Originally Posted by Kennif
Andi and Ellen
With respect, this person's experience does not match ours. We didn't stop in Ensenada and had to pay double the fee at La Paz to get the required docs. My advice is to definitely stop in Ensenada and complete the formalities.
It was an unnecessarily stressful experience because Aduanain La Paz told us we would have to go all the way back to Ensenada.
Your call. We wrote about it on our blog.
Ken and Shirley.
Originally Posted by Two Moto Kiwis
Heya Jim, yeap been following Dick and Ken (above), we are going to head into mainland Mexico so will do everything right at the border, certainly listening to those who have just done it and avoiding any more issues.
Our first issue is the possibility/probability that we will have to run over our VISA with my bike being in surgery so EVERYTHING we didn't won't.!!!!
Have written to Homeland Security Immigration so waiting to hear back from them, all geting a bit tight but it will fall into place I am sure.
Looking, learning, listening all helps from every bit of info and experience.
We are alive and well so that counts 100% at this point
A bit of mis-information here regards Mexican Visa/TVIP policy.
Kiwi's! Good you wrote ICE/Homeland. Hopefully they have a record of your request and will cut you slack ... AS THEY SHOULD. You have receipts of work done on bikes, right? Show them, or have them CALL the dealership to verify. I hope they do you right. Good luck!
Regards Mexican Visas and TVIP (temporary vehicle import permit).
You've got it right! Do it ALL at the border ... whatever border.
You both will need a Mexican Tourist Visa ... now up to about $20 each, good for six months. Make sure they make it for six months, some Migracion agents may try to short you on time. Don't allow it. Insurance is NOT required, but its a good idea. On line, purchased before trip is cheapest/best.
Your Tourist Visa's should be acquired at the border. Any border. The TVIP for the bikes is not needed for any of Baja California ... but the Tourist Visa IS required for you two.
The locations for getting your TVIP varies depending on which border crossing you decide to cross. Some are 5 to 10 miles from actual border, some, like Tijuana, are right near by.
Ask at Migracion location of "Banjercito" (Army bank). If you go down Baja
(the only way to go really) then you can also get your TVIP at the Ferry Terminal in La Paz, Baja.
DON'T SHOW UP THERE WITHOUT ALREADY HAVING YOUR TOURIST VISA ... if you do ... they will NICK YOU for a fine.
You've been warned!
Most border posts keep the Banjercito/Aduana office separate from Migracion office. They issue the TVIP permits. This is true in Tijuana and Nogales, and other crossings as well. ASK someone who speaks English.
OR ... "Permiso por Moto? Donde'?"
SAY: "PEAR-ME-SO POOR MOW-TOW"
The permiso for your Moto's (TVIP), is now up to about $35 usd each, and they require a credit card deposit and charge about $400 usd to your card. This is refunded when you exit Mexico. The system works, I've done it 3 times without issue. A $400 Credit showed up on my CC bill within a day of crossing border. When exiting, make sure the agent takes Photos of your VIN number and files it on computer. If you fail to exit properly, you lose your $400.
This last bit has changed from previous years. Used to be they'd take your CC card info as a deposit but not ever charge your card. Now, they charge it ON THE SPOT. So, if your bill is due, you'll have to pay the bill if your still in Mexico. Make sense?
In terms of danger ... I would not worry too much. The Army have temporary control of the roads during daytime. I would travel from the border early in the morning, be done riding by 4pm if you can. The area around Culiacan on Mex. 15 is one of the Drug gangs hot spots.
But overall, Baja is safer than Northern Mexico over on the mainland. Baja is also more mellow, much less traffic, it's more beautiful and more fun than Northern Mainland Mexico in general. I've done it both ways numerous times since 1964 ... and when in Baja, never listen to the old X Pat Gringo drunks who will warn you off going over to the Mainland. Most haven't been there in 20 years. Lots of retired Americans living in Baja ... who (after a few drinks) think they know everything.
I would take the Ferry from La Paz, Baja over to Topolobambo, not to Mazatlan. It's cheaper, only 5 hours vs. 14 hours, comfortable and Topo is near Copper Canyon ... another must see destination.
I know a great paved road approach route to Copper Canyon from Topolobambo if you need it. A great route!
You most definitely need to stop and get stamped out of USA ... otherwise you just roll on through the border ... next thing you know you're in Mexico!
So STOP before the border, park and walk to US Immigration on the US SIDE ... and go in and get stamped out! Then, back to bikes, ride into Mexico. Going South, its a NO STOP border at most crossings. BEST!!