What to avoid bringing to Mexico - Prohibited Items

When driving to Mexico, there are many items that are OK to bring with you. In some cases, however, having certain items in your possession as you try to cross the border will get your fined, or even thrown in jail.

Before we get into those details, we stress again that you make sure to purchase your Mexican auto insurance before entering Mexico. Your car must be insured. The easiest way to acquire your Mexican insurance is to purchase your policy online before you leave on your trip to Mexico. Get a quote and purchase policy

Guns and drugs mean jail time

Bringing guns into Mexico is a bad idea, period. Even a lone bullet rolling around in your trunk can get you thrown in jail . So if you have ever had any firearms, ammunition or associated paraphernalia in your vehicle, check it thoroughly for any remnants and remove them before going to Mexico. You do not want to play with this one. Read more about Mexico laws.

Hunting is the only exception to the firearms prohibition, but there is a very specific hunting permit process that you must follow in order to bring firearms into Mexico. Follow it to the letter.

Medical Marijuana

Also, any remnants of marijuana or other illicit drugs are strictly prohibited and will get you thrown in jail. Note that there is no such thing as "medical marijuana" in Mexico. Mexican officials do not care about your glaucoma, anxiety or other medical condition and will not recognize your medical marijuana card, period. If you are found bringing marijuana in any form into Mexico, you will go to jail.

Items prohibited in Mexico

Do not bring the following prohibited items with you when driving into Mexico:


Animals and Animal Products

  • NOTE: Pets are allowed, but you must follow specific rules and procedures for bringing pets into to Mexico. Read more about bringing pets to Mexico.
  • Live predatory fish in their fingerling, juvenile, and adult stage
  • Frozen Totoaba (Fish)
  • Totoaba, fresh or refrigerated (Fish)
  • Turtle eggs of any kind
  • Turtle or Green Turtle skins

Drugs & Chemicals

  • Thallium Sulfate
  • Insecticide (Isodrin, Aldrin, Heptachloro, Drinox, Endrin, Mendrino, Nendrin, Hexadrin, or Leptofos)
  • Imide of N-phtalilglutamic acid (Thalidomide)
  • Heroin, base, or Diacetylmorphine hydrochloride
  • Poppy seed flour (Opium Poppy)
  • Poppy seeds (Opium Poppy)
  • Marijuana (Cannabis Indica) seeds and spores, even when mixed with other seeds
  • Marijuana (Cannabis Indica)
  • Medicinal preparations based on marijuana (Cannabis Indica)
  • Extracts and juices derived from marijuana (Cannabis Indica)
  • Mucilages and thickeners derived from marijuana (Cannabis Indica)
  • Opium juices and extracts prepared for smoking
  • Medicinal preparations based on acetylmorphine, its salts or derivatives

Graphic Art

  • Stamps printed in colors or in black and white, presented for sale in envelopes or packets, even when they include chewing gum, candy, or any other type of articles, containing drawings, figures, or illustrations that portray childhood in a denigrating or ridiculous manner, in attitudes which incite violence, self-destruction, or any other type of anti-social behaior, known as "Garbage Pail Kids", for example, printed by any company or commercial denomination. (No, we are not making this up.)

Get more information

If you would like more information, visit the Mexican Customs website. Otherwise, download the English language Manual of Tourist Entry at the Mexican Ministry of Tourism.


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