Update on Aduana Mexico’s Policy on Foreign-Plated Car Permits

March 4, 2013 Update
There is a report out of San Miguel Allende (SMA) that the US “Consul”, Edward Clancy,  has spoken with the head of Aduana about the current issues of foreign-plated cars in Mexico owned by Americans using Temporary Import Permits (TIPs).

Personal email received today by Yucalandia directly from Consular Agent Edward Clancy DENIES ever talking with the “head of Aduana”.

Yucalandia readers should IGNORE any reports about:
   ~ False Report~ If your car was legal before you changed to either the INM Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente cards,   then the head of Aduana says that your foreign-plated car and your Aduana TIP are still valid,   as long as you have a valid INM permit.    ~ False Report~
Happy Trails,

* * * * * * *
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© Steven M. Fry

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18 Responses to Update on Aduana Mexico’s Policy on Foreign-Plated Car Permits

  1. Hans Bierman says:

    Thanks Steve I was getting really tired of hearing all the wrong information from someone who knew someones sister who talked to her brother well you get the drift thanks Steve can always count on you.

  2. MeridaGOround says:

    “New” is a relative term. Could we please have some context? ~eric.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi eric,
      I am going to guess that you are referring to:
      “… there are no new Aduana laws at this time. Further, Aduana has not set a date for releasing any new laws or new rules. …”

      Here, no new rules and no new laws, means that we really are still using the old existing Aduana law (Ley Aduanera) and old existing rules (Reglamento).

      LEY ADUANERA: Nueva Ley publicada en el Diario Oficial de la Federación el 15 de diciembre de 1995
      TEXTO VIGENTE: Última reforma publicada DOF 09-04-2012 LEY ADUANERA
      REGLAMENTO de la Ley Aduanera: Publicación en D.O.F.: 06 de junio de 1996 Ultima actualización: 28 de octubre de 2003
      REGLAMENTO de la Ley Aduanera

      Do you carry copies of Article 106 Section IV (pp 60-61) and
      Manual de Operación para la Importación Temporal de Vehículos y Motocicletas: Sec. 17-17.4 and
      your annual Aduana letter describing this current year’s expiration date for your TIP (which matches your INM permit expiration date) … in your car ?

      Happy Trails,

      • Steve,
        I’m gonna sidestep you question about carrying an Aduana letter, and ask a deeper rhetorical question vaguely directed at the Mexican Tourism Office:
        What happens to my spending if I don’t have a car in Mexico?
        1. I spend less here. This year we flew; the United Airlines got a big chunk of cash. Last year we drove, staying in Mexican hotels along the way, and paying cuota fees on Mexican super highways, while buying Mexican gasoline.
        2. This year we are riding buses, and staying in the city of Merida. (Oh, we did ride collectivos to Báca and to Izamal. Nice towns, both. But we came home the same day, making no side trips to explore the countryside like we did last year.) Last year we visited ruins at Uxmal, Chichen Itzá and Dzibilchaltun. This year we had hoped to visit Mayapan and Palenque, but without a car we decided to economize by staying in a rented apartment in Merida instead.
        3. Tourists and expats who come here are bolder than average tourists. We are cheerleaders for Mexico, mostly. When tourism is down, as it is presently, it makes no sense to frustrate those who would normally energize other visitors to come. Without a car which I would like to leave behind in Merida for next year’s winter stay, I’m frustrated; as a result, I’m spending less.
        Conclusion: if Mexico wants more tourists, maybe they might consider liberalizing their vehicle policies rather than tightening them (as they seem to be doing). So, is this policy “customer driven” or instead, is it about political power? Who wins? Who looses?

      • yucalandia says:

        Very nice.

        Could you send this to the US ambassador and our Consul, as dandy explanations of why they should urge the head of Aduana DF to come up with a good policy on Temporarily Import Permit cars?

        Fortunately, there are only a few Aduana offices, like Progreso, (so far), who are currently taking such narrow positions on extending TIP expiration dates. If a chorus of our requests to the Ambassador influences him to contact the head of Aduana, maybe we all benefit.

  3. Panda says:

    No this does not put my mind at ease as we have been told by the Progreso Aduana that our vehicle is not legal in Mexico since we have the new Residente Temporal card. If documentation could be provided by the head of Aduana we would take it to the local office to see their response.

    • yucalandia says:


      Fortunately, Aduana Progreso is wrong. We have emailed the Consul at SMA to ask him for confirmation and contact information at Aduana DF to get written confirmation of the head of Aduana’s decision.

      Really, a published statement out of Aduana DF that we could carry in our cars would put the issue to bed.
      Why a published statement? Because local police are personally attempting to confiscate TIP cars, unless you have a written letter from Aduana describing your current TIP expiration date. If Aduana does give written confirmation of the validity of our current TIPs, I doubt that will local police be notified – which means we should continue to carry copies of
      Article 106 Section IV (pp 60-61),
      Sec. 17-14.4,
      your annual Aduana letter describing this current year’s expiration date for your TIP (which matches your INM permit expiration date)
      and a copy of the INM permit holder’s Residency Card … in your car.
      Happy Trails,

      • Panda says:

        Thanks Steve. Would love to carry a current letter in car but they won’t give us one. For now the vehicle is parked. Hope to hear back soon with something in writing that we can take to them. Where are the local police trying to confiscate vehicles?

      • yucalandia says:

        We have received first hand reports of police attempts from both Merida and San Miguel Allende.

        Fortunately, both expat drivers had copies of Aduana letters listing still valid expiration dates for their TIPs (issued last year).

        We have mailed requests for help from both the SMA and Merida Consuls to get Aduana DF to write some formal memo, directive, executive order, or guidance document describing their official interim policy on renewing/extending the expiration dates of our renewing Permisos de Importación Temporal de vehículos (TIPs).

  4. Les says:

    Steve, thanks for your consistently helpful guidance!
    I may have missed something along the way, but I am not as reassured as I would like to be by Ed Clancy’s take on his conversation with the head of Aduana. I think the following factors govern where this is going regarding the TIPs program:

    1. INM (Migracion) and Aduana are totally separate entities and are not preoccupied with coordinating their policies. INM doesn’t particularly care about TIPs: they care about the people they are letting into the country, not the vehicles. They don’t formulate policies to make things easier for Aduana. And vice versa.
    2. Aduana has not changed its laws, nor do they have plans to. And there is no need to, simply to accomodate INM’s relabelling of the categories. Aduana’s policy all along has been to allow TIPs for Temporary residents and not for Permanent residents. No change here. The issue is not whether a foreigner is tagged with FM3, FM2, Visitante-No Imigrante, or Residente Temporal: all of these fall within the category of “Temporary” as far as Aduana is concerned, so therefore things continue on as in the past for those who choose to carry on as Residentes Temporales for the next four years.
    3. Those of us who at this time choose to convert to Residentes Permanentes under the new INM rules, now become permanent residents, previously labelled “Inmigrados”. So I believe Aduana will apply the same rule to “Permanentes” as they have all along: No TIPs. No change. Their policies can continue as before: “Temporaries” Yes, “Permanents” No.
    4. We should not judge Aduana as being unfair merely because INM has changed their labelling and merged some groups. Even with INM’s changes, it is still abundantly clear as to who is Temporary and who is Permanent. It was our decision to go “Permanent”. We could have chosen to wait up to four more years to go Permanent, which would have given us all the time we needed to figure out what we were going to do with our foreign-plated vehicles. Really, no change from before. The former FM2-Inmigrantes who had an eye on permanence, i.e. Inmigrado, knew 5 years in advance that they would have to change to a Mexican vehicle, and relinquish their foreign-plated one.
    5. It seems that this has become an issue to many of us who have suddenly decided to go Permanent because it recently became an attractive and attainable option. But maybe we didn’t have, or take the time, to put our vehicular affairs in order, maybe hoping for an exception to be made.

    We ourselves are playing it safe. When our new Permanente card arrives soon, we plan to park our newly-illegal vehicle until we get packed for a drive out of Mexico. We plan to do this under the umbrella of a “Retorno Seguro”, which a provison the SAT/Aduana has made so that foreigners can safely remove their “illegal” vehicles without fear of them being seized by an over-zealous or unknowlegeable officer. This is the advice I received from Aduana in Manzanillo. Meanwhile, we’ve bought a used Mexican vehicle.

    I welcome your comments and corrections.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Les,
      Good points.

      Have you read the latest official letter from our Progreso Aduana, citing chapter and verse about why even foreigners with Residente Temporal permits CANNOT extend their current TIPs, and that all foreign-plated cars in Mexico owned by Residente Temporal y Residente Permanente, are now effectively illegal, and liable to be confiscated (if driven)…?? Feb. 28 Update on Progreso Aduana’s Take on Foreign-Plated Cars for Residente Temporal Permits

      Your plan to use the Retorno Seguro rule sounds very good. (except they give an somewhat narrow window of 3 – 5 pre-specified days for you to travel).. It also causes you to forfeit any $$ deposit you made with Banjercito…

      Us? When planning our move to Mexico 9 years ago, I researched the laws and rules carefully, then promptly sold both of our US cars, and purchased a car and a pickup that were each legal for importation. We paid less than $600 USD total to formally permanently import both of them, and then paid another $500 USD total in local registration fees and taxes to get them Yucatan plates. no worries, no hassles….

      I simply believed that even though I was entering Mexico on a visitor permit, and then as a Temporary Resident (FM3), I planned that my cars would be staying here permanently (it’s a long drive from Yucatan to Colorado). I decided then that we should not try to use some temporary import permit loophole to keep a car in Mexico without paying duties…

      I am a simple guy at heart… a pay-as-I-go guy.
      No expectations of special priviledges, no expectations that I deserve anything…
      Happy Trails,

  5. wrytr says:

    I live in SMA and asked two different Mexican consultants today if I really need to drive to the Aduana office in Querétaro (45 minutes away) to renew the T.I.P. (car permit) in order to avoid losing my deposit next time I drive into the U.S. They both said yes.

    But the consultants differ on whether I must renew my No Inmigrado (formerly FM3) visa BEFORE visiting Aduana, or if I simply APPLY for the renewal and then go to Aduana. One says I should start the visa renewal and immediately take copies of my application, along with a long list of other documents, to Aduana so they know I plan to renew my visa. The other says to wait until I receive my new visa (the plastic card) and take that to Aduana (plus my car title, passport, bank receipts, etc. etc.).

    It’s beyond frustrating. It seems elementary to set up a system whereby we can complete all of the necessary paperwork and payments online, but this is Mexico, not the U.S., and for some reason efficiency is not a priority here.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Wry,
      The Aduana law is clear, to keep your deposit, you must apply for an extension of your TIP expiration date well before 15 days after the current expiration date (it takes Aduana time to approve the expiration date change – and it takes Aduana additional time to notify Bajercito – and Banjercito needs time to update their databases of the change).

      Since INM is almost universally taking more than 1 month to process even a renewal (Residente Temporal), then if you wait until after receiving your INM permit, then you definitely miss the time window for Aduana and Banjercito’s expiration dates on your TIP.

      As we described in a comment on our most recent Yucalandia Update Post:
      You do have to apply for a prorroga with Aduana BEFORE your TIP expires: (from Mexconnect)
      “This is as explained regarding Aduana in Queretaro.

      My wife (a professional INM & Aduana facilitator) called Aduana 01-442-227-0100 ext 60113 (today: March 1, 2013) and spoke with Isabel Chavez. For those with Permanent Resident visa your car is legal since there are no new laws relative to Permanent Residents but you will have lost your deposit unless you have taken your car out of Mexico prior to the expiration date of your car permit.

      For those who are Temporary Residents you need to go to Aduana in Queretaro well before your visa expires.

      Start your INM process 30 days before it expires. Take a copy of your INM Temporary Resident visa application along with your passport, car title, the letter you submitted to INM (states your address, citizenship, passport number, how long you are applying for a visa), page with NUT number and name and also car permit you obtained when you entered Mexico. You ask for a prorroga to protect your deposit. It will be protected for the duration of your Temporary Resident visa be it 1, 2, 3 or 4 years. This information is then sent to Aduana in Mexico City.


      • MHS says:

        Question regarding an expired TIP on a NON-NAFTA car – I had started my INM process for my Temporary Resident visa and had to leave the country due to a family emergency and during the time I was away my TIP renewal had expired (I had received my TIP renewal in Progress last year – which expired Oct. 31 this year). I returned to Mexico November 12 and started the completion of my Temporary Resident visa which I should receive next week. I would like to know what options I have in renewing my TIP. Would it help to show Aduana the letter that allowed me to leave the country due to an emergency (so far I do not see that Aduana has charged my credit card.)? Can I drive my car to Belize and relinquish my old TIP and get a new one? Would obtaining an attorney help?

        I am aware of the obvious – get a letter allowing me to drive the car back to the U.S. at the same border crossing (is it necessary to drive to the same border exit you drove in to Mexico?) and sell it. I would very much like to avoid this option. I was planning on doing this next year.

        Thank you in advance for any advice.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi MHS,
        You seem to know the rules very well.

        The local Progreso Aduana office has been very difficult to deal with on renewals/extensions this past year, where they have resisted following the rules, and they’ve had to be forced by Aduana Distrito Federal to comply. In this light, I strongly suspect they would not extend you any courtesies or variances. The Aduana Distrito Federal office has been much more understanding of the difficulties of renewing/extending permits this past year, so: I would send the Aduana Distrito Federal office a letter, asking to extend the expiration date of your current TIP to match your renewed Residente Temporal permit’s expiration date.

        Send it as a standard request letter, including copies of all the pertinent information on your car (VIN, registration, title, TIP, etc) along with copies of your current RT card to prove the current expiration date.

        Aduana in DF has been approving “late” renewal applications for the past 8 months, and I believe that they are the better choice of Aduana offices for you to file your request.
        Happy Trails,

      • MHS says:

        Thank you for your response to my question. I have searched on line for the address for The Aduana Distrito Federal office and unable to find one. Would you happen to have it? Also, do I just send the letter with all the information by regular mail? Thank you.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi MHS,
        Have you read our front/home page post on this, and the associated article?
        see: https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/adunana-temporary-import-permit-tip-renewal-form-nov-2013/

        There is an official form now, and the address you want is on page 2 of that form.
        Happy Trails,

  6. winter says:

    wow im reading the comment about what Isabel Chavez stated about permanent residents and that the vehicle is legal in mexico..I have decided to give my vehicle to customs as I am too old to drive it back it canada and would not feel safe on the roads and to legalize it is more then the vehicles worth too confused with the new laws…I have put my house up for sale and will be high tailing it back I have had my car here for 7 years and use it every day t buy groceries,go to restaurants,purchase gas help the elders to their doctors appointments etc and now will have to bus it.now the laws for selling the house…

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