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Obtaining a reciprocal ham radio permit in Mexico

Last Update: February 2012

Important: If you find any non-functional links or if encounter a different procedure, please send me an email to info@ham-blog.de or use the contact form to maintain this page up to date. Thanks!

Please note: I don’t have more information than the stuff you will find below. Please resolve every questions directly with CoFeTel.

Getting a reciprocal ham radio permit in Mexico is not easy. As already noted on the websites of OH2MCN and WD9EWK the process requires some substantial paperwork and patience. I hope the information below helps you to clarify this process.

Below you will find information about how to obtain a reciprocal ham radio permit in Mexico City. The xe permit page by WD9EWK deals mainly with the situation in Mexicali. The situation is a little different in Mexico City (as mentioned on his website). Especially if you can’t file the paperwork in person due to work commitments. Please note that I am not a lawyer neither a professional dealing with this kind of “administrative stuff”. This information is based on personal experience.

Important: Make sure you apply for the license at least 8 weeks before you want to start operation. The maximum validity of the license is 6 months.

Getting in touch with Cofetel in advance via email or phone significantly speeds up the process. If you are not familiar with the Spanish language, please use Google Translate. Although Google Translate sometimes produces “weird sentences” the basic idea of your email is understandable and sufficient for the intended purpose.

Things to do:

1.) Download Form 1 from CoFeTel website. If you are a US ham, download Form 2. Basic knowledge of Spanish is needed to complete the form. Having an address in Mexico is helpful as CoFeTel has to send you the xe permit. Please make sure, that you fill out the form correctly. An example can be downloaded here.

Update October 2008: Currently the forms AFIEXT02 respectively AFIEXT01 are no longer available for download. In the meantime you can use these documents: AFIEXT01 and AFIEXT02.

Update December 2009: Forms on CoFeTel website are available again. However, I will leave the forms on my server as a backup.

2.) Call CoFeTel in advance to let them know that your are going to file the application by mail. Their number is: 5015-4486, 5015-4485 and 5015-4474 when dialling from Mexico City. If you dial from outside Mexico City you have to add 01 55. If dialling from aboard use: +52 (55) 5015-4486, respectively -4485 or -4475. Ask for Mr. Guzman. He is the responsible officer dealing with the licence stuff in Mexico. He has a busy working schedule so plan in calling several times. Once you reach him, he is very helpful and patient. I have communicated with Cofetel in spanish. They speak a very clear and for foreigners very understandable spanish. Since January 2007 you can reach CoFeTel by email via aficionado (at) cft.gob.mx or operador (at) cft.gob.mx (recently the aficionado address had some issues, so better try both).

Update January 2012: Recently the aficionado address had issues again. A ham who recently applied for a license got jazorilla (at) cft.gob.mx as an alternative (Mr. Zorilla).

3.) Make a copy of your passport, your ham radio licence and your visa (either FM3 or tourist visa) . If you apply from abroad and don’t need a visa to enter Mexico you can omit the last step.

4.) Get an invitation letter (carta responsiva) from a mexican ham. This is mandatory for non-US hams. Without this letter you won’t be able to receive the permit.

5.) The current fee (as of January 2012) is 1,268 pesos. Paying this fee is a bit tricky. If you can’t file the paperwork by yourself you have to have somebody in Mexico who is able to pay this fee. Below are instructions how to pay the fee.

Update December 2008: According to CoFeTel, payment via bank transfer is possible. This applies to application from abroad. As bank account numbers might change you are encouraged to ask for the corresponding data when sending your documents via email. Please note that you have to pay all charges incurred.

Update January 2012: According to CoFeTel, payment via bank transfer will soon be possible for domestic applications. Until then you have to use “Forma Fiscal 5″ (see below).

Update February 2012: CoFeTel prefers direct payment in their offices. However, going there will cost you at least half a day. Payment via “Forma Fiscal 5″ is still possible but for some reason it’s not the preferred method. Let’s hope that electronic payment will soon be possible.

You need to get “forma fiscal 5″. This is a standard form in Mexico to pay fees (derechos) to the government. This form is called “Declaración General de Pago de Derechos” issued by the SAT (Servicio de Administración Tributaria – Secretaria de Hacienda y Credito Publico). You can buy theses forms in any paper store. I bought mine in a local Office Depot [located in the shopping center (Gigante, Radio Shack, Burger King and more stuff) in Polanco on Moliere between Cervantes Saaveedra and Exercito National]. Office Depot has a special section for forms – ask for forma fiscal numero 5 and they will guide you to the right place.

You will need 3 of these forms. They need to be filled out either with a computer or typewriter. If anything else than the signature is handwritten the bank will not accept it (happend to me as I thought I could give it a try :-) ). If you don’t have access to a typewriter you can get these forms filled out in an “escritorio”. These are small shops which provide copy service and “form filling” service. I paid 25 pesos for three forms.

The form consists of several empty fields. See below for an example.

Forma Fiscal 5- In the top right corner you have registro federal de contribuyentes. Put extranjero there. Leave ALR and clave única de registro población empty.

- Below you will find periodo. Put there the time your are staying in Mexico. e.g. 09 2005 10 2005

- Put your name below apellido paterno, maeterno y nombre(s) o denominación o razón social. Put your last name first.

Now continue with the main area of the form.

Under description del concepto put: expedicion de operacion de aficionado extranjero. Put 15219227 into the field called clave. Put 1268 (without .00 or currency symbols) into cantidad a pagar.

Continue below.

Put 1268 next to the field called total de derechos. Put 1268 into the field called cantidad a pagar.

Leave all other fields empty. Sign the form in the squared (dashed) area.

When you have three forms in hand, you are ready to go to a bank and make a deposit. Make sure you have signed them.

When you have paid you will get back three forms and a payment confirmation. The forms should have a stamp of the bank in the upper left corner.

6.) Now you are ready to send the letter to CoFeTel. The letter consists of the following documents:

  • application form as downloaded from the website
  • invitation letter (carta responsiva) by a local ham
  • copy of your passport
  • copy of your visa (either FM3 or tourist visa) – see above for exceptions
  • copy of your ham radio licence
  • one of the three “forma fiscal 5″ with a stamp from the bank (proving that you have paid) – see above for exceptions
  • copy of payment confirmation of the bank – see above for exceptions

Don’t send the letter by normal post. It takes about 2-3 weeks. Use a “mensajeria” instead. I used DHL as they had a subsidiary in the local Office Depot. They charged 110 pesos but delivery is overnight.

Send the letter to:

Comision Federal de Telecomunicaciones

C. Samuel Guzmán Valaguez
Director de emision de licencias
Avenida de las Telecomunicaciones s/n
Edificio Cofetel, 1er piso
Col. Leyes de Reforma
09310 Iztapalapa
México, D.F.

Important: Don’t send the letter to the address mentioned (Bosque de Radiatas) in the application form as this will slow down the process.

XE1/DL6KAC LicenceIf you are applying from abroad you can also send the documents via email to aficionado (at) cft.gob.mx

It was quite an effort to obtain all necessary documents and information. Many thanks to Ramon, XE1KK for helping me when dealing with CoFeTel. Withhout him I would not have been able to obtain a reciprocal xe permit. At CoFeTel I would like to thank Mr. Moisés Ramírez (already retired) and Mr. Samuel Guzman for their help and patience.

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