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?
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.
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.
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 Calfornia King, 84″ long, the difference will be even more pronounced.
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.
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 has limitations when vehicles may drive depending on their license plate last digit. Those from outside the area require a special permit. Hybrids and electric vehicles as exempt from needing an emissions test for up to 8 years, depending on the state.
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 Mexico. It insures up to 400,000 UDIs (Unidad de Inversión), the equivalent of $2,844,000 pesos for each account (as of May 2022).
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.
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 a minor who is a Mexican citizen or Temporary / Permanent Resident or Temporary Resident Student, needs approval to exit Mexico when not with a parent?
Minors under 18 years of age who are of Mexican nationality or foreigners holding the migratory status of Permanent Resident, Temporary Resident or Temporary Student Resident, who are in Mexico and wish to travel abroad alone or accompanied by a person of legal age other than one of their parents, must present:
1. Notarized document in which those holding parental authority or guardianship authorize the minor’s departure from Mexico, granted before a Notary Public or Commissioner of Oaths, or;
2. A document issued by the National Migration Institute (INM)
If the parents or holders of parental authority or guardianship choose to authorize the minor’s departure from Mexico with the document granted before a Notary Public or Commissioner of Oaths, the document must specify the mode of transportation, destination and date of travel. If this document is issued abroad it must be legalized or an apostille. In addition, this document must be accompanied by a translation into Spanish.
Minors under the age of 18 travelling with at least one of their parents or guardians DO NOT require authorization or a letter of consent.
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 that there are smoking regulations in Mexico?
Smoking is prohibited in public spaces: public buildings (federal, state and municipal), restaurants, bars, and nightclubs. Smoking areas must be outdoors and completely isolated from spaces that are one hundred percent free of cigarette smoke. Meaning, even outdoors, a smoking area at a restaurant must be separated from other outdoor, non-smoking eating areas. There is a free, anonymous hot line to report noncompliance of Mexican businesses: 800 000 0232.
The Department of Health defines a business establishment as “a closed space if it has a roof and two walls…” which encompasses many beach palapas.
Soon, major new smoking laws will be announced which will be very strict.
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.