Traffic Tickets and Mexican Authorities

Traffic Tickets and Fines

Did you know you can ask for a written ticket from police officers in Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada and Mexicali and pay the fine from the U.S.?

Many tourists do not know this and think they have to go to the police station, etc. If you ask for a written ticket, be sure to ask the officer to mark the amount of the fine on the ticket. This is very important or you will not know how much you owe. Remember to be courteous and respectful. Below are the addresses where you may send your fine in by U.S. mail. (This service, as far as we know, is not available for tickets issued by Federales on the toll roads).

Traffic fines vary by city, but the following will give you a general idea of how much a fine could cost you:

Offense Fee (Pesos) Fee (US $)
Running a red light $243 - $730 US $23 - $69
Not using a seat belt $267 - $486 US $25 - $46
Using a cell phone while driving $486 US $46
Driving w/o valid license/registration $243 - $654.75 US $23 - $46
Not giving pedestrian the right-of-way $253+ US $23+
Driving in the fast lane $253 US $23+
Littering $464+ US $42+
Double parking $253+ US$ 23+
Parking in red zone $253+ US$ 23+
Expired meter $127 US $11+
Drinking in public $486 - $1946 US $46 - 185
Speeding $486 - $1460 US $46 - 139
DUI (and you will be detained) $1460 - $1946 US $139 - 185

Where to Pay Your Fine

If you are issued a ticket in Tijuana, Rosarito, Ensenada or Mexicali you may pay the fine at the police station or in the U.S. by mailing a check or money order to one of the following addresses:

H. Ayuntamiento de Tijuana
416 W San Ysidro Blvd Suite L No. 725
San Ysidro, CA 92143
Make the check or money order out to: H. Ayuntamiento de Tijuana
If you received a ticket in Tijuana and do not know the amount of the fine, you may call the police station at: 011-52-664-102-5477 or 011-52-664-902-3743 (for calls from the U.S.).

H. Ayuntamiento de Rosarito
P.O. Box 439060
San Diego, CA 92143-9060
Make the check or money order out to: H. Ayuntamiento de Rosarito

Municipio de Ensenada
PMB 147 P.O. Box 189003
Coronado, CA 92178
Make the check or money order out to: Municipio de Ensenada

H. Ayuntamiento de Mexicali
P.B. 6027
23 Paulin Avenue
Calexico, CA 92231-2646
Make the check or money order out to: H. Ayuntamiento de Mexicali

This service is not available for tickets issued in San Felipe or Tecate. Most likely you will have to pay them in person at the corresponding police station.

Filing an Appeal

If you feel that you are unfairly being fined you may file an appeal. This is done with the municipal judge inside the police station. An appeal is called un recurso de inconformidad. The tourist hotline operated by the Baja California Secretary of tourism (dial 078 in Baja California Norte) can give you further information regarding this. In addition, they want to hear from tourists who have complaints regarding misconduct of public officials and law enforcement officers.

Military Checkpoints

Military checkpoints are set up along certain roads and highways. As you approach the checkpoint you will see several young men dressed in army green uniforms with guns. Some tourists do get nervous at this sight, but their purpose is to find drugs and contraband. At some checkpoints you may even see a sign posted by the government for tourists so they feel more secure about the process. Be sure to slow down or stop if you are asked. They may ask you a couple of questions (although not in English) to find out where you are going (Adónde van?) and where you have been (De dónde vienen?). They may ask to do a routine check of your vehicle. Cooperation is key for a smooth exit.

Sources: Baja California State Tourism Secretariat publication "Discover Baja California State Map/Safety Tips." Visit their website.

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