Unexpected Effects of Having a Trailer with Your Car’s Temporary Import Permit (TIP)

May 30, 2013
A reader has reported some unfortunate personal experiences with trying to surrender their TIP at the border and also problems that arose from driving out of Mexico and not officially “checking out” with INM.

First Issue: The reader had lost the original paper copy of their TIP, which triggers a 3 – 5 hour effort with Aduana an Banjercito to get the TIP canceled at the border. Since the TIP was lost (even though the sticker was in place), Banjercito has to search their database for the TIP using the applicant’s passport number and name (as shown on the passport). Her current experience confirms that our passports and our names (not the Vehicle VIN) are what Aduana and Banjercito search for when checking our TIPs **. This process is described in our article: Updates to Aduana, INM & Banjercito Procedures for Visas and Importing Cars .

Second Issue: The reader had a trailer “attached” to the original TIP (imported with the vehicle), and they did not bring the trailer along. Unfortunately, when the Aduana and Banjercito searches of her TIP records revealed that a trailer was attached to her TIP, Aduana told her that she could never cancel/surrender the TIP without having the trailer present. This means that the trip to the border was for naught.

It also means she can never get another TIP in her name.

**It also means that if she has to make any future application with a Mexican Consulate ~ like for Permanent Residency or Temporary Residency ~ the Consulate may check their databases, and if they spot the uncancelled TIP, the Consulate then rejects the Residente Temporal or Residente Permanente application due to the uncancelled TIP….

**The Consulates, Aduana, and INM can be resolute in insisting that we follow the rules, and they can deny future benefits based on past non-compliance – like having old TIPs lingering on our personal records in the Mexican Gob. databases.

Third Issue: The reader also found that because she drove out of Mexico, without registering her exit with INM, she inadvertantly faced a 60 day expiration date on her INM permission-letter to travel out of Mexico while having a Residency Permit application in process. Normally, we get 180 days outside of Mexico when using the INM permission-to-travel letter, but there is also a 60 day clock running to officially LEAVE Mexico within 60 days of the letter’s issue date. Because she drove out of Mexico without registering her exit with INM, she is now forced to return to her INM office within 60 days of the letter’s issue date. … (She lost the 180 day grace period by not “checking-out”).

Hope that this good reader’s experiences can be future helps to others.

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

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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28 Responses to Unexpected Effects of Having a Trailer with Your Car’s Temporary Import Permit (TIP)

  1. If you get a new passport, it comes with new identification number so check you passport and see if its close to renew

    • yucalandia says:

      Sometimes this approach works (if they search by passport number), but other times it does not work…. It depends on how attentive the clerk is.

  2. Peter says:

    It is unfortunate and sad that your reader got herself in such a jam. A real nightmare.

    As background: In the 70’s it was common to get a temporary permit leaving a cash deposit ($100US as I recall), drive to a southern location, sell, return to the US by bus (or carpool). A high profit venture possible because of the lack of technology at the time… but I never did that!
    Many, like me, would make numerous trips and travel back with the car and Not checkout as required and claim a refund of the deposit, just considering it a travel expense.
    I can only hope those old records are lost forever… I am currently in process for full citizenship.

  3. Paula A. says:

    Sorry if I missed this information but, can you cancel your TIP online? We are having our vehicle shipped out (not driving) and will not be present when it crosses back into the US.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Paula,
      Sorry, no.

      You should have the TIP cancelled at the Aduana/Banjercito offices at the Mexican port from which your car is being shipped. You have to give them your original paper TIP permit document. They take a foto of your car’s VIN. They log it all into their computer databases. If you kept your associated INM temporary residency permit valid during the entire life of the TIP, then you can be eligible to receive any $$ deposit you made, but if you did not notify Aduana of your new annually renewed INM permit expiration dates, you likely lost the deposit.

      Read our main article on these things at: Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico .

      Note that if you do not clear the TIP, you may have problems going to a Mexican Consulate to get approved for a Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal.

      Happy Trails,

  4. Land of The Free says:

    It is completely understandable what Aduana wants, it’s clearly written that what goes in Mexico must come out…carelessness is not acceptable, even in the USA or Canada…BUT, Mexico demands that we in the USA, must accept all those that come into the USA without legal documentation and provide them with employment, medical care, housing, driver license’s, and higher education at the tax payers expense, yet will do nothing to curtail the the drug cartel’s from importing drugs into our Country, Human Right violations, and the practice of genocide of it own people….Thank God for the good ole USA

    • yucalandia says:

      “Land of The Free”

      A few brief facts to consider, before you return to chest-beating:
      For 20 years, US taxpayers have authorized the US govt. to spend $4 billion a year on direct US taxpaid subsidies, used solely to intentionally dump US corn onto Mexican markets at 2X to 3X lower than market prices, under US mandated, US forced NAFTA provisions.

      Since NAFTA’s kick-off: Cargill, ADM, Monsanto, et al have sucked-in roughly $70 billion in US taxpayer dollars for the sole purpose of forcibly dumping artificially cheap US corn onto Mexican markets, wrecking Mexican corn prices, putting roughly 4 million Mexican corn farmers out of business, and creating another 3 million of Mexican job losses in rural areas… NAFTA actually specified the $220 a bushel selling price onto Mexico, subsidized by US taxpayers making up any differences between Market prices and the NAFTA mandated price…

      Guess where the 7 million Mexican economic refugees have gone (refugees directly created bu US taxpayer dollars and US elected legislators) – as US policy and US Taxpayers wrecked rural Mexican towns…? These folks basically either became illegal immigrants or entered the lucrative alluring drug trade…

      So, before you thump your chest some more, then why did you willingly send your tax dollars to ruin the lives of 7 million rural Mexicans? Have you voted or lobbied or written letters to get your Congress to stop spending billions every year to dump artificially-cheap US corn onto Mexican markets. Why don’t you speak out about this?

      Is is possible that you did not know the realities of what has really caused Mexican immigration and the drug problems. Consider the US populace’s almost insatiable appetite for illegal drugs? What about decades of half-hearted ineffective haphazard partial US efforts to control the illegal guns and illegal money that flows south out of the USA?

      Unfortunately, there is no reporting on the real facts, since the US Press is beholden to the huge international companies and to politician’s election spending – where Senate each seat winner now spends over $10 million in advertising $$ to buy each seat… and the only way to get a Seat in Washington is to accept millions in lobbyist $$…. So, it’s a merry-go-round where neither the Press nor the Politicians can afford to get off of… and they know that they cannot bite the hand that feeds the whole dreadful rotten system….

      US media is basically controlled by 5 big companies… so there is almost no “Free Press”.

      US Congressmen and Senators are basically auctioned off to the highest bidders ….

      and the US public contentedly remains blissfully ignorant – and instead blame others for the problems…


      Still, US voters still do have a little leverage – unless they get swept-up by “patriotic” rhetoric.

  5. Murray says:

    “Second Issue: The reader had a trailer “attached” to the original TIP (imported with the vehicle), and they did not bring the trailer along. Unfortunately, when the Aduana and Banjercito searches of her TIP records revealed that a trailer was attached to her TIP, Aduana told her that she could never cancel/surrender the TIP without having the trailer present. This means that the trip to the border was for naught. ”

    This is not necessarily true. I just went through this EXACT same situation, and after many phone calls with Aduana in DF, they have advised that the agent at the border was WRONG and should have cancelled the TIP for my vehicle at the border. They have now canceled the TIP for my tow vehicle WITHOUT the trailer being present. YMMV


    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Murray,
      Well Done !

      Let’s hope that Holly has read what you wrote,

    • Cay Osmon says:

      Could you give me a name/phone number of the contact person in Aduana DF? We’re scheduled to drive my Jeep to Laredo this coming Friday and I REALLY don’t want to tow my boat trailer up there and back. If we could call someone in DF before we leave, maybe we could establish a connection with someone higher up before getting to the border.

    • falconridgefarms says:

      Dear Murray: We are in the same position and that is: we have driven into Mexico, received a temporary permiso for our truck with the VIN# of our 5th wheel written on the truck permiso. We now want to return to Canada with only the truck and leave the 5th wheel here in Mexico for next winter’s holiday without having to drive it home and then back again. We understand that if we don’t want to bring the 5th wheel back to the border when we return to Canada we would need to import the 5th wheel….can you tell me how you would work this in order to leave our 5th wheel in Mexico? Thank you
      Marlys Wolfe 250 212 0755 or email marlyswolfe@me.com

  6. Cay Osmon says:

    On a related note, I visited SAT (Merida) last Thursday and spoke to a very nice young man, Lic. Ricardo Diaz, about the retorno seguro. (His English is excellent and he’s happy to speak it.) The process as described by Lic. Diaz is a little different than what I’ve read so far:
    * they can do the tramite de retorno seguro in 24 hours, but if other work comes up for them, it trumps our request
    * to be sure to receive the tramite in time, he recommended that I turn in the form and all supporting documents 2 to 3 days before needed
    * all originals as already stated and two copies—one set of copies for them and one for us (?)
    * the tramite is good for 5 business days (Saturday and Sunday are not counted) AND THE DAY AFTER WE RECEIVE THE TRAMITE IS NOT COUNTED
    * if someone else will also be driving the vehicle (in addition to the owner), they need the driver’s license and copies of that person as well
    **** all originals will be kept by them during the days processing the request. Lic. Diaz gave me his phone numbers and said that if I needed my driver’s license, immigration card, etc. during that time—such as with a police or immigration problem—that I could call him and he would “take care of the issue” (!)
    I have extra copies of the form if anyone wants to look at it (I can scan and email).
    We’ll take our completed form and docs to them on Monday; we hope to leave for Texas on Friday.

    Now I just need some assurance that I REALLY DON’T need to pull my boat trailer all the way to Texas and back.


  7. Murray says:

    Cay, your situation sounds a bit different than mine, so my experience likely does not apply. My understanding is that a boat should have its own TIP. I have a boat in Mexico with its own 10 yr TIP, the same as a 10 yr TIP for a 5th wheel trailer. Having a trailer “attached” to your vehicle TIP is meant for someone who has crossed the border pulling a utility-type trailer with other rec vehicles loaded on it (quads, jetskis etc). These other vehicles don’t require their own TIP so they get “attached” to the tow vehicle’s TIP, and will show up on its TIP. If you return across the border without these “attached” vehicles, the border agent will verify that the “attached” vehicles are present and proceed with the cancellation of your TIP for the tow vehicle. If the “attached” vehicles are not present, then the fun begins. Right or wrong, that is my understanding of the way it works, and my initial response to this thread was meant to clarify the statement that “Unfortunately, when the Aduana and Banjercito searches of her TIP records revealed that a trailer was attached to her TIP, Aduana told her that she could never cancel/surrender the TIP without having the trailer present“. It is, in fact, possible under certain circumstances.
    In my case, I had inadvertently included the VIN of a 5th wheel trailer in the place for “attaching” a trailer to my tow vehicle TIP. When I crossed the border, the agent insisted on having the “attached” trailer present or no cancellation on my TIP. I was, after much time and frustration able to convince Aduana in DF that an error had been made and they finally canceled the TIP.
    In your case, having a boat and trailer in Mexico “attached” to your vehicle’s TIP, would be a whole different story. I doubt that you are going to have much luck in getting them to cancel your TIP without the boat and trailer being present.
    At any rate, here’s the phone numbers to call:
    From Mexico: 01-800-46-36-728 options 7-2-2-1-1
    From the United States or Canada: 1-877-44-88-728 options 7-2-2-1-1
    Everything is in Spanish (gosh, there’s a surprise! ) so be prepared.
    Buena suerte!!!

  8. Cay Osmon says:

    Thanks, Murray. My boat does have it’s own TIP (and the 10-year time limit). It’s only the boat trailer that’s attached to the vehicle’s TIP. I wasn’t going to do anything about the boat.

    I just spoke to our local Banjercito contact, Angie Winegar, and she confirmed that the trailer MUST go with the tow vehicle. Although she did say that I should talk to Aduana here in Progreso just to see if there is a way to avoid that (!). Well, there you go.

    The broker at Grupocuevas in Laredo also confirmed that the trailer must be attached to the vehicle.

    I’m going to call Aduana DF but I’m not optimistic. Thanks so much for the response and the numbers.


  9. Murray says:

    Cay, in my case, my boat trailer is “attached” to the TIP for the boat, not to the TIP for my truck. That seems to me to be a more sensible way of doing things.
    It’s hard to understand why they would allow different ways of doing this, as it just adds to the confusion and frustration. More of the joys of dealing with Mexican bureaucracy I guess!

  10. Wayne Leathers says:

    Is there any email for requesting your deposit back when your TIP has been cancelled?
    I understand you can get a 10 year TIP for a camper. If this is true, why would it be tied to your auto TIP? Could you get an auto Tip then return 2 weeks later and get a 10 year camper TIP and it not be tied to your auto TIP?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Wayne,
      If you remember: you paid your TIP money to Banjercito. Mr. Google provided a link to the following Banjercito website: http://www.banjercito.gob.mx/iitv/con_contactanos_iitv.jsp

      which says: “Para el servicio de Internación e Importación Temporal de Vehículos favor de escribir al correo permisovehiculos@banjercito.com.mx

      You can get separate auto TIPs and RV TIPs.

      You mention a TIP for a “camper“, and then go on to talk about a 10 year TIP for a “camper”, but that “camper” word is so generic, I don’t know what it means. There are 10 year TIPs for RVs (motorized/self-propelled homes on wheels), there are 10 year permits for travel trailers. Equipment/storage trailers (for hauling household goods etc) get their TIPs assigned to the vehicle TIP that is towing them.

      Re slide-in “campers” and conversion vans: The 10 year RV temporary import permit is ONLY allowed for RVs or converted vans, not for slide-in “campers”.
      Hope that helps,

  11. Wayne Leathers says:

    Sorry that may not be clear.
    An email address.
    And returning in 2 weeks with a camper.

  12. Andrew Blake says:

    Several Q’s –
    – why the exclusion on dually pickups? What is excluded (nationalization )? My dually is 13 yrs old- can I nationalize it ?
    – what is the best tactic to deal with a pickup truck camper on a temporary visitor permit? Is ther any way I can leave it in Mexico and take a trip back to USA without it / and return to it?
    – pros and cons of getting a separate TIP for the camper, if possible?
    – will the camper and it’s contents be considered as homeowner belongings, and thus cancel the ability to use the one-time homeowner household goods importation tariff waiver?
    Thanks so much for all this great info!!!!
    – Andrew Blake

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Andrew,
      Nationalization is another word for permanently importing. Duallys cannot be imported by private individuals, because Aduana is trying to protect Mexican truck dealer’s sales.

      Slide-in campers are not eligible for the 10 yr. RV plates. I don’t know anymore about how each Aduana checkpoint handles them.

      I would head over to the Baja Nomad forum, and ask there, as they have people with tons of experience on how these unusual things work.

      You could also see our main article on importing cars at: https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/
      Happy Trails,

  13. James Haselwood says:

    If I bring a car and trailer into Mexico, I’ll get an FMM tourist visa, can I claim the trailer as being imported, and pay the IVA, thus not have it ‘tied’ to my car’s TIP?


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi James,
      Nope. You’ll need to register the trailer with the car’s TIP – and take the trailer out when you take out the car (cancelling/surrendering both car and trailer aspects of the TIP).

  14. Pingback: Useful Mexican Web Addresses: A Starting Point | Surviving Yucatan

  15. Steve says:

    Hello; besides loosing the deposit what are the consequences for driving with an expired permit on my utility (cargo) trailer? I have a valid permit on my vehicle. The trailer permit expires January 30th and will be parked until July. In July I plan to drive straight to border to cancel the expired permit and into the US. I want to ensure it the trailer will not be confiscated.

    • yucalandia says:

      The only consequences I can think of (off the top of my head) are twofold
      1. if you take the primary car~truck (towing vehicle) out of Mexico who’s TIP is connected to the trailer, then sometimes they won’t let you cancel the car~truck’s TIP – and possibly lose the $$ deposit you made with Banjercito.

      2. IF you try to re-enter Mexico with the towing-vehicle (with an expired TIP), they might not let that vehicle re-enter Mexico with an expired TIP on your computer record, and they likely may not issue another TIP on the towing vehicle until you take the trailer out.

      No guarantees either way, because you signed a contract agreeing to take both the trailer & towing vehicle out of Mexico before the expiration date.

      When we break contracts, all bets are off. 😦

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