Auto accidents are considered both civil and criminal offenses in Mexico. Even if the accident is minor, you should be prepared to provide proper documentation to authorities, and you should report any insurance claims immediately. Failure to report a claim before leaving Mexico subjects the claim to denial by any Mexican Insurance Company.
Must Have Documents
A driving accident can become a costly and bureaucratic nightmare if you do not have the proper documentation. You should carry the following documents with you.
1. Mexican Auto Insurance Policy: You must have Mexican Auto Insurance issued by a company recognized by the Mexican government. In addition to the policy, you should have premium payment receipt, accident instructions, and contact information for your provider.
2. Valid Driver’s License: The license should have your photo and match the name on the title or registration of your vehicle.
3. Vehicle Title or Registration Receipt: The title or registration should be up in your name or the insurance policy should identify the owner by name and the principal driver. Unregistered vehicles or vehicles with expired tags will have their vehicles confiscated.
4. Proof of Citizenship: Drivers License, Birth certificate, passport, or notarized proof of citizenship. (Must have passport in 2008)
5. Permission Letter From Bank or Lien Holder: If you do not own the title on the car, and you will be traveling beyond the border zone, (Approx. 70 miles from the border) you must have a letter of permission from the bank or lien holder for financed cars, rental cars, leased cars, or company cars (on company stationary).
6. Credit Card: A credit card, such as Visa, MasterCard, or American Express, in your name.
7. Vehicle Permit: If traveling beyond the border zone, you must obtain a temporary import permit, and display it on your windshield while in Mexico.
8. Affidavit of Vehicle Return to the United States: If traveling beyond the border areas, you must sign an affidavit promising to return your vehicle back to the United States, and pay a refundable deposit.
When An Accident Occurs
In an event of an accident be prepared to do the following:
1. Do not move your vehicle until Mexican police arrive.
2. Contact your medical emergency assistance provider if necessary.
3. Contact your insurance provider.
4. Remain with your vehicle until the Auto Insurance Adjuster arrives.
5. Complete the Accident Report.
6. Complete and sign a parts inventory form before having your car towed.
After The Accident
Following the accident, you will need to obtain the following documents for insurance claims:
1. Police Report: A Copy of the original report filed by the Mexican Authorities.
2. Medical Report: Your insurance company will provide a form that must be signed by a licensed physician who provided the medical services.
3. Medical Invoices: Any invoice issued by the hospital, physicians, and pharmacy.
Finally, allow your insurance company to manage issues related to the accident. Do not reach any verbal agreements or sign any written agreements with the other party. Most importantly, do not assume liability in the accident. Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process, and will inform you of any liabilities, if any, that you have incurred.