Jump to content
Chapala.com Webboard

U.S. Citizen Driving Mexican Vehicle into U.S.?


Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, RVGRINGO said:

but we do have to put up with high humidity in the summer months.

Haha, coming from PV the humidity here seems downright low to us but the temps are much higher. PV on a scorching day at our condo might hit 93 F but the humidity there was always 80 or above. We never once used our A/C units there due to sea breezes during the day and the land breeze at night. We use our A/C here every day so far and we keep it set at 80 F because our blood must have thinned out.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 84
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Yes and no. More Spanish spoken here but no beautiful view of Banderas Bay like we had there. SPI is only an hour and 15 minutes away and those beaches are as nice as any in Mexico, certainly better t

One year. Buy insurance. Don't sweat it.

I have been stopped more than once in the USA. They ask for license, registration & proof of insurance.  Never have I (or any of my Mexican relatives)  been asked for anything else.  One Texas tro

4 hours ago, RVGRINGO said:

Well said.  Yes, the weather, here in Alamo, is delightful in the winter, but we do have to put up with high humidity in the summer months.  Nevertheless, there are now at least six of us here from Mexico, at last count, and a couple more recent arrivals in nearby Donna. I know that we all miss being in Mexico, but we do enjoy the 'flavor' here, and the border is just minutes away. Nuevo Progresso is just as active as ever with its abundance of dentists, restaurants, street vendors and other shops.

Some 37 yrs ago I took my girlfriend to South Padre Island for a three day weekend.  I distinctly remember that the best prime rib I had ever had (up to that time) was at a restaurant by the name of Louie's Backyard.  A few months later we married and flew to Zihuatanejo for the honeymoon.  But that is another story for another day.

Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Kiko said:

Some 37 yrs ago I took my girlfriend to South Padre Island for a three day weekend.  I distinctly remember that the best prime rib I had ever had (up to that time) was at a restaurant by the name of Louie's Backyard.  A few months later we married and flew to Zihuatanejo for the honeymoon.  But that is another story for another day.

Louie's is still there but the last time we were there...the quality and service level was not what it used to be. We honeymooned in Huatulco, 28 years ago.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, RVGRINGO said:

Well said.  Yes, the weather, here in Alamo, is delightful in the winter, but we do have to put up with high humidity in the summer months.  Nevertheless, there are now at least six of us here from Mexico, at last count, and a couple more recent arrivals in nearby Donna. I know that we all miss being in Mexico, but we do enjoy the 'flavor' here, and the border is just minutes away. Nuevo Progresso is just as active as ever with its abundance of dentists, restaurants, street vendors and other shops.

Glad to hear the narco criminals haven't destroyed NP like they did Reynosa.  We always enjoyed going there for the eating out and shopping.  Also glad to hear you are doing OK.  You might check out the possibility of a cross border taxi for your dentist visits.  We continue to enjoy Dr. Eloy Barrigan down here thanks to your recommendation.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Can I bring my car into the U.S. temporarily?

Nonresidents/visitors may import a vehicle duty-free for personal use up to (1) one year if the vehicle is imported in conjunction with the owner's arrival. Vehicles imported under this provision that do not conform to U.S. safety and emission standards must be exported within one year and may not be sold in the U.S. There is no exemption or extension of the export requirements.  See Importing a Motor Vehicle on CBP.gov.

The importer's passport number and the name of the country that issued the passport must be supplied on the DOT form HS-7 Declaration form. See Box 5.

The DOT form HS-7 can be downloaded from the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Website or by calling the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393.  The DOT number for vehicle imports is 202-366-5291.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1664/kw/mexican%20vehicle%20temporarily%20in%20USA

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, AngusMactavish said:

 

Can I bring my car into the U.S. temporarily?

Nonresidents/visitors may import a vehicle duty-free for personal use up to (1) one year if the vehicle is imported in conjunction with the owner's arrival. Vehicles imported under this provision that do not conform to U.S. safety and emission standards must be exported within one year and may not be sold in the U.S. There is no exemption or extension of the export requirements.  See Importing a Motor Vehicle on CBP.gov.

The importer's passport number and the name of the country that issued the passport must be supplied on the DOT form HS-7 Declaration form. See Box 5.

The DOT form HS-7 can be downloaded from the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Website or by calling the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-424-9393.  The DOT number for vehicle imports is 202-366-5291.

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1664/kw/mexican%20vehicle%20temporarily%20in%20USA

The majority of this information is for someone who wants to import a vehicle into the United States. ie " I bought a Fiat in Europe and want to bring it home"     It is not related to temporary use of a foreign vehicle as allowed by federal law.  

I have crossed into the US many times with many different vehicles with Jalisco licence plates. Most of them were not mine. None of the information posted above applied to me. I  have never been asked to verify ownership, registration, insurance or even possession of a driver's license by immigration agents at the border.

Only one time was I asked if the  vehicle I was driving was mine (it was a Mercedes convertible). I replied "no it belongs to the tequila company I work for". The agent did not ask to see any of the vehicles documentation. 

Unlike Mexico there is no paperwork required by the US federal government to use a foreign plated vehicle in the USA on a temporary basis (defined as one year or less)  when driven across the border.  If you bring one in by boat or plane then you will fill out documents at the port or airport of entry. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mostlylost said:

The majority of this information is for someone who wants to import a vehicle into the United States. ie " I bought a Fiat in Europe and want to bring it home"     It is not related to temporary use of a foreign vehicle as allowed by federal law.  

I have crossed ........ (snip)

 

3 hours ago, AngusMactavish said:

The link provided (above) appears to clearly pertain to a temporary "Import" of a vehicle in the US for up to 1 year.  Am I missing something?

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/29/2019 at 9:02 AM, Michael Ray said:

I am considering buying a Toyota diesel truck in Guadalajara that doesn't meet US emission standards. I assume I can drive it in the US, but would never be able to import it and get it inspected. Anyone know if my assumptions are correct?

I read that the 2019 and 2020 Toyota diesel Hilux is US approved, (not for California yet)  There should be a DOT sticker under the hood, and another sticker on the door jam. I want one of these also!

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Michael Ray said:

I read that the 2019 and 2020 Toyota diesel Hilux is US approved, (not for California yet)  There should be a DOT sticker under the hood, and another sticker on the door jam. I want one of these also!

You mean California allows some diesel vehicles?  The enviro lobby there must be weakening.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/25/2019 at 10:57 AM, RickS said:

The (new) EPA just said California is the worst polluter in the nation and is threatening to cut off their Federal highway funds.  That's going to be interesting.....

...or not.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/10/2019 at 3:47 PM, RVGRINGO said:

Your Mexican driver's license is just as good in the USA as your USA license is good in Mexico. It is called 'reciprocity'.  I tends to frustrate some cops, who may never have had much experience with foreign plated cars or drivers, since they cannot "run the plates" or check your license. Too bad for them; good for you.  Just be friendly and tell them how much you love being retired in Mexico, and being able to drive up north to see your friends and relatives.

 

This is correct and I'll provide legal context and citation to support it (may or may not be related to my profession, regardless it is best that you research and confirm when someone cites law).

 

Two laws govern whether and for how long a foreign resident may drive motor vehicles in the United States using a foreign-issued driver license (or when the vehicle bears foreign registration):

  • Convention on the Regulation of Inter-American Motor Vehicle Traffic (Washington, D.C., 1943)
  • United Nations Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva, 1949)

 

These are treaties signed by the United States. Treaties are superior to state law (but subordinate to constitutional law). Consequently, no state may abrogate, alter, or otherwise affect the legal rights guaranteed in a treaty.

 

Might a state legislature still (foolishly) pass laws that attempt to do that? Yes. And some have, including Florida in 2012 (HB 7059, 2012). Spoiler alert, that law is unenforceable, and when informed about the aforementioned treaties and the superiority of treaty law to state law, Florida removed the language that attempted to make it illegal for foreign license holders to drive in Florida without obtaining an international driving permit. See FL Statute 322.04 from 2012 at https://www.flsenate.gov/laws/statutes/2012/322.04 . Compare with the 2018 language, although the offending language was removed later in 2012: https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/0322.04

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/article1947357.html

 

Although this relates to driving on a foreign license, those treaties also protect the right of foreign residents to drive a foreign-registered vehicle for up to one year after the vehicle enters the United States. The clock would be reset by driving that vehicle out of the United States and reentering, even if done in a matter of seconds by u-turning at the port of entry. There just needs to be an entry record substantiating the date the vehicle last entered the USA if the person's right to operate it within the USA were to be challenged in court. I have no idea how frequently law enforcement at any level attempts to check and enforce this time limit, or from a practical standpoint, how they would do so. It seems they would likely need to rely on spoken statements by the person during a traffic stop as to date the vehicle entered the US last.

 

As a caveat, engaging in ongoing, paid work within the United States might alter these legal rights. But the overriding concern is what can be proven. If stopped and cited for being in violation of a law like the old Florida statute, I would be very confident walking into a courtroom and presenting (1) an original and copy of a foreign residency visa and (2) an original and copy of a foreign driving license  --or-- an original and copy of a foreign vehicle registration certificate (tarjeta de circulacion or similar) , asserting my foreign residency, declaring the date when the vehicle (or I) entered the US, citing the two aforementioned treaties, and winning the case. With the prior submission of a written brief stating these facts and making the legal conclusion of course.

 

One additional note: some states are better informed about the legal privileges of foreign residents in the US. You can google search 'Driving in Wisconsin with a foreign driver license' , from the DMV website you will see information similar to what I stated above. Some states are simply more reasonable about all of this.

 

As for mentioning that you have more than one license or more than one domicile (which is probably the important legal matter here, not mere residency), I would steer clear of any mention of that if you are going to show a foreign license and claim foreign residence. The existence of a license issued by a US state opens up the question of where your true domicile is, which is such a complicated issue not even the supreme court of the united states seems to understand it well (see Texas v Florida). Keep it simple. Here is my license from Mexico, where I love being retired, as RVGringo said. That's the perfect response if pulled over and questioned. I'd use it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 months later...

I crossed to the US today through the Hidalgo,TX border. I always cross in my parents car. They told me if i cross again in the mexican car i was going to be fined 5,000 dlls? Is that true? 
 

Does someone know the exact law that dosent let you cross with a mexican car?

 

Just to justify myself just in case?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Shall we assume that the 'they' you are referring to was the US Customer/Border agents as you were driving into the US?  IF so, someone is BS-ing you for some reason. IF one has permission to drive a vehicle, and if one has proper visa papers, one CAN drive a Mexican plated vehicle into the US and keep it there for up to 1 year. One can be driving with either Mexican or US driver's license. 

Now if there's more to the story, all bets are off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A border official saying this time ok but next time no??  Very odd.... If the story is true there is definitly more to the story. In normal times thousands of vehicles with Mexican plates enter daily. Many driven by US permanent residents or non Mexican citizens.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

Thank you all for providing so much information. Here is my situation:

I am a US citizen, my wife a Mexican citizen and US Permanent Resident.

She is in Mexico now and I will be joining her there in a couple weeks and we are going to drive her Mexican plated vehicle back to the US. (North Carolina). She has a 2015 chevy trax. She has mexican drivers license. Based on the information ive been reading, I think we will be ok driving her vehicle in the US for up to a year. I am trying to figure out how to register it in the US.

 

Does anyone know of specific insurance companies that I can get liability coverage on her vehicle in US?

Do any US insurance companies offer coverage for foreign vehicles?

Or would it have to be a Mexican insurance company offering coverage in US?

 

Thanks

Michael

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can not register it in the US unless you go through a lengthly importation process and it must meet US safety & emission standards (doubtful it does). Check with your Mexican insurance company. Most have US liability coverage included. If not add it.

You can buy short term ( under 30 days) US liability coverage from at least one provider in Texas but it would not make sense as the Mexican policy would be far cheaper.

The only question is the North Carolina resident requirements. As long as her DL is Mexico should be no problem. If stopped she is "just visiting" 

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Based on the information i've been reading, I think we will be ok driving her vehicle in the US for up to a year. I am trying to figure out how to register it in the US. "

She should have no problem, but there is no need/no way to "Register" the vehicle there.... one just drives it around with impunity for up to a year.  (I've always wondered how anyone knows just when your 1-year is up. Maybe by looking at one's Passport but one does not have to drive around with a Passport handy!)

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think the feds have any idea how long a car has been in the US.

I took a Mercedes in 8 years ago. After 11 months it was driven to the border and then re entered the same day by someone else. It is still there. They have the registration and insurance renewed every year. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, Mostlylost said:

SNIP......

It is still there. They have the registration and insurance renewed every year. 

I assume that would be Mexican registration and insurance....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...