Aduana DF Publishes Rule Prohibiting Residente Permanente from Operating TIP Vehicles

APRIL 24, 2013

A helpful and very reliable reader (Lic. Spencer McMullen of Chapala Law) offered the news that their firm has received the first written notice from Aduana DF ruling that Residente Permanentes are not allowed to have or operate TIP vehicles (Temporary Import Permit – (Permiso de Importacion Temporal de vehiculos).**

This has been the official Aduana policy, as we reported in late February 2013.    We appreciate having written confirmation of the previously oral-only official policy.

Lic. Spencer Richard McMullen (a respected attorney in Chapala) is now advising that Residente Permanentes not drive their TIP vehicles.

As always, Residente Permanentes can get Retorno Seguro permits to drive their vehicles out of Mexico:  Safe Returns / Retorno Seguro Permits for Taking TIP Cars to the Border

**See Lic. McMullen’s Comments on Change in Progreso-Aduana Policy ~ Now Approving Residente Temporal TIP Extensions and

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32 Responses to Aduana DF Publishes Rule Prohibiting Residente Permanente from Operating TIP Vehicles

  1. Donnah McIntosh says:

    If it is possible, I need some answers as I am having trouble following all the different comments. We intend to bring an American made vehicle into Mexico and leave it there (into Quintana Roo) permanently and flying in and out after this. Now neither my husband or myself have an FM3 and have always entered on a travel visa, getting a 180 day sticker on our vehicle. Is this what is called a Temporary Import Permit? Now will I need to have some other document for the vehicle to be legal in Mexico since the sticker will have expired after 180 days? This is all very confusing and I would appreciate any information I can get on this.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Donnah,
      Short Answer: What you propose is illegal.

      A TIP (Temporary Import Permit) for a vehicle is only valid as long as the INM permit of the owner is valid.

      When you fly out, you surrender your Tourist/Visitante permit, and it is cancelled (regardless of the initial 180 day date). This cancellation of your Visitante permit then causes your Aduana permit to immediately expire, Banjercito confiscates your $200 – $400 USD deposit, and the police have the right to confiscate your car (when driven) – unless you get a Retorno Seguro permit to drive the car out of Mexico.

      This has been the Aduana policy for at least 10 years.

      • Donnah McIntosh says:

        Thank you, glad to get a clarification on that. So if I get an FM3, my vehicle can stay there when I leave?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Donnah,
        INM has not issued FM3s for the past 5 months.

        If you want a Residente Temporal, and then want to import the vehicle into Mexico temporarily on a Permiso de Importación de vehiculos (Temporary Import Permit – TIP) then you have to apply for a Residente Temporal at your local Mexican consulate (see our main article on immigration: ). If they approve you, they give you 6 months in which to come to Mexico, and at the border (or airport) they give you a 30 day permit to enter Mexico and complete the INM Residente Temporal card process.

        Because you only have 30 days on that first visa, Aduana only gives you 30 days on the TIP… This means you have to hustle through the INM process inside Mexico, and then file quickly with Aduana to extend your TIP expiration date to match your new Residente Temporal card expiration date. If you go more than 14 days beyond the 30 day TIP expiration date, your TIP expires and Banjercito confiscates your deposit… It can be done, but don’t dawdle at getting your INM Residente Temporal card, once you are in Mexico with your 30 day TIP.

      • Donnah McIntosh says:

        Ok Now if we drive our car in and have a travel visa, then park our car at our residence when we leave,and hand in our travel visa, I know we forfeit the deposit on the car and the car is not legal, but it is parked. But when we return in the Fall, with a travel visa again, could we not take the car to the Belise border (I know it would not be a legal vehicle, but we are only a 3 hr drive to the Belise border), and get another 180 day sticker for the car. They would then remove the out-dated sticker, and I could submit another deposit and use the car the same as before. I would like to know if anyone knows if this is possible or not.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Donnah,
        Yes, that approach works. Drive safely to the border, no accidents, forfeit the deposit, pay another deposit, get another TIP…

        I would check with your car insurance agent. In the hope-it-never-happens case of killing someone in an accident, you would need over $300,000 USD of insurance protection per person – and some insurance companies do say that your Aduana TIP permit must be valid to have accident protection. Let’s hope your insurance policy/Company does not have some “gotcha” clause, where they can refuse to pay for an accident due to an expired TIP.
        Happy Motoring,

  2. Now that I have “residente permanente” and have a TIP vehicle here in Guadalajara, which I don’t drive, does it mean that I’m not even allowed of OWN the vehicle? If that is the case, what am I supposed to do with it?

  3. says:

    Very interesting… the employee at Aduana, Progreso said I could drive my husband’s foreign plated vehicle even though I have a Residente Permanente because we are married.. I hope she is correct.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Kay,
      That advice matches the law: You can drive your spouse’s car.

      • Dennis Rennick says:

        Since this issue is huge for many expats I would appreciate it if you could cite the legislation which supports this point of view. In order to get to the bottom of this one needs chapter and verse i.e. the act, the section the chapter and the pertinent paragraphs.

        Thank I look forward to your early reply.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Dennis,
        There is no new legislation.

        This is an administrative ruling made by the Central Operations Administration of Aduana.

        If you read past quotes of the SAT operations manual and past quotes of the Aduana operations manual, both of them specify that only the temporary INM permits (No Inmigrante and Inmigrante) are allowed to have Permisos de Importación de vehiculos (SAT and Aduana Operations Manual for Temporarily Imported Vehicles, Section 17 ).

        So, yes this has been published for over a year (since the change to Inmigrante and No Inmigrante terminology). The Central Operations Administration is simply clarifying an existing written approved and published Audana and SAT rule .

        There is no need for a law to be written to clarify this. We certainly hope that the Legislature will write legislation for a general amnesty for TIP cars inside Mexico, but as we have previously reported, the 2 major Auto Dealers national associations have applied a lot of pressure to the legislators to stop the current 8 million or so foreign-plated “chocolates” from becoming nationalized. In the face of this pressure, the 10,000’s of expat TIP cars owned by Residente Permanentes are a drop in a much bigger bucket.

        The current data, law, and rules all point to Residente Permanentes no longer being allowed to keep TIP cars.

  4. creaghsteve says:

    This may clarify Aduanas position on this matter, however it does nothing to ease the burden, the legislation change has created. A lot of people who had the old FM3’s were told they had to have the new Permanente visa, which now puts them in non compliance vehicle wise. This is an especially unfair burden on older fixed income folks, who through no choice of their own, were forced to a Visa they did not actually want, at this point in time. Considering that Mexico is easing or attempting to ease the property ownership rules along the foreshore, in order to attract investment. Something like this may force a lot of folks to reconsider Mexico as a place to stay.
    In addition forced removal of a granted benefit, is contrary to Mexican law.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Steve,
      Good timing on this information.

      Just as we triggered a previous nationwide effort by expats to get Aduana to approve Residente Temporales to keep their TIP cars, there may be an opportunity to start some movement on this issue.

      There are good reports out of Puerta Vallarta that the INM Puerta Vallarta office is now ALLOWING FM2/Inmigrantes and FM3/No Inmigrantes with 3’s and 4’s on the back of their INM cards to apply for Residente Temporal WITHOUT leaving Mexico.

      There is a queer twist though: INM PV is requiring that the applicants have their current INM (FM2 or FM3) permits expire first, and then they are allowed to apply for Residente Temporal?? This keeps the applicant from having to leave Mexico to get their Residente Temporal, but it means that the TIP holder must use the INM comprabante from their new INM Residente Temporal application as proof to show Aduana that they do have a Residente Temporal application in process, to try to get Aduana to extend their TIP expiration date for another year.

      Time to start an expat effort with INM in DF to make this a national policy?

      Maybe there are enough TIP car owners out there with FM2’s/FM3’s that are expiring between now and November 2013 to make some noise and get some movement on this unresolved issue?

  5. Michael M Selover says:

    I can confirm that I was able to apply for and receive a new Residente Temporal after my no inmigrante (4) expired in Vallarta without having to leave Mexico. I have my Residente Temporal in hand. Unfortunately, my car was temporarily imported last August under my no inmigrante visa and is no longer valid according to local SAT officials. I am also told that the TIP cannot be made valid in my circumstance and that I must obtain a Safe Return permit to drive the car to the border. That would be ok with me just to get legal again. However, when I asked if he could guarantee that when I get to the border that I would be able to turn around and obtain a new TIP under my Residente Temporal, he said he could not provide such a guarantee.

    I have read various opinions and statements on this and other expat websites suggesting that after an FM3/no inmigrante to Residente Temporal transition, the/a foreign plated vehicle is/could be legal. However, when I speak to Aduana personnel at their help line or speak to ones at the Vallarta SAT office I am told otherwise.

    There is much chatter about what happens when one goes Residente Permanente and has a TIP, but I need authoritative information about no inmigrante to Residente Temporal with an existing TIP. According to SAT – Aduana in Vallarta, they have no authority to issue or approve a TIP extension and I must return the vehicle to the border. A two and a half day drive from here each way!


    • yucalandia says:

      We’re really glad that it worked for you, but messy messy messy…

      According to Aduana DF, you should be able to get a TIP at the border.

      • Michael M Selover says:

        It’s the ‘should’ that worries me. 🙂

        What I really want to know is: has anyone been issued a TIP this year at Nuevo Larado under a Residente Temporal visa? I would like to dialog with them.

  6. Silvia Cadena says:

    Steve…When you enter Mexico with a 30 days TIP for your car and for your new Consulate pre authorized Temporary Resident visa, what you do is to apply right away at immigration, then,at the same time apply for a “Certificado de Estancia”, this is a document that certifies that your card is being issued and that you have been authorized to get your card. You take this letter and bring it right away and before the 30 days, to Aduana in your city, (for us, Queretaro), this way your TIP is extended and your deposit saved.
    Just wanted to share my experience in what to do in this matter.
    Saludos and Gracias for all you do.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Silvia,
      Wonderful advice.

      We all benefit by sharing news of what works. THANKS!

    • Michael M Selover says:

      Unfortunately, your scenario was not the same as mine. At the time my current TIP was issued (August 2012) I had had an FM3 for 4 years and 6 months. The TIP was issued with an expiry date of my next visa renewal of February 2013. I had understood that I could obtain a TIP extension by filling out a form that INM gave to me and taking that to Aduana. But, because my FM3 had a 4 on the back of it, I was forced to get either a Residente Permanente and lose the privilege to have a foreign plated car in Mexico or to get a Residente Temporal and (according to INM) continue to have my foreign plated car in Mexico.

      While waiting for my Residente Temporal application processing to occur, Aduana would not accept my TIP extension application because the information it required about my new visa was not available, and when this information was finally available it was 6 weeks after my TIP expiry date. Now Aduana tells me that my TIP cannot be extended because it has expired. That is, the ‘system’ failed to provide a way for me to retain my bond (it is lost) nor obtain an extension. So, according to Aduana, I need to remove my car from Mexico and they cannot say with certainty that I will be allowed to bring it back under my current Residente Temporal.

      Before I head off on a two and a half day drive to the USA, I’d like to dialog with anyone who can confirm that Aduana is issuing TIPs for Residente Temporal visa holders (at Nuevo Larado).

  7. Clare Isert says:

    In order to permanently import a vehicle at the border, do I need to have my permanent resident card, or can I do it on my existing temp resident card.

  8. Donnah McIntosh says:

    So I gather from the latest information, I can enter Mexico with a temporary travel visa which gives me 180 days in Mexico, and I can import and leave a 2003 car for a fee of 25,500 pesos by going through a broker.
    We have entered Mexico at different crossings anywhere from Brownsville to Eagle Pass in Texas. Does anyone know which of these border crossing has brokers?
    Thank you

    • yucalandia says:

      Cuevas group at Nuevo Laredo have gotten good reviews for several expats on webforums. Brownsville also does, but none of them wanted to return phone calls from private individuals in the past.

      • Donnah McIntosh says:

        I contacted the Cuevas group at Nuevo Laredo and this is the response I got……

        Since you are Canadian citizens the vehicule cannot be imported by you. The only way to import your vehicule is if you have a realtive that is a mexican citizen and the import of the vehicule would come out under your relatives name. You won’t have any problems driving the vehicule in mexico if it is under another persons name just as long as it is registered by a mexican citizen.

        So I am wondering if this is correct or if they haven’t gotten the information that foreign cars can be imported by foreigners.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Donnah,
        We have only dealt with American friends and their cars on this issue, so I don’t know the rules for Canadian vehicles. Customs brokers are supposed to know these things, so I would take their word on it as a good starting point. I will do some research in the meantime, to find out if there are work-arounds.

  9. Donnah McIntosh says:

    Thank you Steve we sure appreciate all you have done to get the information out there.

  10. Dorothy says:

    Americans were told today by Customs officials at a meeting with the American Consulate in Progreso, Yucatan that the Mexican Government has decided that neither Temporary or Permanent Visa holders can own or drive foreign plated vehicles… They are now illegal and will be impounded immediately. Has anyone else heard of this change in the law from what we understood it to be???

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Dorothy,
      Thank you so much for the update on the latest misunderstandings of current official Aduana policies on foreign plated Temporary Import Permit (TIP) cars.

      The folks at Aduana de Progreso have consistently been wrong in their understandings of actual official Aduana policies on TIP cars for over 6 months.

      I was not at the meeting, so, I have no idea what was said, but I just spent 30 minutes on the phone with the central Aduana office in DF in charge of Temporary Import Permits for vehicles, and another 30 minutes with Aduana’s bosses at SAT, also in charge of TIPs for vehicles.

      Both clearly said that WHEN A FOREIGNER HAS A RESIDENTE TEMPORAL, THEY ARE ALLOWED TO DRIVE THEIR FOREIGN PLATED CAR. IF Progreso Adauna officials told Residente Temporal gringos that they cannot extend the expiration dates on their legal temporarily imported cars, then both SAT-DF and Aduana-DF said that the Progreso officials were wrong – giving “erroneous advice“.

      If the Aduana de Progreso folks are rejecting applications to renew/extend our TIP expiration dates to match the expiration date of your new Residente Temporal, please see our latest post on this for an official work-around.

      • Dorothy says:

        The Aduana de Progreso folks accepted our application to renew our TIP and told us we would receive a letter from Mexico DF in 3 weeks. That was 4 weeks ago and still no letter. If they do send the letter of renewal that would definitely make life easier as that is what we would show to the police if stopped. In the meantime, we have a letter indicting that application has been made.

  11. Terri Rasmussen says:

    My husband and I were fingerprinted today for our residencia permanente visas. That means we should receive our cards in about 2 weeks. At that point, I understand that our TIP becomes invalid and our foreign plated car becomes illegal. Our plan is to go immediately to Aduana and obtain a Safe Return permit and head for the border within the 5 day limit. My question is…will this plan also forefeit our $400. deposit? Is there a way around losing this money? If not I guess we will just consider this a cost of converting to our new status? Thanks for clarifying this for me.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Terri,
      Yes, you could drive to the border, and turn in your TIP and windshield sticker to Banjercito/Aduana – but don’t exit (unless you get the $300 peso permit from INM to leave Mexico while your visas/cards are being processed).

      Did you keep your Aduana permit’s deposit valid by extending your TIP expiration date annually? (by filing a letter with Aduana, annually, notifying them of your new expiration dates of your past INM permits)?

  12. Terri Rasmussen says:

    Sorry…one more question. Would it make a difference if I we drive our car out of the country before we receive our residencia permanente cards? Would that save our deposit? Would it avoid us having an essentially illegal car in Mexico if even for just a few days?
    Thanks for all the info and advice. It is really appreciated.

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