Baja and Mexico Information for MAG 7 Racers
- Do not bring or use firearms or narcotics into Baja California.
- Don't let someone else drive your car into Mexico (It may be seized by Mexican authorities.)
- Do not let someone else drive your car in Mexico unless they are listed on the Mexican insurance policy and have a valid drivers license.
- Don't drink and drive and always wear your seatbelt.
- Obey all road signs and traffic laws. Do not run yellow lights.
- Do not leave valuables visible in your parked vehicle.
- Do not leave your race vehicle, motorcycle, or quad unattended at hotels or restaurants.
- If possible, bring your bike into your hotel room at night.
- Always carry a valid I.D. A passport is required to re-enter the USA after Jan 1, 2008.
- No policeman is authorized to accept money.
- Traffic fines must be paid at the nearest Police Station or by mailing a check or money order, payable to H. Ayuntamantiento Tijuana, 426 W. San Ysidro Blvd., Suite L, No. 725, San Ysidro, CA 92143.
- Do not drink tap water. Do not drink coffee unless you know pure water was used to make it.
- Minors entering the Mexico without both parents should have a notarized letter of consent signed by both parents.
- If you bring a pet back into the USA, you should have its vaccination records with you. US Customs may quarantine an animal.
- On your trip through Baja California highways, you will find military check points. They are for your own safety.
- It is strongly recommended that during your visit to Baja California you purchase a full coverage insurance policy that includes the bail. In case you are involved in an accident, call the insurance company and wait for its representative. Carry the policy with you so you have it if your vehicle is stolen.
- You do not need to pay any temporary importation fee for your car while visiting Baja California.
- Remember that the laws in Baja California and Mexico are applied both to nationals as well as foreigners. Do not forget to respect them.
- Information from Baja California Tourists Assistance Guide
- More information can be found at Secretary of Tourism Baja California
Listed below are contact numbers for each area specified.
Secretary of Tourism Office -172-3022
Tourism Trust - 178-8578
Green Angels - 176-4675
Local Police - 176-4343
State Police - 176-3636 or 176-0140
Highway Police - 176-1311
Red Cross - 174-4545 or 174-4585
Aerial Ambulance - 178-1400
Del Carmen Hospital - 178-4377
U.S.A. Consulate 24 hr. line (001-619) 692-2650
U.S.A. Consulate in Tijuana (01664) 622-7400
In an emergency in Baja California all you have to do is remember the numbers 0-7-8. South 0-6-6
Police- (011-52-646) 176-2421
Red Cross- (011-52-646) 174-5335 or 646 174 45 85
Ambulance- (011-52-646) 178-1400
Highway Police- (011-52-646) 176-1311 or (011-52-646)176-3640
Fire Dept- (011-52-646)178-2222
Police- (011-52-686) 577-1134
Fire Dept- (011-52-686) 577-1182 or (011-52-686) 577-1455
Ambulance- (011-52-686) 577-1182
Red Cross- (011-52-686) 577-1544
Hospital- (011-52-686) 577-0117 (011-52-686) 577-2849
Fire Dept- (011-52-646)153-5019
Medical Attention- (011-52-646) 153-5998
Local calls dial the 7 digit number
To call to U.S.A. dial 0011-area code- 7 digit number
To call Ensenada from U.S.A. (01152646)- 7 digit number
Mexican auto insurance is extremely important for anyone traveling into Mexico. Our sponsor BajaBound.com offers highly competitive rates, quality insurance carriers, and an extremely easy on-line application. By purchasing your insurance through BajaBound.com, you can also print your policy immediately and avoid any delay at the border. Best of all, as a MAG 7 sponsor, BajaBound.com makes a sponsorship contribution to MAG 7 that helps keep the cost of our pit services low for our participating race teams. Please apply by clicking on the BajaBound.com links here or on logo below!
Our disclaimer: We are not lawyers. The information presented here is a courtesy of the MAG 7 Brotherhood, and is a compilation of information from seasoned Baja travelers and internet resources.
As always, use your head, and obey the Mexican laws.
We must know the law and our rights. We must also make a genuine effort to stay legal. I KNOW that, generally speaking, we do this, but here are a few things I have learned.
A. Threat of impound: There are 5 reasons (traffic related) that a vehicle may be impounded: no drivers license, DUI, accident, parking in a tow-zone, if the car has been reported stolen. NOTE: speeding is not one of the 5 nor is running a stop sign!
B. Paying a Police officer directly, in cash, is against Mexican law. A genuine infraction warrants a written ticket which can be mailed from your home to the Mexican Government office in San Ysidro, CA. If you desire, you can go to the local Municipal judge (there are 56 in TJ) to settle the matter. Be polite and respectful etc. if you do.
C. Traffic lights: if it goes to yellow, STOP! Consider the light to be RED. The law says that yellow is as good as a red. Forget what the locals in front of you are doing. In our own neighborhoods and frequently traveled routes, we know when and where to get away with pushing it. Lets not do that down south.
D. In towns especially, obey the speed limits. We marvel at how the kids come screaming out for stickers. How bad would we feel if we hit one of them. Let's think of our streets and show them the same respect we want at home. On the open highway, do what you gotta do.
E. Use turn signals.
F. Drive very defensively.
Show a Defensive. Every team, small or large, has several or many vehicles. Trucks, chase trucks, pre-runners, trailers etc. They are all either logo'd up (in the case of a big team) or sport a couple decent sized stickers in the upper drivers side windsheild. We should have some on every vehicle that travels south. Maybe a SCORE sticker relating to the current race we are supporting and also a MAG 7 sticker.
This is simply camoflage to confuse and confound the tigers who will try to pick an orphaned antelope out of the herd. If we put forth the aura that we "are somebody", I feel we will be less likely to be singled out as a "loner".
EACH vehicle (note I said vehicle, not pit crew) should have a MAG 7 provided survival pack. They MUST be fresh and current for each race. They should include the following:
a. A list of emergency phone numbers, IN THIS ORDER, ON THE FIRST PAGE (there is a reason for this...read on...)
- Sindicatura Del Gobierno Municipal for Tijuana and Ensenada (full color with government seal)
- Highway Patrol
- Mexican Immigration
- American Consulate (address too)
- Red Cross
b. A basic legal outline including common infractions and typical fines. This includes a color copy of a genuine traffic ticket.
c. A basic outline on tourists rights.
OK - Now here's the reason:
The "syndicatura" in Mexico would relate to internal affairs in the US. Cops policing Cops. These guys have earned a rep as the "untouchables" of Elliott Ness fame.
Having that color logo right out front in our "survival pack", where the Police officer can see it will serve him notice that we are prepared to go up the chain of command and we know who's who and what's what!
After he has seen our color-logo official looking document (!), if he insists on writing a ticket, we can turn the page to OUR copy of a ticket (letting him see this, of course).
The idea here is that with a few sheets of paper, strategically displayed to "the man", he may just decide to look for easier pickins!
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
For complaints to the Sindicatura, a form is available at: www.sindicatura.gob.mx/complaints/Complaints.asp
Driving Baja. By far, this will be the most dangerous thing you will do in Baja. Take it slow. Be alert. Go VERY slow around blind corners. Do not drive at night.
The roads are very narrow. If you drop a wheel off the edge, stay in control. Unless you are in immanent danger, try to stop the vehicle before going back on the road. Many bad accidents happen because people try to get back on the highway, and then roll the vehicle when doing so. Better to buy a new radiator than a new car.
Also, if you are pulling a trailer, go extra slow. Don't let the trailer pull you off the road if it drops a wheel into a wash-out or off the edge of a ravine. A light vehicle pulling a heavy trailer can be a disaster if the trailer gets off the road.
If the vehicle in front of you puts on a left turn signal on the highway, he may be indicating that it is OK to pass. It is a Mexican custom not seen in the USA. Or... he may be making a left turn. Be careful.
A Tourist Card is required to travel south of Guerro Negro. This info was found on the WEB regarding Visas in Mexico:
When entering in Tijuana with an RV:
Just drive in, stay in right (Something to Declare Lane), park in covered area, tell officers that you need tourist cards and nothing to declare, and may you please park there... walk to the offices facing the parking area, go into room labled INM. Ask for 6 month tourist card (unless you are staying a week or less then it's free), take forms to bank teller pay ~$20 ea. It's almost next door, go back to INM for final stamp... You are on your way! Southbound, Tijuana crossing is faster than driving all the way to Tecate! The only advantage to a Tecate detour was shorter waits northbound, but that is no longer the case, IMO.
Visitors entering Mexico at the Tijuana border can obtain the Tourist Card and pay the Visitor's Fee at the border. When driving into Mexico from US Highway 5 visitors should stay in the very far right lane and enter the covered area under the sign that says "Declaration Lane". Once inside this covered area park in the parking spaces on the left side. The small Immigration Office and bank window are along the west side of this area. After obtaining the Tourist Card at the Immigration Office fill it out, get it signed by the Immigration official at the desk, and then walk next door to the bank window. After paying the fee bring the stamped receipt back to the Immigration official for a final stamp and signature. In the process of departing this parking are you will have to press the "Stop / Go" button at the Customs booth. After leaving Customs merge back into traffic and carefully follow the green and white road signs to "Rosarito / Ensenada / Scenic Road" if you are traveling south of Tijuana. Now go have some fun!
You can get a Tourist Card at the Tourist Center. The tourist office is near the bay on Teniente Azueta. It opens at 8:00 am. After you apply there, they will send you to a bank to pay. There is one inside the office that should be open, and another one 3 blocks away. As you enter Ensenada along the water front, Teniente Azueta is the first stop light. Turn right, and the tourist building is the second building on your right.
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