wnDKHr
    Dash Compact Air Fryer: https://amzn.to/2EsdXDJ
    Fagor Induction Cooktop: https://amzn.to/2SXjlSQ
    Induction Cooktop Skillet: https://amzn.to/2SXpiiD
    Citrus Juicer handheld: https://amzn.to/2CpUtvS
    Compact Adjustable Measuring Cup: https://amzn.to/2T0EUBO
    Matcha Teaspoon and whisk: https://amzn.to/2PzpMsI
    Best Coffee/Espresso Maker: https://amzn.to/2BXEx78
    No paper coffee filter: https://amzn.to/2BW8cxr

    Van Gear:
    SumoSpring Bumps: https://amzn.to/2D28qD6
    SumoSprings Front Coils: https://amzn.to/2CZTyVB
    Thetford Toilet Seal: https://amzn.to/2WzPT7M

    Camera Gear:
    My main camera Panasonic Lumix: https://amzn.to/2PKRjsz
    Sigma night lens: https://amzn.to/2N5C64h
    Audio Recorder and Mic: https://amzn.to/2DPqrEd
    Dash Cam/Action Cam: https://amzn.to/2KLndkI
    Second backup camera: https://amzn.to/2MIKjdy
    Best bendy flexible tripod: https://amzn.to/2P2D41U
    My phone wide angle lens: https://amzn.to/2vEd5FP
    Does it all phone mount, lights, microphone: https://amzn.to/2vC9cBr
    Favorite omnidirectional camera mic: https://amzn.to/2OWWYey

    Travel Gear:
    Pstyle female urination device: https://amzn.to/2CYyHRq
    Get unstuck from sand/mud/dirt: https://amzn.to/2MBzpuk
    weBoost – Can't do without it cell booster: https://amzn.to/2vFAoiw
    weBoost rust proof antenna to be installed WITH earth magnet mount below: https://mbsy.co/rbhTd
    weBoost earth magnet mount for rust proof antenna above: https://mbsy.co/rbhZp
    My book for traveling: https://amzn.to/2OxDSe9

  2. Good info. The last time I went to Mexico was in 1986. They didn't ask me for my Drivers license back then.

  3. Good info, thank you. Some wee construction feedback? Watch how often you repeat yourself, and our modulation is weary.

  4. Hey I think you mentioned that you sold the Leisure Way and got the Hymer? Can I ask the reason why? I was really looking at the Leisure Vans for future travels. Thanks for the information in this video. Cheers!!!

  5. I’m really only worried about Montezuma’s Revenge so I’d just want to check on my medical coverage. Haha. I have a pretty weak stomach but adore Mexican food.

  6. Haha, dating myself as well, I remember traveling to Mexico and Canada with a driver’s license, or a birth certificate if you were under 16. My biggest concern would be getting the dog back into the US, be sure to check what the US guidelines are. Additional things I have learned from other channels is you can’t bring any fresh produce (and maybe meat / dairy? ) and if you have a loan on your vehicle (you do not technically own it / do not have the title) be sure to have a letter from your lender (and it must include all countries you plan to visit if you are moving onward to Central America). Best all inclusive video I have seen on the topic, thanks for sharing! 🌴

  7. I got the enhanced Drivers License here in WA state so I got go across either border. I don't know if all states offer this. So it was like 78.00 compared to over 120.00 for a passport.

  8. I'm not calling into question any of the information you are providing in this fine video, however in the nearly 60 years of crossing the Border of Mexico including Calexico, (not El Centro), San Diego, Nogales, Algodones, and other border crossings. I have never been asked for any of that stuff. I have had cursory checks of my vehicle at the border a few times, no big deal. I did always have my 6 month Mexico Visa which I always kept current, (the FMM you refer) and Carried full coverage Mexico Insurance purchased on an annual basis. I only recall being asked for my visa one time, one year and it had expired a few days earlier because I wasn't able to leave Mexico when I had planned. That happened at Guerrero Negro, the Border between the Mexico States of Baja Sur and Baja Norte. The Mexico Customs Agent said no problem and simply took the old one and made a new one and collected the money, took about 10 minutes and I was on my way back. I did have a serious accident, a head on collision one year climbing up the steep, narrow mountain road coming out of Santa Rosalia going towards San Ignacio. No one was seriously injured, both cars were seriously damaged, both were towed to Santa Rosalia. The Police came, examined the scene declared the other driver at fault and filed their report. No other action was taken. The next day I met with the Mexican Insurance Adjuster in Mulege and the whole matter was resolved over Breakfast. I've never had a U.S. Passport, and it has never been an issue crossing the U.S. Mexico Border in either direction. I do carry my U.S. Birth Certificate and have in recent years been asked for it by U.S. Customs when returning to the U.S. Over these many years I've traveled in Mexico from Border to Border and Coast to Coast including Baja. I'm a long time AAA member and both the Mexican Insurance and Pesos can be purchased in select AAA offices in Southern California, which is a great service, and which I know and trust and avail myself of both of those services. Additionally I always carry an Emergency Medical Air Evacuation Insurance Policy, which I don't think you mentioned…….my2cents, rick

  9. FMM’s are absolutely required now regardless of your length of stay. If you stay less then 7 days it is free but it is still required.

  10. U.S. and Canadian citizens over the age of two, without a Mexican temporary or permanent resident card, need to obtain an FMM tourist permit when entering Mexico. Mexican law requires that tourists from the U.S. and Canada have an FMM tourist permit for any trip into Baja. You may encounter INM checkpoints along the peninsula where they will ask to see your passport and FMM. If you get into an accident in Mexico and you don’t have an FMM tourist permit, you are not considered to be in accordance with Mexican law, and therefore your Mexican auto insurance can be rendered invalid. Each individual must have their own FMM, including children ages two

    As of September 2015, there is no longer a “free zone” and every person entering Baja, regardless of destination or duration of trip needs to obtain an FMM. If you are only going to be in Mexico for seven days or less, you can get a free FMM, but you still need to stop at the border to fill out the paperwork to obtain the permit.

  11. That's really important to have that coverage. I give you props for driving that RV in Mexico. We experienced the driving over there and wow. They're very fast drivers. Great tip on the Pets and good to know. Very informative and helpful. Our first experience driving in an RV was through a few different parts of Alaska. That was incredible. The thrill of home on the road "literally" was refreshing and rewarding. Thanks Amber. Could you take a look at our latest video, as we'd love to hear your thoughts as well.

  12. You are truly a treasure on YouTube! You have one of the best, most practical, informative and beneficial channels for road travelers and van- lifers. No fake or purposefully posted drama, attitude, cuss words, or unnecessary ramblings here on your channel, and that is greatly appreciated! Other channels take note. You present your helpful material in a very concise, organized, tasteful, and professional manner. And you are always so pleasant. Good editing too. Thank you, rock on sister!, and safe travels out there.

  13. Ok wow I never even considered most of these things!!!! Guess I need to do a little more work before heading south.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *