Every official document is important in Mexico. There is a lot of red tape involved to acquire them, and even more red tape if you lose them. It is imperative that you keep all your documents and documentation organized and current. You must keep copies of ALL the documents that you carry with you in your purse, wallet or vehicle. Even if you keep these documents in a safe until you are ready to use them, it is good practice to have a copy. When traveling in Mexico you must have proof that you are in the Country legally at all times! I am afraid of losing my originals so I make a color copy of my resident card, license and senior card, cut to size, front and back faced and glued and laminated. I carry my copies and leave my originals at home in the safe. Have copies of your Passport, CURP, Plan Locale, INAPAN, Driver’s License, FPMC, RFC, Mexican Social Security, AND your Immigration Card.
At home in a safe place you MUST keep the following documents:
– Official Certified Birth Certificate & Certified Translation
– Official Marriage License & Certified Translation
– Last Will & Testament from your Country of Citizenship & Mexican Last Will & Testament
– Power of Attorney (Officially translated if not filed in Mexico)
– Living Will Officially Translated
– Burial / Cremation Preferences Officially translated & notarized.
– Keep Receipts of Paid Taxes and Utilities for 5 years
– Homeowners: Deeds & Land Trust documents & Insurance
– Renters: Rental Contract & Receipts of payments
– Vehicles: Permits, Ownership, taxes, & Insurance
– Business Owners: Ownership Documents, Paperwork, receipts, taxes & Insurance
– Business Owners instructions for termination of employees in the event of your death.
– Banking: Documents & an authorized backup person you can entrust to withdraw your funds to pay your expenses should you be incapacitated, hospitalized, or for your burial expenses in the event of your death.
There are Nine important Mexican Documents that you will need to apply for, some mandatory and some that will give you discounted services.
What these credentials are for: A CURP number is now being assigned by immigration to new applicants for temporary and permanent residents, a copy of the card will be required for a number of things. A MEXICO DRIVERS LICENSE is mandatory to drive in Mexico if you have a Permanent Resident status. The INAPAM (Senior Card), PLAN LOCALE (Passenger Ferry Discount for Residents that is also frequently used for proof of residency), PLAN COZUMEL (Vehicle Ferry Discount for Residents), FPMC – FUNDACIÓN DE PARQUES Y MUSEO DE COZUMEL- (Parks and Museum Discount Card for Residents).
You will need a MEXICO SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER to apply for IMSS Insurance and an RFC Mexico Tax Identification number if you want to receive and give out Facturas, or in other words, file taxes, ask for tax exemption or lower the amount of taxes when you are earning an income or selling property.
The Cozumel Sun Step by Step instructions to apply for these documents are under The Cozumel Guide Section.
The CURP (Clave Unica de Poblacion) is needed to apply for a Mexican driver’s license, employment, collecting pensions, enrolling a child in school, registering your cellular telephone, and certain bank transactions. The CURP number is now assigned to you as part of the immigration process. More Information on CURP.
The RFC is your Tax Identification Number, needed if you are selling or providing services that create revenues. It is issued by SAT, Secretary of Hacienda and Public Credit, the Mexican version of the IRS or Revenue Canada. As of September 2014, it is needed in order to sell or purchase Mexican Property. An RFC number will enable you to receive facturas for your home improvements and repairs to offset your capital gains tax in time of sales. The document is letter size. The above illustration is what the very top of the document looks like. More information on RFC.
There is a Car Ferry Discount Program for Mexican plated Vehicles called Plan Cozumel. You must also have a Mexican driver’s license to qualify. It is vehicle and owner specific, in other words, if you have multiple vehicles, you must get a discount card for each. While you need not be driving, you must be in the vehicle to receive the discount. More information on Plan Cozumel.
The Plan Locale card serves both as a discount card at both passenger ferry companies and as proof of residence for local businesses that give discounts to the residents. More information on Plan Locale.The INAPAM card is the official senior credential in Mexico. In February of 2010 I turned 60 and was finally able to apply for the INAPAM card. The card enables you to receive the local senior discount which includes bus and ferry transportation, property taxes (50%), non-Simi drug stores,movies and more! More information on INAPAM. The Mexico Social Security Number: You need a Mexican Social Security Number in order to apply for the Mexican Social Security Medical Insurance. More information on Mexico Social Security Number.
Mexico Driver’s License is renewable every two years.
The Fundacion De Parques Y Museos De Cozumel Card is what I call the Park Card for short. This card is a must have to get the local discounts at all the Municipal Parks and the Museum. For more information on obtaining and renewing your FPMC Card.
PLEASE HELP KEEP THIS INFORMATION CURRENT. MEXICAN LAWS AND PROCEDURES ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING. PLEASE BRING ANY CHANGES YOU MIGHT ENCOUNTER TO OUR ATTENTION SO THAT WE MAY KEEP THIS INFORMATION CURRENT AT ALL TIMES. THANK YOU!