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CAUTION When Driving To/From Michoacán

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My Morelia buddy Wayne gave me permission to copy and paste his post, dated April 15, 2011, from Michoacán_net. Take heed, people, this could happen to you if you are driving to and/or from Michoacán.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

This is a true story, a personal story and not third party hearsay.

Every month I have to go to Guadalajara from Morelia (via the cuota highway) and

buy merchandise for my store. In two years of traveling this road and others

throughout Michoacán and Mexico I have only been stopped for speeding.

Yesterday I was stopped twice...once going and once returning. The first time

was by a Federal policeman. He and his partner were absolutely rude towards me

and my passengers...questioning everything and searching the car. The second

time was by a State Policeman. He was much kinder and professional. In both

cases they wanted my auto documentation authorizing my usage within Mexico. I

produced the documents which expired in 2010.

If I had not had a copy of Artículo 106 with me and shown them the law I would have been in serious trouble. They both read the law in length and only then did their attitude and demeanor change.

The last policeman even stated that they were targeting foreign plated vehicles

right now. So I strongly suggest anybody with foreign plated vehicles living in

Mexico…carry a copy of this law in your glove compartment. You don't want your

car impounded because these police officers do not know this law. You have the

right to drive and own foreign-plated vehicles as long as they legally entered

Mexico and your FM-3 or FM-2 is in good standing.

--Wayne

__________________________________________________________________________

Find Artículo 106 in Spanish AND English here: http://rollybrook.com/article_106.htm Print it and keep a copy or two in your vehicle for just this kind of situation.

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We always thought we were informed but, for some reason, we don't seem to able to find (amongst tons of papers that Intercasa has provided)

what: Artículo 106 is all about and says? Would you be so kind and elaborate?

Thanks so much.

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We always thought we were informed but, for some reason, we don't seem to able to find (amongst tons of papers that Intercasa has provided)

what: Artículo 106 is all about and says? Would you be so kind and elaborate?

Thanks so much.

............................Find Artículo 106 in Spanish AND English here: http://rollybrook.com/article_106.htm Print it and keep a copy or two in your vehicle for just this kind of situation.

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My Morelia buddy Wayne gave me permission to copy and paste his post, dated April 15, 2011, from Michoacán_net. Take heed, people, this could happen to you if you are driving to and/or from Michoacán.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

This is a true story, a personal story and not third party hearsay.

Every month I have to go to Guadalajara from Morelia (via the cuota highway) and

buy merchandise for my store. In two years of traveling this road and others

throughout Michoacán and Mexico I have only been stopped for speeding.

Yesterday I was stopped twice...once going and once returning. The first time

was by a Federal policeman. He and his partner were absolutely rude towards me

and my passengers...questioning everything and searching the car. The second

time was by a State Policeman. He was much kinder and professional. In both

cases they wanted my auto documentation authorizing my usage within Mexico. I

produced the documents which expired in 2010.

If I had not had a copy of Artículo 106 with me and shown them the law I would have been in serious trouble. They both read the law in length and only then did their attitude and demeanor change.

The last policeman even stated that they were targeting foreign plated vehicles

right now. So I strongly suggest anybody with foreign plated vehicles living in

Mexico…carry a copy of this law in your glove compartment. You don't want your

car impounded because these police officers do not know this law. You have the

right to drive and own foreign-plated vehicles as long as they legally entered

Mexico and your FM-3 or FM-2 is in good standing.

--Wayne

__________________________________________________________________________

Find Artículo 106 in Spanish AND English here: http://rollybrook.com/article_106.htm Print it and keep a copy or two in your vehicle for just this kind of situation.

Thanks for this! I love the way the members of this board think of others and are always thinking ahead of issues we may encounter! Appreciate it.

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If the cops are going after the vast numbers of illegally "imported" cars with US plates (and expired or non-existent stickers) that occasionally date back to the 1990s, then I say it's about time. Many of these junkers are real threats on highways and one wonders why no one pays their US plates any attention.

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If the cops are going after the vast numbers of illegally "imported" cars with US plates (and expired or non-existent stickers) that occasionally date back to the 1990s, then I say it's about time. Many of these junkers are real threats on highways and one wonders why no one pays their US plates any attention.

The cars you are talking about were not imported illegally. They were legally imported but were never removed from the country when the owners' temporary import stickers expired. Here in Mexico, they are known as 'chocolates'. Many of them belong to Mexican citizens, but some undoubtedly belong to foreigners.

The potential exists for EVERYONE with a foreign license plate to be stopped in the state of Michoacán. It's crucial that those foreigners who continue to have foreign-plated cars carry Artículo 106 in their vehicles. That government regulation is your proof that your car is legally in the country--as long as your immigration status is current.

Not all 1990s model cars can be painted with the same broad brush that you use. Many, like the 1991 van that I drove in Mexico for nearly 15 years, receive regular maintenance and are not "real threats on highways".

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The cars you are talking about were not imported illegally. They were legally imported but were never removed from the country when the owners' temporary import stickers expired. Here in Mexico, they are known as 'chocolates'. Many of them belong to Mexican citizens, but some undoubtedly belong to foreigners.

The potential exists for EVERYONE with a foreign license plate to be stopped in the state of Michoacán. It's crucial that those foreigners who continue to have foreign-plated cars carry Artículo 106 in their vehicles. That government regulation is your proof that your car is legally in the country--as long as your immigration status is current.

Not all 1990s model cars can be painted with the same broad brush that you use. Many, like the 1991 van that I drove in Mexico for nearly 15 years, receive regular maintenance and are not "real threats on highways".

It wasn't the cars I was referring to, it was the PLATES! I did not mean to disparage vintage, well-maintained automobiles. I just question a system that allows so many scofflaws on the road, apparently unmolested by law enforcement. (BTW, isn't there supposed to be a sizable penalty for not removing the car when the temporary sticker expires?)

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It wasn't the cars I was referring to, it was the PLATES! I did not mean to disparage vintage, well-maintained automobiles. I just question a system that allows so many scofflaws on the road, apparently unmolested by law enforcement. (BTW, isn't there supposed to be a sizable penalty for not removing the car when the temporary sticker expires?)

As long as your immigration status and vehicle temporary import sticker are current, no one in Mexico cares about expired foreign plates.

And my objection is to you saying that the vehicles with the expired plates had been imported illegally. That's just not so.

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As long as your immigration status and vehicle temporary import sticker are current, no one in Mexico cares about expired foreign plates.

And my objection is to you saying that the vehicles with the expired plates had been imported illegally. That's just not so.

I recall being told that there is a requirement that the US vehicle registration (reflected as a year sticker on the plates) must be current in order to drive legally in Mexico. In as much as there is an expectation that these vehicles must eventually return to the US, this is a logical requirement. Also, the "chocolates" you mention are easily spotted since they have either long-expired or no import stickers.

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I recall being told that there is a requirement that the US vehicle registration (reflected as a year sticker on the plates) must be current in order to drive legally in Mexico. In as much as there is an expectation that these vehicles must eventually return to the US, this is a logical requirement. Also, the "chocolates" you mention are easily spotted since they have either long-expired or no import stickers.

There is no Mexican requirement for your foreign vehicle registration (taxes paid to the issuing state) be current. Your temporary import permit combined with your legal immigration status allows you to drive legally in Mexico.

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This seems to come up every few years. The 'importada temporal' allows your vehicle to be in Mexico. Current registration is what allows it to be operated on the roads. The US and Mexico have reciprocity and recognize each other's registrations. Just because 'transitos' don't have the ability to read/check/enforce the condition of your registration, doesn't mean that you have a 'permiso como tarjeta de circulacion' to operate the vehicle. So, you can probably get away with it, until a serious accident occurs. Then what?

So, go ahead and research the traffic laws; the requirement is there for 'permission to operate the vehicle on public roads', just as everywhere else in the world.

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This seems to come up every few years. The 'importada temporal' allows your vehicle to be in Mexico. Current registration is what allows it to be operated on the roads. The US and Mexico have reciprocity and recognize each other's registrations. Just because 'transitos' don't have the ability to read/check/enforce the condition of your registration, doesn't mean that you have a 'permiso como tarjeta de circulacion' to operate the vehicle. So, you can probably get away with it, until a serious accident occurs. Then what?

So, go ahead and research the traffic laws; the requirement is there for 'permission to operate the vehicle on public roads', just as everywhere else in the world.

I'm a little confused! Being from Canada our veichle will have Ontario plates with a sticker on the plates that shows an expiry date of a year in advance. Are you saying that each year we should be coming back to Canada and updating our sticker in order for all to be well in MX? If so, we can get a sticker here before we leave that will cover us for I believe up to 5 years. Can you advise B......ol wise one that you are!

Thanks,

L

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I'm a little confused! Being from Canada our veichle will have Ontario plates with a sticker on the plates that shows an expiry date of a year in advance. Are you saying that each year we should be coming back to Canada and updating our sticker in order for all to be well in MX? If so, we can get a sticker here before we leave that will cover us for I believe up to 5 years. Can you advise B......ol wise one that you are!

Thanks,

L

Ontario will only give you a two year registration. Cars more than 7 years need emissions testing to renew. Also, get the longest period possible for your driver's license.

NO, you do not have to renew registration and it can expire. It is a only form of tax and your car is still in your name. In the US, title and registration are 2 documents I believe. In Ontario it is one.

Saying it has to be renewed is a myth! I would love to know the name of car owners who have had an issue with expired registration. Literally, thousand and thousands of expats drive with expired registration. I have specifically asked my insurance company San Xavier in writing if an issue and from their perspective it is not.

Show me where article 106 states a foreign registered car needs to have the annual tax paid to a foreign country to drive in Mexico!

Of course some get stopped and it is by cops looking for mordida. Take their picture and see how quick they tell you to leave. Again, tell me where one got stopped with expired plates and it resulted in a legitimate fine!!!!!

Often the reason foreign plated cars are stopped is they have no car permit. Mexicans bring in numerous cars daily from the US and with no car permit. Here in San Miguel you see them every day. A Mexican friend told me every week for 7 years he brought a car from Texas and never once got a car permit. It was his livelihood. If hassled at the checkpoint he gave then a few pesos. Those are the cars police are seeking.

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I will add my opinion after being threatened with having my car towed because the foreign registration wasn't current.

Article 106 is a customs law and states that your permit is good as long as your visa status is current. I read nothing in it that states your registration can be expired.

I have also been told by my insurance company that my insurance is still good even if the plates are expired.

But it is my opinion that the car needs to be legal on the road, which means current registration. I know of no written exemption to this.

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I think you mean I read nothing in it about my registration not "I read nothing in it that states your registration can be expired."

"quote name='Stan' date='18 April 2011 - 07:04 AM' timestamp='1303128295' post='216797']

I will add my opinion after being threatened with having my car towed because the foreign registration wasn't current.

Article 106 is a customs law and states that your permit is good as long as your visa status is current. I read nothing in it that states your registration can be expired.

I have also been told by my insurance company that my insurance is still good even if the plates are expired.

But it is my opinion that the car needs to be legal on the road, which means current registration. I know of no written exemption to this.

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You are making this up as you go along. Who says current registration is what allows it to be operated on the roads (in Mexico)? You are the only one saying that-not some Mexican law. The US and Mexico look at each others registrations (I wouldn't call it reciprocity) when they stop a car but of course they have no say in whether the taxes in a particular state in the other country have been paid.

This seems to come up every few years. The 'importada temporal' allows your vehicle to be in Mexico. Current registration is what allows it to be operated on the roads. The US and Mexico have reciprocity and recognize each other's registrations. Just because 'transitos' don't have the ability to read/check/enforce the condition of your registration, doesn't mean that you have a 'permiso como tarjeta de circulacion' to operate the vehicle. So, you can probably get away with it, until a serious accident occurs. Then what?

So, go ahead and research the traffic laws; the requirement is there for 'permission to operate the vehicle on public roads', just as everywhere else in the world.

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Cedros,

I mean that I read nothing in Article 106 that says that it is okay to operate a foreign plated vehicle with expired plates.

I hope that clarifies things.

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Some day Whitey's car will have to be replaced, and so he will have to drive it out of Mexico to do so. If he has allowed his registration to expire he will have to drive from here to Ontario with an un-registered vehicle and hope no police along the way notice this. How would you suggest getting around that?

One other thing is that one day after a conversation about allowing plates to expire, my neighbor wrote to her insurance company, Lewis and Lewis, to inquire about it. She had allowed her American plates to expire 12 years previously, but faithfully made her insurance payments to Lewis and Lewis all that time. She was aghast when they told her that if she had an accident and her vehicle was not currently registered, they would not pay. Shocked to hear that she had not been properly covered all those years, she switched to Jesus Tejeda's company, who assured her that they would pay in those circumstances. This would be a good thing to check on for all those who allow their plates to expire.

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Did you read something in article 106 that said it wasn't okay? What I meant earlier did it even mention expiry.

Cedros,

I mean that I read nothing in Article 106 that says that it is okay to operate a foreign plated vehicle with expired plates.

I hope that clarifies things.

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My British Columbia plates have expired (but of course the car is still legally registered to me). The Motor Vehicle Branch told me to let them expire and if I ever wanted to drive back into the US or Canada to contact them and they would send me a current sticker (after I pay them) so that I would no longer be expired. Maybe Whitey could do the same.

Some day Whitey's car will have to be replaced, and so he will have to drive it out of Mexico to do so. If he has allowed his registration to expire he will have to drive from here to Ontario with an un-registered vehicle and hope no police along the way notice this. How would you suggest getting around that?

One other thing is that one day after a conversation about allowing plates to expire, my neighbor wrote to her insurance company, Lewis and Lewis, to inquire about it. She had allowed her American plates to expire 12 years previously, but faithfully made her insurance payments to Lewis and Lewis all that time. She was aghast when they told her that if she had an accident and her vehicle was not currently registered, they would not pay. Shocked to hear that she had not been properly covered all those years, she switched to Jesus Tejeda's company, who assured her that they would pay in those circumstances. This would be a good thing to check on for all those who allow their plates to expire.

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I recall being told that there is a requirement that the US vehicle registration (reflected as a year sticker on the plates) must be current in order to drive legally in Mexico. In as much as there is an expectation that these vehicles must eventually return to the US, this is a logical requirement. Also, the "chocolates" you mention are easily spotted since they have either long-expired or no import stickers.

Deleted. Why? Because the question was already answered earlier. But a PS: I have friends who purchased their vehicles in the US and brought them to MX in the early 90s and have never gotten new plates, tabs , Etc. Why, because it isn't needed. Check with Spenser for more details.

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Deleted. Why? Because the question was already answered earlier. But a PS: I have friends who purchased their vehicles in the US and brought them to MX in the early 90s and have never gotten new plates, tabs , Etc. Why, because it isn't needed. Check with Spenser for more details.

Then why all the South Dakota plates? Are all these people driving back and forth the US on a regular basis, thus requiring updated tags? Just wondering.

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My plates are Ontario. My yearly tag is expired. As someone pointed out, these yearly tags are simply (in my case) provincial taxes. If I stay in the next province over for more than six months, I need to be registered there, at which point my Ontario tags don't matter to anyone anymore. The same is true of driving a car into Mexico: the vehicle must be registered in your name; the plates mean nothing.

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They have those South Dakota plates so they can drive back into the US with unexpired tags. Others don't drive back into the US or they can renew their tags from NOB here.

Then why all the South Dakota plates? Are all these people driving back and forth the US on a regular basis, thus requiring updated tags? Just wondering.

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