Leaders say ‘Only Sonora’ program for tourists could be adopted in other states

By Kendal Blust
Published: Monday, January 10, 2022 - 5:05am
Updated: Monday, January 10, 2022 - 8:58am

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Sonoran Free Transit Zone
Servico de Administración Tributaria
U.S. visitors to Sonora can freely travel within the green free transit zone in a U.S.-plated car. Outside the free transit zone an "Only Sonora" permit is required.

Sonoran officials say they want to expand a special transit zone that allows tourists to more easily bring their cars into the state.

Mexican officials have approved an annual extension of the so-called “Only Sonora” program.

Much of the state west of Highway 15 is within a no-hassle zone that allows tourists to bring vehicles into the state without a permit. The “Only Sonora” permit allows visitors to travel beyond that zone without purchasing the more expensive temporary importation permit required elsewhere in the country.

Finance Secretary Omar Del Valle Colosio said Sonora is the only state with such a program, but its success could help other states offer similar options in hopes of increasing highway tourism in the country.

Gov. Alfonso Durazo has also said he hopes to expand the permit-free no-hassle zone to the state’s southern border with Sinaloa.