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Car Legalization Changes?


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A friend of ours just told us that he was at the immigration office in Chapala not long ago and the agent he was having a discussion with told him that there were going to be changes in March of 2016 allowing everyone (even J cars) to be legalized for a certain period of time. This is supposed to be in order for everyone to get legal that has been here and are trapped with their cars.

The only thing about this legalization, supposedly, is that you will not be able to sell you car here in Mexico ... it will have to be taken back to the States if you want to sell it.

After the recent discussion that was started by Spencer about having to go to Mexico City to get the permission letter for Permanentes to take their car to the States to sell it .... we had decided to "make a run to the border" without the letter while this ruling was new and the government was shut down for the holidays. However, now, this bit of information is really putting us in a quandary as we had hoped to keep this car for many years ... and maybe have it be our last car we had to purchase. If it is true (or if others have also heard this) it might be worth it for us to just cool our heels and wait to see what happens.

Has anyone else heard this?

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Someone said that Spencer told him that Spencer thinks there will be new rules in February so to hold onto the vehicles until then. Maybe these are the rumored rules you heard about. That would solve a lot of problems.

How can we sell our Mexican plated vehicles up North and not in Mexico? We can't sell MX plated vehicles in the U.S.

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Someone said that Spencer told him that Spencer thinks there will be new rules in February so to hold onto the vehicles until then. Maybe these are the rumored rules you heard about. That would solve a lot of problems.

How can we sell our Mexican plated vehicles up North and not in Mexico? We can't sell MX plated vehicles in the U.S.

Someone said that Spencer told him that Spencer thinks there will be new rules in February so to hold onto the vehicles until then. Maybe these are the rumored rules you heard about. That would solve a lot of problems.

How can we sell our Mexican plated vehicles up North and not in Mexico? We can't sell MX plated vehicles in the U.S.

And therein lies the catch. In my mind it would be best to get rid of them while you can - but we all see things differently.

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Someone said that Spencer told him that Spencer thinks there will be new rules in February so to hold onto the vehicles until then. Maybe these are the rumored rules you heard about. That would solve a lot of problems.

How can we sell our Mexican plated vehicles up North and not in Mexico? We can't sell MX plated vehicles in the U.S.

Someone said that Spencer told him that Spencer thinks there will be new rules in February so to hold onto the vehicles until then. Maybe these are the rumored rules you heard about. That would solve a lot of problems.

How can we sell our Mexican plated vehicles up North and not in Mexico? We can't sell MX plated vehicles in the U.S.

And therein lies the catch. In my mind it would be best to get rid of them while you can - but we all see things differently.

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Always changes with the new year and things really cant get any more difficult than they already are now. The retorno seguro thing was sprung on us and we have yet to see how they will really work their new system.

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In my opinion, the Retorno Seguro (RS) document is in the same category as insurance..... just in case! I have taken a number of cars out, several with this document, more without since the car was not illegal 'yet'.

Since I've never been stopped along the way at all (I've never been 'stopped' in probably 20 total trips into and out of Mexico!) I can't tell whether they work or not. A friend has been stopped (his luck) and the first document he showed them was the RS and they sent him on his way. Don't know what would have happened otherwise, but.... The document is not required at the border to cancel/take the TIP sticker off. Those folks are all about doing their job as quickly as possible and moving on to the next customer. One doesn't get out of their car... just hand them the Original TIP document and shut up. 3 minutes later you are on your way.

My reality is.... IF the car is illegal, I'm gonna have a RS document!

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  • 5 weeks later...

We just arrived in Canada driving from Manzanillo. I had previously posted on this web board about the need to have a Retorno Seguro (RS) . With it being the holiday season at the time and the confusion over the need to go to Mexico City to get the paperwork or have an agent apply for us, then the RS being then sent by courier to the local SAT office, not knowing when it would arrive etc.we decided to just go north without it. Frankly it was a non issue. Passing by los Mochas last week just after the capture of el Chapo, was a bit concerning as there were several check stops . As it turned out we got a quick " look over" and each time we were waived through. At one stop earlier near Tipec the federal officer looked at the license plate, looked at the TIP sticker, shook my hand and waived us through. Then at the border in Nogales we gave the TIP documents, the agent took a photo of the car front and rear, looked at the driver door and checked the serial numbers to the TIP document , then peeled off the TIP sticker and that was it. I never got the impression the Retorno Seguro (RS) was a part of the process. The chance you take I would think, was if you were in an accident there may have been a question. So my summary would be ,if you can get the Retorno Seguro (RS)easily and don't mind paying the cash grab, then get it as a peace of mind insurance. However If you have to get the car out within a timeline, and can't wait, then go for it.

On a side note after 6 days of driving, yesterday within 2 hours of the US / Canadian border we lost 3rd and 4the gear in the tranny . Drove at 25 mph to the town of Dutton Montana, pop 300 . Called AAA and were towed to the border. Unfortunately just as in the TV show, the tow truck operator missed the last turn around and was forced to go thru Customs. They were not too impressed. Poor guy didn't have a passport.

Then once in Canada we drove the last 400 kms ( 240 miles ) at 25 mph. Now that was boring. This morning it is 28 below zero!

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