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  #1  
Old 4 May 2011
HU California Meeting Team
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Tourist card question for Baja, Mexico

Hey folks,

Another HUBBer and I are going to leave next week for a week-long ride down Baja (probably to about Santa Rosalia or Mulege). I *think* I have the general idea about necessary paperwork, but want to make sure.

I'm taking a couple of photocopies of each of the following: Mexican insurance, U.S. insurance, motorcycle registration, passport main page, and California driver's license. Does that sound about right?

Also, if I understand correctly, no "TVIP" (temporary vehicle import permit) is needed because we'll only be in Baja, but a $20 tourist card is necessary because we're going south of Ensenada.

I've heard that the tourist card purchase can only be done at certain banks, which (if true) would dictate when we could get them because the bank would have to be open. We're planning to cross at San Diego/Tijuana relatively early in the morning on Thursday. Is it OK to purchase the tourist card in Ensenada so we wouldn't need to hang around TJ waiting for a bank to open?

Thanks in advance for any help!
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  #2  
Old 4 May 2011
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Cool Baja and Tourist Permit and TVIP

Quote:
Originally Posted by cb160racer View Post
I'm taking a couple of photocopies of each of the following: Mexican insurance, U.S. insurance, motorcycle registration, passport main page, and California driver's license. Does that sound about right?

Also, if I understand correctly, no "TVIP" (temporary vehicle import permit) is needed because we'll only be in Baja, but a $20 tourist card is necessary because we're going south of Ensenada.

I've heard that the tourist card purchase can only be done at certain banks, which (if true) would dictate when we could get them because the bank would have to be open. We're planning to cross at San Diego/Tijuana relatively early in the morning on Thursday. Is it OK to purchase the tourist card in Ensenada so we wouldn't need to hang around TJ waiting for a bank to open?

Thanks in advance for any help!
You are right about the TVIP not being needed and that certain banks Banjecirto only sell them (there is always one where the paperwork is done) but they are not the banks where you pay for the tourist permit (different than the TVIP). If you are going to Mulege, theoretically, you would need the tourist permit since you will pass Guerrero Negro (the border). I have been down there many times (this past March most recently) and I have NEVER been asked to see insurance papers (but if you ever had a problem ....... As to the tourist permit, I have always just stopped at Tijuana (immediatley at the border on the right where the buses stop. Bank is right next door for tourist permit and I bet they open early) and gotten it there BUT you will only be asked for it in Guerrero Negro on the way North and the last two times I came thru there, they just waved us on, so if you feel lucky.......
The tourist permit cost $23 USD, and I bet the propina at Guerrero might be less........
The passport will be needed to come back into USA (or the equivelent card).
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Old 5 May 2011
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Thanks for the quick reply, Rick. I've now heard from others that the San Ysidro crossing has migracion and banjercito service 24/7, so we should be all set.
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Old 5 May 2011
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The tourist card is required for any stay longer than 72 hours , even in Baja California only.
.
There is something funny about the TC though.
And it depends much upon which border crossing one uses.I haven't done anything into Baja this year yet but have used several other crossings .
The TC must be paid for at a bank,--- ANY bank-- Or it can be paid fror at the Banjercito right at the border. It all depends on where you enter and maybe the mood of the staff.
Recently I crossed from USA at Reynosa city center and Piedras Negras using the km 51 terminal on Mex 57 at Allende Coahuila, and on both trips they were quite happy to let us pay for the TC immediately using a credit card at the Banjercito. At El Ceibo from Guatemala there is no Banjercito nor ANY other bank and the TC must be paid for at a bank somewhere inside Mexico, your choice, at some time before you return to the border to cancel the TC. It is NOT a requirement that you must pay for it at some border-town bank before they permit you to proceed .
At some crossings the Banjercito exists but they refuse to accept payment.....BUT ...even then the staff member in their non-Banjercito persona will often accept the payment and deposit it into a regular bank and cancel your TC for you. Very helpful and friendly people if you have the misfortune of forgwetting to cancel it yourself at a bank.
I do wish though that Banjercito would get this act straightened out and accept credit card payment just like any smalll business can do. Why the rigamarole of specifying a different bank payment mode?

Good to hear that the San Ysidro - is that Otay Mesa ? - crossing also does the tourist paperwork, in addition to downtown Tijuana
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  #5  
Old 5 May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjoerd Bakker View Post
Good to hear that the San Ysidro - is that Otay Mesa ? - crossing also does the tourist paperwork, in addition to downtown Tijuana
San Ysidro is the primary crossing at San Diego/Tijuana on Interstate 5 (or maybe it's 805 at that point); Otay Mesa is a different one, about 8 miles to the east, on 905.

I'll post my experience in a couple weeks after getting back!
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Old 6 May 2011
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Yes I know the SY and Otay Mesa crosssings quite well , have used them both a number of times. I was just wondering which one you were referring to in your first post as both of them are fed from I 5 from SY exits
Another note on the tourist card situation;
The new format TC which came into use 2 years ago is confusing to use. The card itself is small enough to fit in a passport but it has no space on it for a validaton stamp as the old style card did. Now when you pay for the TC the Banjercito or the consumer bank somewhere in Mexico has to run of TWO IDENTICAL PAGES of computer paper to give you as proof of payment. You must not lose these or forget about them, you must turn in one when you cancel your TC. If you do not have it ready , even if you did pay, you will have to pay again . Their computer setup is flawed because it does not flag your account as paid even if you did do so.
Would it not have made more sense to simply stamp PAGADO over the relevent Entrada stamp in your passport? ---- or to simply place a clear PAGADO stamp on the back of the TC ?
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Old 6 May 2011
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Red face Really Confused Here (quite normal)!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjoerd Bakker View Post
Another note on the tourist card situation;
The new format TC which came into use 2 years ago is confusing to use. The card itself is small enough to fit in a passport but it has no space on it for a validaton stamp as the old style card did. Now when you pay for the TC the Banjercito or the consumer bank somewhere in Mexico has to run of TWO IDENTICAL PAGES of computer paper to give you as proof of payment. You must not lose these or forget about them, you must turn in one when you cancel your TC. If you do not have it ready , even if you did pay, you will have to pay again . Their computer setup is flawed because it does not flag your account as paid even if you did do so.
Maybe this has something to do with USA and NON-USA (the only thing I can think of) but ... The last several trips I have taken to Baja Mexico, we stopped at the border in TJ, went to Imigration, filled out a simple form, got the stamp from there, walked next door to the bank, paid the $23, back to Imigration for another stamp, and copy of Tourist Permit (with stamp), TC good for 180 days), stamp in passport and away we went. Occasionally, we were asked for it at Guerrero going north (but not always). Three years ago, I used the same Tourist Permit to go back again since it was good for 180 days. Again talking about the Tourist Permit NOT the TVIP, a whole nother process.
Rick
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  #8  
Old 24 May 2011
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My fiance and I will be entering Mexico on our way down through Central and South America. As for this TVIP thing, can that be done at the same time as getting our TCs?
Also, it's a long story, but we don't have valid registration on our bike. We are however planning on traveling with (many) copies of the pink slip.
Will that be sufficient?
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  #9  
Old 26 May 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickMcD View Post
The last several trips I have taken to Baja Mexico, we stopped at the border in TJ, went to Imigration, filled out a simple form, got the stamp from there, walked next door to the bank, paid the $23, back to Imigration for another stamp, and copy of Tourist Permit (with stamp), TC good for 180 days), stamp in passport and away we went.
Rick
We're back from the Baja trip now, and that's exactly how it went. We entered Mexico late morning on a weekday so I can't verify that services are available 24/7 at the San Ysidro crossing, but the tourist permit (form FMM) was purchased just the way Rick described it. The only unexpected thing that happened was at the banjercito, where the young woman at the window indicated that we actually needed to go to the commercial bank window about 20 feet away (I think it's a Bancomer). I had previously heard that only the banjercito could take payment for the tourist visa.

The trip was great. We never had to show anyone a single document until we hit the border again returning to the U.S., where we had to show our U.S. passports. We must have gone through 8 or 10 military checkpoints, and nobody ever asked us to show them a driver's license, registration, passport, visa, or proof of insurance. I was always very glad that I had everything in case anyone did ask, though!
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