The Sonora Free Zone

Take your vehicle to Sonora without a permit

The Sonora Free Zone – Drive Your Vehicle without a Permit

The Sonora Free Zone is a designated region where foreign vehicles do not need an importation permit or other form of vehicle permit. If you rent a car to travel to Sonora, you must stay within the bounds of the free zone.

Also known as the “Hassle Free” zone, the free area extends from the Arizona-Sonora border, from Sonora’s western borders with Baja California and the Gulf of California, from Agua Prieta on Mexico highway 2 through Cananea and Imuris and south along Mexico highway 15 from the east. The southernmost border of the free zone is the coastal town of Empalme, Sonora.

Note: While this free zone applies to vehicles, you will still need to stop at a 21km Customs Checkpoint to obtain permits for towed recreational vehicles such as boats, jet skis and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

Major cities and towns within the Sonora free zone include: Nogales, Naco, Agua Prieta, Cananea, Imuris, Magdalena de Kino, Santa Ana, Altar, Caborca, Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Sonoyta, San Luis Rio Colorado, Hermosillo, Guaymas, Kino Bay and San Carlos.

In order to drive a vehicle to the other parts of Sonora (this does not apply to U.S. rental vehicles), you must obtain a Sonora Only permit. Read more about the Sonora Only permit.