The Mexican Embassy has issued a travel advisory for Belizeans visiting Mexico for the Easter holidays.
The embassy says that for immigration purposes, border cards are valid for travel within the State of Quintana Roo, Campeche, Tabasco and Chiapas only and are good for only for three days, including the day of arrival.
Visitors should ensure that they travel with a valid passport when crossing the border; and are advised to keep a copy of their passport, driver's licence, social security card, and voters I.D. in an accessible digital media such as an e-mail.
Visitors travelling privately should also ensure that their vehicles are in good condition, and that they have a valid driver`s licence, and that all their vehicle documents are in order.
Vehicles with Belizean licence plates can only traverse within the state of Quintana Roo, which includes Chetumal, Cancun and Playa del Carmen, without a temporary import licence. Vehicles weighing more than 3.5 metric tons cannot travel further than Chetumal. Permits are not granted for this.
People travelling in their own vehicles further than Quintana Roo (for example, to Merida), need to purchase a temporary import permit at the Chetumal Border Immigration at the BANJERCITO Bank. The bank's working hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Mondays to Sundays. The cost of the permit is US $51.00 plus tax. Payment can be done in US cash or using a credit card. Depending on the model of the vehicle, a deposit between US $200 and US $400 is required, refundable on cancellation of the permit.
If a temporary import permit is required, the driver must have a valid passport; an Entry Registration Form (Forma Migratoria Multipe -FMM) issued by Immigration Officer; and certificates of Title and Registration.
The embassy says that if the vehicle is being purchased through a lending institution, such as a bank or credit union, an authorisation, no older than three months, is required from the institution. If the vehicle is a rental, a copy of the rental contract is required.
If the vehicle is company owned, an authorisation letter with the letterhead, logo and stamp with the details of the vehicle and of the person who is going to drive is required.
The embassy also cautions that Mexican transit permits for vehicles imported overland from the United States expire when the vehicles exit Mexican territory; and the vehicle cannot re-enter Mexico with United States licence plates even if the permit date has not expired.
Vehicles with Dealer licence plates are not permitted to enter Mexico.
Valid vehicle insurance is also required in Mexico; with third party insurance being a must for all vehicles. Insurance packages can be purchased from a Belizean Insurance Company that has an agreement with a Mexican Insurance Company. Drivers are advised to NOT drink and drive.
Travellers are discouraged from giving personal information or information on plans/activities for you or your family to strangers.
The embassy also discourages taking external phone calls transferred by the hotel receptionist, unless you are expecting the call.
***Finally, adhering to the speed limits and obeying all traffic signs, and using seat belts is strongly advised***