May 2, 2013 from Mexconnect:
“For the first time ever, we (I was driving) were pulled over by of all things a Federale and asked to justify our expired TIP. It was outside of Customs near the Puerto Vallarta airport at about 7:30 pm(Monday, Feb. 24th)
First he asked me if I spoke Spanish, and I said yes. He then asked for my driver´s licence which is Canadian. He then asked me if I had a Mexican driver´s license. I said “no” and he winced. I then told him I didn´t need one since mine was current. (According to Article 38 of the Jalisco traffic laws, all you need is a current driver´s licence from anywhere).
He then asked us about the expired TIP (car permit) sticker on our window. I then pulled out my never-before-needed copy of the Ley Aduanera, which, includes Article 106, explaining we can legally use our cars. He then said a remarkable thing (I´m paraphrasing and also, obviously, translating).
“This is Aduana´s law. I´m Federale. Aduana´s law has nothing to do with us.
We are told to take anyone to Aduana with an expired TIP and then they will give a very large multa”
I then said very politely, something like “No. Bajo protesta de decir verdad, este vehiculo es legal. Es muy probable que este ley vaya a cambiar, pero ya no ha cambiado, (Basically, “I swear, this vehicle is legal. It´s very probable this law is going to change, but now, it hasn´t changed).
He then said something to the effect that he didn´t want to impound the vehicle this particular evening and I could go. I then said “Que le vaya bien” and he said “Igualmente”
What I´m doing is printing out a new copy of the law where right there on the first page, it says a big red “Vigente” and that the last revision was April 2012. Here´s the link.
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Looks like there are Federales who are being tasked with finding gringos with Residente Permanentes who are driving foreign plated TIP cars, and these police are not feeling very charitable.
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry
Read-on MacDuff . . .
your term “Federale”: would that be a Federal Highway Patrol car or a Military vehicle?
Thanks. I am in Baja so things are different, we talk funny too. 😉
it is sad that the federalies don’t have better things to do. they used to have it easy getting a little mordita out of the truckers, and transmigrantes but the truckers are all now unions of the drug cartels (protected) and told not to mess with the truckers. so now they are back to molesting foreigners. to get some money using fear tactics. if you are with a or applying for a permanent resident. know this . you can’t drive your foreign plated car without the risk of losing it!! and you can’t drive your friends foreign plated car or he will have problems. sometimes it is best to say sorry i just have my usa license and a copy of the first page of my passport. as they will try to get you on a violation they can see and prove. (eg foriegn resident card ) till more information is negotiated on federal level we have to be smart. i have been here for 23 years and crossed the country by road more then 150 times in my car and for others. (delivering cars to freinds neghbors and family) we here in q’roo still have the free zone area from chetumal to cancun. but the rule is don’t drive the car if you get permanent residence. for a long time it was the transitos molesting the foreigner. on trumped up issues not in there jurisdiction. but now the federales are looking to get involved. so far the last few years we only had problems in a small town call carrillo puerto with 2 federales that were corrupt. and i had to deal with the m over the phone. for some friends. but that was 2 years ago. fortunately we have a lot of belizeans coming into the area that prove no permits are needed in this area. ( free zone) you just have to mention that and they then know you know the law. for free zone car travel in cancun to chetumal corridor. much like baja situation. only so far they do not bother us for expired registrations. thank god. ps. by the way i have stayed here leaving every 6 month as a tourist the whole time. sometimes less is more. just rent enjoy and be free from hassles and ready to move any time. and i have 3 cars down here. i use weekly. all with canceled stickers.
Your experiences with the transitos fit our past 27 years of driving experiences in Q. Roo. We live in Yucatan, but while briefly visiting Q. Roo numerous times, we’ve had at least 10X more BS stops by Q. Roo police for supposed violations than we get living full time in here in Yucatán. Fortunately, every stop as been when I have been with Yucatan friends, or my wife or daughter also in the car. The cops screw with me, until the Mexicans in the car with me speak up, and they then scold me one more time, give a warning, and send us on our way.
good for you—get over on the theives–i’m living in vallarta and about to get my permanent–that’s great;because i doen’t have to deal with the yearly crap with immigration–but of course i will have a problem now with my two JAP cars–i’m thinking of getting a city permit at some kind at parapo? or something–trouble with that your travel is restricted–oh well-now i know what it must be like to live in CUBA–ho ho ho
I´m the person who experienced (and first reported) this incident, in Puerto Vallarta, and I do not think the Federal police officer was doing anything differently than he would have done, say 6 months ago. This particular officer had no knowledge of any recent changes in the law.
Please don´t take this as being evidence of a severe crackdown in the Puerto Vallarta area on people with expired TIPs. .. Since that time we did indeed avoid the place where this officer was stationed (outside the Aduana office adjacent to the Puerto Vallarta aiport), but we kept driving our vehicle in general, and saw no other interest in it by law enforcement authorities..
i live in Vallarta ( Fluviall) and it just takes one A-Hole to ruin your day–i always heard that the federales got a raise so they knocked off the shake downs and highway robberys–i guess things have changed since the immigration laws have changed and left the aduana in the lurch–i’m from California so i’m used to overbearing government( i see it as organized crime) i’ve lived in Vallarta for 6 years now and my patience is getting a little thin with ignorant theft–maybe i’m just getting old and don’t like to be bothered–lol–well anyway i’m here and have to overcome–like i tell my Mexican wife –“we are a couple of cats-we always land on our feet—ho ho ho
thanks alot libby!- now -i’m already paranoid–lol–just kidding–the reason the feds hang around the airport is that it is federal land and the hiway 200 i presume is federal land too; i’m not sure about the latteral; that could be city property–but i keep an eye out for the feds anyway–i’ve been in vallarta for six years now and i have no plans to go back to that crazy California–HA–i’m getting my permanant next month and my two JAP cars are shaking off their wheels–i’ll try to do the city permit thing and not take the cars out of the city–i feel like i’m in CUBA–ho ho ho
There are 161 pages of the Ley Aduanero from April 2012 on the link mentioned above and I’m not so good at reading Spanish legalese. Which section of this paper pertains to our vehicles?
The section that she refers to is Articulo 106, Fracc IV. It bridges pages 60 and 61. We have Spanish language and English translations of both Articulo 106 and the Aduana operations manual Article 17 at https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/#IMPORTANT%20RULES%20FOR%20OPERATING%20FOREIGN%20PLATED%20CARS%20IN%20MEXICO
The English language translations of the key sections can be important for you to read along, while the police officer reads the Spanish versions (to educate themselves on the law).
Steve…I am a new Permanente…with a foreign plated vehicle and expired TIP ( former FM3 authorized vehicle). Knowing the current law, we are planning on taking the car out of Mexico with the special 5 day permit sometime in the near future, since it’s no longer legal. We don’t want to drive to the border, and go through the tedious and time consuming U.S. Export process, and the Mexican import process, and then drive all the way back ( through Bandit country!).
Just curious if there is even any hint or rumor about any changes in the mill that might ease the burden and allow other options for Permentes with foreign plated vehicles, i.e. local ( truly legal!!!) naturalization of the vehicle, or otherwise, etc. If there is, we might just wait it out to see how things develop…. Thanks! Mike
Nothing developing. National Aduana policies on TIP cars have overall been stable since Feb 2013, when Aduana in Distrito Federal and SAT DF decided definitively that Permanent residency is not legally compatible with having a Temporary car permit.
There were the 3 car confiscations in Puerta Vallarata, and one in Guadalajara, but we have found no other reports in the meantime.
Since the 2 big national auto dealer associations came out with strong public announcements, denouncing any plans to allow foreign-plated (chocolate) cars to be imported/legalized, the chatter about a one-time amnesty or rumors that the Camara de Diputados has legislation allowing imports… have been squelched.