Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In

Driving in Morelia

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Morelia.

1. Understanding the Driving Culture

Driving in Morelia, like many parts of Mexico, can be a bit chaotic compared to what you might be used to. Traffic rules are often loosely followed, and drivers can be aggressive. It’s important to stay alert and be prepared for unexpected maneuvers from other drivers.

2. Type of Car to Use

It’s recommended to use a car that’s not too flashy to avoid attracting unnecessary attention. A compact or mid-size car is usually sufficient for navigating the city streets. Also, consider a car with good ground clearance as some roads can be rough or prone to flooding during the rainy season.

3. Parking in Morelia

Finding parking in Morelia can be challenging, especially in the city center. However, there are several paid parking lots available. The cost of parking is relatively affordable compared to many U.S. cities, but it can add up if you’re parking daily.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in Mexico with an international driver’s license for up to 180 days. After that, you will need to obtain a Mexican driver’s license.

5. Obtaining a Mexican Driver’s License

To get a Mexican driver’s license, you will need to go to the local Department of Motor Vehicles (Secretaría de Movilidad y Transporte in Morelia). You will need to provide proof of residence, a valid visa, and your current driver’s license. You will also need to pass a written test, which is available in English.

6. Road Conditions

While main roads and highways are generally in good condition, be prepared for occasional potholes and speed bumps (known as topes) that are not always clearly marked. Also, street signs can be lacking in some areas, so a reliable GPS is highly recommended.

7. Safety Precautions

While Morelia is generally safe, it’s always wise to take precautions. Avoid driving at night if possible, especially in unfamiliar areas. Keep your doors locked and windows up, and never leave valuables in plain sight.

8. Dealing with Police

If you’re stopped by the police, remain calm and polite. Traffic police in Mexico can issue on-the-spot fines, but you have the right to ask for a ticket and pay it at a later date. Be aware that bribery is illegal and can lead to serious consequences.

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.

Additional Information:

International Citizens Insurance

International Citizens Insurance
Get comparison quotes from our broker partner for Cigna, Allianz, IMG, GeoBlue and more.

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal

LoginJoinPlease Login to Continue. New? Join today (it's free).
Since 1997, we've supported millions of people as they explore the world and share the adventures and challenges of living abroad.