Mexican Ham Radio Permit Process

San Diego, CA

Unlike what is offered already by Canada and the USA in reciprocal ham radio privilege to many countries, Mexico has seemingly lost interest in continuing its process to automatically recognize non-Mexican amateur radio operator licenses. For a foreign technician to join in Mexican Ham nets or operate a ham radio legally in Mexican waters, a provisional (reciprocal) “visiting” operator’s permit had been required by the Mexican government (aka: XE2 Permit or Mexican Ham License). This permit historically cost @ $95.00 USD with a valid period of 6 months or for the length of your visa. It had been renewable with each new visa obtained. However the process stalled in 2013 and has not been revitalized for non-commercial radio operators.

Reciprocal Mexican Ham Radio Licensing had been a service provided by the Mexican government through the SCT (Secretaria de Communicaciónes y Transportes) and had been managed by the Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones (“CoFeTel”), where such permits were only issued by official locations that are authorized by “CoFeTel”, generally at the SCT centers in the state capitals, and “CoFeTel” headquarters in Mexico City. Port Cities on the Pacific Coast of Mexico with SCT Centers include:
La Paz, Mazatlán, Manzanillo, Acapulco, Zihuatenejo.
HOWEVER, all this organization is now Void.

In 2013 “CoFeTel” was revamped as “IfeTel” or “IFT” (Federal Institute of Telecommunications) which became in charge of Mexico’s entire telecom-type testing and approval processes for all equipment imported into Mexico. Since then, there is no priority for IFT to sort out the reciprocal HAM licensing for visitors. Apparently NO applications for new XE2 permits or renewals are going to be processed in the near future.

At this time the best info we can provide is only replication of an excerpt below on the status of XE2 Permit, most recently dated March, 2017 from Baja radioman Scott Monk and posted on the Baja Net’s website:

Hi all: Status of Mexico’s Reciprocal Licensing in March 2017
I spoke to the person in charge of licenses (permissions) at the IFT (like FCC) to operate a radio station in México (I also live here). He told me that the new communications law did not include any manner for hams (i.e. non-professional operators) to have licenses. Today everyone wants to make money off of everything, so there are only commercial permissions. However, after a LOT of complaints by Mexican hams, reminding the government the vital role they played in the 1985 earthquake and in hurricane communications, the IFT has started using a modified commercial application for Mexican hams, and they have to pay for it!

Supposedly, the judicial branch of the IFT is “considering” how they will develop the reciprocal permit, but their spokesperson has no idea when there might be some results. The new law only contemplates MX citizens for permits. Word from my XE friends, the new make-do permission for them is a real pain and VERY involved—you have to make a filing deposit in the bank to a particular account, fill out a bunch of applications, and then wait a long time with, so far, little active response; although these folks were given temporary permits. My 5-year permit expired a few days ago and there was no temporary permit available for me (I asked!) so I am just off the air until a new reciprocal permit is developed. However, I will still need to file a report next January that includes my contacts for the first part of the year. Ah yes, Mexico has many things going on right now that are much more important than we are (to them)!
I don’t expect any changes soon, but will keep these addresses in my log and I’ll send a message when I get any news—even bad news!

Scott ex-XE1/AA0AA
Pachuca, Hidalgo

FYI: The former process to apply for the ‘provisional’ reciprocal license, requires completing an application form at an authorized SCT Center, plus providing 3 copies each of one’s current Amateur Radio License (US or other), Passport, and your Mexican Tourist Visa obtained through the Mexican immigration services whose offices are located at most places of entry into Mexico. Note that applicants here were then instructed to pay fees through the nearest bank (Banamex) – i.e. follow the directions to a bank you are instructed to visit (usually it’s very close, within walking distance). To try yourself, perhaps just send all of the above copies of the documentation and letter to:
Titular de la Unidad de Concesiones y Servicios – Sr. Rafael Eslava Herrada
Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones
Av. Insurgentes Sur #1143
Col. Nochebuena
Delegacion Benito Juarez, Mexico, D.F. 03720 —–or visit an SCT office in one of the Port Offices listed above.
You may also want to contact Miguel Alejandro Aldana for more information at: 01-55-5015-4328 (in Spanish), or visit the IFT website (en el portal) at and/or search for XE2 Permit news at: de-concesion-de-espectro-radioelectrico-para-uso-privado-con-propositos-de-radioaficionado