While local and long-distance moving can be complicated, moving your household across country borders can be much more difficult. In particular, moving from the United States to Mexico presents its own set of unique challenges to consider, whether you’re moving out of the country for work, to retire, to study, or simply to experience a new adventure South of the border.

At Merit Moving Systems, we’ve been helping more and more Americans settle into new homes across the United States, in Mexico, and around the world. We know how complicated international moving can be, which is why we’ve prepared this guide for you to understand what it takes to plan a smooth and successful move across the Mexican border.

The Mexican Border and Your Move

It’s a fact that there are extra considerations involved when crossing into Mexico with the intent to relocate. Just as you might expect in any country, there are certain rules and regulations that foreigners must follow to gain legal access into the country for residential living purposes.

To get started here’s are some of the most important steps for driving in Mexico in a moving truck—your first step towards your relocation in Mexico.

Packing for Your Move

  • Use Moving Boxes: Use standard moving boxes—not garbage bags, product boxes, or crates. These can be purchased at your local moving company. This is to avoid extra scrutiny from border officials at customs who might want to take a closer look at boxes that seem suspicious or out of character with your move.
  • Label Everything: Label everything in detail on the outside of the boxes. This can be critical when dealing with border patrol officials at the Mexican border, who will want to know what is inside the boxes you’re bringing in and whether they’re able to enter the country or not. For any appliances you’re bringing with you, make sure to note the make, model, and serial number as an extra form of security during your move.

Preparing Your Documents for Border Crossing

Passport: Crossing the Mexican border by land will require the use of a passport for all adults over the age of 16. Children under the age of 16 may enter the country in a vehicle at most border crossing points with a birth certificate, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad, or a Naturalization Certificate when accompanied by their parents or legal guardians.

  • FM3 or FM2: This will be dependent on the details of your move. Contact your local embassy to determine which type of immigration form you’ll need before making your move into Mexico.
  • Inventory List: Make a list of the belongings you’re bringing into Mexico and be sure to include three copies of your list of items (translated into Spanish). Make sure every electronic/electrical item is at least six months old, and that the list includes all make, model, and serial number information. Remember that anything not listed in proper format is subject to confiscation by Mexican authorities, so make sure everything is in compliance with Mexican immigration rules and customs laws.
  • Declaratory Letter to Customs Office: This letter states that everything being shipped is used, or there are invoices accompanying the new items purchased. For simplicity and compliance, don’t bring new items with you into Mexico, as you could have them confiscated (or be forced to pay a fine).

Moving to Mexico

  • Double-Check Rental Rules: Not every company allows you to drive their rental truck across international borders. Before you purchase your rental, verify that there is no problem on the company’s end by crossing the border into a foreign country.
  • Verify Transport Capabilities: Be sure that your rental truck or vehicle is capable of long-distance driving into Mexico. The last thing you’ll need is for your vehicle to break down in the middle of unknown streets and highways in a foreign country, so have it checked by a mechanic before moving day arrives.
  • Check Vehicle Entry Requirements: If renting a moving truck from a moving company, be sure to check and see whether it’s allowed to enter Mexico or not. Vehicles must be of a certain size, year, and meet other requirements to be allowed into the country and can be denied access into the country if they do not meet these specific guidelines. Failing to adhere to these rules (while entering anyway) can result in confiscation of your vehicle and all its contents, or a hefty fine.
  • Insurance: Besides the above-mentioned tips, you must also get insurance. Specifically, you need transit insurance and Mexican insurance. This will ensure that you are protected in the event that your goods are misplaced and that you are protected while driving in a new country.

Crossing Borders with Merit Moving Systems

Whenever a move across international borders is on the agenda, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a complicated process. At Merit Moving Systems, we’re well-prepared for international moves of all sizes and scopes and know exactly what it takes to help our customers prepare for a stress-free, no-hassle journey across the border.

If you’re feeling intimidated about your upcoming move to Mexico, Merit Moving Systems can help. With specialized services and personalized logistics tailored to suit your border crossing needs, you can count on us to make moving to Mexico a smooth and easy transition.