When planning for relocation the most obvious thing to do is create a checklist of things that need to be accomplished to make your relocation an easy and orderly transition. Remember, it will take at least 7 weeks to get your necessary papers, so this will help you with a target date for moving.  You cannot move permanently without a valid Passport and visa’s issued by the Mexican Consulate in your state. Start your process of planning at least 3 months before your intended move date. Included in your preparation is having a rental already contracted so you have a place to receive your furnishings. Once you have made your final decision of exactly where you are going to relocate, you have to decide if you are taking furnishings and, of the furnishings, what you will bring.  Many people sell all their household goods and prefer to buy new furniture and appliances upon arrival to their new destination.  This is an important consideration and a personal preference.  You should be aware that the majority of rentals in Mexico are furnished.

In the case of bringing your furniture, it is time to get quotes from moving companies.  Depending on where you wish to relocate and from where you are departing.  Remember, you cannot rent a truck and move yourself into Mexico.  That is simply not permitted.  You must hire a professional moving company that can transport your goods on land or via ocean.


If you live near a port area and you plan to move to an area with a conveniently located port, you will want to choose ocean freight moving.  Otherwise, the land moving company will be suitable.

Whichever you use, you must do your homework.  Moving to another country has different requirements.

It is very important that you do not completely trust online quotes.  We definitely suggest you have a representative of the moving company come to your home for a visual check list.  This will give you the most accurate proposal for costs.  The moving company will also give you the cost of insuring your goods during transportation.  Be aware that companies from the United States cannot cross the Mexican border with your goods.  They have to transfer your goods to an authorized Mexican transport company.  The transfer is simply unhooking the container from the truck cab on the U.S. side and connecting it to the truck cab of a Mexican transport company that is authorized by Mexico to proceed with your goods.  Knowing this, make sure to ask your mover the name of the Mexican transport company to whom they will entrust your goods.  We experienced big name U.S. moving companies who had no idea who they were going to transfer our goods to on the Mexico side.  This raised the question of true capability and knowledge of the mover for International moving.  So, CAUTION is the operative word here.


Some say that the required list, Menaje de Casa, is a thing of the past.  We’ve not heard that officially, so we suggest you prepare it anyway because it is best for you to have this actual record of what is in your transport for yourself and for the customs agents (Aduana).  The reason for this list is that you are permitted, one time only, to transport all of your goods without paying import tax.  Anything outside of that list will not be permitted into the country.

The most important thing to know is what you cannot bring.  You may not bring firearms of any kind, not even a single bullet or you could find yourself in Mexican jail.  Firearms are strictly prohibited.  Any fresh foods, cheese or live plants are also prohibited.   Dangerous chemicals or drugs, other than prescription drugs, are strictly prohibited.


Maintain a copy of your list in English and submit a Spanish version to your Mexican consulate.  You can find translation service on-line or in the area you live. The Mexican consulate will stamp each page in the upper left hand corner where the staple holds the sheets together.  In this way, part of the stamp is on the back of the previous page and part of the stamp is on the top left corner of the open page.

When you prepare your list, the very first items that MUST be listed are all electronics and appliances.  With each piece of electronics, you must put the complete detail of a) manufacturer, b) model number,  c) serial number.

Your list must be prepared in an orderly fashion by listing the box number to the left and the contents of each box to the right of that specific box number.


ELECTRICAL ITEMS (Articulos Electricos)

Box# Item Make Model Model No Serial No
1 Television SAMSUNG S2567 2W2MX 12345578
2 Vacuum OREK Swifty  1099SAM  9101112
3 DVD Player SONY Double D Wxyz123 1499XJUY


You should continue your list in the same fashion, naming each category, i.e., Personal Items, Hobby Items, Furniture, Tools, etc., indicating what is in each box with the correlating box number.


You are permitted to drive your car in Mexico as long as you have the proper sticker on the windshield and Mexican Auto Insurance.  You may also legally use your United States driver’s license or you may apply for a Mexican drivers license when you get to Mexico.  It’s probably a good idea to have both a U.S. license and a Mexican license.  Just in case you lose your Mexican license, you will have the U.S. license as backup.

Each Mexican state differs in the requirements for issuing a Mexican driver’s license.  You can check this with you local Departamento de Registro y Control Vehicular office in the Mexican state which you decide to live.

If you prefer to ship your auto rather than drive into Mexico, you will have to call a company that is authorized to forward vehicles out of your country and into Mexico.  They should have all the information and ability to help you get the necessary stickers you will need to drive your car legally in Mexico.

As for watercraft, the same applies.

Be certain to check all companies with the American Embassy to make certain they are properly licensed for international shipping of all of your goods and road or recreational vehicles.


As all transports must go through customs,  your shipment of goods will  most likely have a customs check.  When you receive your goods in Mexico, don’t be surprised to find some of your cartons opened and things inside tossed around a bit. Generally, this will not cause any damage and is perfectly acceptable before any country allows unknown transport into their country.

Don’t jump to any conclusion that your mover has been into your cartons.  It is most likely customs.


If you chose to rent or buy in a location that has narrow streets and busy traffic, remember to mention this to your mover.  Many times, the mover will have to park a large truck outside of the area and have a smaller truck transfer small loads and move your goods piecemeal.  Other alternatives are having the delivery made very late in the evening when there is little to no traffic on the streets.

Make certain to check with local police in your area of Mexico as to the rules for large transport containers and local roads.

Another consideration is whether or not your truck will have the room to make the necessary turns on the road to reach your location.  Most “historico” districts in Mexico have extremely narrow streets, making transportation by large trucks extremely difficult to impossible.

Remember to get an approximate date of delivery so that you can be prepared to be present for the delivery.  Make certain to have a cell phone number in Mexico for your mover to reach you as your mover will call you as they get closer to your destination or advise you of any delay.