Jump to content
Chapala.com Webboard
UrbanMan

Recent Cost of Living Info, Chapala/Ajijic

Recommended Posts

It totally depends on the wording in your individual policy. Be sure and read it carefully. And get legal coverage so you hopefully don't end up in jail after an accident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Play it safe and get SD plates and keep them current. Cheap and easy. The original plates will have to be sent to a US address or at least that used to be the case. I wonder if Clay County has noticed the decline in revenue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

pappys - I've read in several places that in South Dakota itself, the government is not happy with their state being used in this way, despite the free revenue it provides. I'm not sure exactly what the current landscape is, despite a good hour on google. But the fact is at a minimum its already under scrutiny.

It's one thing for me to leave my current location, drive to MX, let the US plates lapse, and buy Mexican insurance. Judgement call, agreed, but I don't see this as problematic. But for me to work the system and get SD plates, when neither my car or me has ever been there, well, that is fraud, at least by the letter of the law.

Just in case it matter, this is a Japanese car (as in Made in Japan) which I understand would never be eligible to be imported to MX.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I spoke on the phone with the very nice lady from Clay Country I told her I lived in Mexico and that I didn't want to pretend that wasn't the case. She replied "that's OK honey, most of our customers don't ". Give her a ring and see what the current situation is.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS. SD plates beginning with 19 are from Clay County or at least they used to be. Used to see many at Lakeside before the law changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not against SD law to be licensed there but not reside there. That's the way in which Clay County has interpreted their state law. Nothing illegal about it at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice thing about Lewis and Lewis for insurance for your US plated car in Mexico is the website is outstanding and easy to understand and your policy is in English and Spanish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have used Mexpro auto insurance on my Colo plated car for years. The one time I had a fender bender they got it taken care of quickly and well. I also use them to insure my home.

Their policies are similar to American policies in the way they are written and easy to understand. They come in English and Spanish.

www.Mexpro.com

(888) 467-4639

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for finding and posting the link Puro. I found it surprisingly close to lakeside expenses in most areas it covered and have forwarded it to friends considering moving here as well as posting it on Face Book. Thanks again for your efforts in locating this great info and sharing it. Extremely helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recent (January 2016) Cost of Living for Guadalajara.

Costs default to Mexican pesos, but you can change to display any currency,

making it easier to compare local prices to other countries.

This list seems very much in line with prices lakeside.

https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/guadalajara?currency=MXN

I agree this is really great, thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

" But for me to work the system and get SD plates, when neither my car or me has ever been there, well, that is fraud, at least by the letter of the law."

Not to sure just where you are getting your South Dakota information but it is not at all accurate. SD has for years been providing title/plates to folks who do not actually live there. I 'think' it started with full-time RV'ers who actually had no home state. I've seen their ads in RV magazines for 10-20 years.

And also, it is not only Clay County who does this, that is just who most Lakesiders use because someone there many years ago wrote about it. The early stories were like....."don't call the State because you will get Clay County in trouble and we'll all lose our ability to use them". Wasn't true then and isn't true now. Clay County is not 'interpreting' anything.... it is how that state happens to run their MV systems.

Now adjoining states, Nebraska and Ohio to name a couple, have complained over the years because many of their citizens were getting SD plates, which are cheaper, and those states were loosing revenue. There were some formal complaints a couple of years ago but nothing ever came over it. Maybe they are back to complaining... maybe that is what you have been hearing.

But there is no fraud going on (well maybe some I guess somewhere) as this practice is well within the laws of SD.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks RickS.

So if RVers with no home state use South Dakota for their plates ... do you know if they also use South Dakota for their Driver's License?

Wondering, though, if this would work for banking, ie. banks want your Driver's License info, if you give them a SD license with presumably a mail service street address, will it cause a problem?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For SD vehicle registration, you can arrange things by phone. However, I understand that for a driver‘s license you must visit SD and provide a local address for a day or two. You then apply in person for the license.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, one must 'show up' in SD to get the driver's license. But there are 'facilitators' who will handle this for you once there. I'll look and see if I have an old magazine with one or so of the ads (Trailer Life comes to mind). Also see: http://mydakotaaddress.com for a full service facilitator there.

As RV says, one can get the cost for SD title/tags over the phone but must ultimately send them by mail several things including the application form, current title and sometimes one other form depending on circumstances..... and of course a check. The ladies there will guide you through exactly what you need to send. The plates and registration card are generally returned a few days after they get the mailing.... the actual title comes out of the State and has been taking a month to arrive (they aren't as efficient as the County!). Since there are no emissions tests required there, both new and renewals are painless. One does have to have a US address to which this can be sent.... a 'border town' mail delivery location will work, and this is what a lot of folks Lakeside do for their annual renewals too. See: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=18&ved=0ahUKEwijk5-qtbvKAhVR9mMKHVsLDUoQFggMMBE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.claycountysd.org%2Ftreasurersoffice.cfm&usg=AFQjCNF3jNf4YqE2vw4IyawcWpws4sJcQA&sig2=Ci4PIliK4ss7I03vn4SAcA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If the Lakesiders will never again drive the car in America ... or at the very least it might be years until they do ... why keep the plates current, except if you need to for Mexican insurance purposes? Seems like per previous posts in this thread, it may not matter.

Has anyone ever heard of someone in Mexico being busted for expired USA plates?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jalisco requires that a vehicle be registered and legal to drive in its home jurisdiction, as I recall from reading it many years ago. Also, many insurers require that the vehicle be in Mexico legally. I would not want to be in an accident, especially one which caused a fatality, and find that I was driving illegally without full insurance coverage and legal representation, etc. It is true that enforcement is not likely, as transitos cannot check your US or Canadian registration; nor can US police check the registration of a Mexican plated vehicle; as one tried to do when we visited the USA with our Jalisco plated car. However, your insurer would certainly have an interest in doing so in certain circumstances. It is not a chance I would take to save peanuts per year.

Also note that a foreign plated car must leave when a tourist leaves; every 180 days, or at the end of 4 years for someone with a Residente Temporal visa converting to Residente Permanente or departing to avoid the conversion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was employed by the Travelers Insurance Company as a claims adjuster and later as a claims manager i can tell you we spent very little on declining coverage on minor claims and plenty on major claims as RV suggested. As long as you are not involved in a fatal accident you may well be OK. When I became an insurance agent I always advised my clients to insure against the things that would bankrupt them and self insure against the things that would p**s them off.

YMMV

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As earlier posted, you should be asking your questions at Lewis and Lewis or Mexpro. Lewis and Lewis is an agent for Qualitas - they, and GNP, are the largest insurers in Mexico. Lewis and Lewis says your vehicle has to carry current registration in the U.S. or Canada - plates are only an issue if you live somewhere where plates and registration are conjoined. Lewis and Lewis says that anyone legally in Mexico can drive the vehicle, but not a Mexican citizen. Jalisco makes liability insurance compulsory, a valid driver's license (the fine for an expired but valid license is under 200 pesos). A current smog certificate is a thoughtful touch, but not a requirement on foreign plated vehicles. A $500 million liability coverage from Lewis and Lewis is $132 U.S., underinsured protection is another $25 per year.

You will probably find you do not use your vehicle very often, even if you live in the suburbs. When you first move here you may find the idea of touring different areas in you own vehicle is attractive - you will shortly realise just how dangerous the roads and highways of Mexico are - even the comparitively expensive toll roads. Take the buses, which are excellent, but also subject to many accidents. Never take the city buses within Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta - their equipment is derelict and the drivers are maniacs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Plates and registration are pretty much the same everywhere; the plates must be current and that requires that the registration be current.

Lewis and Lewis are wrong, if that is what they say. An expat in Mexico with a residente permanente visa cannot drive a foreign plated vehicle without the owner aboard. Nor can a Mexican citizen, as stated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

plates are only an issue if you live somewhere where plates and registration are conjoined.

Umm, I am not aware of a single state in which they are not cojoined.

Also note that a foreign plated car must leave when a tourist leaves; every 180 days, or at the end of 4 years for someone with a Residente Temporal visa converting to Residente Permanente or departing to avoid the conversion.

I've read in several places that when you go to the border to renew, only YOU have to go to the border. Complicated topic, as this thread demonstrates:

http://www.chapala.com/webboard/index.php?showtopic=57238

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You will probably find you do not use your vehicle very often, even if you live in the suburbs. When you first move here you may find the idea of touring different areas in you own vehicle is attractive - you will shortly realise just how dangerous the roads and highways of Mexico are - even the comparitively expensive toll roads. Take the buses, which are excellent, but also subject to many accidents. Never take the city buses within Guadalajara or Puerto Vallarta - their equipment is derelict and the drivers are maniacs.

That could be the way it turns out.

I've seen the way people drive in MX, I've seen the condition of many roads, so I get where your cautions are coming from. At risk of sounding like a goofy rose-colored glasses type, let me say Mexico for me needs to have an adventure element. Community by the lake, the regular social interactions, all sounds good, but I am going to want to hit the road every now and then.

I have ridden city buses in both the cities you mentioned. Maniacs, yes in many cases that is true, but so are the taxi drivers. If you are going to visit places, its part of it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Road trips in Mexico, visiting other cities and villages, are part of the fun of living there. We thoroughly enjoyed that freedom and the adventure of seeing the countryside along the way. In 13 years, we never encountered a problem. Most of it was done with our SD-plated SUV, and some with out small Jalisco-plated car, when there were only the two of us.

  • Like 1

Share this post


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...