What happens if you get a ticket in Mexico?
If you get pulled over while driving in Mexico, remain calm and show your proof of insurance to the police officer, just like you would in the U.S. If you get a ticket, politely request a written citation that can be paid by mail or at the police station. Before leaving, record the time and location of the incident, as well as the police vehicle identification number and police officer's badge number. You can contest unfair fines at the nearest municipal judge or by calling the Tourist Assistance Hotline at 078.
What should I do if I get in an accident in Mexico?
Unlike in the U.S., many auto insurance claims in Mexico are decided on the spot. If you have an accident while driving in Mexico, follow these steps:
Check for injuries and notify the police
Like after any car accident, first check that you and others involved are safe. Call 911 for emergency assistance or to report your accident (yes, the emergency number is the same in Mexico and the U.S.).
Call your insurance
Call the number provided on your Mexico auto insurance policy to report your accident — remember, Mexico auto insurance is required when driving there. Request a bilingual adjuster if you don't speak Spanish and wait for them to arrive at the scene to help you handle the situation.
Show authorities your documentation
Once authorities arrive, be prepared to show them your license, passport, visa (FMM), temporary vehicle importation permit (a requirement for driving into Mexico), and printed out Mexico insurance information, including the Spanish translation of the declarations page.
Don't settle damages or move your car on your own
Don't settle the damages on the spot without your adjuster, even if the police or other driver encourage you to. Except in very few circumstances in large cities, you should typically only move your vehicle once your adjuster and the police have arrived and give you permission to.
Let your adjuster assess the situation and offer advice
Your adjuster will speak with you and the police about the circumstances and next steps. If there are injuries, it's possible that one or all involved parties may be arrested until fault is determined and the cost of injuries is calculated. However, this is less likely if you have insurance, which helps prove your ability to pay costs you're responsible for. If you have MexPro auto insurance through Progressive, you may request legal assistance by calling the number provided on your policy.
If your adjuster has your vehicle towed, write down the address
Your adjuster may have your vehicle towed to the nearest approved service center if it's undriveable. Make sure you know where your vehicle has been towed before you leave the scene. Never leave your vehicle at the site of the accident.
File your claim
Ensure your claim has been filed before you leave Mexico. Otherwise, it may not be valid. With MexPro, you can check on your claim's status when you're back in the U.S. by calling the toll-free number provided on your policy.
How are Mexico's driving laws different from U.S. laws?
There are key differences in the ways turning signals can be used in Mexico. It's common for slower Mexican drivers to use their left turn signal while they pull over to the right and allow faster traffic to pass while they wait for an opening to get back on the road.
And if a car needs to wait before making a left turn, they may use their right turn signal, pull over to the right to wait while traffic passes, and then when there's an opening make their left turn across multiple lanes of traffic.
Mexico's seatbelt laws, like those in most of the U.S., require the driver and all passengers in both the front and back seats to remain buckled while the vehicle is moving.
Much like in the U.S., speed limits in Mexico vary based on the region and type of road and are designed to keep motorists safe. However, speed limits in Mexico are posted not in miles per hour but in kilometers per hour. And in some smaller towns, these signs aren't well lit, which can increase the chances of getting a speeding ticket while driving in Mexico.
Do you know the Spanish words for "yield," "one way," and "no passing"? If not, it's time to brush up — you won't be excused from following the road signage simply because you're not fluent.
If you'll be driving in rural areas, know that many streets are unpaved, and animals and livestock frequently wander onto roads from nearby farms. Be sure to go slow to reduce the chances of an accident or a speeding ticket.