There are many things in Mexico that aren’t like back home. Different laws, different procedures for banking, and many different ways of thinking. We’ll look at other “Did You Know?” topics on this page. I bet you didn’t know at least some of them.
Have you discovered a difference that surprised you? Please email us at the address on the right!
Did you know drone laws in Mexico have major limitations?
As of 2021, drones of any size are not allowed to travel into Mexico. You also cannot use a drone in Mexico if you are not a citizen. All drones weighing over 250 grams (approx. half a pound) require registration with the DGCA. Registration requires an official ID proving Mexican citizenship, therefore prohibiting registration by foreign persons.
Fly only in daylight. Keep the drone within your visual sight and no farther than 1,500 feet away from the operator. Do not fly higher than 400 feet above ground level. Do not fly over people or animals. Do not fly at historical sites such as Chichen Itza. Drones must stay 9.2 kilometres (5 nautical miles) away from any aerodrome. Please do not exceed the drone’s maximum operating speed based on its maximum takeoff weight. Drones must not drop objects that may cause damage to people or property. Be sure to follow the drone policies for the hotel or resort you are staying. Fines may be a high as 400,000 pesos.
Did you know that opening a bank account in Mexico takes patience?
Very few banks will allow a tourist to open a bank account. Sometimes, ScotiaBank, InterCam and CI Banco will do so. Most banks will require you to be a Temporary or Permanent Resident. There will be many pages of paper to open a bank account, and the time to do so will be at least one hour. You will require your passport, FMM tourist card or Temporary / Permanent resident card, and an utility bill in anyone’s name showing your address. Some banks also require a RFC number which is a tax identification number. An RFC is available from SAT, the tax office, once a person is a temporary or permanent resident.
Did you know that King and Queen beds in Mexico are shorter?
A standard King or Queen mattress in Canada or the US is 80 inches long (203 cm). In Mexico, they are 75 inches (190 cm) long. That difference will be significant for those who are taller and when buying sheets. When buying bed sheets for Canadian or American-sized beds in Mexico it will take some extra searching but they are available. If you use a California King, 84″ long, the difference will be greater.
U.S. Measurements (in inches)
- Twin: 38″ x 74″
- Twin Extra Long: 38″ x 80″
- Full: 54″ x 74″
- Queen: 60″ x 80″
- King: 76″ x 80″
- California King: 72″ x 84″
Mexican Measurements (in meters and inches)
- Individual: 1.00 m x 1.90 m [39.37″ x 74.80″]
- Matrimonial: 1.35 m x 1.90 m [53.15″ x 74.80″]
- Queen: 1.50 m x 1.90 m [59.06″ x 74.80″]
- King: 1.90 m x 2.00 m [74.80″ x 78.74″]
Did you know Mexico celebrates Children’s Day?
In Mexico, Dia del Niño (Children’s Day) takes place each year on April 30, and it’s a big deal! Many parents buy their children a gift, and schools hold big celebrations, complete with games, candy, music, performances, piñatas and much more. Malls, restaurants and parks hold special celebrations as well, and in stores put all of the toys go on sale.
Did you know Farmacia Similares has major discounts?
Farmacia Similares may be found throughout much of Mexico. On Mondays, they have 25% off on all medications. And, each day of the week they have 3 for the price of 2 but only on some medications.
Did you know most grocery store packers are not paid?
At grocery and other stores usually those who pack your items at the check-out counter are not paid. They depend on tips for income. Similarly, people who fuel your car, receive minimal income and they also depend on tips. And, those who take your groceries to your car and who guide you when backing out at a parking spot are seeking a tip as that is their only source of income.
Did you know you may pay for tolls electronically?
Tolls are paid by cash using pesos or electronically. PASE is the most common electronic device. The web site lists the locations where the transponder (TAG) may be purchased such as OXXO, 7-Eleven, Circle K, etc. Through an app on your phone or at the locations selling the TAG, you may recharge. No more fumbling for payment nor counting your change if accurate. At some tolls there is an express lane just for those with a TAG.
Did you know vehicles registered in Mexico require an emissions test every 6 months?
In most, if not all Mexican states a vehicle, even when new, requires an emissions test every six months. The timing is based on the last digit of your license plate. For Guanajuato state please see my web site under Guanajuato Driver’s License and Vehicle Registration. In addition, Mexico City and Puebla have limitations called No Circula when vehicles may drive depending on their license plate last digit. Those from outside the area require a special permit. Hybrids vehicles as exempt from needing an emissions test for up to 8 years, depending on the state. Electric vehicles, as expected require no testing and in many states, they have no annual tax called tenencia.
Did you know you are to carry original documents to prove your legal status of being in Mexico?
As a tourist, you are to carry your passport and original FMM tourist card. As a temporary or permanent resident please have your resident card and there is no need to have your passport. You need originals so the documents may be scanned electronically including holograms. If stopped and you do not have originals, you may be held in detention until someone retrieves originals and it will at least be an overnight experience. Copies and cell phone photos do not meet the legal requirements. Many will risk not carrying required documents locally but some have been asked for these in the area they live. Plus, if requirements are not with you, will you remember to take them when you travel anywhere beyond your home base?
Did you know Mexican banks have deposit insurance?
In Mexico, the Instituto para la Protección al Ahorro Bancario (IPAB) is the deposit insurance set up by the country for account holders in registered Mexican banks. It insures up to 400,000 UDIs (Unidad de Inversión), the equivalent of $3,068,000 pesos for each account.
Did you know you must report change of status to Immigration within 90 days?
This includes change of address; marriage; divorce; death of spouse as you need to change your status; earning income in Mexico; you stop earning income in Mexico once you informed SAT (tax office) and Immigration you were earning income; change in employer; etc.
When earning income in Mexico a permanent resident has 90 days to report change of status as they have the right to work but a temporary resident needs to immediately apply for a “work visa” officially known as Permiso Para Trabajar following registration with SAT for taxes. The 90 days does not apply to a temporary resident who begins earning income in Mexico.
Did you know a minor traveling in to Mexico does not need parental consent?
Since January 24, 2014, foreign minors under the age of 18 traveling to Mexico alone or with a third party of legal age as visitors for a stay if up to 180 days, do not require authorization or a letter of consent from their parents or guardian. And, Mexican migratory authorities will allow these minors to leave Mexico upon presentation of a valid passport.
Did you know that most vehicles bought in Mexico may not be imported into the US?
For a vehicle sold in Mexico, to be imported into the US, the vehicle must meet US emissions and safety requirements. Even if the vehicle was made in the US, it may have been manufactured with different standards. Here is what is required to import a vehicle into the US: US Customs and Border Protection
Did you know that having copies of your documents is important?
Please have photos of your passport, driver’s license and temporary or permanent resident card, plus debit and charge cards front and back on your computer or in the cloud. All of these are easier to replace if lost or stolen when you have a copy somewhere.
Do You Know the Requirements to Open a LLC in Mexico?
An LLC is a Limited Liability Company in Mexico. The Mexico company formation process is one that includes several steps and investors need to observe all of these, plus the conditions for company taxation and filing, once the company is operational. Investors need to go through these following stages:
- obtain the name authorization from the Ministry of Economy;
- prepare the company deed with a notary public in Mexico;
- register the deed with the Public Register of Commerce;
- receive the tax ID number and register with the local tax administration;
- register for social security purposes and notify the government of having opened a mercantile establishment;
- register the company with the National Business Information Registry;
- a bank account set up in their own name and investors;
- These tax and reporting obligations must always be done with the assistance of qualified Mexican accountants.
- When the company will hires its first employee, the said employee will be registered with the Mexican Social Security Institute.
For more information please see here.
Do you know it is illegal to retain your vehicle license plates in such a way as they are not easily removed?
Throughout Mexico, when you have certain types of traffic violation, it is common practice to remove at least one license plate. Therefore, your vehicle’s license plates may not be fastened with rivets or other means which makes them difficult to be removed with a screwdriver. If you have a traffic violation, requiring your license plates to be removed and it is not easy to do so, you will receive a second fine and your vehicle will usually be towed.
Do you know that coins from another country may not be exchanged at a bank in Mexico?
Therefore, please do not use coins from another country for payment nor for tips in Mexico.
Do you know daylight savings time has been eliminated in most of Mexico?
Most of Mexico will remain on standard time all year.
Did you know Mexico City has an up-to-date air quality map?
It may be found here.
Did you know there is organic certification in Mexico?
While may items in Mexico are sold as organic at various markets the vast majority are not certified organic. Often meat, produce, baked goods, etc may be marketed as being organic and they have organic prices but seldom are they truly organic.
CCOF is an approved certification body under the Mexican Organic Standards (LPO) and who are part of the implementation of the historic organic program of Mexico. Our SENASICA-issued Certifier Identification Number is OC-220921-14-CPAA-004. SENASICA is a USDA-equivalent branch of Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER).
The Mexican standards are similar to the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) standards in most areas. CCOF’s Mexico Compliance Program verifies compliance with Mexican organic requirements for operations in addition to USDA NOP requirements.
This program is for certification to the LPO and is required for organic operations located in and exporting to Mexico. All operations located in Mexico are required to obtain LPO certification in accordance with SENASICA’s Circular Number 16/2018, published on September 12, 2018. Operations exporting finished organic product to Mexico must also obtain LPO certification.
Did you know Mexico has a Federal noise law as well as Mexico City?
The Federal noise law is here. And, the chart indicates allowable decibels.
For Mexico City fines can be as high as US $453,000 for repeat offenders. In Mexico City between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., noise of up to 68 decibels is permitted. Between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., the permitted noise level falls to 65 decibels. Authorities can also temporarily close businesses, construction sites and other locations that have violated noise regulations, and confiscate their assets, such as sound systems or power tools.
Mexico City’s Environment and Zoning Prosecutor’s Office is responsible for defending the right of citizens to enjoy an environment free of excessive noise. It can be contacted on the extensions 15410, 15420, 15430, 15450, 15440 and 15212 following the phone number 5-265-0780.
Complaints may also be filed on-line. Click the “ruido” (noise) icon to begin.
Did you know propane heaters may be dangerous?
Propane heaters are the most common source of heat for those cold days. As they are not vented outside and they produce carbon monoxide extra caution is required. Carbon monoxide has the potential to make you very sick and in some cases cause death. It is not possible to detect carbon monoxide as there is no odor. Protection is provided by a carbon monoxide monitor. Non-vented fireplaces are also common and again they present the same dangers. Mini-splits are a source of heat but they use a lot of electricity and most are 220 volts meaning your electrical supply would have to be upgraded at considerable expense. One of the best options for heat is a wall furnace. They are placed in your house on an outside wall meaning they bring in fresh air from outside and exhaust outside. You may set the temperature and the heater is totally automatic. Flame size and fan speed then varies to control the temperature. Be sure it uses propane. Rinnai is an excellent make and there are others. Wall furnaces come in different sizes and the largest has the ability to heat about 1000 sq ft. of open space.
Do you know some of the common metric conversions?
I kilogram = 2.2 pounds
2.54 cm = 1 inch
1 meter = 3.3 feet / 39.4 inches
100 km/h = 62 mph
120 km/h = 75 mph
10 Celsius = 50 F
20 Celsius = 68 F
28 Celsius = 82 F
1 litre = 1.056 quarts.
3.79 litres = 1 gallon