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Old 10 Nov 2013
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Baja Ferry in La Paz

i have heard a number of different stories as to whether i can get my vehicle trip permit for my motorcylce in la paz or not. Most recently i was told at the border that i will be able to and that where the confusion lies is that you cannot get a tourism card there. I thought i would throw this out there to see what the community has to say about it. Either way i will be in la paz without it because i am already in loreto headed there to work on a farm. Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 10 Nov 2013
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Hello Rufio,

In November, 2012, on my way to South America, I came down Baja and caught the ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan. I bought my TVIP at the port just outside La Paz. Originally I tried to purchase it in La Paz at the one bank (name escapes me, Banjercito maybe?) in town that sells the TVIP and they directed me to their office in the port. A very helpful lady sorted it all out for me and took my deposit. Then I walked over to the Baja Ferry ticket office and purchased my passage, leaving late afternoon. Whether the office is still there or the procedure has changed that I do not know. Hope this helps,

Regards, Mike.
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Old 10 Nov 2013
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Yes, you can get your TVIP at Pichilingue, where the ferry departs just outside of La Paz. However, you cannot get your TVIP without your tourist card. The tourist card can only be obtained in a select spots close to the border, not at La Paz.

There are many, many stories about travelers being turned away at La Paz and having to travel back to Ensenada because they didn't purchase their tourist card when they first entered Mexico.
Gene - http://www.RideDOT.com
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Old 13 Nov 2013
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I crossed onto the Baja from Az and was told that I could get my importation sticker at La Paz. When I got there, I was told "No', but I could have gotten my tourist card. So I rode back up to Tijuana and got both there. Glad I wasn't in a time crunch. The Baja is fine this time of year, hope you make it down for the Baja 1000. It starts 11-14 near Ensenada
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Old 13 Nov 2013
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Much poor attention paying going on in the past ,evidently never researched this here on HU Not scolding anybody , just trying to stop others from repeating these same gaffes.

It should have been known well before the trip that for visits to Mexico lasting longer than 72 hours a TOURIST PERMIT is required. Therefor that small document should clearly have bee obtained at the border at time of entry.
All border crossings into Mexico will be able to provide it , but it is up to the tourist to take the trouble to seek out the Migracion office and to ask for it .
No Mexican official will run out to you to remind you , you can ride across the border and go on for days into Baja before you encounter the severity of your oversight. Your fault.
The TVIP can be obtained at major border crossings .At small crossings it may only be availble during limited hours if BANJERCITO service is staffed.
The TVIP is and has been for ages available at the ferryport customs
terminal at Pichilingue .
The TVIP is issued by BANJERCITO because it does the finance aspect for the
border but it also operates more general banking services for army personnel and the public in offices in various
cities under the same name BANJERCITO . However these regular banks have no
connection to the issuing /cancellation of TVIPs.
The cancelling can only be done at the BANJERCITO present at
customs terminals at the border when you are preparing to leave Mexico .AGAIN , you are responsible to start the process of cancellation and that should be easy to remember if you do not want to
lose your security deposit.
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Old 14 Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by Sjoerd Bakker View Post
The TVIP can be obtained at major border crossings .At small crossings it may only be availble during limited hours if BANJERCITO service is staffed.
OK, I guess the Tijuana/San Ysidro crossing isn't considered a major crossing. It's the busiest border crossing in the world but doesn't offer the TVIP.

So I don't think it's a lack of research but a lack of (correct) information, mainly on Mexico's part.

I was with the OP (ruffio2289) at TJ when he obtained his tourist card. Two officials (one was INMI) provided different and conflicting information about the TVIP.
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Old 14 Nov 2013
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Right you are Dan, the San Ysidro to downtown Tijuana border crossing is indeed the busiest border crossing in the world between the USA and Mexico.
And it is so because the vast majority of traffic consists of Mexican and US citizens hopping back and forth between the two countries on daily commutes related to work and recreation within a few km of the border .These folks have totally no need for the TVIP nor the Tourist Card.
There is indeed full , complete document service available if one looks at the OTAY MESA border crossing from eastern San Ysidro 's industrial and trucking suburb. I used that crossing as recently as July 2013.
Check out Dr Benny's website Borderhelper.com and read about it.
That actual uniformed border workers give out incorrect information is not very professional of them , just laziness and ignorant of their facts. It happens
a lot, everywhere.
Likewise are these documents still provided at the border crossing of TECATE.I asked at that border crossing and was told by Migracion that ,yes, the TC was to be had at anytime the border is open and the TVIP also when the BANJERCITO staff was on duty there.
Again, traffic is mostly going only into Baja so there is low demand for TVIPs. Since it can be obtained at Pichilingue it is not critical if the TVIP is missed at the border if traveling down Baja . One MUST get the Tourist Card regardless of plans.
My previous post was aimed at BAJA also.That entire peninsula is treated as Frontier Zone and you can be days from the border when they finally send you back to get missing Tourist Card.
If one crosses into Mexico from Arizona, Mew Mexico and Texas you will be entering a much narrower border Frontier Zone and you will find the documents available at every entry town or at the Frontier Zone limit Customs Checkpoint . And at these checkpoints they will ask to see the TC and TVIP
before they allow you to go farther. The good part is that if you need to return to the border town it will still be only about 50km , not 3 days

Last edited by Sjoerd Bakker; 14 Nov 2013 at 15:49.
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Old 14 Nov 2013
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Cool Tourist Permit and TVIP Online

If you have a little time in one spot before entering Mexico you can get the TVIP online here: https://www.banjercito.com.mx/registroVehiculos/ I did this some time back just to see if it worked and it did. Costs a bit more I think but seemed worth the reduced efforts. It would also appear that you can now get the Tourist Permit online here: Inicio - Instituto Nacional de Migración This site came about for fishermen in SoCal but I think it is the same permit and is for 180 days. Someone that speaks better Spanish than I (since the english transalation is a bit hard to understand (for me). should have a look and let us all know the details. I am planning on using it in March 2014 but not yet.
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Old 16 Nov 2013
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I did not have any problem with this. 1) I crossed into Mexico at Tecate about 40 miles east of San Diego. That is a really laid back border crossing with about one vehicle passing every 15 minutes. So it's easy to get your paperwork right. 2) then when i got to La Paz it was easy to get all the required paperwork right to get to the mainland. I just went to the ferry terminal. My only other comment is that you should consider taking the ferry to Topobampo instead of Mazatlan. It's is the newest of the boats and you won't get seasick. It also gets you close to copper canyon. Dave
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Old 6 Mar 2014
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Light at the end of La Paz

Hola ruffio - I'm new to the HU community and was just cruising the posts relative to the Baja and this thread immediately caught my eye and my sympathy. My contribution might be a little dated for your trip down the Baja but the lack of a tourist visa barring entry to the ferry terminal at Pichilingue may have a new plot twist in 2014. I live and work in the La Paz area and also run a small hostel/campground inside the town. Many, many of my clients have suffered the same frustration of discovering they should have been a little more prepared for the immigration to Mexico (mainland) from Mexico (the Baja) when the arrive at the ferry to board. However starting this year, Mexican Migracion in La Paz has offered the Tourist visa in town vs sending everyone back to their point of entry into Mexico. The process requires presenting a letter of request for the Visa, a completed application form from the Mexican Migracion website, Passport and presenting all documents in person at the local Migracion office in La Paz. Upon arrival, you take a number, wait your turn, and turn on your best Espanol at the counter as most of the employees speak no or very limited English. They will open up a case for your application, provide you the case number in addition to a standard form allowing you to pay the process fee at the nearest bank - Migracion does not accept payment at the office. 2 of our guests spent 2 days this week and about 2000 pesos to receive a tourist visa for only 30 days and not the 180 normally granted on a tourist visa. The upside to this story is that La Paz and the surrounding area s a great place to spend a few extra days.

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