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Driving in USA with Mexican license plates

Question: Can I drive in the US with Mexican license plates?

Answer: Yes, in general it is permitted for one to drive in the United States in a vehicle with foreign license plates, such as those that are Mexican tags.

While it is usually legal to drive in the US with foreign plated cars, state laws do differ so you should contact the Department of Motor Vehicles of the state or states which you want to drive in to see how long you are allowed to drive your vehicle with its Mexican license plates and what laws they have that may affect you. Other questions include what car insurance coverage is required, do you just need a valid Mexican driver's license to operate in their state or get a US license after a certain time period, etc. If you need insurance, read our guide on how to get insurance with a Mexican license.

There are also certain documents that you likely will need to show at the border crossing to come into the United States and drive back to Mexico so check with the US customs and border patrol as well as the Mexican customs to see what they will require you show.


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1 Responses to "Driving in USA with Mexican license plates"
  1. Gerald Arnoult

    I have a '91 Ford Aerostar van, that wont pass U.S. smog. I passed Mexican smog check, which was free. Frankly, I think the U.S. wants all older cars off the road. My van runs good. Can I just import the car to Mexico and drive in the U.S.? I have relatives in Tijuana, so if I have to I will register under their name in Mexico. Right now my economic situation is not good and need my van to drive to different points in San Diego.

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