• Richa Shetty

Driving Laws in Mexico (A Must Read Guide to Drive in Mexico City)

Mexican Common Road Traffic Rules, Drivers are Expected to Know about:

  • Driving is on the right side of the road and overtaking is on the left side.

  • The minimum driving age is 15 years.

  • It is not permitted to turn right on red unless there is an additional sign or signal.

  • At all times while driving, a foreign driver must have a valid driving permit and, if it is required, an international driver's license; passport; car registration papers; auto insurance; proof of car ownership, or renting.

  • Mexican insurance is required for all vehicles.

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal.

  • Using cell phones is prohibited while driving in many parts of Mexico.

  • It is required that only owners drive their vehicles, or that the owner is in the vehicle.

  • The legal blood-alcohol level is 0.08%.

  • It is required that a driver and passengers in the front and rear seats to wear seat belts.

  • The maximum speed limit is: in the city - 40 km/h; outside the city – 80 km/h; on highways – from 100 to 110km/h.

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Driving Laws in Mexico (A Must Read Guide to Drive in Mexico City)

Top 4 Must-Read Mexican Roadways Rules:


1. Stick to the Toll Roads (“Cuotas”):

The Department of State advises driving on toll roads for increased safety and better road conditions. This is also recommended because outside of major cities in Mexico, emergency or police services may be limited. Also, Read America's 7 Most Haunted Roads


2. Learn the Different Road Elements:

Here are some common road conditions to look out for, according to USA Today:

  • Topes: Mexican speed bumps (“topes”) are not always marked with yellow paint and there may not be warning signs.

  • Potholes: Many roads in Mexico aren’t government regulated and may have large potholes.

  • Left-hand highway exits: Instead of using exit ramps and overpasses to get to the opposite side of the freeway, Mexico implemented a “return system,” says Trip Advisor. These are areas where you can pull over and pause to safely make a U-turn just past your intended exit. Read more about How Does a GPS Vehicle Tracking Device Work in your Vehicle?


3. Understand that Turn Signals may be Used for Different Purposes:

Turn signals in Mexico can be used to mean more than one thing, according to USA Today. For example, if you’re on the highway and the driver in front of you uses his left turn signal, this could indicate that it’s safe for you to pass him. Explore what 11 Things To always Keep In Your Vehicle? Which Will Help You During an Emergency or Break Down.


4. Know about Driving on the Shoulder:

Oncoming drivers in Mexico will often enter your lane of the road to pass other vehicles, says Trip Savvy – and it’s typically expected that other vehicles will move over to accommodate them. If a vehicle is approaching in your lane from the opposite direction, you should move over and drive on the shoulder to allow them to pass. Also, Read What is FMCSA? USA DOT


Here is Some Other Valuable Information to Drive-in Mexico:


Car Rental in Mexico:

To save on your rental, we advise booking your car in advance. You will save the most if you do this several week or even several months prior to your trip. Rental offices in Mexico usually raise rental prices over time, based on the number of cars left available for the accounting period. Also, Read What is FMCSA? USA DOT

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Where should I Park my Vehicle:

Drivers should be particularly careful when choosing a place for parking. Do not leave the car in the street, as the chance of theft is very high. It is better to use covered parking lots, and leave the car near busy shopping centers or hotels. Also, Read What is a Truck Stop? Is it Safe Staying at Truck Stop?


Speed Limit for Driving in Mexico City:

There are speed limits on all kinds of roads. On the territory of some cities, drivers are likely to see roads, on which it is simply impossible to move with a speed of more than 20 km/h. On toll roads, the speed limit is usually 110 km/h. Local residents are not distinguished by diligent following speed limits, so speeding remains one of the most common violations in Mexico. Explore the 8 Ways to Improve Driver Behavior with a Modern Fleet Management System


How is the Traffic Conditions in Mexico City:

Mexico City remains the leader in terms of heavy traffic jams. In the capital, it is recommended to use cars only in case of an emergency. There are approximately 8 million vehicles in Mexico, so driving at a high speed is simply impossible on local streets. There is a very interesting rule that works on the streets of the capital. It is called “One day without a car” (Un Dia Sin Auto). Once a week, drivers are not allowed to use a personal car. The exact day, on which it is forbidden to ride a car, depends on the last digit in the car’s number. Read also: What is Reckless Driving? Is it a Criminal Offense? (Simplified)


Some Additional Advice:

  • In remote areas, there may be a lot of people walking on the highway.

  • Always be sure who has the right of way.

  • Plan your trip ahead of time.

  • It is helpful to have a basic Spanish phrasebook.

  • In a case of an incident, you are guilty until proven innocent, especially, if you don’t have Mexican auto insurance. The police may impound your vehicle, especially if you don’t have an insurance adjuster or an attorney who can defend your rights.

  • You should buy Mexican auto insurance which will include claims adjusters and an attorney who will come to the scene of an accident.

  • Avoid driving at night.

  • Always keep car doors locked and windows up while driving.

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Contact us for a quick demo or 14-day trial to know more about our Fleet Management Software Mexico, and how we can help in connecting your assets in real-time to the internet in Mexico. Visit our FAQ page for some frequently asked questions on fleet management.


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