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Driving in or through Mexico, DF (Mexico City)

So you’ve decided to embark on a trip through or to Mexico City. You will want to know the regulations before driving through DF (Distrito Federal, Federal district).

Make sure you have nothing in the vehicle that is not yours and that you cannot account for. Make sure you have notarized copies of all your documents (driver’s license, passport, FM3, title to the vehicle) at home or in the car and keep the originals in the other location.

If you have an FM3, make sure have a Mexican driver’s license if you have been in Mexico longer than six months.

If you have a foreign vehicle on your FM3, make sure you have a copy of the following with you to show anyone that pulls you over that you can keep the vehicle in the country after the entry permit has expired as long as your FM3 is valid.

Length of stay for a vehicle

Check the dates and times during which you cannot circulate with your vehicle in Mexico City (DF). This is according to the last digit of your license plate.

Locatel Hoy No Circula

Here are a few items of interest:

  • If you have a Mexican vehicle from a state that doesn’t verify (do air care), you may not drive in DF from 5:00 am – 11:00 am Monday to Friday and plus one day per week and one Saturday per month
  • If the car is verified in DF (voluntarily), only for cars from 2002 to date (as of the date this was published), the 5:00 am – 11:00 am restriction is lifted and only the one day per week and one Saturday apply
  • If your vehicle has vanity plates with no number on them, the plate will apply to the “blue sticker” restriction
  • Some states (such as Puebla and Hidalgo) have a special arrangement with DF and you may be able to get a special sticker that lifts the 5:00 am – 11:00 am restriction for newer vehicles

Other considerations:

  • Be sure to have your route planned out (Mapquest, Google Maps, GPS, etc.)
  • If you are really lost, you can ask a taxi driver to guide you to the place you are going either in DF or on the highway out, once there, pay the taxi driver if you can avoid paying in advance, which would likely be no more than $300 pesos depending on how far you are going and be sure to always pull over in a safe place and not right on the highway
  • Make sure you do not have a lot of cash on you but enough to get you out of trouble
  • Keep your windows rolled up
  • Do not leave valuables in plain sight
  • If driving in Mexico City frequently, consider having a protective, transparent anti-theft coating put on the windows of your vehicle
  • Have the full address of your destination with you including cross streets and the name of the Colonia as well as nearby landmarks
  • Know the motor vehicle laws and codes before you go, you can check the link below though it is not guaranteed to be the latest and most correct information

Reglamento de tránsito

Official information according to Locatel (read chapter 7, pages 24 through 27) published December 28th, 2009 in the Gaceta Oficial

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