Driving Restrictions in Mexico City and the State of Mexico: Hoy No Circula and Vehicle Verification

Find out about the Hoy No Circula and Vehicle Emissions Verification programs in Mexico City and the State of Mexico...

In order to combat pollution, Mexico City and the State of Mexico have introduced driving restrictions and emissions testing.

Hoy No Circula

The Hoy No Circula program restricts driving on a schedule determined by a colored sticker based on a vehicle’s license plate number. Due to concerns over the rising air pollution in Mexico City, the Comisión Ambiental de la Megalópolis (CAMe) implemented temporary changes to the Hoy No Circula program, effective until 30 June 2016, and has implemented further changes as of 1 July 2016.

  • Fines for non-compliance can be seen on the Fees and Fines page in the Money section

Under Mexico City's emissions testing program (see below), vehicles receive a hologram sticker based on the results of their emissions test – cars with a 0 or 00 hologram are exempted from Hoy No Circula restrictions.

Vehicles with a ‘1’ designation are subject to the following restrictions:

  • Vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers may not be driven between the hours of 05:00 and 22:00 on the first and third Saturday of a month
  • Vehicles with license plates ending in even numbers may not be driven between the hours of 05:00 and 22:00 on the second and fourth Saturday of a month

Additionally, all vehicles with a ‘1’ designation are prohibited from circulating one day during the week according to the following schedule:

  • vehicles with yellow stickers cannot be driven on Mondays
  • vehicles with pink stickers cannot be driven on Tuesdays
  • vehicles with red stickers cannot be driven on Wednesdays
  • vehicles with yellow stickers cannot be driven on Thursdays
  • vehicles with blue stickers cannot be driven on Fridays

Vehicles with a ‘2’ designation are prohibited from driving every Saturday between the hours of 05:00 and 22:00, and every weekday from 05:00 and 11:00.

Additionally, all vehicles with a ‘2’ designation are prohibited from circulating one day during the week according to the following schedule:

  • vehicles with yellow stickers cannot be driven on Mondays
  • vehicles with pink stickers cannot be driven on Tuesdays
  • vehicles with red stickers cannot be driven on Wednesdays
  • vehicles with yellow stickers cannot be driven on Thursdays
  • vehicles with blue stickers cannot be driven on Fridays

Exemptions are made for funeral processions, vehicles transporting people with disabilities, and medical emergencies.

Emissions Testing

With some exceptions, vehicles licensed in Mexico City are required to undergo emissions testing, or verificación, every six months.

The schedule for testing is determined by the color of the license plate sticker, and can be found on the SEDEMA website (in Spanish). The schedule is also frequently published in newspapers and is distributed via social media.

  • Details about fines for non-compliance can be found on the Fees and Fines page in the Money section

Vehicles are issued a hologram with one of the following designations:

  • 00 – applies to specified new vehicles that are exempt from testing for specific periods of time. Cars manufactured in 2016 will be exempt from testing for 4 years.
  • 0 – applies to relatively new vehicles that meet emissions guidelines above a certain standard
  • 1 and 2 – applies to vehicles that meet less stringent emissions standards

Certain vehicles are exempt from the emissions testing program, such as electric or hybrid vehicles. Owners of these vehicles must obtain a Blue hologram.

Cars with Blue, 00, or 0 holograms are exempted from the Hoy No Circula driving restrictions.

  • More information about vehicle verification can be found on the SEDEMA website (in Spanish)

Foreign-plated Vehicles

Vehicles with license plates from outside of Mexico City and the State of Mexico, including plates from the United States and Canada, as well as Mexican states without reciprocity agreements regarding emissions testing, are not required to undergo emissions testing but may do so voluntarily. Importation documents will be required for cars with non-Mexican plates.

Foreign-plated vehicles without emissions stickers, or with class 1 or 2 designations, are subject to the Hoy No Circula restrictions, and are additionally prevented from driving between 05:00-11:00 each week day, and all day every Saturday.

A foreign car can be registered for up to 14 days to be exempted from the Hoy No Circula restrictions. This exemption pass is known as El Pase Turístico.

  • Find more information about the tourist pass on the SEDEMA website (in Spanish)