Residente Temporal Permit Holders Allowed to Own & Drive Foreign Plated TIP Cars

May 23, 2013

Did the Aduana de Progreso officials really tell the gringos: Residente Temporal permit holders supposedly cannot keep or drive their previously-legal Temporary Import Permit (TIP) cars in Mexico?

Is the Merry-Go-Round of Misinformation spinning again… ? Hershell-Spillman Merry-Go-Round, Tilden Reg Park, Berkeley, CA

(making more than a few of us nauseous)

A kind Yucalandia reader wrote in to say:
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.

Are the other Yucalandia readers who were at the meeting who can confirm what Aduana de Progreso officials said?

Old hands to this discussion know that the folks at Aduana de Progreso have consistently been completely wrong in their understandings of actual official Aduana policies on TIP cars for over 6 months.

I was not at the Gringo-Aduana Progreso 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, to confirm current REAL Aduana policies.

Residente Permanentes must either permanently import their cars or take them out of Mexico (see Retorno Seguro program).

Both SAT-DF and Aduana-DF said that the Aduana Progreso officials were wrong – giving “erroneous advice“, if they told the gringos that Residente Temporal gringos cannot extend the expiration dates on their legal temporarily imported cars. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

If Aduana de Progreso actually refuses to accept a non-working Residente Temporal’s application to extend/renew the expiration date of their TIP, then write a letter to Aduana DF, explaining that you want to extend your Permiso de Importación Temporal de Vehiculo for another year, to match your upcoming / impending Residente Temporal. You must apply to extend the TIP expiration date before your TIP expiration date, using your INM proof of payment (Garantía de Pago) document (from the bank) for your INM Residente Temporal.

Administración Central de Operación Aduanera
Avenida Hidalgo No.77, Modulo 4, Primero Piso
Col. Guererro Delegación Cuauhtémoc, CP 06300 Mexico DF

Include copies of:
~ your passport,
~ the TIP,
~ your previous INM permit with the foto
with your letter describing your name, make, model, year, and VIN of the vehicle, TIP number, and describing your latest change in INM status to Residente Temporal. Include your address and your email address.
Happy Trails,

* * * *
Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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45 Responses to Residente Temporal Permit Holders Allowed to Own & Drive Foreign Plated TIP Cars

  1. Cathy Wightman says:

    Hi I have TIP which has expired, I sent all the documents to Mexico City via DHL about a month ago to renew and have not heard anything from them. I am on a 3rd renewal Temporary Resident Cathy Wightman

    Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 16:06:17 +0000 To:

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Cathy,
      Hmmmm….. Why use INM DF?

      The people we know who followed the advice of their “immigration lawyer”** and used their “immigration lawyer” to apply for Residente Permanente through the mail at DF. still have received nothing from the January 2013 applications. This compares very poorly with personal applications made in Merida or Cancun, where the applicants got their cards in as little as 9 days or the more typical 7 week period.

      Did you even get a pieza number and NUT number, confirming that your application has been formally accepted for processing? You get that NUT number (paired with your pieza number) within 10 minutes of talking with INM, if you apply in person at a local INM office. Did you start the on-line application successfully?

      Without knowledge of what you sent, what you wrote, the personal details of your situation, or where you sent your application, we really can say nothing additional, except to contact them using your NUE, NUT, and Pieza numbers to find out your status. They may be waiting for you to come in and give them answers or fingerprints or to pay the $1,000 peso fee to change status. ???

      **I mention “immigration lawyer”, because they and “immigration facilitators” have been the greatest sources of mis-information and poor-quality non-factual out-of-date advice on both INM and Aduana matters, since the May 2011 INM Law was issued.

    • yucalandia says:

      Post Script:
      You need to use your proof of payment for your new INM permit to send to Aduana to keep your TIP valid. If you paid a deposit to Banjercito for the TIP, then that is lost (due to passing the 15 day Grace Period after your TIP expiration date), but as long as you have had no fines and no breaks in your INM permits, then your TIP is still valid, as long as you notify Aduana of the change in status to Residente Temporal – with the documentation listed above.
      Happy Trails,

  2. Ron says:

    After renewing a Residente Temporal recently for 2 years at INM in Manzanillo, took the US plated car immediately to Aduanas also in Manzanillo and extended the expiration date of the TIP. Aduanas was quite organized and knew exactly what we wanted.

  3. Elizabeth Brown says:

    This sounds similar to the situation in Puerto Vallarta, i.e., what Aduana officials said at a meeting sponsored by the American Cónsul on February 13th, , i.e., ALL cars with expired TIPs are illegal . (Having said that I have heard of no confiscations).

    My advice is to do what Steve suggested above, i.e., write to the above address and get whatever paperwork you can,, BUT, unfortunately, in the absence of some kind of new legislation,, I think the handwriting is on the wall for everyone driving cars with expired TIPs, not just Residente Permanentes, but at least Residente Temporals have a bit of time to make some rational plans (importation or other).

  4. Jo Ana says:

    This will be my first MX visa which I am getting ready to apply for at the local MX Consulate here in the US. Is it now possible to again apply in Mexico for either the temporal or permanente? Thanks!

  5. Dorothy says:

    Hola… four weeks ago, the Aduana Progreso accepted our application to extend our TIP to match our vehicle owner’s temporal immigrante visa. They said we would hear from Mexico in 3 weeks by mail….still waiting and hoping they will extend our TIP.

    Also: According to the NAFTA agreement between Canada and Mexico, as of January 1, 2013, “Mexico may not adopt or maintain a prohibition or restriction on imports from the territories of Canada or the United States of origination used vehicles that are at least 6 years old.,”

    A NAFTA agreement says:” As of November 20, 2011, in order for an automobile to be imported into Mexico, the vehicle must have passed an emission test in one of the four US Border States no more than 6 months before entering Mexico.

    Don’t let some ill informed customs official or broker try to tell you otherwise.

  6. Penny Schikora says:

    Seeing some of the questions that have been asked recently brought some to mind that we’ve had questions on. Our FM2 expires in October and we will probably apply for Residente Permanente. Which is where the questions come up. We have a 2001Yukon XL and have been told that they can’t be more then 10 years old or you can’t license or nationalize it here. So I’m wondering if that is correct or if some are misunderstanding the law. The other question that we have is on our TIP. We had misunderstood and thought last year when we renewed our visa that it renewed as well so didn’t renew it separately. What do we have to do to be legal as it has expired because of that I’m sure. Last fall was renewal for 2nd year on our FM2. Thanks Penny

    Sent from my iPad

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Penny,
      Yes, as described in our 2 articles on importing cars, 6 year old and older NAFTA vehicles are eligible for permanent import at the US border :
      ~ Main Article: and
      ~ Article focused on TIP issues with the new INM categories:

      Re your TIP: You really do not renew it every year, but instead you notify Aduana of your new INM permit expiration date, to request an annual EXTENSION of your TIP’s expiration date to match your new INM Residente Temporal permit. Since INM is taking sooo long to issue their residency permits, Aduana is asking people to submit their proof of payment form (the Garantía de Pago document) with their letter requesting the extension of their TIP. but if you choose Residente Permanente, the point becomes moot.

      If you choose to stay with Residente Temporal, then your TIP is still valid, but you just lost any Banjercito deposit that you may have made on the TIP. If you do choose the TIP and Residente Temporal route, then you also report your change in INM status (cambio de estancia) to Aduana ass a part of your TIP due date extension letter. Make sense?

      Fortunately, you have options for either Temporal or Permanente and your vehicle.

      • Penny Schikora says:

        Thank you for your response. It definitely helped. One further question. Do we need to contact Aduana now because we didn’t last fall or wait until we make the determination on Temporal or Permanente status. If we determine to go Permanente, is there anything we should do before applying concerning the car and getting it nationalized. Thanks

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Penny.
        I scanned both of your posts, and I can’t tell where you are, so telling you what to do about the car takes a lot to describe all the options. Did you read the 2 articles from the previous answer? Answers to your questions are in there.

        Your Aduana TIP is valid until your old FM2 expires this fall. You only lost the Banjercito deposit by not annually registering the updated expiration dates with Aduana. For your vehicle, you nationalize the vehicle at the US border, which requires a customs broker. Each border crossing has its own quirks and own requirements. Contact a customs broker at the border crossing you plan to use, get a quote, find out what they require. Some brokers can get all the paperwork done in advance, have it waiting for you, and you cruise in (from Mexico) and drive away 3 hrs later with a pedimento. It is best to do this while you still have a valid FM2/FM3, because the vehicle becomes illegal inside Mexico, the moment you get Permanent Residency.

      • Penny Schikora says:

        Again thanks as that helped especially when to do the nationalization. We live in Cuidad Guzman, Jalisco. My husband asked a question after I had sent the last reply. He asked if we need to get Mexican drivers liscence if we go Permanente and nationalize our vehicle. Yes, I read the 2 articles and between those and your response, it clarified things.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Penny,
        That would be a state requirement, and most states do not require it.

        As of June 2012, Jalisco’s official rules say:
        Article 38:
        Licenses issued in other states as well as out of the country that are not expired are valid in Jalisco (this state – Municipio).

        Click to access Driving.pdf


      • Penny Schikora says:

        Thanks again. I appreciate the link you included as that will also be good to have to refer to.

      • yostjd says:

        We just got our permanent visas and were told our 1996 Camry is illegal because it was made in Japan – it cannot be nationalized – only if it was made in US/Canada. True? and Why? Is this another welcome to mexico thing? So we need to take it to US or Belize to sell otherwise it will be impounded?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hello yostjd,
        Welcome to Yucalandia.

        Why? Is this another welcome to mexico thing?
        This has been true since NAFTA was approved by Congress back in 1993.
        Since 1996 Camry’s can be either narrow body (V40’s made for Japan) or wide body models (V10’s made in Japan), they should have VINs that start with a J, which means they have never been eligible for import by private individuals.

        For the past 20 years, US and Canadian law (via NAFTA) have prohibited you from permanently importing your Camry into Mexico. As the minority partner in the NAFTA deal, don’t blame Mexico – the responsibility lies with Canada and the USA.

        Basically, for the past 8 years, the Aduana agreement you approved and signed said you agreed to keep continuous temporary residency status in Mexico, or take the Camry out of Mexico. By choosing to change to Residente Permanente, you chose to break your contract with Aduana. In your signed agreement with Aduana, you agreed to take the car out of Mexico by ending your Temporary Residency.

        If you want to read more details on your rights and responsibilities, read our master articles on cars in Mexico at:

        Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico

        New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico

        Options for Foreign-Plated “TIP” Car Owners in Mexico, esp for Permanent Residents

        Basically, it is illegal to drive your car, and if the police detect this – like if you get in an accident – the police can permanently confiscate your car.

        Further, since your car has been illegal since you got your Residente Permanente, your insurance company could use this as a reason to deny any claims. Since the rules on liability increased liability limits for accidental deaths, like in a car accident, you could be on the hook for $3 million to $5 million pesos per death if the accident was a bad one…

        Fortunately there is one free legal option: The only way to drive your car out of Mexico legally, is to get a 5 day Retorno Seguro permit from SAT/Hacienda:

        Partial Returns Program: Multiple Exit and Re-Entry Permit Program: Retorno Seguro

        Hope these resources help you understand things better,

      • wrytr says:

        Steve, I just left my information in a comment on another of your notes above, but having read this one, I am wondering why a person who chooses to stay with Residente Temporal would love their Banjercito deposit? That’s not what I understood from the Banjercito folks at the border when I paid my deposit. They said I could have the money back next time I leave the country as long as I’d done the application for extension properly, which I did. But INM changed the name of the visa from “No Inmigrante” to “Residente Temporal,” and that hasn’t been updated in Federal Aduana law, so from what I understand, if I can get Aduana to admit that I haven’t changed my residency status, I should be able to get the money back.

        If they keep the deposit this time, so I have to pay another deposit when I enter again with the same vehicle? CAN I re-enter with the same vehicle now that I’m on record as having a canceled permit? Should I even bother to stop at the border and have the sticker removed, since supposedly my permit is now canceled anyway? I don’t want to lose my right to someday import another vehicle to Mexico.

        Thanks again,


      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Anne,
        Since I don’t know if you followed all the requirements I described in my answer to your previous post, I can’t answer your questions.

        If you did everything I described, then you need to get Aduana de Queretaro to acknowledge that you still have a valid TIP. If they say you do not have a valid TIP (due to missing any of the 15 or 20 items I listed), then you have to take the vehicle out of Mexico, and get a new TIP when you return after your next trip back to the USA. Note that when you leave Mexico, you still need to turn in the sticker and the original paper copy of the TIP, etc to Banjercito, to formally complete the process of surrendering your old TIP – even though Banjercito has confiscated your prior deposit. Get a copy of Aduana/Banjercito’s document that confirms that you have surrendered your old TIP.

        Alternately, if you can get Aduana de Progreso to agree that you did everything right, and before the TIP’s annual expiration dates, then you might get Banjercito to re-instate the deposit – but that may have to come from SAT…

      • wrytr says:

        Steve, yes, I followed the correct procedure with all of the correct documents. Did you really mean I should contact Aduana de Progreso?

  7. Sarah says:

    For those of you holding your breath to hear back from Aduana re your TIP extension applications- when I did this last year (after being told by the Aduana official who gave me the form to fill out and send to DF that I should hear back from them in about 2 weeks) I NEVER got anything back from them. 2 phone calls to Aduana DF over 3 months- they kept saying it was “in process”. Finally emailed Banjercito with my TIP info and they emailed back the following day saying they had received notification of my extension and that my deposit was being held. I printed this out and carried it in my car.

  8. Panda says:

    Yes we are still holding our breath. It will be 7 weeks this coming Monday since our paperwork was forwarding by the Progreso Aduana to DF Aduana.

    • Barb Bremner says:

      I have a residente temporal non lucrative. I sent my extension information on February 7/2013. With every phone call I make I am told it’s “in process” and call back in two weeks.

      • Sarah says:

        Barb, suggest you try what I did- email Banjercito with your TIP info (TIP#, name, make, model, VIN, etc,) and ask if they have a record of your extension. They seem much more efficient than Aduana.

  9. Gary says:

    This is a quandry which no doubt effects many people: expiration date on a temp visa (FM3/No Inmigrante/Residendente Temporal) and a TIP are concurrent. Temp visa is being renewed, but because of the long processing time required by Immigration, the TIP will expire before the new visa is received. In order to apply for TIP renewal you are supposed to have a visa, BUT, all you have is a letter for Immigration in which you requested a renewal of your visa, and a receipt from Immigration stating that your visa renewal is being processed. Will that suffice when making an application in Progreso (to be forwarded to DF)? If you wait for the new visa before applying, the TIP will have expired by 2 or 3 weeks.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Gary,
      Somewhere in the article above, (or in the comments?) we’ve written that Aduana accepts your letter/document that proves you have paid to renew your visa. You receive this payment document before your TIP expires, so you send that document in with your letter requesting that Aduana extend your TIP for as long as your non-working TEMPORARY Residency INM permit is valid.

      If you missed your TIP’s expiration date deadline, Aduana has been extending permit expiration dates anyway. Note that Aduana de Progreso are still being jerks about approving Residente Temporal permit holders for TIP extensions, so Progreso Aduana folk send your letter and documents in to Distrito Federal for processing. Distrito Federal has even given 3 year extensions to TIPs for Residente Temporales who paid for 3 years on their permit – even when they applied late.

      Still, even though Distrito Federal Aduana is extending the TIPs, there is NO word on whether Banjercito refunds the $$ deposits for people who did not file for the extension BEFORE their TIP expired – so, we recommend applying for the extension BEFORE your TIP expires to preserve your Banjercito deposit.

  10. Lisa says:

    we entered Mexico over 10 years ago with a car and it has been in Mexico as a US plated car ever since. We now enter and leave Mexico flying in and out. We have no permenant or temporary status but only the temporary visa that is given to us every time we fly in and out. What do we do as we want to keep our car in Mexico as a US plated car indefinitely. what are the papers that we need when driving the car in Mexico? Lisa

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Lisa,
      1. What you have done, has made your car illegal to drive, but fortunately, as long as you do not cross a state border, you will likely be OK.

      2. Since your car is illegal, your insurance company has the right to deny coverage on any accidents you have, leaving you with full liability up to $5 million pesos per person that you injure or kill – and the police can confiscate your illegal car – particularly if they or the other insurance company discovers you have no legal permit.

      3. Read the sections above on how to permanently import cars into Mexico – as that is your only legal option with this car.

      4. Read the sections of Retorno Seguro – Safe Returns – above, on how to legally take the car out of Mexico.
      All the best

  11. Don Saigle says:

    Hi Steve – great discussion as usual. I had a quick read, and think I know the answer, but please confirm. I hold a non-working TEMPORARY Residency status and wish to drive to Mexico this fall. Can I obtain a TIP for my 1998 F150 Ford and legally operate it in Mexico for 6 mths? Until the expiration of my status ( 2016 ) on foreign plates?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Don,
      Yes, good plan.

      When your Residente Temporal status is issued with a fecha de caducidad until 2016, then you can give proof of this to Aduana, requesting them to extend (prórroga) your TIP’s expiration date to match your INM permit’s 2016 date – (of course you need to ask Aduana for the extension before your current 6 month TIP’s expiration date passes – otherwise Banjercito confiscates your $$ depopsit)
      Happy Motoring, steve

  12. Don Saigle says:

    Thanks Steve – just a quick follow-up question. Why would Aduana not issue the TIP with an expiration date to coincide with the expiration date of my Residente Temporal status in 2016?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Don,
      First, I did not know the expiration date of your permit, so, I assumed that when you proposed a 6 month TIP in your first post, that it meant that you would have only 6 months left on your INM visa. In theory, Aduana is supposed to choose an expiration date that matches your INM temporary residency permit expiration date. There are internet reports of some Aduana offices only granting no more than 12 months on a TIP, and others allowing 1, 2, or 3 years (to match the INM Residente Temporal permit date).

      • Don Saigle says:

        Sorry, should have provided more clarity. There is no existing TIP. We will be entering Mexico ‘anew’ with the vehicle in Nov. My Residente Temporal status was issued in Jan. 2013 and is end dated for 2016. I’ll be stopping at KM21, South of Nogales to do the paperwork for the vehicle TIP. Guess we’ll see if they coordinate the end date of the TIP to coincide with the Residente Temporal expiry date. Just wanted to make sure I could still bring in a foreign plated vehicle on the Residente Temporal status, obtain a TIP and legally operate same in Mexico. Keep up the great work!


  13. Hurly Treford says:

    Hello Steve. Car question: a friend owns a TIP car with US plates. She wants to return the car to the US, just the car as she will stay in Mexico. But she’s too sick to make the trip and not likely to recover sufficiently to drive that far. Another friend is moving back to the states and would like to buy the car once it’s north of the border. Can the friend who’s moving drive the car to the US without the sick owner being in it? She would have the title and all papers. Thanks for the help.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Hurly,
      Yes, the friend can drive the car back to the states, and register the sale there. I would have the car owner sign a broad Carta de Poder (Power of Attorney letter) that describes the make, model, year, and VIN of the car, and include the owner’s passport number and NUE INM number, copy of the passport, and have the letter give broad powers to drive the car and use the car – “transferring all rights and responsibilities for operating the car and selling the car” – along with the friend’s (driver’s) passport number, NUE number, names as listed on the passports, etc – plus copies of the passports. Also create a power of attorney in English that specifically calls out the friends rights and responsibilities allowing them to operate the car and sell the car. Include the signed clear title, and a bill of sale, and it should all be fine.

      Also have the owner write a Carta de Solicitation in Spanish that authorizes the friend to cancel the Permiso de Importacion Temporal for the car, specifically asking Aduana and Banjercito to cancel the TIP (specifically describing the permit number) and refund the deposit money. Did the owner pay the deposit in cash? In any case, the owner needs to specify in the letter how she wants the deposit handled.
      Hope that helps,

  14. santiago arguelles says:

    HI ,we are moving to merida in january,my wife an i will like some info in how to get settled and be able to work in merida we are both technicians in the beauty business,CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL US HOW TO GET OUR PAPERS TOGETHER,YHANKS my email is

  15. Judith Arnott says:

    Please forgive if this sounds repetitious, but I have just about given up on trying to figure out the TIP requirements. I came to Puerto Vallarta with a temporary visa with 30 days to report to Immigration to complete my paperwork for Residente Temporal. The Banjercito fellow gave me a 30-day TIP, matching the visa, and said that the TIP would be AUTOMATICALLY extended when my TR paperwork was filed. Okay. All filed, fingerprinted, done. Did the TIP get extended? Who knows. The Aduana people at the airport were no help at all – filled out all their forms but because I did not have my actual TR CARD they told me to come back when I had it. Did I just lose the deposit? Most probably. Finally forms approved and they sent them to Mexico City. No word for months. Phone calls left hanging. Told the case was being investigated – 30-day TIP for a Temporary Resident was not correct. Have heard absolutely nothing since. Lawyer said it was done automatically, just “show them (police) your Resident card.” So now what? Where can I go in Puerto Vallarta to get help? I am a senior pensioner on fixed income, not a rich Canadian! My Resident card was just renewed for the last 3 years. I’m not going anywhere!

  16. Tony G says:

    Here is my situation and then I have a couple of questions.
    I have been in Baja for 4 years and have my working residente temporal. I purchased a US plated vehicle and I drive it with a mexican drivers license ( I dont have a US license). I purchased insurance from ANA seguros with all of the following, US citizen, mexican drivers license and US plates.
    I do not have a TIP, do I need one?
    I have been pulled over numerous times in my friends US and canadian cars and have never had a problem.
    Am I driving illegally in foreign plated cars with or without a TIP?
    If I picked up a friends US plated vehicle in TJ and drove down the Baja would I have problems?
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Tony,
      As long as the American-plated vehicle has current US registration and current plates (and insurance), you can keep driving it in Baja – with no TIP. Stay in the designated free zones, and you’re OK.

      Since the friend’s vehicle would be registered in a different name (than yours), it could be helpful to carry a Carta de Poder – Power of Attorney letter – from your friend, certifying their permission for you to operate the vehicle in Mexico. (plus having insurance).

      Happy Trails,

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