before you go

Preparing for your drive in mexico

Safety, Insurance, and the Documents You Need

before you go

Preparing for your drive in mexico

Safety, Insurance, and the Documents You Need

Print and Keep in Your Vehicle

Document Checklist

This is a printable PDF version of the checklist below that can also serve as a guide in your document bag. Following this checklist will ensure you have the necessary documentation to keep your vehicle safe and legal.

Contact Card

A printable wallet-sized card with important legal, insurance, and embassy contact numbers for use in an emergency. We recommend keeping one with you and leaving a copy in your glove box.

Accident Guide

This PDF summary walks through step-by-step what to do if you get in an accident, including who to call and what to document. Read it over before you go, and keep it handy in case of an emergency.


Car insurance that specifically covers your vehicle in Mexico is not optional. It’s legally required, can prevent fines and tickets, and will make the difference between an easy resolution and a logistical nightmare if you are in an accident.

Most USA insurance companies do not cover your vehicle at all in Mexico, and those that do usually have a border-mile limit for coverage. Purchasing Mexico-specific car insurance from a reputable agency will protect you and your vehicle legally and should be considered a given on all road trips across the border. MXO Legal recommends Baja Bound Insurance as a reasonably priced provider that offers full coverage with medical assistance, generally at less per day than the cost of a tank of gas.

If You Do Not Have Insurance, You Can Be Detained and Your Car Held as Collateral

If you do not have insurance and are at fault, you will be detained and your car will be held as collateral. This is to ensure that you do not attempt to leave the country without providing compensation for any damage you have caused. This begins a lengthy process that may require legal representation, time, stress, and considerable expense. 

If you do have insurance, the process for a simple accident is similar to accidents in the USA. A claims adjuster will arrive with law enforcement, take pictures of the scene, and verify that your insurance covers the damage. If you are covered, compensation will be made through your policy. You may still be cited by law enforcement for any traffic violations that you committed as a part of the accident, and you would owe the fees associated with these citations, if applicable. 


Documents to Keep in Your Vehicle

Keeping your legal documents accessible, organized and secure will make your drive in Mexico safer and worry-free. The best way to ensure that even in an emergency your paperwork is in order is to keep photocopies of all important documents in a waterproof, transparent bag in the glove box. The container doesn’t need to be anything specia-made or fancy – a Ziploc freezer bag or bank bag will work fine. This ensures that emergency personnel will have access to your medical, contact, and identification information in case of an accident and that you will still have proof of identity if your main ID is lost or stolen.

We also recommend keeping a small amount of cash in pesos to pay for any roadside assistance such as fuel, battery, or tire issues, or to pay for a roadside mechanic if necessary.

Please use the checklist below as a guide for the documents you need. A printable PDF version is available here.

Mexico Driving Checklist

The following documents should be stored in the glove box of your car in a bank bag or freezer-style gallon Ziploc bag. They are for use in emergency, or if your primary documents go missing or are stolen in the course of your trip.

  • Photocopy of Your Car Title
  • Insurance Policy Information (we recommend Baja Bound)
  • Original Registration Certificate
  • Photocopy of Your Driver's License
  • Photocopy of Your Passport
  • 1000 Pesos in 200 Peso Bills (about $50)
  • Phone Number of the US Consulate in Your Home State
  • A Statement of Important Medical Information
  • Photocopy of Passenger IDs
  • A Copy of Your Travel Permission Letter if Your Car is Financed
  • Contact Card
  • MXO Legal Accident Guide
  • MXO Legal Emergency Number: (520) 331-9995

Remember to drive safely, respectfully, and within the rules of the road. Preventing an accident is always better than responding to one.

If You Are In An Accident,
We're Always Here To Help

Contact MXO Legal 24/7 at (520) 331-9995 for Immediate Assistance

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