Mexico’s Customs Law Amended to Allow Temporary Residents to Have TIP Cars

September 21, 2013

The Camara de Diputados has published their new version of the Ley Aduanera that harmonizes Mexico’s Customs Law with the November 2012 Lineamiento changes made to the Immigration Law (Ley de Imigración).   (There is no word yet on when it will be formally signed into law.)

Click to access 04_ley_aduanera.pdf

If we jump to Article 106,  we see that the Mexican legislature sure seems to have fixed the problem of working (lucrativo) Residente Temporal INM permit holders who also have Temporarily Imported Permit vehicles.

Here is Yucalandia’s rough translation into English, followed by the Spanish language version:

Articulo 106:  IV. PART IV. For the term of his or her migratory status, including extensions (renewals), under the Terms and  Conditions established by SAT (el Servicio de Administración Tributaria) applies to the following cases:

a.  Vehicles owned by owned by foreigners who enter the country, using visitor and Temporary Resident permits to temporarily import a single vehicle.  Vehicles may be driven within Mexico by the importer, his spouse, ascendants, descendants or brothers and sisters, even if they are not foreigners, or by a foreigner
having one of the conditions of stay referred to above (Visitante or Residente Temporal), or by a Mexican national, provided that in the latter case, the Mexican is accompanied by any of the types of people authorized to drive the vehicle.   This vehicle may make multiple entries and exits.  The vehicles covered by this subsection, shall meet the requirements of the Regulations.

Spanish Language version:

Articulo 106 de la nueva Ley Aduanera 2013
Por el plazo que dure su condición de estancia, incluyendo sus renovaciones, en los términos y condiciones que establezca el Servicio de Administración Tributaria mediante reglas, en los siguientes casos:
a) Las de vehículos propiedad de extranjeros que se internen al país, con la condición de estancia de visitante y residente temporal,siempre que se trate de un solo vehículo. Los vehículos podrán ser conducidos en territorio nacional por el importador, su cónyuge, sus ascendientes, descendientes o hermanos, aun cuando éstos no sean extranjeros, por un extranjero que tenga alguna de las condiciones de estancia a que se refiere este inciso, o por un nacional, siempre que en este último caso, viaje a bordo del mismo cualquiera de las personas autorizadas para conducir el vehículo y podrán efectuar entradas y salidas múltiples. Los vehículos a que se refiere este inciso, deberán cumplir con los requisitos que señale el Reglamento.
* * * *

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

Read on, MacDuff.

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19 Responses to Mexico’s Customs Law Amended to Allow Temporary Residents to Have TIP Cars

  1. This hasn’t actually been published in the official newspaper yet, so it isn’t technically law. It will be once it passes the complete legislative process.

    That said, great reporting on the progress. I am happy to see that it doesn’t make the distinction of Temporary Residents without permission to work.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Solomon,
      Agreed, on both counts. The previous arbitrary creation of 2 classes of Residente Temporal by Aduana policies (on “working” Residente Temporales) caused a number of immigration attorneys to file complaints with Aduana – which caused Aduana officials work with the legislature to clarify policies to treat all Residente Temporales the same.
      Good to hear from you,

    • Susan G says:

      Do you have a guess on how long it takes to become law?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Susan,
        I would guess 1 to 2 months for the Senate and President to sign off on it. I have not read the entire document yet, so I don’t know if there are any other items that need resolution before it is approved and implemented.

        I would carry a Spanish language copy of both the current(old) Article 106 and the NEW Article 106 in my TIP car, now, especially if I had a working Residente Temporal (RT). I am hopeful that the NEW Article 106 will stop any actions against working Residente Temporales with TIP cars inside Mexico, but I suspect that the sea port and border Aduana offices will continue to enforce the current rules on working RT’s attempts to bring in cars, until this law gets final approval(?).

  2. Jacobo says:

    This might be a duplicated, my last comment vanished.

    To make it perfectly clear, in Mexico legislation does NOT become law when the President signs the law. It is only when the law is published in the official government publication, El Diario Oficial, that the law goes into effect. This is true of state government as well. That is why it is very important to have copies of the Diarios Oficiales as they are the final authority.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Jacobo,
      What’s the lag-time between the President’s signing Aduana or INM legislation and its publication in the DOF? In the 3 past instances where we have followed Aduana and INM legislation, the lag-times have been just 1 or 2 days. Do you expect a long delay between the President signing the update to the Aduana law and publication in the DOF?

  3. Jacobo says:


    The President has 30 days to sign the legislation and have it published. If not, it becomes law if congress agrees to publish the law. No more pocket veto. See link for new legislation…-a0100982682

    The link is a great way to follow federal legislation through the congress. It is very sophisticated and has a variety of search methods and topic indexes.

  4. Jacobo says:

    You will to cut and paste the link, can’t get highlight the entire link. Be sure to scroll down to see article on the 30 days, elimination of pocket veto legislation.…-a0100982682

  5. sherri says:

    it states the vehicles must meet the requirements of the Regulations. What are those Regulations?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sherri,
      Cars, vans, and pickup trucks qualify. Vans/buses that carry more than 18 passengers do not. Heavy trucks do not qualify. RVs require a different 10 yr permit.

  6. Myra King says:

    I realize this article is talking about autos already in MX. We are planning on moving to MX in March 2014. We will try to get a perm. residence. If we do can we import our truck perm.

    Thanks Myra

  7. Christine says:

    Hi Steve,

    I’m pretty confused. I applied for the RT visa, using the services of someone who came highly recommended on the San Miguel Civil List as an expediter. A couple of weeks ago she gave me a paper (GOB….) that she said I should take over to the Aduana office in Queretaro immediately, to get my TIP so that I could drive legally and would get a return on my $200+ 30 day TIP that I paid for at the border in Neuvo Laredo. I drove over to Queretaro and to the office only to be told that I had been given bad information, that I had to have the actual RT with the number that would go on the Import Permit form. I was stunned that this woman who helps all of these people in San Miguel didn’t know what she was talking about. (I actually got her on the phone while I was in the office in Queretaro and had her talk to the clerk who had told me NO, I could not get the permit…even though we knew I would be driving illegally from the expiration date of the 30 day temp permit I got at the Banjercito.) The expediter had no reasoning. She just said she was sorry and that “some people” had gotten their permits. The clerk said I shouldn’t leave SMA…that the police here would understand. Well, ok, now I’m picking up my RT card on Friday and someone else told me that I didn’t need to go to Queretaro at all, that the RT would be proof I was driving legally. My impression from the clerk in Queretaro is that I indeed do have to go back and fill out that form with my RT visa number.

    Do you have any comment that might help me out?

    PS…Previously I was told I could not nationalize my 1994 Ford pick up. The information I have now is that I can….for a trip to the border, $1200 and license fees in Guanajuato. Did the situation change?

    Best and thanking you in advance for any help.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Christine,
      Aduana law requires that TIP holders are required to report any changes in INM status. Since June 2010, Aduana law says that TIP holders must notify Aduana of your annual updated INM permit expiration date. You have changed to Residente Temporal, and your new RT card has a new expiration date, both of which you are required to report to Aduana.

      You are best off reporting your new INM status and your new INM permit expiration date to Aduana. You can do this in person at either Queretaro, or by mail with Aduana’s central offices in DF. You can find a sample letter at
      Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico
      – subsection: Official list of documents for notifying Aduana of your new/changed INM visa information: Aduana will issue you a letter describing that your TIP is still valid, including the new expiration date. Police across Mexico now know about Aduana issuing these letters, and when they see foreign plated cars, they often expect that the driver should be able to show the Aduana letter.

      Yes, the official policy has been that you can drive to the USA-Mexico border, and permanently import any NAFTA vehicle that is 6 years old or older. (NAFTA vehicle VINs start with a number, not a letter). Unfortunately, you have not been getting workable advice, but you seem to be on a better track now.

      Things should turn around for you now that you know what works,

  8. Christine says:

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for this. I take it that I could take a bus over to Queretaro and get the letter…no need to take the truck without it being legal.

    The facilitator also told me that at the end of my RT in 4 years (renewing it next year for 3) I would just default to a PT with no further income proof. As I read the info this might be true, and then again it might not be true. Information seems really messed up…


  9. I apologize if this appears on another page. I tried before and it appears as if it did not publish. Please delete if this comment appears more than once. Gracias.

    Hola Steve and greeting to your Yucalandia readers,
    After reading through all this great information, I believe I’ve gotten myself into a very big mess. I started a business in Playa del Carmen and used a local attorney (I have a Mexican corporation). I am legally able to work for myself under my corporation. In March 2012, my lawyer was able to apply and obtain an FM2 instead of an FM3 (because if some of the recent changes in the law). This was my first time applying and I went straight to an FM2. The reason that he did so was because I own a home that I was contemplating selling and he said that having a FM2 would benefit me tax-wise, At that meeting, I had also told him that as soon as I received my card from Immigration, I would be returning to the US, picking up my car and driving it back into Mexico and back to Playa. He did NOT inform me that there would be any issues bringing the car back in with an FM2. I own a 2010 Nissan Pathfinder (Made in the US/VIN and starts with a number).
    Imagine my shock and dismay when I drive across the Mexican border into Nuevo Laredo, paid my import fees for items I was bringing in, and then over to Aduana to pay my TIP, only to be told that I cannot do so! I was pretty upset. I was a woman traveling alone and my plan was to meet a Mexican friend in Monterrey who would accompany me on the drive to Playa del Carmen. There I was, stranded in Nuevo Loredo with the clock ticking and told I could not bring in my car. There was no way I could turn around and drive back 1500 miles. I was visibly upset and a Mexican/American man talked to me outside and I told him what was going on. He said he had his American and Mexican passports and he helps people move. (He was there helping an American couple bring their car in and they were getting ready to make the drive the next day, and spend the night in Nuevo Loredo to rest.) He told me that the Aduana people worked 24 hour shifts and if I stayed the night there, I could return the next morning and there would be a new staff working. He said I could walk up to the window, show them my US passport, fill out an FMM and simply apply for the TIP under the FMM. That is exactly what I did and received the TIP under my FMM. He explained that I would either have to drive back in six months or simply let the FMM expire and lose my deposit. Terrible advice but I had no choice at the time, so that is exactly what I did and was issued the TIP under my FMM.
    Fast forward to the six month expiration date and I have now moved to Cozumel and set up my business along with bringing my car there. (I rented a house and still have my home in Playa.) I am told I need to drive to Chetumal but I am also told that they cannot and will not renew the TIP because it is attached to my FMM. I let the FMM expire at the 6 month mark. I started asking questions to several experienced expats living and running businesses in Cozumel. I am told that Quintana Roo is a free state and after talking to at least 20 locals driving cars with US plates and expired TIPS, I decide to wait it out and see what happens when the laws change and I have to apply for me new card with Immigration. I had to travel within Mexico by air, and put in my application for my Temporal resident card (they issued me a letter and i traveled with that. My Immigration application got tied up for a couple of months (because I was traveling and not available to come to Immigration for my interview), so through the lawyer, Immigration allowed me to reschedule the appointment. I was finally issues a Temporal Residente card in June. (Note: they did make my expiration for March even though it was not issued until June.)
    There was no issue with the expired FMM so apparently they did not see it on their system or my lawyer was able to answer to Immigration. I do not know but I consider myself lucky because there are fines involved and i could have had my right to work taken away as one of the provisions to work under my corporation is to be legally compliant with Immigration laws!
    Also note: I had informed my lawyer fully of this situation.
    Now, because of a death in my family, I need to return to the US for several months. I want to drive my car back into the US and sell it. Then when I return to Mexico, I will purchase a Mexican plated car. I have obviously lost my deposit on the car by now, as it is 11 months expired. I DO still have the TIPP sticker on the windshield of the car and I have my papers from Aduana. Is my only choice to apply for the 5 day “Safe Returns” (Retorno Seguro) program? I assume I have to go to Cancun, apply and wait there in Cancun until the permit letter is ready and then I make the drive, correct? (I cannot believe they only give you 5 days. That is a very difficult thing to do when you have to drive through the entire country!!) Also, If I decide I do not want to sell my car in the US because I cannot get enough for it, I can turn in my sticker and paper, and then bring the car back into Mexico with me when I return under my Residente Temporal, is that correct? Of course, I realize that I would have to pay another fee. (My Immigration card does not indicate in any way that I work in Mexico.)
    I apologize for such a long-winded question, but it appears the laws or the way they enforce regulations are a bit different in Quintanna Roo. I cannot locate where it says that it is a “free zone”. By the way, I know many American business owners living and working here for many years that drive US plated vehicles with expired TIPS. The only issues I have heard of recently, was when someone got their US plated vehicle impounded when they went to the airport, because they were driving on Federal property and that changes the rules for them.
    Muchas gracias so very much for any advice you can give to me! It is truly appreciated!
    güera in mexico

  10. MPW says:

    The new version of the Ley Aduanera now appears to have been officially published:

    From the website of the Orden Jurídico Nacional at, click on “Leyes Federales” and then scroll down and click on “Ley Aduanera”. This will link to a Word document which appears to be the official current version of the law.

    At least the text of Articulo 106 appear to be identical to that in the Camara de Diputados document linked in the original post.

    I’ll caveat this by saying that my understanding of the Mexican legislative process is worse than my Spanish, so it would be great if someone with knowledge of both could confirm that this is now law and expats with temporary residency AND work authorization can now temporarily import foreign-plated vehicles.

  11. bobbybrown says:

    Mexican law means nothing–!–I got hit by a motor cycle and of course was my fault–I had insurense; my temp good and and car papers in order–so my car sits in impound awaiting a bribe by the federales in Puerto Vallarta–I brought up article 106 and got a good laugh–HA–now i’m waiting for my lawyer to negotiate a bribe—Mexico will always be a third word cesspool –HA

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