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importing a car at Nogales

Posted by akbarb on November 7, 2013, 9:41 am

I was not going to post this entire story here, but I have had so many requests for it, here you go......

If you have questions about this, please ask, we are happy to help......

Importing the truck

We contacted the following company to import our truck at the border:

Mavel Warehouse
phone 520-377-0592
email is
The man we dealt with is Alfrado
Address in Nogales 1140 W Industrial Park Dr.

We spoke with Alfrado last spring as we drove north, and called him again as we arrived in Nogales on our way down here. He gave us his address in Nogales, and we drove to his office. We needed our title for the truck, and identification. He began the paperwork process, was to take 2-4 hours but we waited 6.5 hours! Our first day on Mexican time!
This man speaks perfect english and is really helpful with information.
As we received our paperwork he also gave us a map of the 12K area where the importation takes place. You need to know that this fellow has never been to the 12K area, and his information is second hand. The map helps but is not exactly correctly drawn. We had difficulty finding the step #1.

Anyway, you drive away from Nogales on the truck route, and at the "Y" in the road, you go left. It has signs "nothing to declare" and "importing vehicles", or something take the left lane.
At 12K there is a toll booth, and directly after the toll booth is the crossing where the process happens.
You also need to know that the vehicle is imported EMPTY !!! This is a piece of information we did not have.....

One other thing I forgot to mention. Our truck is 2004 F-150 and the cost was $880 for the import plus $60 for taxes. Then there will be the cost of plates.....

Step 1....go to the Mavel office at 12K and unload your vehicle if you are carrying anything. Then drive to the inspection station where they will verify you are the owner and you are not carrying anything. This office is marked on the map, but the directions to get there are not correct.

Step 2 (this is on the map) Get your stamp at station two which is clearly marked.

Step 3 Again clearly marked....a gal will take your paperwork and walk it to
step 4.

Step 4 This is where you pay your tax and get your windshield sticker. This location may change, for us we left booth #3, drove about 50 feet, did a u-turn to the left and went to a little metal hut where we paid and got the sticker.

Step 5 Drive back to the Mavel office, reload your stuff and get a receipt for your car, identifying it as yours.

Step 6 Now, this is a step that the fellow in Nogales failed to tell us about. Drive to 20K, where you would normally get your car papers if you are a tourist. There are 7 gates, drive up to #7 and hand your papers over one last time and get one final stamp. This gate is set up for truckers, so the window is high, you have to reach up to hand your papers. this point you still have not cleared customs. We did a u-turn and went back to the buildings (I needed my tourist visa), then we drove thru the red/green light lane. (Yep, we got a red light!!)
We may have been ok to just drive on without customs, but we did not want to take a change of getting stopped for running the gate!

One last thing. We met a man at the 12K crossing who spends his day in the area, helping gringos with this process. We had completed the first 4 steps when we met him, but he was the one who told us about the important 6th step.
He charges 500 Pesos to walk you thru the process and unload and load your car....but worth it if it means you get it done correctly! An enterprising young man who has found a way to make a living......

His name is Cristo-Jesus, his cell is 95-41-00-9230
If you make arrangements with him, he will meet you at the toll booth at 12K and walk you through the process .....I think it might be worth the $$. This fellow knows what he is doing.

Sent from my iPad

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