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"Beating a dead horse"


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I know there have been countless discussions on this topic recently. However I would appreciate some comments on the following;

Hundreds, if not more vehicles at Lakeside are foreign plated yet have expired registration, some going back 10 years or more! My question is, "Is it legal in Jalisco to drive a foreign plated car without current registration or is it illegal and just ignored by the local authorities? My registration tags expired in 2007 and I have never been questioned about it when I have been stopped by the local traffic cops.

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Your Importada Temporal allows your vehicle to BE in Mexico. Current registration, from anywhere, is what allows you to drive it on the roads. Here, it is a Tarjeta de Circulacion and Jalisco law requires that all vehicles have appropriate permission to circulate. Find the law and brush up your Spanish to read that detail. Makes sense to me and I do not know of anywhere that one may drive a vehicle without at least two things: License and Registration.

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I know there have been countless discussions on this topic recently. However I would appreciate some comments on the following;

Hundreds, if not more vehicles at Lakeside are foreign plated yet have expired registration, some going back 10 years or more! My question is, "Is it legal in Jalisco to drive a foreign plated car without current registration or is it illegal and just ignored by the local authorities? My registration tags expired in 2007 and I have never been questioned about it when I have been stopped by the local traffic cops.

Yes, it's legal as long as your INM card is valid and you have valid Mexican insurance. Everyone here drives on expired plates.

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Where my vehicle comes from (British Columbia) your vehicle registration cannot expire. The decals on your license plates that show you have paid your yearly road tax for BC may not be up to date but why should they be if you aren't driving in BC. The only way your registration can "expire" or become noncurrent is when you transfer ownership or junk it. The registration shows who the legal owner is and whether your BC insurance is current-nothing more. (This is according to the Motor Vehicle Branch). Why would the Mexicans care whethter or not I have paid this years BC road tax? What they need to know is who is the legal owner of the vehicle in case there is a problem.

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It is different in Canada and may even vary from Province to Province, just as it does in the USA from state to state. The simple matter is that your vehicle must be legal to drive in your home jurisdiction.

What you describe as proving ownership is what most in the USA would refer to as the vehicle title, not the registration, which must be current to allow the car to be driven on public thoroughfares.

I hope that is clear enough to keep the horse from any further beatings.

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desertdave & Cedro,

Don't drive over to Baja California or Baja California Sur. They do require foreign plated cars to have current paid-in-full annual registrations from their home states or provinces, and their police do enforce the rule. Other Mexican states do not either have or they don't enforce rules on keeping your home state or home province registration paid-in-full annually on foreign plated vehicles. Some Mexican insurance carriers do refuse to pay claims for accidents if the owner does not keep their car with a paid-in-full registration, and current valid TIP. With the February 2013 changes in personal liability for a single accidental death going above $300,000 USD in most Mexican states, this is not a dice roll that we want to take.

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"your vehicle must be legal to drive in your home jurisdiction" Who says so? It doesn't make any sense as it isn't in your home jurisdiction. Mexico says your car must be legal to drive in your home jurisdiction-I don't think so.

It is different in Canada and may even vary from Province to Province, just as it does in the USA from state to state. The simple matter is that your vehicle must be legal to drive in your home jurisdiction.
What you describe as proving ownership is what most in the USA would refer to as the vehicle title, not the registration, which must be current to allow the car to be driven on public thoroughfares.

I hope that is clear enough to keep the horse from any further beatings.

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desertdave & Cedro,

Don't drive over to Baja California or Baja California Sur. They do require foreign plated cars to have current paid-in-full annual registrations from their home states or provinces, and their police do enforce the rule. Other Mexican states do not either have or they don't enforce rules on keeping your home state or home province registration paid-in-full annually on foreign plated vehicles. Some Mexican insurance carriers do refuse to pay claims for accidents if the owner does not keep their car with a paid-in-full registration, and current valid TIP. With the February 2013 changes in personal liability for a single accidental death going above $300,000 USD in most Mexican states, this is not a dice roll that we want to take.

I have driven throughout Baja without problems but they do have a law about updated tags but it doesn't seem to be enforced. For a BC vehicle their is no such thing as an annual registration. It is registered until it is unregistered. The annual road tax and sticker is a different matter and it is of no use or interest to Mexican authorities. It is a very rare occurence for a foreign plated vehicle to be hassled on this.

Puerto Vallarta has a law on their books that says your annual sticker must be up to date. This was briefly enforced until it was challenged and is now ignored.

From Rolly's site;

For registration and license plates for foreign cars, México is divided into two parts:

1. In both Baja states, you are not required to have a temporary import permit, but your foreign registration and plates must be kept current.

2. In the rest of México (often call the main land), you must have a temporary import permit, but your foreign registration and plates do not have to be kept current -- expired plates are OK.

While living in México with expired plates is OK, these old plates will make driving back into the USA a real problem. If you plan to drive NoB from time to time, you will need current registration and plates. This may be easier said than done if your old state requires periodic safety or emissions tests, as most states do now. Having to return each year for this chore may be too demanding in both time and money....

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The sad thing is ... most Canadians would keep their registration sticker up to day but the provinces will not issue a sticker unless you've had an emissions test done each year on the car and have proof of Canadian car insurance, so Canadians can't keep their sticker up to date.

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After much reading, we've decided the best course is to pull our current sticker which is linked to me (and I'm going Permanente) and have my wife turn in her nearly up for renewal FM3 and get a tourist visa and pull a new TIP in her name, since she is on the car as well. That gives us 6 months to see if there's going to be some modification of the rules. This works for us because we go out every 6 months minus two weeks like clockwork.

More hassle but a lot better than dumping a perfectly good car, losing $6K on it, and having to buy something we wouldn't like as well and don't need or want. In 6 months, she can either start the Temporal cycle again from Texas or we'll just keep rolling over the tourist and car permits.

They want to play these car games, so can we. Lord only knows what the rules will be like in 6 months anyway. :)

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After much reading, we've decided the best course is to pull our current sticker which is linked to me (and I'm going Permanente) and have my wife turn in her nearly up for renewal FM3 and get a tourist visa and pull a new TIP in her name, since she is on the car as well. That gives us 6 months to see if there's going to be some modification of the rules. This works for us because we go out every 6 months minus two weeks like clockwork.

More hassle but a lot better than dumping a perfectly good car, losing $6K on it, and having to buy something we wouldn't like as well and don't need or want. In 6 months, she can either start the Temporal cycle again from Texas or we'll just keep rolling over the tourist and car permits.

They want to play these car games, so can we. Lord only knows what the rules will be like in 6 months anyway. :)

My wife and I are essentially doing the same thing. I am going Permanente and have already been fingerprinted. My wife had a 2 on her FM3 and is also in the process of renewing her FM3. My only question is that when the car is in her name both on the title and the new TIP can I legally drive the vehicle here in Mexico with my Permanente???

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I believe that you may drive the car because you are her spouse, but suggest that you check with Spencer and your insurance agent.

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Just to clarify my post. When I used the term "expired registration" what I really meant was my annual renewal sticker that the motor vehicle dept issues has expired!

That is a tax. If it is expired you have not paid the tax. In Mexico as long as your INM card is current you vehicle is current.

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My wife and I are essentially doing the same thing. I am going Permanente and have already been fingerprinted. My wife had a 2 on her FM3 and is also in the process of renewing her FM3. My only question is that when the car is in her name both on the title and the new TIP can I legally drive the vehicle here in Mexico with my Permanente???

Yes, this is clearly spelled out in Article 106 a copy in Spanish of which you should be carrying in your car.

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After much reading, we've decided the best course is to pull our current sticker which is linked to me (and I'm going Permanente) and have my wife turn in her nearly up for renewal FM3 and get a tourist visa and pull a new TIP in her name, since she is on the car as well. That gives us 6 months to see if there's going to be some modification of the rules. This works for us because we go out every 6 months minus two weeks like clockwork.

More hassle but a lot better than dumping a perfectly good car, losing $6K on it, and having to buy something we wouldn't like as well and don't need or want. In 6 months, she can either start the Temporal cycle again from Texas or we'll just keep rolling over the tourist and car permits.

They want to play these car games, so can we. Lord only knows what the rules will be like in 6 months anyway. :)

That sounds llike a very smart solution. I might have to find me a husband.... I just can't face giving up my lexus!. :rolleyes:

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After much reading, we've decided the best course is to pull our current sticker which is linked to me (and I'm going Permanente) and have my wife turn in her nearly up for renewal FM3 and get a tourist visa and pull a new TIP in her name, since she is on the car as well. That gives us 6 months to see if there's going to be some modification of the rules. This works for us because we go out every 6 months minus two weeks like clockwork.

More hassle but a lot better than dumping a perfectly good car, losing $6K on it, and having to buy something we wouldn't like as well and don't need or want. In 6 months, she can either start the Temporal cycle again from Texas or we'll just keep rolling over the tourist and car permits.

They want to play these car games, so can we. Lord only knows what the rules will be like in 6 months anyway. :)

I don't think you can go PERMANENTE and drive a US plated car. That's why I brought up the topic of INMIGRANTE, then going to PERMANENTE.

What if you let ANY type of INM card expires, drive to the border and come in on a Tourist Visa?

What if you still have a valid INM document, go to the border, take off the sticker and come back in on a Tourist Visa? If you get stopped, you don't shown your INM card, but show your Tourist Visa?

We can all play games if that's what they want.

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They have computers now, and it is illegal to have two INM documents. Coming on a Tourist Permit, while holding another INM permit would subject you to losing both and that could be very inconvenient.

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That's why we are going to turn in wife's FM3 at the same time she pulls the tourist permit. The excuse will be that she doesn't plan to be there longer than that and does not want a Permanente Visa.

This mess will either get cleaned up in the next six months or we'll just keep renewing the FMT and car permit. I'm not going to be forced into taking a 50 percent haircut on a perfectly good car and laying out many thousands on a car that isn't as good and that I don't want.

We can do this because we go north twice a year, 6 months minus two weeks apart.

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Yes, it's legal as long as your INM card is valid and you have valid Mexican insurance. Everyone here drives on expired plates.

Actually, everyone here doesn't drive on expired plates. Like a very large number of others, our auto is now currently registered in South Dakota, which has a very liberal policy for drivers who want to register their cars there but live elsewhere. Their rates are also fairly inexpensive. My insurance broker, Lewis and Lewis, told me that I must have current vehicle registration for my Mexican insurance to be valid. I don't know whether this is just the policy for my company or is broader than that, but given the low cost and ease of S. Dakota registration, why take a chance? If you get into an accident, and your Mexican insurance turns out to be invalid, you will find yourself more than nose-deep in doo-doo.

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I don't think you can go PERMANENTE and drive a US plated car. That's why I brought up the topic of INMIGRANTE, then going to PERMANENTE.

What if you let ANY type of INM card expires, drive to the border and come in on a Tourist Visa?

What if you still have a valid INM document, go to the border, take off the sticker and come back in on a Tourist Visa? If you get stopped, you don't shown your INM card, but show your Tourist Visa?

We can all play games if that's what they want.

The colored text is not accurate. Spouses of TIP holders can drive the TIP car, regardless of their INM status. As Mainecoons pointed out, read Articulo 106, Fracc. IV:

"Los vehículos podrán ser conducidos en territorio nacional por el importador, su cónyuge, sus ascendientes, descendientes o hermanos, aun cuando éstos no sean extranjeros, por un extranjero que tenga alguna de las calidades migratorias a que se refiere este inciso,"

from http://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/#IMPORTANT%20RULES%20FOR%20OPERATING%20FOREIGN%20PLATED%20CARS%20IN%20MEXICO and http://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/#IMPORTANT%20RULES%20FOR%20OPERATING%20FOREIGN%20PLATED%20CARS%20IN%20MEXICO

This website has both Spanish language versions to carry in the car for police to read, and English translations for us to read along with them.

Re " What if you still have a valid INM document, go to the border, take off the sticker and come back in on a Tourist Visa? If you get stopped, you don't shown your INM card, but show your Tourist Visa? "

You show the police or military personnel your current valid INM permit, which would be your 6 month Visitante permit ,

If this all seems like some perverse game, try dealing with the US CIS and Homeland Security as a foreigner. The US systems are downright Kafkaesque, making Mexican systems a walk in park in comparison. Governments everywhere pass legislation and make rules that do not make sense. We are lucky that Mexico has such liberal and welcoming policies compared to most other countries.

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