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lakeside101

how difficult to get a Mexican car legal in US

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Was the Fit purchased in Mexico from a dealership I presume?

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Had a friend last May buy a brand new Nissan Versa, he called Calif. about nationalizing it there and they said yes but he had to put 12,000 miles on it before they would do it. So he drove to Joco and other places everyday to put miles on it. He moved to Calif. went to nationalize it and they said no they would not do it because it was made in MX. he had to turn around and drive it back to sell it here.

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I believe your Honda fit was made in Brazil. I understand it can not be nationalized in the US or even Canada if someone is wondering.

The new model is made in Celaya. Sometimes cars made in Mexico and sold in Canada, US and Mexico, the safety and emissions can be different on the model sold in Mexico making them unable to be nationalized in the US.

On here a year ago was a good article:

http://www.chapala.com/webboard/index.php?showtopic=47776

You can not take a car in to the US permanently without importing it (nationalizing) first before you can get US state plates. Same is true with taking a car bought outside of Canada in to Canada.

Sonia

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I own a 2015 Honda Fit...made in Mexico. It differs in many ways from the same model sold for the US and Canadian market. There are fewer airbags, a different exhaust system, and many other major and minor differences......

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I tried to import a car from Canada to the US. The car had actually been made in the US and sold new in Canada. It could not be reimported into the US because at that time the safety and emission standards for the model sold in Canada were different from the model sold in the US. The vehicle, made in the US and sold in Canada, did not meet US safety and emission standards!

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First thing is to see if the vehicle has a (usa) federal emissions sticker under the hood. It is white and states that the vehicle meets all federal (and sometimes California) emissions. If the vehicle has it, it should meet all federal safety and emission requirements no matter where it was assembled.

The federal importation process does require an speedometer that reads in miles so if it is a kilometer speedometer it will need to be changed by a certified shop.

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Had a friend take a Chrysler minivan purchased at the dealership on Lopez Mateos in GDL to Stuart, FL., 3 years ago. All he had to do was produce the factura from the dealership to get a FL title and registration. No physical inspection, no US federal government interference, and drove it there with Jalisco plates. YMMV (literally :D)

I believe it was the St. Lucie county auto registration office that handled his "importation".

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I suggest just calling US customs and asking them about your vehicle. In my case,they gave me the number for the car manufacturer and told me I needed a compliance letter from them. The officer said to ignore everything I have read on line..... that is why I suggest calling and asking. I called the US customs office where we planned to do the importing. The manufacturer will be able to tell you if the vehicle complies, or what modifications need to be made in order for it to comply. After importing, you need to get the vehicle registered in your home State, and that is another step to pass. I called ahead and asked about that too.

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Friends of mine moved from GDL to Arizona. They were not able to nationalize their 2001 Mexican Honda Accord in the US, so they had to return to Mexico to sell it.

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RickS, thanks for the link. That is the best I have read that explains the process.

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Yep. The sticking point in the process is "proof the vehicle conforms to US emission and safety standards". If you are lucky enough to have purchased a vehicle in Mexico that was made for the US market and therefore conforms to all the requires standards, you should be able to do it. Most cars sold here do not meet those standards.

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We also had friends who moved to Arizona, believing that they could register their Mexican purchased car, as they thought it was identical to the same model in the USA. I advised them against it, but they persisted. Once in Arizona, they found that they could not register the car, so they had to sell it back in Mexico quickly and at a loss.

If you have a Mexican car, plan to sell it in Mexico before you move to the USA.

If you have a US or Canadian car, and are moving to Mexico, plan to buy a car in Mexico.

Keep it simple.......

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RVGRINGO has provided good advice....There are big differences from State to State regarding registration,inspection (some yes,some none), acceptable documents (title, bill of sale, notarization, place of manufacture, emissions and DOT safety certifications, and other B/S..So unless you are legally married to your Ferrari, Porsche, or Lamborghini listen to RVGRINGO and save yourself headaches and assburn from emptying your bank account..Nuff said.

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