Ron from Colima (a Yucalandia reader) offered the following update on foreign plated vehicles with invalid Temporary Import Permits (TIPs).
“Illegal Vehicles Impounded.
Aduana in co-operation with State Police this week, April 25, 2016, reportedly seized and impounded illegal vehicles in Manzanillo Colima.
At roadside check points, drivers were asked to exit their vehicles and take with them only what was in their possession. They were not allowed to remove anything else from the vehicle, including paperwork from the glove box. The vehicles were trucked to an Aduana compound. ”
We have forwarded this update to several national web-forums, to try to find out if this is just a local Manzanillo, Colima issue, or if Residente Permanente visa holders with TIP vehicles are experiencing problems with vehicle confiscations in other Mexican locales. … So far, there are no other reports of confiscations.
We hope that this is just a local phenomenon….
Note that driving a foreign plated vehicle with an invalid TIP does expose the vehicle owner and driver to the risks of several serious problems:
~ Many Mexican insurance companies have fine print clauses that invalidate the insurance coverage if the vehicle is found to be illegal.
~ If someone is killed in a vehicular accident, the driver and owner are personally liable for up to $4 million pesos in cash damages for each fatality. The driver sits in jail indefinitely until the police are satisfied that the driver can pay (in cash) any potential cash damages owed to injured parties.
~ Foreign-plated cars with TIPs are required to have the expiration date of the TIP renewed (extended) every year since July, 2010. This requirement is met by making an annual written request (to Aduana) to extend the expiration date. Aduana issues a letter for the driver to carry in the TIP vehicle.
In the absence of this annual Aduana letter, the police/Aduana can confiscate the vehicle.
Once confiscated, it is very difficult (basically impossible?) to recover the vehicle.
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Feel free to copy while giving proper attribution: YucaLandia/Surviving Yucatan.
© Steven M. Fry
Read-on MacDuff . . .
I’ve heard that “the sausage lady” Anita, of Slow Food Market, c.72 near c.33d in Garcia Gineres (a German national), had her Mercedes seized near Progresso. She reportedly hired an attorney to have it returned, to no avail. (I don’t know specifics details, but her store is open daily, and might be someone worthy of an interview.)
Anita is terrific. Speaks decent Spanish. Does details well.
If she lost her vehicle, it would be a solid data point for considering where this may be heading.
I’ll plan to get in touch with her.
Cheers! I applaud this. Going into another country and knowingly breaking the law merits consequences. This applies to illegal alien Mexicans in the U.S. and to illegal alien Gringo (or Canuck) cars in Mexico.
Obeying the law is always best, especially in another nation.
Before you condemn everyone with the same brush as “knowingly breaking” the law, you might want to make sure you have your facts straight about the whole procedure. I got the complete run-around for almost a year when trying to extend my TIP, as the Aduana people didn’t know how to do it and the Immigration people directed me right back to those same people. Even after talking with a lawyer, then after many attempts calling Mexico City, I still got the run-around and have not heard back from them yet! The lawyer told me to just keep driving! So, Senor Zapata, since the laws were constantly changing and no one could give straight facts, several of us are STILL attempting to follow the “rules” and STILL getting the run-around! I am fed up with trying to follow the rules when they keep changing those rules every few weeks and NO ONE can give straight answers!
Judith, your problems illustrate beautifully that even bringing a car to Mexico is a questionable proposition. If one is going to live here, I have long recommended buying a car here.
But you were knowingly breaking the law. Your lawyer gave you bad advice.
PS: You edited your comment, but the first version came to my email. Yes, my perfection is a heavy burden to bear, but I do so willingly.
Editor’s note re Sr. Zapata’s comment about editing Judith’s comment.
In the interests of civil dialogue, I edited out unnecessary epithets and personal attacks from Judith’s post. The edits did not change the factual content of Judith’s comments, but they did shift the tenor of the dialogue away from personal hostility & excessive anger.
In working with over 8,600 comments here on this site, we hesitate to change anything that people submit. As such, we have edited reader’s comments just 2 times in 7 years.
I offer my apologies if my edits of Judith’s public post, inadvertently created an incorrect perception that Judith was not dealing honestly or consistently with Sr. Zapata.
The LAW is rather clear. getting around it not so much.
Judith: It is very clear… you do Not have permission to drive a car illegally. Period.
You have Not been given a Green Light. No atty. can do that, ever.
There is one clear path: purchase a car that has already been imported.
Verify that the importation has been completed and is valid.
Welcome to Mexico
Its so interesting reading this stuff. But Lets back up.
Anyone remember Nafta?
So I am in Mexico with a like new 2002 Ford F250 Superduty Truck, probably built in a Mexico factory (?) and have been trying to import “Legalize”pay the tax and aduana fees for 3 years. This has been a nightmare, due to various mexico issues corruption, aduana not knowing how or what to do, law is not clear and concise as i was told “its how you interpret the law’ ?? and general mexican standoff in regard to how they want to handle this automobile association vs ??. We hear about Judges, import brokers etc going to jail? Now finally I am told they are supposed to be doing 2007 and 2008 only, UGGH What a mess. So i still cant legailze my truck pay my dues and annual registration fees etc…
My TIP is expired and as previous poster both aduana and immigration in Vallarta couldn’t help in the matter of extending. They knew nothing about how to do so. Unbelievable in my opinion,
Since then we have become perm residents so naturally my truck has simply been parked.
I asked about how to get a permit to drive it out, and wow.. Best answer I got was: “You will probably need to fly to mexico city to get an exit permit”.
If I bring a vehicle from US to Sweden i pay some duties and off we go.
I bring mexican vehicle north i pay to register it and off i go.
I bring a us registered vehicle to mexico nobody knows what to do… : (
These 3 scenarios I know because I have done.
Yep, the mess at the border from too much cheating/corruption from bogus amparos really screwed things up.
For you Retorno Seguro permit info, check out our post from last November 2015 on how to do it.
Recent reports out of Guadalajara say expect a 6 week wait from applying to receiving the permit.
Details on how to do it at: