3 Residente Permanente’s Temporary Import Permit Cars Confiscated

Public Service Announcement from Mazatlan 4/9/2013

Three (3) Temporary Import Permit (TIP) cars owned by Residente Permanentes are reported to be confiscated by the police in Mazatlan. We here at Yucalandia follow reports from numerous expat web forums from around Mexico, and the following is a credible report from Mexconnect of TIP cars being confiscated for driving without a valid importation permit:

“Here in Mazatlán there were three foreign-plated cars belonging to gringos who had just recently received their Residente Permanente status that were confiscated. The 6 days (Aduana de Mazatlan gives Residente Permanentes) to remove the cars from México or nationalize them had passed. It is rumored that the Federales said if the people with the new status are headed north toward the border to remove or nationalize the cars, fine, no problem. But if they head south, they are fair game.

Two of the cars confiscated were in Villa Unión which is just beyond the cutoff for Mazatlán´s airport (there is a popular seafood restaurant there) and one was at the airport….both locations south of Mazatlán. Supposedly, the US Consular agent was stopped at the airport, but he showed his diplomatic immunity papers and his car was not confiscated. Scary!
Tom Whitmore ”
April 4, 2013 Mexconnect http://www.mexconnect.com/cgi-bin/forums/gforum.cgi?post=188845;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;page=last;#last

Before this report, we have read only 2 other isolated reports of confiscations of TIP vehicles owned by Residente Permanentes. So far, the reports of confiscations are isolated to the Mazatlan area, but there is no assurance that other Aduana offices and police will not start confiscating Residente Permanente’s TIP cars in other parts of Mexico.

The current Aduana Operations Manual for TIP vehicles has rules that say: TIP cars must be returned to the border when the foreigner no longer has a valid Inmigrante (FM2) or No Inmigrante (FM3) INM permit. Under the published laws, the only clear legal option for Residente Permanentes with TIPs, is to get a Safe Returns permit from SAT/Hacienda and legally drive their car out of Mexico: What to Do If Your Car Becomes “Illegal” – The Retorno Seguro Program / Permit:.

* * * *
Further details on these issues can be found at: Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico and Options for Foreign-Plated “TIP” Car Owners in Mexico, esp for Permanent Residents
Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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36 Responses to 3 Residente Permanente’s Temporary Import Permit Cars Confiscated

  1. Marc says:

    Gosh, around here (San Miguel de Allende), no one has reported any confiscations that we know of. This is breaking news to us!

    We have a car with a TIP issued at a time when a deposit was not required, only a credit card number. We are nationalizing the car and should have the Pedimento sometime within the next week or so. As we are not near a border, does any one have a suggestion of how to get the TIP off of our record? Does nationalizing the car with Aduana, negate the TIP?

    We seldom drive to the border (only once in three years), but we fly into Tijuana, walk across the border, and are collected by family on the US side. Could we take the permit (it’s on a square of glass cut from our replaced windshield) and the paperwork and turn it in at the border in TIJ?

    Thanks for any advice,

    • ¡Cálmate! says:

      I live in Mazatlan and last Thursday I heard the same rumor. That same afternoon I drove to the airport to drop off my wife for a flight. I am now a Res Perm and wrestling with this car importation issue myself. So I guess that you could say my car is technically here illegally.

      At the exit from the Mazatlan airport I was stopped by the Federal Police. I don’t have a front plate. (My U.S. state does not issue a front plate.)
      The officer walked to the back of the car, saw my Louisiana (USA) plate, waved me on, and wished me a “Buen Día.”
      He showed no interest in my windshield sticker (from 2009) nor my immigration status.

      Take what you hear from the internet with a grain of salt.

    • Kit says:

      I have turned in two TIP stickers at K21 Nogalas one on March 30, 2013 and both times they not only scrap off the sticker but check the VIN # of the car and take a picture of it. So I would say you have to take the car to the border!

      • Marc says:

        Gee, I was hoping to hear that we could turn in our TIP at a local Aduana office. Oh, well.

  2. Creagh Day says:

    Thank you so much for keeping us informed about TIP cars and Residente Permanente. I am about to head to BCS to become a residente permanente in our 2006 Toyota Tacoma. My husband is electing to keep his status as residente temporal.

    Am I understanding correctly that when this occurs, only my husband can drive our truck because I am now on the path to becoming a citizen?

    We have many friends who travel from California down the Baja peninsula and they do not have to get permits ever because Baja Norte y Sur are both exempt from aduana TIP permits. We on the other-hand have to drive through Sonora and into Sinaloa and then take the ferry to La Paz.

    We are thinking if my husband stays temporal, he can continue to get the TIP permit. What about our friends from California? Do they need to worry at all about their vehicles if they become permanente?

    Thanks as always, Stephen.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Stephen,
      I feel like a lunkhead – affected by a bit of brain-fog from allergies to the quemas smoke (it is the time of year when the Maya / milperos burn off jungle to clear land). If you and your husband are legally married, then as his spouse, you can drive his TIP vehicle. Where the brain-fog creeps in, is that your name appears masculine. Did you have your marriage formally registered with the Registro Civil in DF? If yes, then as your husbands official spouse, then you can drive his TIP car without him present.

      Read Articulo 106, Fracc IV of the Ley Aduanera for the specific rules. See: https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/#What%20does%20Article%20106%20Say%20about%20Keeping%20Your%20Aduana%20Banjercito%20TIP%20From%20Expiring

      If you are life partners, without the paperwork from the govt, then I am officially stumped. In practice, I have never read any accounts of the police challenging the rights of a “common law” concubino to prevent them from driving their concubina/o’s TIP vehicle, especially if both are foreigners. Will you keep 2 passports when you become a Mexican citizen?

      • Creagh Day says:

        Not a lunk head at all. Soy mujer… my name is a family Gaelic name… and it was my grand mother’s, great grandmother’s etc. etc. We are legally married in the Sea of Cortez and again by the Church in AZ… so it is not so difficult… 1 man + 1 woman with 1 truck…
        Yes we will both eventually become dual citizens, but for now, only I (wife) will be residente permanente because of the car importation issue. we are not ready to pay the $ to import our truck and we have not yet found a suitable MX 4 WD vehicle to keep in the Baja. I hope this response helps you feel not so lunky after all… but it is an interesting thought. I doubt civil marriages work in MX but quien sabe?

        Do you know the second part of the question regarding people coming back and forth from California without TIPs? Will they encounter problems after getting their residente permanentes? Thanks Steve. Creagh

  3. HI Steve,
    Nancy here with the can’t drive out of town let alone to the border and am ready to have option #8 and get it destroyed. I really am concerned about what exactly to say in the letter to the Aduana that will be signed by the mechanic at the notario’s office. I know that someone has done
    this already and I want to know if there was particular wording used to make it completely believable to Aduana. I hope I can take all this info to the Aduana in Progeso after the car is destroyed. Please don’t tell me I have to mail it to Mexico City….

  4. Has anyone permanently imported a vehicle through TioCorp?

    • Marc says:

      We are halfway there. Have submitted all the paperwork and deposit (50% of the fee). On April 4th they confirmed that they had received the deposit. On April 9th they informed us that the broker was preparing the Pedimento and they were expecting to have it in hand early next week.

      • Shayne says:

        What exactly is “TioCorp”? I have a very old motorcycle that is with me under a temporary import permit and I want to legalize it in Mexico. Any ideas as to how this would be done?

      • yucalandia says:

        From friends who live 5 blocks from TioCorp, they say that TioCorp is a well-respected insurance agent (company), who has provided good insurances to the gringo community for the past 10(?) years. TioCorp has only recently gotten into the TIP car importing biz.

      • TioCorp here’t there website. have a look- they just might be able to help you.

  5. Good to hear! Did you do everything through a courier? or did you do it in person?

  6. Sarah says:

    Anyone know if the vehicles that were seized had current date stickers on their foreign plates? Or were they stopped because the plates were out of date?

    • ¡Cálmate! says:

      This is a small town. If a gringo has his car seized by the “Federales” …

      ** Post deleted by Editors due to hyperbole, nasty persona attacks, and false content **

    • yucalandia says:

      Contact the Original Poster on this at Mexconnect for details.

      He and other foreigners had a formal group meeting/conference with official representatives of Aduana de Mazatlan and the State Police.

      The State Police officials and Mazatlan Aduana officials described and discussed the details of their new policies on confiscating foreign plated vehicles (regardless of US or Canadian current registrations) owned by Residente Permanentes. They are stopping and checking foreign-plated vehicles headed South out of Mazatlan. Northbound vehicles can make the case that they are “driving to the US border to take their expired-TIP car out of Mexico“.

      So far, Mazatlan is the only location giving reports of actual vehicle confiscation – and yes, the Aduana and State Police in Mazatlan confirm that they have confiscated TIP vehicles owned by Residente Permanents, and that they plan to continue to confiscate these TIP vehicles with expired Aduana permits.

      There is no joy in Mudville over this,

  7. H-M says:

    No one in Mazatlan appears to be able to confirm the incidents reported in the original post.
    Participants in the What’s Up Mazatlan Forum are questioning the validity of the reported events and the motives the original poster may have had when he posted a false and speculative report.

    • yucalandia says:

      Did you go to the official gringos meeting with the Mazatlan Aduana officials and State Police?

      Did you see the Aduana powerpoint presentation? e.g. Mazatlan Aduana PPT Presentation on Auto Confiscations and Aduana Policies

      This sure seems to show that Residente Permanentes driving vehicles with foreign-plates is considered illegal by Aduana de Mazatlan.

      Have you watched the video of that meeting where the Aduana officials and Police describe why the confiscated the foreign-plated cars?

      The video is 2 hours long, and has Aduana officials giving what seem like a formal presenttation…
      Maybe it is all BS, but I would read the powerpoint presentation and watch the video first.

  8. Nolamaz says:

    Steve, have you personally verified with Mazatlan’s Aduana and State Police regarding the confiscation of foreigh-plated vehicles? I live here, and cannot get anyone to confirm that information for me. Thanks.

    • yucalandia says:

      No, I have not personally verified the information, but…. As I wrote to the other Mazatlan critic/commentator:
      Did you go to the official gringo group meeting with Aduana de Mazatlan personnel and State Police?

      Have you read the Aduana power point presentation given at that meeting?

      Have you watched the 2 hour video of that meeting?

      Maybe it is an very elaborate hoax, but …???

  9. H-M says:

    Whether I went to the meeting or not is irelevant. The simple question is did the reported events really happen?
    To date no one in Mazatlan can confirm that the confiscations reported in the original post occured.
    If the reported events did not occur one has no choice but to question the motives of the original poster.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hello Harold Muller,
      You are welcome to believe whatever you want.

      We really do not want to be pulled into internal feuds or squabbling between different Mazatlan gringo groups.

      I simply point out that Aduana de Mazatlan, in concert with the State Police and Federales, made a written powerpoint presentation to gringos who are willing to listen.

      Their current policy is to confiscate foreign-plated cars owned & operated by Residente Permanentes driving south out of Mazatlan. If you chose not to go to the official presentations offered by the Mex. Gob., then you missed an official opportunity to sate your desires. The people who chose to go to the meeting seem to have very different understandings of reality than your current views, which answers why it is relevant whether you went to the meeting.

      Why not read the official powerpoint presentation?
      Why not watch the video of the official’s presentations?

      All the best,

  10. Sarah says:

    As I have to go to permanent status, my Honda CRV Canadian-plated will have to be driven out of the country. I plan to park it for a couple of months (while I wait for my new permanente card to be processed), then get a safe return permit. Was told by Aduana Central that I can remove it and turn the sticker in at any border crossing (have already lost my deposit). Was wondering if I could use the safe return to get to Baja re ferry, visit my daughter in Baja (the 3-5 days on the safe return would then be expired) and drive it hassle-free to Tijuana since one doesn’t need an import permit for Baja. Or would my permanent status make the car illegal there as well? My Canadian plates are current. Do you have any info on this?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sarah,
      You’re thinking very clearly. Your plan makes good sense: Fits the Mexico’s Federal laws and is convenient for you personally.

      I emphasized the Federal law item, because there is one small quirk of Baja California and Baja Caifornia Sur state laws: Foreign-plated cars in those 2 states are required to have current plates/current registration back in their home US state or Canadian province – and yes, some police on the Baja peninsula do know what our current plates and registrations look like – and are on the look-out for that.

      Did you keep your Canadian plates/registration current?
      Happy Trails,

  11. H-M says:

    News relating to Facts are always apreciated. A campaign of fear mongering based on significanty less than what really happened does very little good for anyone.
    It is unfortunate this Forum and other gringo Forums in Mexico are beng used to do just that.

  12. Sarah says:

    Thanks for prompt reply, Steve. Yes, I guess you missed the last line of my post where i said my Canadian plates are current.

  13. kaytordg@gmail.com says:

    HI.. I appreciate all the work you do Steve to provide information which is credible based on police and aduana presentations. We need some clarification regarding who can DRIVE a foreign plated vehicle vs who can OWN one. My husband renewed as Residente Temporal; therefore he can still drive our vehicle which is foreign plated and in his name. I, however, renewed as Residente Permanente and am unsure as to whether or not I can drive our vehicle. Gracias for any information regarding this you can provide.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Dorothy,
      What a good distinction: Legal right to Own vs. Legal right to Drive.

      Ownership rules for cars vary from state to state. In Yucatan any adult can own a car, regardless of FMM, FM2, FM3, Visitante, Residente Temporal, Residente Permanente, et al… Note that I said own. Registration of the vehicle is another matter. In Yucatan, you have to have residency to REGISTER the car and get plates…

      Continuing with the theme of rules for foreigners buying cars in Mexico varying between States:
      Guerrero, Morelos, & Puebla require only a tourist/visitor visa (FMM). Coahuila and Durango will issue a license only to a resident: FM2 or Residente Temporal or Permanente, or Inmigrado, so, FMM/Visitante/Tourist and FM3 (temporary? resident) holders not allowed to buy and drive Mexican cars in Coahuila or Durango. All the other States require an FM3, FM2, or higher visa. (In reality, in general an expat with an FMM can buy a car, but then they cannot register it, license it, or drive it legally.)

      Be aware that the owner will also need insurance, so check with your insurance agent on their requirements, and some States may require that the owner have a Mexican drivers license. Yucatan did not have a requirement for having a Mexican drivers in their last Rules of the Road. See: http://www.yucatanliving.com/yucatan-survivor/new-yucatan-road-rules.htm New Yucatan Road Rules for more details.

      WHEW…. that covers who can own a car…

      Short answer for you about driving his car: As his wife, you can drive his car.

      Detailed answer: Any licensed driver is permitted to drive a Mexican plated car (with the owner’s permission).
      For Foreign-plated cars, please read the Articulo 106, Fracc IV of the Aduana Law. We have a copy of this at: https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/#What%20does%20Article%20106%20Say%20about%20Keeping%20Your%20Aduana%20Banjercito%20TIP%20From%20Expiring
      What does Article 106 Say about Keeping Your Aduana/Banjercito TIP From Expiring? . . .Just Who is Allowed to Drive My TIP Car

      Hope this covers it,

  14. Well the saga continues here in Zihuatanejo. I was all set to permanently import my Nissan XTrail. Then I found out that its VIN begins with letters, not numbers, which means it is not a MAFTA approved vehicle and cannot be imported permanently. Then I learned about TioCorp where they told me about the amparo which would allow its importation after all. Last Thursday they said they would send me the forms by email to get the ball rolling- but I haven’t heard from them since. Now a lawyer here has told me that if the amparo is negated, as it very well might be, according to TioCorp, that any cars imported already under the amparo would again become illegal.
    In a nutshell…too much drama for me. Too much uncertainty. Too much risk. Just too much for me. I have decided to drive my XTrail back to Canada & buy a Mexican car on my return in Sept. Hassle-free. I was going to be looking for another car in Canada anyway.
    So I started inquiring about the seguro retorno. I was told today that is only for Mexicans. Good grief. I was also told AGAIN, (depends who you talk to) by aduana here, that my car is legal no matter what my status is. (residente permanente) That I brought the car in with an FM3 and it has not left Mexico since then, that no matter what MY status changes to, as long as my status has remained current at all times, which it has, my car is legal here. Good grief once again.
    I was told to print out the regulation stating all this and carry it with me to the border. This is from the website dof,gov.mxnota_detalle.php?codigo=5191383&fecha=27/05/2011&print=true article 4.2.7 roman #2 (don’t know how to make that) and roman #6, section 3.

    Good luck to all of us!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Linda,
      You wrote:
      So I started inquiring about the seguro retorno. I was told today that is only for Mexicans.

      This is simply not true.

      Did a SAT employee tell you this?

      It is SAT who issues the permits, and the SAT office in Merida has been issuing them to gringos here very liberally.

      Our local SAT office did not know how to do the permits prior to 1 month ago, so back then, they told applicants to apply (by mail) with SAT in Mexico City. In the meantime, our SAT office has come on-line for this, and has been issuing them like clock-work.

  15. How do I find this SAT office here in Zihua? I was told by the immigration office that I had to get that permit from aduana. It is aduana that told me this is only for Mexicans.

  16. Yes I did read that article, thanks. And I also just found online the same address you just provided. I will go and check out that address within the next couple of days. Will report back!
    Thanks for helping.

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