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I figured this is the best place to find answers and my web search revealed nothing helpful.

Here's my dilemma: my van tags are up for renewal but they want proof of Fl. insurance and Fl. residency. My mailing address is in Fl. but because I'm living out of the country Allstate, Geico, etc. will NOT insure me even though it's no risk to them cuz I'm fully insured with Mx. ins. and living here in Mx. There's a stiff penalty and possible jail time for 'faking' the ins. info so I don't wanna go THERE. :P

Does anyone know what I can do to get Fl. insurance to renew my Fl. tags (it's just a few weeks from now) or if I let it lapse, does someone know what to do upon crossing into the USA with expired license plates and NO USA insurance if it goes that direction?

I'm open to anything legal and sensible at this point. Very frustrating situation.

Thanks in advance,

Donna

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Problem with Texas is that you do have to show proof of insurance - U.S./Texas insurance - to renew your registration each year. Texas also requires an annual safety inspection. So, even if you renew your plates (and buy Texas insurance), when you cross into Texas you after your last safety inspection has expired, you will be illegal until you can get to a garage and have the new inspection done.

All in all South Dakota is the way to go. Very easy to deal with as long as you follow the directions exactly - especially the part about contacting Clay County ONLY. You will have to send them your existing title and they will send you a shiny new South Dakota title along with your new plates. Each year after that they will send you a renewal reminder - a post card - and when you send it back along with your check - they will send you new stickers to put on your plates.

South Dakota doesn't require that you provide proof of insurance and no annual safety/smog inspection. Your Mexico insurance will cover your car while you are here and as another poster said you can buy short term U.S. insurance if/when you drive back to the U.S.

Very easy to do. Just be sure to work directly with Clay County! We are from Texas and switched to South Dakota for all of the reasons you are concerned about.

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True on the insurance, but it's available online for about $50. If you're not going to drive there, why bother with inspection? I keep my TX residency with HandyMail as the address for credit cards etc. and I go up once a year anyway. But, one year I was out of cycle on inspection and drove through TX to CO and back to Austin before renewing my sticker. But, if you have no particular loyalty then SD is a good option.

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  • 3 weeks later...

for the most part, tags are not the problem, you drivers license must be up to date, but I've seen tags that are ancient. Now, I'm sure someone has a different story, but it's one of those things that seems "variable". I don't ever remember being asked for current registration, license yes, in fact, that's the first thing they want, they grab it and then you're on the slippery end of the stick until you get it back.

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MMMMM, Now I'm wondering... I understood, that if my no inmigrante visa is current, my vehicle permission is current, correct? So, if my Arizona tags expire, and my vehicle never crosses the border, am I ok here, or do I have to get Mex. plates, which are expensive?

Your vehicle 'permission' is only for its presence in Mexico; NOT the permission to drive it on the roads without current registration. The Jalisco law specifies 'permission to circulate', which is your current registration on a foreign vehicle, or your 'tarjeta de circulaci√łn' for a Jalisco plated vehicle.

Enforcement is almost non-existent, leading many to believe that current registration is not required. However, I sure wouldn't want to run down a pedestrian, or have some other horrible accident, only to discover that I might be charged with illegal operation of a vehicle, making me guilty for sure, and possibly even unable to have the support of my insurance policy. So, I think it is wise to maintain current registration somewhere; anywhere that is convenient for you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

In addition, the Mexican insurance company used by Lewis and Lewis requires up to date registration on a US plated car for the insurance to be valid. I am not sure if the is the policy for other Mexican insurance companies, but I would want to be careful on this. One of the things you never want to do in Mexico is have an accident without valid insurance. Bad news, big time!

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In addition, the Mexican insurance company used by Lewis and Lewis requires up to date registration on a US plated car for the insurance to be valid.

Prove it. I have confirmed with San Zavier to them it is not an issue. So, prove it is an issue wth L and L. Stop the myths!

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MMMMM, Now I'm wondering... I understood, that if my no inmigrante visa is current, my vehicle permission is current, correct? So, if my Arizona tags expire, and my vehicle never crosses the border, am I ok here, or do I have to get Mex. plates, which are expensive?

I'll repeat:

You are correct; you have permission to have your vehicle in Mexico.

HOWEVER, you do not have permission to drive it in Mexico without current registration, somewhere. Go to the Jalisco website, search out the traffic laws and you will eventually find the part that requires 'permission to circulate'. Lots and lots of reading in Spanish, but it is in there; I looked it up once, but admit that it took all day.

It doesn't matter if there is, or is not and "issue" with your insurance company. It is 'Transito' of the State that matters regarding current registration, going to jail, confiscation, etc. Read the law, if you can. Otherwise, do what you will, but don't whine about the possible consequences.

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I'll repeat:

You are correct; you have permission to have your vehicle in Mexico.

HOWEVER, you do not have permission to drive it in Mexico without current registration, somewhere. Go to the Jalisco website, search out the traffic laws and you will eventually find the part that requires 'permission to circulate'. Lots and lots of reading in Spanish, but it is in there; I looked it up once, but admit that it took all day.

It doesn't matter if there is, or is not and "issue" with your insurance company. It is 'Transito' of the State that matters regarding current registration, going to jail, confiscation, etc. Read the law, if you can. Otherwise, do what you will, but don't whine about the possible consequences.

The above is RVGringo's interpretation of the law and is incorrect according to my lawyer. I don't think RV is qualified to give an opinion-as far I know he isn't a Mexican lawyer. The Jalisco law defniitely does NOT say your tags have to be current but your registration has to be correct/current. Georgew3 is correct.

It flies in the face of common sense to say your tags have to up to date as there are tens of thousands of cars here with foreign plates that have expired tags. This has been the case for many years and there are no problems. Puerto Vallarta has a municipal law that says they have to be current but it isn't enforced. Why would Mexican authorities care whether or not you have paid a road tax NOB? The important thing to them is that they can trace your car if they need to. They can do that through your plates, visa and import permit.

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Huh!

If your registration is "correct/current", then your tags will also be current. At least on Planet Earth.

Therefore your 'interpretation' matches mine.

Not true, for my vehicle at least. When I was moving to Mexico I told the vehicle registration/licensing people that I was taking my car and would not be able to renew the tags every year. I was concerned that might affect my registration. I asked if that was a problem. They said (most definitely) that regardless of whether the tags were current or not my registration would always be correct/current until I transferred it to some else. They said the tags just show that the road tax has been paid for that year and that it didn't affect the registration of the car to me.

It seems like you are confusing tag renewal and car registration-they aren't the same.

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That could be true, but I've never heard anything other than, 'Your registration has expired,' from a US State Trooper, in that type of situation.

What state gave you your information, and does it apply to all states?

If your 'road tax' hasn't been paid, somewhere, it would seem logical to assume that you no longer have, "permission to circulate".

I do get the feeling that you, and many others, simply want it to be 'your way', not the way Jalisco wants it to be.

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British Columbia. I have no idea where else looks at it the same way but it is logical that the two are separate matters. If I want to drive in BC I have to pay the road tax but that has nothing to do with driving in Mexico. In Mexico I need current registration (not tags), vehicle import permit, visa, and insurance. How can you say which way Jalisco wants it to be? Are you some kind of legal expert for this state? You imaging that is the way it should be doesn't make it true.

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That is why we switched to SD plates ( we are Canadian, bought a car in Texas, so a little complicated) but registered in SD. We renew our tags every year, it is only around $30,.00 US, and some day, "they" are going to want our cars legally registered.

So far, so good. If you switch to SD plates, contact CLAY COUNTY only!!!

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I would say "'Your registration has expired" is poor use of English. The registration shows who the car is registered to. How can it expire? If it is expired who is it registered to? I would suggest that the registration can be changed but it can't expire. I think what they really mean is you haven't paid your annual road dues to the province/state which has nothing to do with the registration.

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Give it up Cedros. You are confusing Canadian registration with US, or even Jalisco documents; apples and oranges. US vehicles have Titles (proof of ownership) and Registration (proof of permission to use the vehicle on the highways), and the driver must have a license.

Granted, it is different in Canada. So, if Canada will allow you to drive around without current stickers, then reciprocity might allow you to do the same in Jalisco. But, maybe not.

US automobile registrations will have expiration dates and are renewed, annually in most states. If not renewed, you may not drive that vehicle anywhere.

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Different use of English-interesting. Where I am from the vehicle registration means who the vehicle is registered to. It is the title. It can't expire. It only changes when ownership is transferred. But in other places registration can mean "proof of permission to use the vehicle ". Or maybe it means it is registered that the annual fee has been paid?

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For those not aware, one carries their Canadian vehicle registration in the car and it is the size of about two credit cards, folded in half. The plates "expire" and not the registration. Each year upon renewal you get a small sticker to place on the rear plate indicating the month and year it expires and also a small sticker that has adhevsive and one attachs inside the registration. There are not two separate documents. The registration does not expire. That would be like saying your house which you own is immediately no longer yours if you did not pay your property taxes.

Their is no separate "title" document in Canada, simply the registration. Should one sell their Canadian car they simply sign off on the registration.

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