Taking a vehicle into Sonora - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 14 Old Oct 7th, 2009, 1:28 pm Thread Starter
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Taking a vehicle into Sonora

Greetings,

I'm thinking of driving to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) in the state of Sonora Mexico for a 5 day trip.

The various websites I've researched give me slightly confusing information about what I have to do to legally have a vehicle in that state for more than 3 days and less than 180.

It seems I need a tourist visa and paperwork to take my vehicle (I haven't decided on LT or car yet) into the country but I'm not 100% sure of the actual steps

I've never been to Mexico before. What I'd like would be for someone who's gone through the process to lay it out for me in simple enough terms (and directions where necessary) that even _I_ can understand it!

I've determined that I can get the tourist visa at the border. (I'll be crossing at Lukeville/Sonoita.) I've determined how to get auto insurance if I take the car. But the docs to get the car over and back? And where do I present them? The best site had instructions that said I should "go through the Declarations line at Mexican Customs and present the papers there." It seems to me that I won't have the paperwork yet.

Any experiece someone can relate? Any thoughts on whether taking the bike is a generally bad/good idea at all?

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post #2 of 14 Old Oct 7th, 2009, 2:52 pm
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Thumbs down Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

Well if was me I would go to San Diego instead. Years ago I have been there when life was simpler and crime was almost not exsistant. But now I have heard too many horror stories from all of the crime in the Sonora area. Many, many Americans go to Rocky Point and lots have houses there. I still never lost anything in Mexico and need to get it back. However, you do not need a visa, you need a US Passport to get back into the country and if I was taking my vehicle I would definitely get Mexican insurance. I would not take my LT there as there are lots of poorly paved or unpaved roads. When you get just outside of town there may be a Mexican White Cross road block that asks for $. Give them some change.

By the way happy belated birthday.

Rob Asay
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post #3 of 14 Old Oct 7th, 2009, 3:47 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

Thanks, Rob. (I haven't figured out why more birthdays don't equal more presents.)

It's not totally my decision on the trip so I may not have a lot of say on the actual destination. I know about the passport to come home, but I don't want to learn by experience what a vehicle confiscation is like!

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post #4 of 14 Old Oct 7th, 2009, 4:39 pm
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

You might want to check this out.

Res ipsa loquitur, sed quid in infernos dicet?

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post #5 of 14 Old Oct 7th, 2009, 6:21 pm
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lare
Greetings,

I'm thinking of driving to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) in the state of Sonora Mexico for a 5 day trip.

The various websites I've researched give me slightly confusing information about what I have to do to legally have a vehicle in that state for more than 3 days and less than 180.

It seems I need a tourist visa and paperwork to take my vehicle (I haven't decided on LT or car yet) into the country but I'm not 100% sure of the actual steps

I've never been to Mexico before. What I'd like would be for someone who's gone through the process to lay it out for me in simple enough terms (and directions where necessary) that even _I_ can understand it!

I've determined that I can get the tourist visa at the border. (I'll be crossing at Lukeville/Sonoita.) I've determined how to get auto insurance if I take the car. But the docs to get the car over and back? And where do I present them? The best site had instructions that said I should "go through the Declarations line at Mexican Customs and present the papers there." It seems to me that I won't have the paperwork yet.

Any experiece someone can relate? Any thoughts on whether taking the bike is a generally bad/good idea at all?
To travel in non-tourist zones you need a vehicle permit and a tourist visa (about 50 bucks total) You can do this at the border, but if you can do it ahead of time at a consulate or online? I would do that to save time. You are also required to carry Mexican auto ins. I have used these guys in the past

http://www.bajabound.com/

I'll be riding in Baja at the end of this month. No permits required there since all of Baja is a tourist zone but still need the insurance.


Have fun!!

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post #6 of 14 Old Oct 7th, 2009, 11:43 pm
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

I've taken the LT a few times. Rocky Point and the road leading there is in the Free Zone, so nothing is needed but Mexican Insurance. I use www.cyclemex.com for full coverage on the LT. The roads there are good, and no tolls, and I've never felt in danger of anything worse than being sold a condo, or when my wife is not around, "see the biggest boobs you've ever seen in your life." Usually from the same guy whose pitch changes. Rocky Point is not quite the sleepy fishing village with bargains that it once was, but still a great place. Have fun if you go, eat the shrimp, stay away from steak, and tell us about it when you get back.

Dale

"The shortest distance between two points is often unbearable."
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post #7 of 14 Old Oct 8th, 2009, 12:21 am
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

[QUOTE= or when my wife is not around, "see the biggest boobs you've ever seen in your life."

Dale[/QUOTE]

Um, you just gave me a flashback. When I was stationed in Corpus Christie (69-71), We used to drop down to Nuevo Laredo every month or so to a place called 'Boystown'.
Any of you guys ever been there?
Come on....Fess Up!

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post #8 of 14 Old Oct 8th, 2009, 10:00 am
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

I drove to Puerto Penasco with my family twice, once in January, and once in late June. I own a timeshare and driving there sure beats the cost of lying 4 people. The trip from L.A. is about 550 miles. You will see a lot of cars from AZ.
Lukeville is a great crossing point as it is small and with not much traffic.
No visa needed, just a Mexican insurance, which you can buy on line.
The roads are actually nice and people are friendly.
Try the Blue Marlin restaurant when you are in town.

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post #9 of 14 Old Oct 9th, 2009, 12:10 am
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

I have been there many times both on LT and in the car. Last time I was there was for Labor Day. For Rocky Point all you need is US Passport and Mexican insurance. The roads are OK and I did not see any crime at all. Nowadays they stop you both ways in and out of Mexico at US side. No guns are allowed in Mexico and do not bring cash more than $10K. :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lare
Greetings,

I'm thinking of driving to Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco) in the state of Sonora Mexico for a 5 day trip.

The various websites I've researched give me slightly confusing information about what I have to do to legally have a vehicle in that state for more than 3 days and less than 180.

It seems I need a tourist visa and paperwork to take my vehicle (I haven't decided on LT or car yet) into the country but I'm not 100% sure of the actual steps

I've never been to Mexico before. What I'd like would be for someone who's gone through the process to lay it out for me in simple enough terms (and directions where necessary) that even _I_ can understand it!

I've determined that I can get the tourist visa at the border. (I'll be crossing at Lukeville/Sonoita.) I've determined how to get auto insurance if I take the car. But the docs to get the car over and back? And where do I present them? The best site had instructions that said I should "go through the Declarations line at Mexican Customs and present the papers there." It seems to me that I won't have the paperwork yet.

Any experiece someone can relate? Any thoughts on whether taking the bike is a generally bad/good idea at all?

Matt Kas

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Laguna Niguel, Southern California (South Orange County)
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post #10 of 14 Old Oct 14th, 2009, 1:08 pm
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Exclamation Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

I rode with a commercial tour group into central Mexico. It is my understanding that when you get more than 25 miles from the border that you have to import your vehicle into Mexico. You get a special decal affixed to your bike. Upon departure that decal is collected at Mexican customs. You might want to do a little more research.

Tom

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post #11 of 14 Old Oct 15th, 2009, 5:10 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

I thought this was my research!

Things seem to have gotten confused. As I said in my original post I have discovered that I have to import the vehicle if it's going to be there more than 3 days no matter where it's going to be. That's the part I'm looking for someone to lay out. I envision something like "There's a big blue building on the right side of the road right after you cross the border. Go in there, stand in the line, tell the official that Jim says "hi" and hand him the documents that..., etc."

$10,000 cash, eh Matt? You must think you're my BMW service dealer!

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post #12 of 14 Old Oct 15th, 2009, 5:34 pm
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lare
I thought this was my research!

Things seem to have gotten confused. As I said in my original post I have discovered that I have to import the vehicle if it's going to be there more than 3 days no matter where it's going to be. That's the part I'm looking for someone to lay out. I envision something like "There's a big blue building on the right side of the road right after you cross the border. Go in there, stand in the line, tell the official that Jim says "hi" and hand him the documents that..., etc."

$10,000 cash, eh Matt? You must think you're my BMW service dealer!
I've only done this in Tecate which is a sleepy little border crossing. I imagine the larger ones are tougher.

Go in the border guard building and fill out the form, they were helpful with this. Walk across the street to the bank and pay your fee. Go back to the guard building with your receipt and receive your window sticker (permit)

There were a group of us so it took an hour but it wasn't a big deal.

__________
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2007 G650 X Challenge
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post #13 of 14 Old Oct 15th, 2009, 6:18 pm
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

From personal experience last winter there is no requirement for a vehicle permit if you stay west of Hwy #15 in Mexico. There is some confusion because the Sonora visa and vehicle permit requirements were changed in 2008. If the website is not current you can waste a lot of time reading dated information. If you do decide to get a permit anyway just so that you have more flexibility in your travel plans you will need to turn it in on your exit. One of the easiest ways to get an all Mexico permit is to do it online at the Banjercito web site and they will mail it to you. I have done it that way and it worked without any problems. Another easy option is to go to the Mexican consulate in Phoenix where you will be assured of some English speakers to explain the process.

The LT would be fine for the trip to Puerto Penasco and there is a great new highway which is almost unoccupied that runs west to the Baja if you are so inclined.

The shrimp in Puerto Penasco are superb!

Yiet
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post #14 of 14 Old Oct 16th, 2009, 11:40 am Thread Starter
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Re: Taking a vehicle into Sonora

iGracias mi amigos!

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