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I have a US-registered vehicle in Mexico. An American friend once told me that only other Americans can legally drive a US car in Mexico. That is to say, I cannot legally lend the car to a Mexican friend--or possibly not to a foreigner from any other country.

Is this true?

I will be on a road trip later this year with some Mexican friends, and a friend from Guatemala. Can any or all of these people drive the car legally?

  • Don't know about Mexico but some countries have rules about residents and foreign registered cars, might be another source of confusion/difficulties. – Relaxed May 15 '14 at 17:37
  • I wonder if you need to be a us resident. As Dutch citizen living abroad I am not allowed to drive a Dutch registered car. I am not sure but maybe this is a global thing – user141 May 15 '14 at 21:57
  • For example, if a German drives a foreign car in Germany, then it is assumed the car has been imported and import tax is due. If Mexico has a similar rule then it is not at all illegal to lend the car to a Mexican friend, but could be very expensive. – gnasher729 Sep 7 '14 at 19:15
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The vehicle temporarily imported by the owner may be driven in Mexico by the spouse or adult children, as long as they have the same immigration status. Other persons may drive the vehicle as long as the owner is in the vehicle. http://www.mexonline.com/drivemex.htm

  • Welcome to Travel.SE, and thank you for the answer! – Flimzy May 19 '14 at 18:59
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As long as you and your friends have valid licenses that permit you to drive within Mexico you should be fine. Many countries do however expect the vehicle owner to be present in the vehicle when it is being operated. You might want to check with the Mexican embassy to see if you need to have your proof of auto ownership on hand as well.

  • I had to present proof of ownership to get the permit to enter Mexico with the vehicle. What I want to know is if there is any law prohibiting others, specifically Mexican citizens, from driving my car. "You should be fine" isn't authoritative enough to satisfy me. – Flimzy May 15 '14 at 19:33
  • As long as they have legal licenses then they should logically be able to as long as you are present. If you are still uncertain I suggest that you contact your nearest Mexican embassy. – mccjeff May 15 '14 at 20:08
  • For the latest, most accurate and up to date information please see this link: consulmex.sre.gob.mx/montreal/index.php/en/traveling-to-mexico/… – mccjeff May 15 '14 at 22:49
  • Here is relevant information. mexicolegal.com.mx/foro-verconsulta.php?id=188398&forod=2 All I am trying to do is help. I don't care about up votes or what not. – mccjeff May 15 '14 at 22:55

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