Gringo Attitudes Regarding TIPs, INM Permits, and Mexico’s Laws

July 5, 2013
There has been an interesting exchange of views, buried in the comments section of our Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico article,  that raises and tracks a number of ongoing issues that gringos face in Mexico.   These discussions seem to boil down to 5 basic issues:  (full article at:  Gringo Attitudes Regarding TIPs, INM Permits, and Mexico’s Laws – The Article )

–  Should we (foreigners) respect and follow Mexican Laws and rules?

–  Should we follow our own personal / individual sensibilities of what we  feel is right and wrong, when our beliefs conflict with the actions & beliefs of local Mexicans or local Mexican govt. officials or police?

– Are gringos entitled to create Burger-King-niches in Mexico?   … “Have it YOUR way.

–  Are we guests here,  or do we instead somehow have all the rights that we imagine exist back in Canada or the USA ?

– Does it benefit Mexico and other foreigners to have a small-but-growing group of foreigners who intentionally are ignorant of … and ignore …. the laws and rules and ignore the direct instructions of police and govt. clerks, bureaucrats, and other officials? ( Just where do the “Disney-Land” view of Mexico – where Mexican rules “don’t apply to us / me” – “What happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico” attitudes … lead? )

– What kind of gringo community do you want to be associated with?
Do we want to be known as people who are respectful, using behavior and personal codes that humbly mesh with local, regional, and national rules and laws – or   Do we see ourselves as Patriots and Free Citizens,  free to do what we think is “right”.

The specific issues that triggered these dialogues were the supposed “rights”  of Permanent Residents to keep and freely operate their Temporarily Imported Permit (TIP)  vehicles in Mexico – along with our “rights” to have and legally assert Common Law (Concubinado) relationships in interactions with Mexican police and other Govt. officials…

Here are parts of our responses to the questioner:
“Note that Article 106 DOES NOT APPLY to your situation. TIP vehicle owners who have gotten Residente Permanente cards are NOT allowed to keep their TIP vehicles in Mexico, and Residente Permanentes can only legally operate their TIP vehicles when they have a valid 5 day Retorno Seguro permit from Hacienda, to take the vehicle out of Mexico. This official final ruling came down in late February from Aduana Mexico City, and it has been supported 100% in every challenge since them.”   .    .    .    .

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You can read the full article at:  Gringo Attitudes Regarding TIPs, INM Permits, and Mexico’s Laws – The Article

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

Read on, MacDuff.

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27 Responses to Gringo Attitudes Regarding TIPs, INM Permits, and Mexico’s Laws

  1. slilley says:

    In most states of the US, you are required to get a license plate of that state if you are living and working there. Direct and frank sounds good to me. Thanks for all you do to clarify the issues.

  2. Carlos says:

    Thank you for that very interesting and necessary post. I particularly like it because I always seek out all of the information available and research all of the laws here in Mexico before doing anything. Sometimes difficult, but always manageable. I suspect it is no easier for those immigrating to the US or Canada. I told you previously about our visa issue regarding the “55 day rule,” that was completed very smoothly and acceptable time frame. If there are any questions regarding that rule, and if I know the answers, I would be happy to reply to the queries.
    We leave Mexico again July 20 with new Temporary Resident visas in hand.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hey Carlos,

      The rules and twist and turns of their regional and local quirky applications really do need teams of people to track, document, and describe….

      Your explanations of the 55 day rule are superb.

  3. bicycleyucatan says:

    The importing and driving car link doesn’t work. I want to read the comments that you refer to in today’s excellent article. Jane

    Sent from my iPod

  4. Creagh Day says:

    I am curious how this applies to residente permanente individuals who drive down the Baja without a TIP. There is a large gringo community of people in Southern Baja who drive their American or Canadian cars down to their homes and leave them in MX permanently. Are they are risk of confiscation by Aduana?

    Thank you Steve. As always your articles are very relevant to all of us here in Mexico. I totally agree with your take on your comments below and I think the word RESPECT for our new country cannot be overstated. Best, Creagh Day

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Chreagh Day,
      As always, the border zones (fronteras), and the Free Zones (like parts of Sonora, Baja California and Baja California Sur, and Q. Roo) have special rules, where the normal rules/restrictions are lifted for these exempted areas. – all to encourage free trade – .

      As long as the cars stay in the Free Zones, then no TIP is needed.

  5. cindy says:

    LOL! Well said, Steven. You go boy! Arrogance is just another form of ignorance.

  6. Elizabeth Brown says:

    I didn´t read this article because in the summary I saw a lot of the same rhetorical clichés (“guest in the country”) and factual errors. “Everyone had a CHOICE to become Residente Permanente…..”, (False). Also, there was no 55 days notice for many of us. No notice or grace period at all, despite the fact we had been obeying the law to the letter for more than 10 years (or more in some cases).

    The real issue is “Are there any such things as fundamental human rights, or can people, including governments, do whatever they want, however they want, just because they have the power?”

    People on opposite sides of the previous question cannot have a civilized conversation about the TIP issue in all its complexity as it evolved between November 2012 and early 2013. .

    Let´s move on, providing good advice for the future.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      You write that:
      …”I didn´t read this article…

      You then claim that I wrote:
      …. “factual errors. Everyone had a CHOICE to become Residente Permanente…..”, (False).

      Your comments make it clear that you did not read the article, because your supposed quote about Residentes Permanentes having a choice, simply does not exist. We can note, however, that all gringos did have a choice about what INM status they wanted… The question boils down to what each gringo qualified for – and if they were willing to travel to get the visa status they wanted – honoring their commitment to take their TEMPORARY car out of Mexico, when their TEMPORARY INM visa/permit expired.

      The facts, reality, and law show: Visitante, Residente Temporal, and Residente Permanente status were available to every single gringo who currently has successfully received a Residente Permanente Tarjeta de Residencia…. though they would have to travel to exercise those choices. Very little in life is handed to us on silver platters. We must make efforts and sometimes even make (or break) plans to get what we want.

      You wrote:
      …”There was no 55 days notice for many of us. No notice or grace period at all, despite the fact we had been obeying the law to the letter for more than 10 years …”

      Actually, if you followed these issues for the past 3 years, the May 2011 INM Law was published on May 25, 2011, and good summaries (in English) of the May 2011 INM law were published within 3 days of the Law’s publication in the on-line version of the DOF. For people confused about Elizabeth’s mysterious/unrelated “55 days” item: That is the “grace period” from a completely unrelated topic about what happens if your INM permit expires while you are outside of Mexico – and has little or nothing to do with these issues.

      Re the claimed ignorance of the Law: Unfortunately, governments around the world do not accept “ignorance of the law” as a just reason to ignore or violate the laws.

      Fortunately, people who stay current on the requirements for living in Mexico, knew all the principles, and knew most of details of ~ how to follow the May 2011 INM law ~ for the 18 months prior to when the Law took effect… There were public easily available options to learn about these things back in May and June of 2011 through Nov. 2012.

      Elizabeth, you are welcome to post here, but we encourage people to actually read the text of Yucalandia articles before critiquing them with writings like:
      …. “People on opposite sides of the previous question cannot have a civilized conversation about the TIP issue in all its complexity as it evolved between November 2012 and early 2013. .” …

      Really, there have been 1,000’s of civilized conversations between people who disagreed about the opposite sides of these issues. It seems that the people you know and converse with were unable to dialogue in civil ways.

      Really we prefer that people read the articles before telling other people:
      …”Let´s move on, providing good advice for the future.

      I whole heartedly agree on providing good advice.
      I disagree that these issues are stale or not worth considering.

      With a future flood of 100 million gringos becoming eligible for retirement between now and 2030, this seems like a good time to try to stem (or educate) the upcoming tide of newly-minted potential Ugly Americans who have had minimal international travel experiences…

      Respect knows no seasons…
      Respect should arch across the artificial boundaries that some people create and cling to…

      All the Best,

  7. mexicomystic says:

    I agree 100% Steve. Of course the answer to TIP is: leave your car at home, catch public transport or buy a Mexican vehicle. As for Concubines, What the hell do you think you´re getting away with? Have you got another old lady in the states? Marry the girl and do the correct thing.
    I know many will disagree because they want it THEIR WAY… Things are going to tighten up amigos. MEXICO IS THE LAND OF PAPERWORK, IF YOU DON´T HAVE THE RIGHT PAPERES IT WILL EITHER COST YOU MORE OR GET YOU DEPORTED. iTS really simple, if you want to live here assimilate.

  8. Michael Savage says:

    Just because one is in a foreign land does not mean that it should not change and injustices should simply be tolerated because they have accepted them. Fortunately our European ancestors did not adopt the ways of the Indians when they came to America. Some might disagree with that statement. Perhaps the writer of this article believes that the Spanish should have adopted human sacrifice as a custom like the Mayans and Aztecs who were here before them. Change is inevitable, we can only influence the direction. I believe Mexico also needs to change to be competive in the world and their handling of the entire automobile situation is a good place to start. For many in the Yucatan, the only reason to have had an FM3 was so that you could keep a vehicle in the country without taking it out every six months. To change the rules that you can no longer retain your FM3 status and when you do then your car is illegal and it is an act in bad faith. I guess I was also betrayed by my agent who never told me about that either. He just shrugs his shoulders, too. I do not believe we should just accept this as the status quo without protest unless you feel that it is just.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Michael,
      Just what “…injustices (that) should simply (not) be tolerated because they (“Mexicans”) have accepted them“… have you experienced in Mexico?

      Really, hypothetical situations as you pose, when presented for discussion, like:
      ~ “What would you do if a man broke into your home, and threatened to shoot your wife and children with his gun ! ???” ~

      really only make good fodder for wine and cheese events, where earnest-Liberals and intense-Conservatives chew-the-mukluk (to make nice soft boots) and “solve the world’s problems”.

      You go on to to fantasize that I somehow support human sacrifice:
      …” Perhaps the writer of this article believes that the Spanish should have adopted human sacrifice as a custom like the Mayans and Aztecs who were here before them. “…

      All the while, you (Michael), have missed the * essential * ~ central ~ key message of respect for others….

      Ugly Americans, Ugly Canadians, and Ugly Mexicans are simply not appreciated by modern aware individuals. and the Ugly-Folks behaviors are simply not welcomed by clear thinking individuals.

      This article and my comments have been directed at Canadians and Americans who come to Mexico – and get bugged and act childishly when they do not find the “Burger King” “Have it YOUR way !” world that they imagine they are entitled-to. Canadians and Americans who come to Mexico and act like it is Disneyland – a Magic Kingdom that is free of pesky laws & rules that inhibit our rights to express ourselves – like by getting publicly drunk at 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM etc…. We have had to deal with angry crowds of Canadians who claim their family members must have been abused by Mexican Police, after the drunken young Canadian went on a 14 hour non-stop drinking binge and fell to his death from his 3’rd story balcony after his mates had “put him to bed” 3 separate times… or the older drunken (BACs at normally toxic 0.430 and 0.450 levels) Canadians who went for a late night swim and drowned, etc. etc… and the latest version of Ugly American and Ugly Canadian behavior have been the regular rants over how they were “suddenly forced to get Permanent Residency” and how they were “suddenly forced to take their TEMPORARY cars out of Mexico”. Well, none of it was “forced”, none of it was “sudden” (if you read national expat web-sources), and to most rational people: TEMPORARY means temporary… not equal to some permanent entitlement.

      You claim:
      …”I believe Mexico also needs to change to be competitive in the world “…

      If you read authoritative sources on manufacturing output: Mexico ranks Number Twelve (12) in the whole world in Global Manufacturing Indices…

      When a country, like Mexico, ranks well AHEAD of (slackers? like): (in order of higher to lower rankings)
      ~ The United Kingdom (All of England, Wales, No. Ireland, and Scotland combined) at #15
      ~ Australia
      ~ Sweden
      ~ Switzerland
      ~ Netherlands (Holland)
      ~ South Africa
      ~ FRANCE (# 25 )
      ~ Russia (# 28 )
      ~ ITALY (# 32 ) and
      ~ Saudi Arabia (#33)

      in independent studies by run by conservative accountants….

      … then. specifically, just how is Mexico so “non-competitive”…. ? ***

      Really, please illuminate us with facts and figures …
      like accepted numbers from the OECD or from international studies by Deloitte et al ( or the old 2011

      ***Actually, there are several good reference books that point out the Mexico is solidly now in the top tier of the 15 top economies, and the top 15 manufacturing countries for the past 3 or 4 years… but they note that to fully crack the top tier of 15 nations, Mexico must continue her nascent efforts at reforming the Judiciary, the Prosecutors, the Criminal Investigators, the Police, the Law, Public K-12 Education, and Aduana/Customs. …

      They report that Mexico is currently making her first reforms in all of these areas (many as the first ones in the past century), and we can either support those reforms – or we can sling muck and pooh in the form of vague, un-informed, non-factual criticisms. … Which side are each of us on?

      … Rational reasonable practical progress ?
      …. or Whine-y mud-slinging ?

      I am surprised, that after I have repeatedly shown and explained how:
      ** ALL foreigners in Mexico have the OPTION / CHOICE to apply for Visitante, Temporary Residence, or Permanent Residence **

      We now have yet another false and empty complaint on the same issue:
      … “To change the rules that you can no longer retain your FM3 status and when you do then your car is illegal and it is an act in bad faith. “…

      You CAN retain your Temporary Residency status… It just takes some effort.

      You CAN have your Temporary Imported vehicle… It just takes some effort.

      All you had to do is return (with your car) to a country where you have legal residency, and visit a Mexican Consulate.

      When you brought the vehicle into Mexico: You did agree to take your TEMPORARY imported car, back OUT of Mexico if you did not maintain a TEMPORARY immigration visa. You chose to become a Permanent Resident. No one forced you to.

      You chose to end your Temporary immigrant status, and as a result, the contract you signed says you cannot permanently keep a TEMPORARY car here…

      When you applied for TEMPORARY residency in Mexico as an FM3 => TEMPORARY Immigrant, then why would you imagine that you can stay in Mexico FOREVER on a succession of TEMPORARY resident visas?

      Doesn’t TEMPORARY mean that it does not last forever?
      (for both you, and your vehicle?)

      You then complain:
      …” I was also betrayed by my agent who never told me about that either. “…

      Are you really a victim?
      Are you just a pitiful person who had no other sources of information – like the internet – like reading Mexconnect – or reading – or reading – with no opportunity to ask questions of people who actually know the rules?

      Did you really have no options to talk with people who actually read and understood the May 2011 INM law?

      What were you busy doing during the last 2 years that you had no time nor opportunity to find reliable sources?

      Still, you truly can insist that you have NO responsibility for what happens to you – as we are all just pitiful sinners in the hands of an angry God ~ Spiders suspended precariously over hot fires ~ (apologies to J. Edwards and Milton).

      I’ll finish with your most curious comment:
      …” Fortunately our European ancestors did not adopt the ways of the Indians when they came to America. “….

      Actually, most knowledgeable people are VERY GRATEFUL that our European ancestors DID adopt the ways of the Indians in America:
      ~ The previously dopey Pilgrims learned to plant corn, beans, and squash to feed themselves.

      ~ The previously dopey Pilgrims learned to use dead fish in with their planted seeds to fertilize them.

      ~ The Founding Fathers of America copied many KEY ~ UNIQUE ~ policies of the Iroquois Confederacy in forming the Declaration of Independence, and the US Constitution:
      ** A man’s home (long-house) is his castle **
      (Native Leader’s were not allowed into people’s private tipis or long-houses in the Iroquois Confederacy.)

      ** Representative Democracy **

      ** Elected Government Leaders – who were NOT the Generals/War Chiefs **

      ** Binding International Negotiations over ALL inter-tribal Disputes – as agreed to by all countries in the treaty group **

      ** Every free man has a right to express his personal opinion **

      ** On policy matters that affect everyone in the group: Every free man has a vote – that is equal to the Leaders **

      … You might also note that these principles created a block of nations, where the Iroquois Confederacy had the LONGEST PERIOD of UN-FORCED PEACE in ALL of HUMAN HISTORY ~ 700 documented years ~ ….

      So, as a fellow “Savage“… Really, Michael, please give us factual explanations of who were the real savages?

      Are the people who lived in peace, for longer than any other unforced peace in known history, ~ now supposedly savages~ , because you say they were?

      Who were the real savages?
      Whose example should we follow?
      ? The Millions of Native Americans (in the future USA) who lived in environmentally sustainable ways for roughly 6,000 years… ?

      I would note that your/our vaunted “European Ancestors” could not live sustainably for even 300 years in North America…


      Not funny? … or at least:
      Not funny to white folks who are nostalgic for Colonial Empires . … *grin*

      Darned natives, we just can’t seem to beat, burn, torture, grind, ~ or educate ~
      … the “savage” out of those pesky Natives.

      Really, Michael,
      I MUCH welcome future dialogues with you. …

      Please come back to Yucalandia
      … with facts,
      Please come back to Yucalandia
      … with some well-referenced ideas that are based in known history,
      and we can have ~ a delightful time ~ comparing realities.

      All the best,

      • Michael Savage but not the one on the radio. says:

        I am glad my message evoked such a diatribe but the facts are that we were not given a choice as I stated.

        I have been involved with Mexican investments for 20 years and I state categorically that the only growth that has occurred here is a result of them changing their economic system to be more open and more like the US (unfortunately we are changing to be more like them).

        They need to do a lot more. They still have a country owned and controlled by just a handful of families whose economic policies restrain competition. Every time they open the door to a little more capitalism there is a period of growth such as we see now. The country needs to move away from socialism.

        You can pick apart the things I wrote somewhat tongue in cheek but the facts remain the same. If I had the time to spend with your writings I could easily do the same as you but I have to pursue more productive endeavors. I am reminded of dinner party I attended with a mixed crowd of Europeans and liberals when I was asked by them “whats wrong with socialism?”. I can hardly decide where to start.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Michael,
        Try to stick with the facts versus veering into emotional and feeling-based imaginations of how things are.

        The Facts:
        ALL FM2 and FM3 holders in Mexico have the option to get Residente Temporal cards (as long as they qualify and then make an effort).

        You chose a bad, mal-educated advisor, and you accepted their bad advice, and you did not educate yourself with the information easily found on multiple websites for the past 2 years. Is that somehow the fault of the Mexican Govt or of Yucalandia?

        People who have been in Mexico more than 4 years really are practically NOT TEMPORARY residents any more. If you want to stay here as a Temporary resident, Mexico is simply saying that you can no longer stay in Mexico perpetually (permanently) by using an infinite set of renewals of temporary visas. Mexico simply asks that every 5’th year, you leave Mexico and reapply for Temporary Residence, or shift automatically (no $$ requirements) to Residente Permanente.

        All of that was FULLY reported here and on other national websites for expats, back in May 2011.


        Really, your emotional claims do not fit facts or reality – so, it is not about your imagining that I am supposedly “picking things apart“.


        You have repeatedly given people bad, false, non-factual advice – and bad advice is simply not welcome.

        We are not victims.

        We advocate that people educate themselves using accurate and thorough information.

        We have seen many people screw up their personal situations by falling into victimhood mentalities – blaming everyone else around them for the problems that they could have avoided or solved, if they stopped complaining, whining, and blaming others.

        It seems wiser to take responsibility for your poor choices – and use your experiences to learn and do better next time.


        Re your whining that you do not have time to write or analyze situations:
        As you found, your prior short-cuts of not taking the time to educate yourself, and your choice of bad advisors and bad advice can be painful. You could have avoided the problems you now complain about by taking the time to find good advisors.

        It took me a total of 18 minutes to write (and edit) this post…
        Yet you complain “If I had the time to spend with your writings I could easily do the same as you…

        Is there more than a liberal dose of hubris in claiming you “could easily do the same as you ” ? … I personally do not imagine that I can “easily do the same” as others do. …

        As unique individuals, I do not experience the world as a series of repetitions or copies of what others have done. … I do not aspire to copy others. …

        They each have their own peculiar… paths, experiences, and abilities …


        Please stop trying to whine and wheedle your way out of your personal mistakes, and your past insufficient analyses of how things actually work in Mexico – by misleading others.

        Instead, use your wits plus some well-aimed efforts, and good judgment, and good informational resources to … learn from your mistakes.

        If you choose to set your ladder on the wrong wall, and
        then choose the wrong fork in the road,
        then please don’t tell others that their only options are to follow either your mistaken examples or your poor paths. …

        Instead, learn how to do it well, then give good advice…
        and do it better next time,

      • yucalandia says:

        Hey Michael,
        Since the previous approaches did not work for you, (as your complaining is now bleeding over into other article’s comments), let’s consider a different way:

        You complain:
        … “If I had the time to spend with your writings I could easily do the same as you…” …

        Is it possible that THIS false belief is one (of several)
        likely sources of your problems ?

        Do you need to … ~ slow down ~ … ?


        Are you pushing too hard, and shoving too fast
        – which causes you to complain ” I don’t have time to … “?

        Gotta run…. No time to analyze situations…

        Gotta run…. No time to formulate good questions…

        Gotta run…. No time to find good experts…

        Gotta run…. No time to ask good questions…

        Gotta run…. No time to find good resources…

        Gotta run…. No time to listen to good answers…

        Gotta run…. No time to consider what other people are saying…

        Gotta run…. No time to realize what options are available…

        Gotta run…. No time to consider a variety of solutions…

        Gotta run…. I am too busy, and too important
        … too busy to consider the experiences of others …
        …. too busy even when my actions are causing me significant problems …
        …..too busy to consider the experiences of others ,

        others… ~ who did it well ~
        ~ who did it easily~
        ~ who did it with a minimum amount of time ~
        ~ who did it with a minimum amount of effort ~
        ~ who did it with a minimum amount of stress ~


        Maybe it is you, and your ideas about what is important in life, and your beliefs about how important and how urgent the things you imagine are important … are some of the roots of why

        you don’t have time to analyze things
        you don’t have time to do things well … ?


        Maybe it is time to

        change your choices, … and …

        ~ slow down ~

        ~ listen to others ~

        ~ do things better ~

        ~ stop complaining ~

        ~ stop blaming others ~

        ~ watch ~

        ~ cultivate awareness ~

        ~ develop discernment ~

        ~ and start choosing effective, fact-based, reality-based …

        …. unhurried ways of doing things better ~ ?


        Consider how the right action,

        done carefully and precisely,

        (gently?) and judiciously applying the best solution,

        at the right time

        often makes the difference between success
        and failure ?


  9. Roger Blair says:

    Dear Steve,

    You state above:

    “You CAN retain your Temporary Residency status… It just takes some effort.

    You CAN have your Temporary Imported vehicle… It just takes some effort.

    All you had to do is return (with your car) to a country where you have legal residency, and visit a Mexican Consulate.”

    More details please. I have permanent residency now. I was not given a choice that I knew about. After 4 years if I wanted to stay in Mexico I had to go permanent. Of course I was not told I had to get my car out of the country. Now you say we should have known, but really … Bear in mind everybody in the country gives conflicting and confusing advice. Back at that time the ex-patriate message boards were filled with conflicting and inaccurate advice and opinions. I even recall that you back in January and February 2013 were not giving the same information you are giving now. You did not have a clear position on Residente Permanente ex-patriots until the Mexico City Aduana came out with its position in February 2013 (only after they rec’d repeated inquiries did they even conclude a policy).

    Anyway, the question is, now that I have permanent residency how can I keep my car? Are you saying: leave the country, renounce my permanent residency, and start over, by applying for temporary residency at a Mexican consulate in the USA?



    • Fred says:

      Import your car and nationalize it just like the rest of us. I am now perm. resid. and have taken the time and made the effort to change my car to Mexico. It is not difficult , just takes time and a little effort.

      • Roger Blair says:

        Applying for a permanent import permit doesn’t work on my 2008 Buick. It must be 6 years old for permanent import. It will be eligilble November 1, 2013. I hesitate to try Gerardo Uc. First he is expensive ($3000 for my car). Second he didn’t do anything to cancel the TIP for someone, but offered to do so for them for an extra $1100 [dollars] (I read about this on this board), a real ripoff. In reality the person found the TIP was automatically canceled because he got the Permanente Residente. Third, 2 others said they would try him and report back. That was early May, but I haven’t heard a word from them since.

        I will consider the idea of going to the USA and applying for Temporary Residency. Thanks for your input.


      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Roger,
        All very good points.

        The duties for importing cars less than 8 years old are rather steep.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Roger,
      All you had to do is return (with your car) to a country where you have legal residency, and visit a Mexican Consulate.

      The “had” is the key word. You could have gone to a Mexican Consulate in your home country and applied for a new Residente Temporal.

      I was not giving the same information on cars now as back in January, because Aduana did not make a formal ruling on TIP cars until late February. That ruling partly came as a result of a write-in campaign we started to get our American and Canadian Consuls to push Aduana to make a ruling. That ruling came partly as a result of a phone-in campaign we started to get Americans and Canadians to repeatedly call Aduana DF to make a ruling. The Aduana DF folks said they didn’t previously realize that their lack of a single consistent policy on TIP cars was causing problems – prior to getting all the phone calls (that we triggered and readers stepped up to make calls – from Mexconnect and from Yolisto et al), and they couldn’t believe all the call they were getting… We then got a manager at Aduana DF to give out her phone number, for the local Aduana offices call – so she would “set them straight”.

      To keep your car: (Read our article: Options for Foreign-Plated “TIP” Car Owners in Mexico, esp for Permanent Residents )
      ~ Take the car back to your home country, and import it permanently.
      ~ Pay someone to take your car back to your home country, and import it permanently.
      ~ Pay someone like Sr. Gerardo Uc to do a fully legal paper only import of the car – even as a J car. The information on Sr. Uc and car options are in our article on these things in the subsection:
      Option 4: Permanent Import Options at the Mexico-Belize Border.
      There are now multiple good quality first-hand reports of expats with the new Permanent Residency permit permanently importing a TIP foreign-plated vehicles using a paper only process – for even Japanese J cars and German cars. The successful gringos report using the following Customs Broker:

      Gerardo Uc

      If you want to temporarily import it (again), then surrender your Permanent Residency permit, drive the car back to the USA (Retorno Seguro program), apply at a Mexican Consulate for Temporary Residency, then return to Mexico with the car and your visa to enter Mexico to go to INM to finish the Residente Temporal card process. Aduana only gives 30 day Temporary Import Permits (TIP) to these Residente Temporal applicants, so you have to get documentation from INM that you have paid for and are approved for a Residente Temporal, and send that documentation to Aduana DF to ask them to extend the expiration date of the TIP to one year, to match your Residente Temporal.

  10. sarah says:

    Steve, I challenge you to find one person who had to drive their foreign-plated “J” car back to Canada (an 8 day drive for a single 63 year-old woman) to sell, and then purchase a Mexican-plated vehicle, complete with the 12 hour ordeal to get the plates changed over to my name -I speak Spanish and am very polite- who would agree that this was done “easily… with a minimum amount of time… effort… or stress”.
    As the vehicle purchase was from a private seller, the only money the Mexican govt. saw from this whole exercise was the $5000 pesos I had to pay for the new plates. Yet it all cost me about $7000US (the difference in what I could get for my previous vehicle in Canada and what the lower-quality vehicle I could afford here, gas and hotels through the US, the lost work time at my Mexican business, therefore less taxes on sales received by the Mex. govt.) I can assure you this was no small amount for me and my teeth and health will suffer, as I can longer afford, even in Mexican prices, much needed dental work and health insurance. Also had to let my Mexican maid and gardener go.
    Nor did I have a choice to re-apply for “Temporal Lucrativo”, which I have always had and would have needed, as I have had a small business here for 11 years, as Lucrativo status was not an option through the consulates up north.
    The effect the INM and Aduana rule changes have had on foreigners can hardly be compared to frustration at not being able to find a Burger King, and the comparison is insulting to those of us who live here because we love many aspects of living here, have made the effort to learn Spanish, and have always complied with the ever-changing and interpreted rules.
    The process to get the car licensed in my name included the “perito” laying under my car for 30 minutes with a grease-saturated rag which he smeared over the VIN numbers and then tried to make an impression of onto a piece of scotch tape. I don’t care how Mexico ranks in General Manufacturing Indices, this country shows no indication of understanding how to join the first world.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Sorry that things did not work out as you had hoped. Readers can note that both INM rules and INM’s advice say we can apply for Residente Temporal with lucrativo status at the Mexican consulates.

      A small part of the problems you faced came from incomplete knowledge about INM rules and the INM permits available (to allow you to insist on the opportunity to apply for Residente Temporal with lucrativo status). Your story offers the rest of us good evidence of how when we know the rules, we can sometimes make choices that avoid the hassles that caused you such problems.

      Your story is also a cautionary tale about the possible long term problems that can arise from bringing a Non-NAFTA car into Mexico on a temporary import permit. We were lucky to sniff-out the possible problems before moving here. We also had nice Japanese “J” cars that we loved, but chose to sell them before moving, replacing them with vehicles we could permanently import. This stuff sure can be complex.

      Hope it goes better for you next time,

  11. sarah says:

    Steve, I did not have incomplete knowledge of INM rules. First I went to a very knowledgeable and well-respected immigration lawyer who told me I had 3 choices when my 4-year Temporal Lucrativo expired:
    #1 I could apply for permanente
    #2 I could apply for a regularization to start over on the same type of status I had. However, he said this could be rejected for any or no reason, at which point I would be given 3 days to leave the country. As I live here full-time, own a home, a dog, and a business, and do not have a “significant other” to hold the fort, this was obviously not a feasible risk to take.
    #3 I could return to Canada and apply for a Temporal, which I would then be required to request changed to Temporal Lucrativo when I returned here and completed the process. Again, it could be rejected. And, as my temporal expired the middle of April, and as this is still the height of my business season and I had a number of clients (I am an upholsterer) to whom I promised their projects completed, it was impossible for me to leave at that time. This was not my “choice”, unless you call not leaving clients in the lurch for at least a month (remember, I had to drive my vehicle back, secure a house and dog sitter, as well), a choice.
    I then attended my local INM office, as well as calling INM central in D.F., both of whom confirmed the information the lawyer had given me.
    The “J” vehicle I had here was brought in on a TIP under my Temporal in Oct. 2010. At that time, as you are well aware, the rules were that it could remain here as long as I maintained my current status without interruption. I had no way of knowing at that time that the rules would change, or I never would have bought that vehicle and brought it in. As to Aduana now saying that Temporal Lucrativos can also not have foreign-plated vehicles here now (which would have made an application to re-apply for Temporal Lucrativo, as opposed to Permanente, pointless), I never had any problem in the 11 years previous “TIPPING” a foreign-plated vehicle at the the border.
    Your advice to “insist” on rules being applied as written, is in theory, fine, but insisting after a lawyer, INM local and INM central have told you otherwise is an exercise in futility.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sarah,
      Yuuuuck…. Things really did not go well for you.

      The “insisting” on INM and Consulates and Aduana follow the rules has been a mixed bag. A fair number of readers have reported that their Mexican Consulate initially incorrectly rejected their applications, but when these same readers showed the Mexican Consulate employees direct quotes of the actual sections of the law, the Consulates backed-off and followed the law. There was a period of at least 6 months where many applicants needed to educate their local INM and Consulate employees at many locations.

      The same thing happened for 3 months with Aduana, and then we here at Yucalandia tracked down a talented, dedicated, intelligent middle manager – lawyer – at Aduana DF’s central office who agreed with the right of Residente Temporales to have temporarily imported cars hers, and we then encouraged a lot of frustrated gringos to call them, and to call and write their US and Canadian consular officials, and make a bunch of noise. Within 2 weeks, Aduana DF reported that they had no idea that there was such a problem, and they FIXED IT ! YAAAAY !

      So, yes, there are times when one of us can make a difference, when armed with detailed knowledge of the law. Ask Ric Hoffman – and read his comments on Mexconnect and his latest on Yucalandia at:

      Ric has been a passionate and oft-successful advocate at getting bureaucrats to follow the rules – for years. *grin*

      Which is just one reason of many that we like and appreciate Ric,

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