72 Hours and Mexican Tourist Card?

JenInAz

New Member
I've seen this answered a few times here and on other forums and did a little researching but not able to draw a final conclusion. Is there any "official" authority site that states that you do not need the tourist permit in the border zone or free zone? I read on the DiscoverBaja.com that the 72 hour rule changed in Sept 2015. And this site: https://www.tripsavvy.com/what-is-a-mexican-tourist-card-1588733 specifically says that this is no longer the case for the Sonora "free zone" as well. I realize the Sonora only program applies to vehicles. But some of these other "helpful" sites talk about it like it is the same rule for the tourist card.

I can't imagine the impact this would have at the border to get the tourist card stamped. What a nightmare that would be. Clearly they don't enforce it. My concern is what happens if you get into town and they decide to enforce it and you don't have one.

Again, looking for something official. Has this 72 hour rule really changed?
 

Roberto

Well Known Member
I have asked a lot of people over the past 20 or so years and the only time anyone has been asked to provide a visa is the process of buying property. Yes I believe there is a law requiring a tourist visa, other wise why offer it? Is that law enforced? No, no one cares. Worst case you might be asked to leave the country or more likely to go get a visa. Immigration does not want to have strict enforcement as they would have to have 20 people at the border issuing cards !!
 

Southbeacher

Well Known Member
Yep -- to support Roberto's advice, the only time over 20+ years that I have been asked to submit a visa is to purchase property. And even then, I was advised (in Mexico) to obtain that at my convenience, such as on my next trip down. . . . ,
 

Southbeacher

Well Known Member
Back when you had to get one the line would be double wide way back to that information booth or what ever that is...
But even in those days, after dutifully getting the visa, the requirement to produce it during that stay was unheard of . . .
 

Stuart

Aye carumba!!!
Staff member
Forum Supporter
For Rocky Point? Don't bother. If you're going deeper into Mexico, then yes. If you fly into Mazatlan, you fill it on the plane, get it stamped when you go through Customs. Same flying to Cabo or other destinations.

If driving, you can get it at the 21km stop south of Nogales. I have been asked for it checking into the Marina at San Carlos. If travelling down Baja, you WILL be asked for it at the checkpoint between Baja Norte and Baja Sur. They will turn you around without it.

They used to ask for it if you went south of Rocky Point at a checkpoint on the road to Caborca. Haven't been that way in ages, mostly they just wanted to check vehicle registration, but not sure they still do that.

So yeah, depends on where you're going. Nobody has ever asked for it for anything in Rocky Point.
 

Roberto

Well Known Member
They used to ask for it if you went south of Rocky Point at a checkpoint on the road to Caborca. Haven't been that way in ages, mostly they just wanted to check vehicle registration, but not sure they still do that.
.
I stopped at that checkpoint some years back and sat in the truck for 5 or 10 minutes waiting. there were two guys in there and no one else in line. Guy comes out and asks where i am going. Kino I say. He says you need a car permit to go there. I argued with him but he was unmoved. I should have just driven away but we went back to Penascoa and around to Caborca via Sonoita. Ha ha ha I should have paid the Gringo tax.
 

dbackbluejaypenasco80

Junior Member
When I briefly moved to Nogales, Mexico I got a tourist card and nobody ever asked for it. When I had to buy a car permit in order to drive to Juarez for my wife's green card interview at the US consulate I had to get a new tourist card since it expired a few months prior. The immigration official at KM 21 got upset that I didn't turn in my first card on the date of expiration. Made a scene that he wouldn't be able to issue a new one and asked how I am still in Mexico with an expired visa. I told him that I crossed the border everyday to work in the United States. He then said well, I will back date your first visa that you turned it in and issue you a new one for your trip to Juarez but next time don't do that! Coming back from Juarez I went back to turn in my permiso and the tourist visa. Guess who was there? The same immigration dude. I went to the counter to turn in the visa and then he yelled, "you need to sit down and wait your turn." There was nobody in the building except myself. Some other immigration official called me up and checked my visa out before I headed back to Tucson. Long story short nobody asked for my visa in Juarez either. You only really need it for the permiso de importacion temporal de vehiculo, to buy property or flying into the deeper parts of Mexico like Mazatlan.
 
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