Texas DMV issues warning about cars being seized in Mexico

Cars headed back into the United States at the Anzalduas International Bridge in Mission

Authorities are urging Texas drivers to have proper motor license plates and inspection stickers before heading across the border into Mexico.

Over the past few months, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) has heard from American drivers that their vehicles were impounded in Mexico.

The drivers said Mexican customs officers seized their vehicles because of temporary paper license plates or permits and in other cases expired registration stickers.

TxDMV officials said they first heard about the issue in the El Paso area but it serves as a good reminder for drivers across the entire border.

Drivers whose cars are seized across the border must obtain a letter from TxDMV verifying the registered owner TMs name, address, vehicle description and status of the plates, permits or registration.

In some cases, Mexican customs officials also require an Apostille from the Texas Secretary of State verifying that TxDMV has the authority to sign the letter.

It is our recommendation that Texas drivers obtain their permanent license plates, permits and current registration stickers prior to traveling into Mexico, said TxDMV Interim Executive Director Linda M. Flores. This may save you the considerable aggravation of having to try to recover your vehicle if it is impounded.

Registered owners purchasing a certified vehicle inquiry from TxDMV will also receive the verification letter required by Mexican authorities upon request.

Texans who need to renew their registration stickers may do so online at, or in person at their county tax office.