The Traffic Multa

San Felipe, Baja, Mexico

It's getting to be that time of year again... time for involunatry donations to the Widows and Orphans Fund, also known as a jacked up or bogus traffic ticket.

Trffic Mordida AntidoteThere are red flags to watch for when you are pulled over by the police while driving in Mexicali. If you know at what speed you were travelling and the officer shows you a radar gun that displays a significantly higher number (don't forget to mentally convert the number from km/hr to mph), be wary. If, after you hand over your license and paperwork and enquire about the size of the fine, the office appears ambivalent about the amount, then cites a Donald Trump Christmas bonus figure, think hammers dancing with eggs. Something's wrong with that picture. Then, if he refuses to write you a ticket or doesn't take you to the police station to pay the fine, it's time to reach into your glovebox, take out your secret weapon (printable version obtained by clicking on the tumbnail at the left) and lift it toward his rapacious grin. If you were targeted for a quick shakedown, the grin should disappear and you will most likely be sent on your way. If, however, you were speeding, most if not all the red flags won't appear and you will have a ticket in your hand with the amount owed written on it, or you will be led to the police station to pay your fine.

Below is information copied from the Bajabound Mexican Insurance website.

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:


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


US $46

Driving w/o valid license/registration

$243 - $654.75

US $23 - $46

Not giving pedestrian the right-of-way


US $23+

Driving in the fast lane


US $23+



US $42+

Double parking


US$ 23+

Parking in red zone


US$ 23+

Expired meter


US $11+

Drinking in public

$486 - $1946

US $46 - 185


$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. In those locations, 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.