Thread: On Mexican Time
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:14 AM   #33
tricepilot OP
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Joined: Apr 2006
Location: San Antonio
Oddometer: 8,057
Border Crossing 101

Veterans of Mexico travel, skip this section.....this is only to help those who have never been into Mexico on a motorcycle and who aren't sure what the paperwork drill is like...

We crossed the U.S./Mexico border bright and early, and paid the toll (37 pesos, or about three bucks and change):



Once past the toll booth,



we were ready to hit the aduana



At this crossing, it is about 12 miles into Mexico, where we hit the combination aduana/imigracion/checkpoint to do the tourist visa and the vehicle import permit. Some place, this is right at the border (like Palomas), other places, its in the city somewhere (like Reynosa), and other places, its like this.

We parked the bikes, and lined up to do the dance



Obviously, there are two groups of people, those that have ridden a motorcycle in Mexico and those that haven't.

Of those who haven't been in on a motorcycle, there are two groups, those who are a little hesitant, and those who will charge right in without ever having been to Mexico before. Both types are good.

Of those who are hesitant, there are usually two reasons for their concern, (1) fear of police/bribes/kidnapping etc and (2) the mystery of the border paperwork shuffle. We'll talk about (1) later, and (2) we'll deal with here.

Crossing into Mexico is straightforward, but if you are unprepared and/or don't follow advice very well, it can end up like this:



I've been across the border from these places:

McAllen/Reynosa
Del Rio/Acuña
Presidio/Ojinaga
Columbus/Palomas
Nogales

And I have never once had a problem or a hassle coming or going at the border. But I usually see someone having an issue, and its usually because they've overlooked something simple.

There are two things you need to get across the border

(1) Yourself
(2) Your Bike

To get yourself into Mexico, you'll need a tourist visa. It looks like this:



The red arrow points to the stamp the imigracion official pounds out after you show your passport or birth certificate.

You'll get that done, get copies of your documents made, and then go to the Banjercito to get the second stamp on your tourist visa.

The blue arrow points to the stamp the banjercito (Mexican Army Bank) pounds out after you paid the fee for the visa.

At the Banjercito, in addition to taking care of the payment for the tourist visa, you'll get the vehicle import permit. It looks like this:



Place it on your bike like this:





By the time you're done, you'll have two charges on your credit card:



Make sure the visa is made out for 180 days:



One really important thing, make sure your receipt for the vehicle import permit is accurate down to the letter and number:



Check this while you are standing at the window, don't walk away to check the accuracy of this. If you have to get it fixed, you don't want to wait in line again. If it's wrong and you leave the Banjercito, it will be a big headache later on.

Fold this document and your visa and keep them with your passport. You'll turn both in when you exit Mexico, along with the sticker off your bike.

There is a problem here:



Bruce and Alejo are dealing with an "issue".

Someone brought a vehicle registration that did not match their credit card. The names have to match exactly, if they don't, there is a good chance you don't enter Mexico.

Issue number two: Someone brought a credit card that had no "room" on it. It was "maxed out". That person had to post a cash bond for the bike.

Only extreme charm and patience got person in the first scenerio into Mexico. I would'nt bank on charm every time.

With all of the paperwork finally fixed, we were ready to dive deeper into Mexico.

One other thought.

I wouldn't cruise around Mexico without this:




Or medical insurance. MEDEX and plans similar only cost about 4 bucks a day. I'll tell you a story later on about a gringo who got smashed in Durango by a drunk driver. So its good to have insurance, both motorcycle and for yourself.

Border Crossing 101 is over...

tricepilot screwed with this post 11-26-2007 at 09:14 AM
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