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

June 13, 2016 Update:
SAT published new rules on Authorized Destruction (Scrapping) of Temporarily Imported (TIP) Vehicles this February.  There are now official SAT authorized sites for disposing of unwanted TIP autos, as listed below.   Unfortunately,  there are none in the Yucatan,  but the State of Mexico is well supplied.


After we have scrapped a TIP car (at our $$ cost ) then we deliver proof to SAT of the vehicle’s authorized destruction … per page 56, anexo 5 :


After completing these steps, we can bring in another TIP vehicle … and if all is done properly, we potentially protect our previous TIP deposit.  Note that people who have tried to use these official rules, have found that SAT does not necesssarily follow their own rules,  so be sure to talk with SAT before trying it.
May 2, 2013 Update

There have been reports from around the internet of various customs brokers and other “Agents” who are offering paper-only permanent imports of foreign-plated TIP cars, where the expat sends cash and their car’s papers to the “broker” and they get Mexican license plates in return.    Note that some brokers are providing falsely obtained state plates, with no valid Aduana pedimento for the importation.   Also note that if the broker does this for you, you should get your TIP cancelled too.   Finally, there really MUST be a pedimento listed in Aduana’s national database for your VIN at the end of the process.   Alternately, if want to buy a permanently imported car,   or you have permanently imported your foreign-plated car, and you want to check if Aduana has officially logged your VIN & pedimento into their database, then:

Check this Aduana VIN& Pedimento Checker website:  http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/soianet/oia_consultarap_cep.aspx CONSULTA RÁPIDA DE PEDIMENTO ESPECÍFICO

March 26, 2013 Updated Version
As we speak, Aduana DF is taking actions to get the last few errant local Aduana offices to change their policies and issue extensions for non-working Temporary Resident gringo’s TIP cars (Permiso de Importación Temporal de vehiculo => Temporary Import Permit – a.k.a TIP ). Kudos to all the Yucalandia readers and others who called Aduana DF and their Consuls and Ambassadors to get local Aduana offices to follow a single rational policy. Our efforts worked! Lic. Karen Villaseñor of Aduana de DF has been ordering errant local Aduana official to change their past mistaken policies and allow non-working Residente Temporal card holders to renew their TIPs.

Lic. Villaseñor has gotten the Aduana central Hotline phone agents to now all give the correct answers: Yes, if you had an FM2 or FM3, and now have a Residente Temporal card, without the lucrativa permission, then you can apply to Aduana to extend your Aduana TIP on your foreign plated car to match the expiration date on your fresh shiny INM card. Ms. Villaseñor speaks only Spanish, but she offers her number for you to call with TIP problems.  She says that we should give her number to any Aduana clerks who are not following the current national policy, and she “will straighten them out.”:
Lic. Karen Villaseñor 01-55-5802-0000 x46889
Administracion Central — 01-55-5802-2069 ciitev_AduanaMexico@sat.gob.mx

While helpful for Residente Temporal gringos, the current official Aduana policy still leaves Residente Permanente and working Residente Temporal card holders ~ on the hook ~ making their TIPs invalid, and making the TIP cars illegal to drive in Mexico, unless you get a Safe Returns permit or permanently import the car.   If you have the new Residente Permanente or working Residente Temporal card and a TIP car, then you do have options.

Please click on the following Section Header Titles to jump down to that Section:
Option 1: Take the vehicle out of Mexico, permanently

Is Your TIP vehicle fully covered for any accidents if the TIP is expired or invalid?

Option 2: Park the Vehicle and Wait for Legislative Action

Option 3: Import Your TIP Vehicle at Aduana de Progreso

Contact Sr. Cervera’s firm for a Quotation or More Info

Option 4: Permanent Import Options at the Mexico-Belize Border.

What to Do If Your Car Becomes “Illegal” – The Retorno Seguro Program / Permit

Option 5: Take your car to Belize to sell it to a gringo friend who has a Residente Temporal

Option 6: Take your car to the Belize-Mexico border, and Sell it in Belize

Option 7: Take your car to the US-Mexico border and Permanently Import It

Option 8: Dispose of your car and cancel out your Aduana TIP

Option 9: Donate your vehicle to Aduana and Cancel out your Aduana TIP

Back to the Main Article:

If you do choose to (illegally) drive a TIP car when you have a Residente Permanente or working Residente Temporal card, you run a small risk of the police confiscating your car,  particularly if you are involved in an accident.   We strongly recommend that you carry a Spanish language version of the part of the Ley Aduanera (Customs Law – for the police to read) that describes your right to drive a TIP car as long as you have a valid INM permit.  Most police have no formal training on the Customs Law, so they generally scold the driver one last time and allow them to go after reading this:     Important Rules for Operating Foreign Plated Cars in Mexico: “Article 106, Fracc IV” to Keep in Your Car

~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~    ~
Option 1: Take the vehicle out of Mexico, permanently.
Officially, because the Ley Aduanera does not use INM’s new resident terminology, there are no published rules that govern Residente Permanente card-holders who have TIP vehicles. According to the Aduana Law, the cars are officially in limbo until the lower house of the Mexican Legislature (Camara de Diputados**) publishes a new law or publishes amendments, to fix the problem. In the meantime, Aduana DF personnel have decided that since the old law only allows “temporary” residents (FM2-Inmigrante Rentista and FM3 No Inmigrante permit holders) to have a TIP car, then Permanent Residents (the new Residente Permanente) are not currently identified as having written permission to have TIPs.

If you choose to take the car out of Mexico, the safest legal route is to get a Safe Returns permit (Permiso Retorno Seguro). These permits are good for only 3-5 days. The local Aduana offices do not issue them, and even the local Hacienda/SAT office in Merida does NOT issue them. Contact Aduana DF for a permit.

If you must drive in the meantime, be sure to carry Spanish language copies of Articulo 106, Fracc. IV of the Ley Aduanera to show to police if you get stopped.   Some Mexican lawyers explain that one fundamental principle of Mexican law is that the Gob. de Mexico cannot take-away a right that has previously been granted:    This means that if you had a legally imported foreign-plated car,   ~ and if you kept your INM permit valid continuously (no breaks/expirations, no fines, no penalties),   ~ and if you kept you Aduana TIP permit current – especially by notifying Aduana of every INM permit update after June 10, 2010,   ~ and you have a current valid INM permit (even Residente Permanente) …  ~ then they say you have the right to keep your TIP car under a valid Aduana permit and the Gob. de Mexico should not be allowed to confiscate your car based solely on a supposed TIP violation.   ~  ~  Does anyone want to be the guinea pig test case???  ~  ~

~    ~    ~    ~  

Note: Check with your insurance company to be sure that your TIP vehicle is fully covered for any accidents if the TIP is expired or invalid.
Many insurance companies deny claims if they find out that the vehicle is not fully legal to drive. i.e. Many insurance companies refuse to pay accident claims if the foreign-plated TIP car is not currently registered back in their home state/province in the USA or Canada. There are current first-person reports that their insurance company confirms that if your TIP is expired, or that if you have a Residente Permanente or working Residente Temporal INM card, then you have NO VALID INSURANCE COVERAGE from that company.

*** The most current report on Insurance Companies cancelling coverage: “The insurer (who cancels coverage) is Qualitas Compania de Seguros, S.A.B. de C.V. My broker said that as soon as my current Residente Temporal expires my car is no longer covered.” as of March 24, 2010. ***

We will update this information on specific insurer’s policies if people write in with first-person comments….

Note: Since the Feb. 4, 2013 changes in accidental death liability damages (raising the $$ per death to over $300,000 USD per person), an accident hitting a poor family on their big industrial tricycles, riding on the shoulder in the dark, would financially wipe out most of us – unless you have valid insurance coverage.  See:  Updated Insurance Auto Coverage Limits for Mexico

~    ~    ~    ~

Option 3:  Import Your TIP Vehicle at Aduana de Progreso or at Guadalajara Airport.
Note: Hiram Cervera has reviewed this information and we are updating it to fit the Aduana Progreso requirements.

1. You must have a valid TIP to permanently import the vehicle at the Progreso Aduana office.    This means that you had NO breaks, no fines, no penalties in you previous INM permits, and that you registered your new INM permit expiration dates every year with Aduana, especially since June 10, 2010.

2. You must be the owner, with a valid clear title, with no liens nor encumbrances.

3.  You must not allow the TIP to expire to import it in Progreso (expired TIP cars are imported only by customs agents at a border).

4.  Residente Temporal and  Residente Permanente TIP car owners can import their cars.   Note: Residente Permanente and Residente Temporal can take 5 – 9 weeks to process – during which the TIP expires.   OTHER Aduana offices accept a copy of the INM document / page that INM gives you confirming you have formally applied with INM for a Residente Permanente, to allow you to start the Aduana process while INM is processing your Residency application. So, you make your permanent importation application (using the INM page confirming your INM applicattion), before your TIP expires, and before you receive your Residente Permanente or Temporal card.

5.  8 and 9 year old NAFTA vehicles qualify for permanent importation at Progreso Aduana.  Aduana defines start of the model year as November 1 of the previous year.   This means that currently to 2004 & 2005 model years are acceptable until Oct 31, 2013.    As of November 1, 2013 until Oct 31, 2014: 2005 and 2006 models years are eligible to import at just 10% duty.   Note that older cars can also be imported (at higher duties) as long as the owner can prove the car has been continuously legal since the original TIP import date.

6. TIP cars imported before October of 2011 do not need emissions certification. TIP cars imported after September 2011 do need emissions certification to be permanently imported.   There is an official State of Yucantan emissions statements our on Ave. Industrial near the airport.    There is also supposedly an approved emissions station in Valladolid (but we need Hiram’s confirmation on where and how).

Here are Sr. Cervera’s written comments and clarifications on the modestly emmissions testing issue, including Cancun and Campeche options.

” Emissions testing should be possible in the State of Yucatan, but the testing facility must be approved to meet SEMARNAT’S STANDARD NOM-041-SEMARNAT-2006. This is a Mexican Gob. standard, but Aduana specifically requires foreign-issued certificates. Because on Oct 20, 2011, in the DOF (Diaro Oficial de ka Federación) SEMARNAT published (and modified on Dec. 16, 2011) Rule 2.4.1 of the Sec. of the Economy’s rules of international trade, to facilitate imports, that at the border foreigners could present a valid emissions certificate of ANY UNITED STATES STATE OR CANADIAN PROVINCE AS LONG AS THEY ARE RECOGNIZED BY THE CORRESPONDING AUTHORITIES OF THOSE STATES/PROVINCES.



195 UV/SCT/EC/09/050
Centro de Verificación y Protección Ambiental, S.A. de C.V.
Calle 27 Diagonal No. 357 x 38 y 40 San Luis
Chuburná Mérida Yucatán 97140
PHONE 999 195-6332 A Diesel Y Gasolina

196 UV/SCT/EC/09/071
Centro de Verificación Vehicular Park, S. C.
Calle 50 No. 543 por 187 y 189
Col. Plan de Ayala Sur
Kanasin Yucatán
PHONE 999 983-5232 /999 983-7285 A Diesel Gasolina

197 UV/SCT/EC/12/204
Centro de Atención Integral para el Auto Transporte, S.A. de C.V.
Calle 16 A 314
Mérida Yucatán 97134
Phone 999 254-4288 C Diesel NO VERIFICA GASOLINA


10 UV/SCT/EC/10/150 Grupo Rofil, S.A. de C.V.
Calle 17 No. 68 Imi III
Campeche Campeche 24560
Phone 981 812-2198 C Diesel Gasolina

155 UV/SCT/EC/11/174 Unidad de Verificación Vehicular Quintana Roo, S.C.
KM 22 carretera Cancun Tulun Supermanzana 48,
manzana 14 –
Cancún Quintana Roo –
998 835-2322 C Diesel Gasolina

156 UV/SCT/EC/10/060 Inmobiliaria Rony, S.A. de C.V.
Av. Oaxactum esq. Andres Quintana Roo
Region 97
Cancún Quintana Roo
998 880 0999 / 880 0999 C Diesel Gasolina

157 UV/SCT/EC/10/148 Servicio de Autotransporte Mochcun, S.A. de C.V.
Calle Chalchoapa Lt. 22 Mz. 5 Región 97
Zona Industrial
Cancún Quintana Roo
998 271-0081 / 2492858 C Diesel Gasolina

158 UV/SCT/EC/10/152
Centro Vehicular del Caribe, S.A. de C.V.
Av. Kinik Sm50 Mz89 Lote01 Edif.C4 Depto.103 Nivel
Fraccionamiento Framboyanes (Flamboyanes?)
Cancún Quintana Roo
998 206-8898 / 206-8898 C Diesel Gasolina

7. If required, the emissions certification must be no more than 6 months old. TX, AZ, and CA emissions certs are also accepted.

8.  Import duties are based on the “Reference Values” published by the Secretary of the Treasury (Hacienda y Credito Publica) here:  http://www.aduanas-mexico.com.mx/claa/ctar/leyes/mec_precios_estimados.html#ane2

Invoice values are not accepted.

9.  Expect to pay Sr. Cervera between $2,000 and $3,500 USD to get your pedimento from Aduana de Progreso.   The pedimento is only the Aduana permission to permanently import the vehicle.  You still have to go to the state DMV office and register and license your car  (typically for less than an additional $5,000 pesos).

Contact Sr. Cervera’s firm for a Quotation or More Info
Sr. Cervera’s firm will provide quotations and answers to questions.  Use email to send them scanned files of:  the paper TIP issued by Banjercito, the vehicle’s title, and your INM card.    Sr. Cervera’s firm has created this email address solely for these applications:  importauto@cervera.com.mx

Please make sure your attached files are not larger than 2 MB per email.    Use an image resizing program to downsize large files.  e.g.  http://download.cnet.com/Batch-Image-Resizer/3000-2192_4-10248013.html

~    ~    ~    ~  

Option 4: Permanent Import Options at the Mexico-Belize Border.
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 in Chetumal for paper-only permanent imports:

Gerardo Uc

The specific requirements for permanently importing cars into Mexico are listed in the 3 sections below in Option 7: Take your car to the US-Mexico border and Permanently Import It.   Since each border crossing can set their own local quirky requirements,  we advise contacting Sr. Uc  before going to Chetumal to permanently import your TIP car.

~    ~    ~   ~    ~    ~    ~

There have been reports from around the internet of various customs brokers and other “Agents” who are offering paper-only permanent imports of foreign-plated TIP cars, where the expat sends cash and their car’s papers to the “broker” and they get Mexican license plates in return.    Note that some brokers are providing falsely obtained state plates, with no valid Aduana pedimento for the importation.   Also note that if the broker does this for you,  you should get your TIP cancelled too.   Finally, there really MUST be a pedimento listed in Aduana’s national database for your VIN at the end of the process.   Alternately, if want to buy a permanently imported car,   or you have permanently imported your foreign-plated car, and you want to check if Aduana has officially logged your VIN & pedimento into their database, then:   Check this Aduana website:  http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/soianet/oia_consultarap_cep.aspx CONSULTA RÁPIDA DE PEDIMENTO ESPECÍFICO


~    ~    ~    ~  

Option 5:  Take your car to Belize to sell it to a gringo friend who has a Residente Temporal:
We have multiple past reports of successful sales and re-imporation of cars between gringos in Belize at the Aduana office outside Chetumal, Q. Roo (called Subteniente Lopez).  Since TIP cars CANNOT be legally sold in Mexico, you simply go the border Aduana office, turn in the old TIP and windshield sticker to Aduana/Banjercito, go into the Free Zone of Corazol,  sell the car to a gringo who has a valid Temporary Residency permit, sign over the car title, and he imports back into Mexico it as a TIP car – valid as long as he keeps his Residente Temporal permit valid.   Details of this operation at the border can be found in Updates to Aduana, INM & Banjercito Procedures for Visas and Importing Cars – The Article

Note: We successfully imported a TIP van last year at the Belize-Mexico border, and since the official policy out of Aduana DF is now permitting Temporary Residents to import TIP cars,  they should still be doing it.     Comments and details from any reader who has recently done this would be much appreciated.

~    ~    ~    ~  

Option 6: Take your car to the Belize-Mexico border, and sell it in Belize:
I have personally sold one vehicle (for a friend) in Belize, at the Free Zone of Corazol border crossing (aka the “Chetumal border” in gringo-lingo ). If you read Yolisto, the gringos and gringas talk about used car lots there – but in reality: There are no used car lots there.

Contrary to posts on local expat webforums: There are also no used car brokers waiting there.

I have been effectively banned from Yolisto for pointing out factual things like this, so, I only read Yolisto – and cannot effectively write comments (since they delete 53 out of 5 things I write). If you want to read or reply to the latest musings about TIPs and taking cars to Belize, the address is http://www.yolisto.com/index.php?/topic/5032-car-permit-and-its-validation/page__st__100#entry74136 .

Sidelight: I have used the Corazol – Subteniente López INM and Aduana/Banjercito services there about 8 times.    The INM and Banjercito folks are very very helpful and efficient, while the Aduana folks are turtle-slow, and hesitant to help.

Back to the main narrative: I sold one used car there for a friend a few months ago.   If you are thinking of doing this, I would strongly note that there are lots of tricks and traps – and scammers there.    Doing a deal not necessarily straightforward, and one likely needs 2 days there to finish a deal. I do this for friends, so contact me if you are interested.

Just like life in other border zones, Corazol attracts some unique folks – not necessarily the most normal and upstanding citizens… *grin*      A good Mexican friend who used to import cars professionally noted that you should watch your wallet carefully, and don’t walk around with a pocket full of cash…

~    ~    ~    ~  

Option 7: Take your car to the US-Mexico border and Permanently Import It.
Current Requirements:
1. Current word is Permanent Residents, Residentes Temporales,  and citizens are allowed to permanently import cars, with lower duties (10%) on 6 year old and older NAFTA vehicles.

2. You must be the owner, with a valid clear title, with no liens nor encumbrances.

3.  What to Do If Your Car Becomes “Illegal” – The Retorno Seguro Program / Permit:
If the TIP has expired / if the owner has a Residente Permanente INM card,  then they cannot legally drive the car, unless they get a special permit.  If your car becomes illegal due to visa changes, visa’s expiring, or whatever reason, you can apply for a free temporary permit that gives you 3-5 days to remove the vehicle from Mexico.   You can get one of these permits from the SAT/Hacienda office in Merida.    Alternately, check out Aduanas website for instructions on how to apply for the “Safe Returns” (Retorno Seguro) program:   “Safely Returning Autos”

Specifically, a Feb 13, 2013 Aduana presentation in Nueva Vallarta wrote:
In case your permit is no longer valid, you may apply for a “Safe Return Permit” for your car before the Administración Central de Grandes Contribuyentes in Mexico City, located at Hidalgo #77 modulo III, planta baja, Colonia Guerrero, Delegación Cuauhtémoc, México D.F., By sending the following documentation via courier service: A letter declaring under penalty of perjury that the vehicle is your property, that is not involved in any Legal, Civil or Administrative procedure in relation to Customs Law ( PAMA); by attaching the following: Copy of the property title. Copy of your immigartion form. Copy of offical valid ID. Originals of the Temporary Vehicle Importation Permit and hologram sticker.

We also have published further specific information on what the Merida Hacienda office is currently requiring to issue a TIP.  See:  Safe Returns / Retorno Seguro Permits for Taking TIP Cars to the Border

4. You must use a Customs broker. Please make comments/references below for good brokers.

5. The process can take up to 3 days, or it may take a half a day.

6. Only 6 year old and older NAFTA vehicles qualify for permanent importation at the 10% duty rates.   See:  http://www.mexconnect.com/cgi-bin/forums/gforum.cgi?post=188681;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;page=last;#last for details of how it works at Nogales.

7. Cars need emissions certifications that are less than 6 months old. TX, AZ, and CA emissions certs qualify, but note that only a few TX counties have emissions stations: The following counties require vehicles to undergo emissions testing: Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Harris, Montgomery, Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Parker, Rockwall, Tarrant, Travis, Williamson and El Paso counties. Many people drive to Houston for shopping, emissions, etc…

8.   Import duties are based on the “Reference Values” published by the Secretary of the Treasury (Hacienda y Credito Publica)  here:  http://www.aduanas-mexico.com.mx/claa/ctar/leyes/mec_precios_estimados.html#ane2

9. Expect to pay a broker between $600 and $900 USD to get your pedimento from Aduana de Progreso. The pedimento is only the Aduana permission to permanently import the vehicle. You still have to go to the state DMV office and register and license your car (for an additional $400 – $1,000 USD, including the fees and ownership taxes??)

You can use this Banjercito website to check what the import duties are: http://paisano.prevalidadorcaaarem.org.mx/Cotizador/

10. Because each border crossing Aduana office has its own quirks and special requirements, talk with your customs broker about the $$ and details.

11.  Find a reliable customs broker using references(?):  Mexconnect has this report from a satisfied customer at the Nogales/AZ border crossing:  Nationalizing foreign-plated cars in Nogales, México.

~    ~    ~    ~

Option 8: Dispose of your car and cancel out your Aduana TIP
You can have your car legally parted-out / scrapped / disposed and surrender your Aduana TIP permit to Aduana/Banercito, and preserve your Banjercito $$ deposit. Simply get a Notario to draft a letter for the mechanic, junk yard, dehuesodero, auto recycler to sign.    The letter should  have your name,  your passport number,  the car’s Make, Model, Year, and VIN,  the Aduana TIP permit number, and it basically states that the undersigned ___________ has scrapped the car, and that the car is ruined and can no longer be driven.

Submit the Notarized letter, along with a Cover Letter, plus supporting documentation to Aduana.    (Include the original paper permit, the windshield sticker and Cover Letter with description of the Make, Model, Year, VIN of the car, your name and permit (TIP) number, your passport number, etc).

~    ~    ~    ~

Option 9: Donate your vehicle to Aduana and Cancel out your Aduana TIP
This one works just as named.   Take the vehicle to your local SAT/Hacienda or Aduana office.  Bring the original paper permit, the vehicle,  and a Cover Letter with description of the Make, Model, Year, VIN of the car, your name and permit (TIP) number, your passport number, etc and your donation request.    Unfortunately, there is a formal Aduana program described on their website for donations,   but the local Aduana offices do not seem to know how to do this. Contact Aduana DF’s Hotline to ask how.   The INM now answers questions over the fone, with some English Speaking Personnel:
Aduana Hotline
01-55-5802-2069 ciitev_AduanaMexico@sat.gob.mx

They answer quickly and a few speak English.

~    ~    ~    ~

Well, that taps out the thoughts from off-the-top of my bald head and includes Sr. Hiram Cervera’s very good explanations of current Aduana rules…

Please make comments below on you personal experiences to sharpen up the information in this article, as this is a big and complex issue, fraught with less-than-obvious details.

*       *        *        *        *        *        *
Disclaimer:    For complex situations, talk with a professional who knows rules and laws.    We offer these stories and perceptions for only informational and entertainment purposes, not as legal advice.

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

Read-on MacDuff . . .

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

  1. Pingback: Options for Foreign-Plated “TIP” Car Owners in Mexico, esp for Permanent Residents | Surviving Yucatan

  2. They didn’t accept the inspection in Merida – I had to export my car back to the USA. (Cervera is P.I.t.A to work with. Made lots of mistakes and didn’t reply to mail, when reply to mail usually didn’t read all of it.)

    • yucalandia says:

      Hello Meir,
      Actually, Aduana of Progreso did eventually accept the Merida inspection, you just did not wait long enough… They approved it after you took your vehicle back to the States…. *sigh*

      Re Hiram Cervera, yes, he made a lot of very nice promises in our MMC meeting last week , but has not kept any of them yet . We are hoping that he rights his course.

    • Sherri says:

      Hi, I am going tomorrow to renew my 1st yr. RT. What do I need to bring with me?
      Also, last yr. I sent everything to Aduana to renew my TIP (tied to my RT date), called many times and was told not to worry they are very behind. Now I think I need to do that again because my RT will be for 3 yrs. even though I don’t know if what I sent last yr. was even processed. Am I on the right track??

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Sherri,
        You are on exactly the right track. Yes, when you get your renewed INM permit, be sure to send a notification to the same Aduana office, requesting that they update the expiration date on your current TIP to match the renewed INM permit’s expiration date.

        Re renewal applications: Each INM has slightly different documentation requirements. I would stop at your INM office first, and ask.

        All offices require your passport and your prior RT card. Most INM offices require a letter requesting permission to renew/extend your current RT. Describe how many years you would like (3 years). Many offices still require a comprabante from the past 3 months, and many ask for 6 months of financial statements – though that is not part of the formal written requirements. A few offices are content to not see financial statements, if the applicant offers a letter certifying that their personal financial solvency status has not changed from the prior application. There really are a variety of requirements that change from INM office to INM office.


  3. Ray says:

    Hey Steve,

    First thanks for the update on all of this.

    Within your current update in one section you indicate the vehicle has to be 8 years old but in another part it is 6 years….


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Ray,
      Hiram Cervera described that Aduana Progreso was accepting 8 & 9 year old vehicles, while 6 and older can be imported at the border Aduana offices.

      This should fit what you read,

  4. Ted Novak says:

    My truck has been in mexico continuously for the past several years. It is no longer insured or license plated in the US. Are there emission testing facilities in Mexico that can provide the certificate? Also, my vehicle is a 1999 truck. Is the age of the vehicle an issue. (too old)

    Thanks ,


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Ted,
      Did you read Hiram Cervera’s section on how he thinks that State and Federal emissions stations that meet SEMARNAT’S STANDARD NOM-041-SEMARNAT-2006, should be allowed by Aduana? See Option 3: Import Your TIP Vehicle at Aduana de Progreso, Item 6. Your 1999 truck is eligible to import, but at high duties at Progreso Aduana, and low duty %’s at the border.

      Send Hiram Cervera an email to confirm what it would cost here,

  5. Panda says:

    Has anyone got an extention letter for their TIP car from the Progreso Aduana with a Residente Temporal card yet?

    • Panda says:

      As there has been no posting that anyone has successfully obtained an extension letter for a TIP car from the Progreso Aduana we decided to try again. We again provided copies of all the necessary information. We mentioned the Aduana contact in Mexico City, Lic.Karen Villasenor, who is quoted as saying that people with Residente Temporal cards should be given an extension. They say they have spoken with her but nothing has changed. Residente Temporal are not allowed an extension on their TIP cars. They will be sending our documentation to Mexico City and maybe they will approve an extension as the vehicle originally came in on a Tourist visa. We were told to wait 2 to 3 weeks when an answer would be mailed.

      • Panda says:

        We received our extension letter for our TIP vehicle today. Applied April 8th in Progreso. Received letter from Mexico City June 25th.

  6. Debbie Moore says:

    When I moved here in 2006, the law stated a car could not be nationalized unless it was ten years old. That same law applied in 2007. 2008, 2009, 2010 and I think 2011. Now in 2013 my 2003 car is finally 10 years old and, has the correct VIN but now I am hearing it is too late to nationalize it? If you were told to wait until a certain date, why on earth would you think to check each year to see if it was changed??
    I followed the laws and rules that were set upon my arrival and now am being penalized for following the rules.
    Does anyone know a broker ( besides Hiram Cevera) who might be able to help me get this nationalized under the law of retro- activity?
    These new arbitrary and not well thought out new edicts are beyond comprehension.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Debbie,
      Now in 2013 my 2003 car is finally 10 years old and, has the correct VIN but now I am hearing it is too late to nationalize it?
      Yes, the import rules changed 3 years ago, opening up 8 and 9 year old imports. You can import your 10 year old car, just have to go to the US border to do it at a low duty %. If you choose Aduana de Progreso, they only give the lower duties for 8 & 9 year old vehicles now.

      If you were told to wait until a certain date, why on earth would you think to check each year to see if it was changed??
      Aduana liberalized the laws to help people. Laws in Canada change, laws in the USA change, it seems to be the nature of governments.

    • Debbie Moore says:

      Hi, Thanks Steve,
      Yes, you are right. My error was in believing that the law regarding a 10 year old car importation that had been in place for years would stay the same .I assumed. Shame on me!
      However, would you kindly explain in more detail about driving the car to the border and re importing it at a lower valuation? My car is already legally here ( all documents are in order including the registration with Aduana) and I thought if they wouldn’t accept the car here for nationalization due to its age, it would not be accepted at all anywhere. What am I confusing here?
      I would like to to nationalize it because I have been here too long to be a temporary resident and would prefer to avoid the additional finanacial burden of having to buy a new car.. I understand if that is not possible at all than I have to select from the other options you have suggested. Thanks

      • yucalandia says:

        “… However, would you kindly explain in more detail about driving the car to the border and re importing it at a lower valuation?

        Hi Debbie,
        Contact a customs broker at your chosen border crossing, find out their requirements, make an agreement with them, drive to the border, surrender your current TIP to Banjercito/Aduana and have them remove your sticker. Go into the USA, get an emissions test, (if Texas, you may have to drive to Houston for an emissions test), return to the border and go to your customs broker and follow their instructions. See: Option 7: Take your car to the US-Mexico border and Permanently Import It. for more details.

      • Debbie Moore says:

        Thanks for all the great info, Steve!

      • yucalandia says:

        You’re welcome.
        Happy Trails, steve

  7. Dave in Ont says:

    I contacted Hiram Cervera about nationalizing our vehicle and he seemed to be “out of touch or out of date” on his knowledge. He also seemed to be quite a bit over priced. If we need to get our vehicle nationalized in the next few months, Hiram will not be the guy we go to. There are others available.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Dave,
      Can you give a reference for others?

      • Dave in Ont says:

        Steve, my original reply re: Hiram Cervera was based on what he told me about 3 weeks ago. Since your latest update he seems to have changed his opinions drastically. Myself and another lady have contacted 3 other professionals and 2 of the 3 have responded positively about permanently importing older vehicles and with no emmissions tests being required because of the length of time already here on a TIP. My friend will be arriving in Progreso in a month and will be starting the importation process with one of the other professionals, as well as applying for residente permanente. We’ll let you know particulars once the process is successfuly completed.

  8. Lois Post says:

    It’s always an option to get a “retorno seguro” permit to drive it out of the country, and then bring it back in on a tourist visa, the deal being that you have to drive the car back out of the country when you leave, right? Can you bring it in at, say, the Guatemala or Belize border on a tourist visa and then take it out at the Texas border?

  9. kaytordg@gmail.com says:

    Hello…thanks for the constant updates. Another option is to ship the vehicle via Linea Peninsular from Progreso to Panama City, Florida. Then drive it to your American or Canadian destination. We have been in touch with them and they responded in a timely manner with all the information required.. Calle 25 No 151 Ax80x82 Colonia Centro, Progreso Yucatan.. 969-935-5510; http://www.lineaships.com neydyv@lineaships.com.

  10. Can you suggest how we should proceed with our vehicle? We are in the process of acquiring permanent residency after 14 years of FM3s. Meanwhile, a couple of years ago we bought an old cheap car (1997 Ford Explorer) from some Americans who were returning to the US permanently. The car is old and feeble, not capable of a trip to the northern border. The previous owners flew out a couple of days after we bought it, so we weren’t able to go to the Belize border to change ownership. We have it registered in our name and US (SD) licensed, but the Mexican sticker is actually theirs. We never leave Q. Roo, or even the Playa area, so we haven’t had any problems. What should we do to straighten this all out, if anything?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Linda,

      The previous owner has put himself in a bind and put you in a bind by illegally selling his car to you.

      Do you have an SD title and SD tags?

      If so, you can contact a customs broker, find out what he needs, take the car to the border, remove the windshield sticker, and have the customs broker import the car.

      That leaves you with the remaining issue of how to get the car to the border. You could drive it there illegally, as you have continued to drive it illegally since buying it. If you got into an accident, and the police scratched the surface of your vehicle’s history, they could permanently confiscate it. Alternately, you could get the original owner to apply for a Retorno Seguro permit from Aduana , and then you use that permit to drive the car to the border during the permit’s 3-5 day window.

      Will the previous owner of the vehicle ever apply at a Mexican Consulate for Residente Permanente or Residente Temporal?

      Hope that helps,

  11. Just abandon it without telling anybody

  12. ken Fairbarn says:

    Two years ago I drove down here in my 97 truck and when I crossed the boarder I didnt even know what a TIP was. Now I live here and I have no TIP but I do have an FM3 and plan on staying here with my truck,please advise?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Ken,
      Yeah, when we cross the border, we can drive around at will within 25 km of the border with no permit (and also in special areas of Sonora and Baja California, and Baja Sur). They are supposed to check us at the ~25 km interior check-point, but you seem to have slipped through the second post too. We are supposed to know that we are only allowed inside the interior of Mexico with either a TIP for temporary imports or a pedimento for a permanent import. This information may have been posted at the border where you crossed, if you read Spanish. Unfortunately, just like in Canada and the USA, inability to read the language and ignorance of the law are not accepted as legal excuses. …. ooooooops …..

      Assuming you are in the interior of Mexico (not in one of the special border areas), then you should drive to a border crossing with a Banjercito office, and use your FM3 to get a Permiso de Importación de vehiculos for the truck. Take your US/Canadian registration, clear title, and at least $200 USD for a deposit to register the vehiculo with Banjercito/Aduana. It may be best to do this now, while you still have the FM3. If you want to legally drive the vehicle to the border, order a Retorno Seguro permit from Aduana to get a 3-5 day permit to drive legally to the border. See:Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico, esp section:What to Do If Your Car Becomes “Illegal” – The Retorno Seguro Program / Permit .

  13. ken Fairbarn says:

    Thanks Steve,I will do what you have recommended sir,thanks again!

  14. Gary says:

    Hello Steve —
    Things seem to be moving along, so some progress is being made. From reading the entire article on the March 26th update, I am thinking that I have a number an option for nationalizaton.

    1). There are two names on the title, but only one name on the TIP. So when visa renewal comes up, one person will go for Permanente, and I can remain Temp for another two years since my name is on the TIP. That would give me two years to figure out what to do.
    2). Since my preference is to keep the car (1999 Benz), I wonder if going to the border (Belize is closest) and importing it under the other name on the title with a Permanente visa would work? I had four new CATS installed a year ago so it should be able to pass a test here in Merida before we went. Or, are they going to block it because it is non-NAFTA?

    Post Script: The car entered Mexico in August of 2011, so if I read right, it does not need an emission test?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Gary,
      Your last point “…are they going to block it because it is non-NAFTA.” is correct about not being able to do a permanent import. You could follow your plan in point #1, where you get a temporary import permit using a Residente Temporal.

      The point about temporarily importing it before August 2011, is moot, because it is not a NAFTA car.

  15. Gary says:

    Steve —
    Then we’ll have to ride it out with the TIP on a Temp and hope that if there is a change to the Law in the near future, they will throw out the NAFTA requirement. Two thirds of the cars on the roads of Mexico are made in Europe or Asia.

    Thanks, Gary

  16. Kenya says:

    Hi, let me just start by saying your site is sooooooo helpful, thank you, thank you thank you. I live in Morelia, Michoacan. I now have a FM2/FM3 visa and will soon need to renew and change to a Temp visa. I read some information here that says I can also renew the TIP sticker on my car to match my visa expiration. How do I obtain that?

  17. 1947jbbarker says:

    Thanks again for your assistance. My previous post was: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/
    November 30, 2012
    We were finger-printed three weeks ago in Querétaro. My question is about bringing my car with my personal belongings into Mexico in late April or early May. It is a 1994 Jeep Cherokee Sport. Would I be allowed to bring this car in with my Residente Temporal? I have been approved and am now waiting on the card.

  18. Just came from YES and they said that on Friday there is a meeting between INM aduana and Banahersito in Merida to discuss the situation

    • yucalandia says:

      Fun update.

      A small caution about the historical quality and accuracy of YES information: YES’s written instructions on employment law and employee benefit required of employers has substantially been in violation of Mexican laws for at least the last 5 years. Various legal experts from across Mexico have written to YES, explaining their factual errors and legal errors over the years, and YES personnel have universally chosen to reject legal citations, advice or insights from others. Their Immigration written advice on their website has generally not fit INM law since the May 2011 publication of the Ley de Inmigración. They may give very different advice in person? They seem like very nice, well-intentioned people.

  19. Pingback: Safe Returns / Retorno Seguro Permit for Taking TIP Cars to the Border | Surviving Yucatan

  20. Rod says:

    Hi Steve,
    We are waiting for the “ok” to go in and be finger printed for our new Permanent Resident cards. We are in San Carlos, Sonora where no “TIP” is required on our U.S. plated cars, but we are now wondering if they will be legal even though a “TIP” is not required here. We are snow birds, and summer in the States. We do not want to import our vehicles. We also have a travel trailer that we use when we travel back to the states, a “TIP” is required for it. We got a 10 year permit for it about 1 1/2 years ago and don’t know the status of it for returning next season. We have a house in San Carlos and travel.back to the states quite often and thought the Permanent Resisent card was the way to go, but are now wondering if we made the right deceision. There is alot of mixed and miss information circulating around here. Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Rod,
      The Ley Aduanera has not changed, so if you were not required to have a TIP for your car before, you are not required to have one now in your part of Sonora.

      Re the trailer: ??? I could BS about it, and say that since you have Permanent Residency, and since Permanent Residents are not allowed to have TIP vehicles, then … trailer is …illegit? but that is just logic – not necessarily the law??

  21. Bill Buchanan says:

    I obtained a TIP before the requirement to make a deposit ($200 – $400) came into effect (I never made a deposit). I have a Temporary Resident card.

    My understanding is the requirement to notify Aduana each year that you renewed your residency is so a person does not lose their deposit. If a person never made a deposit, then there is no need to inform Aduana that your residency has been renewed. Is this correct ?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Bill,
      It may or may not be correct, depending on what you want to do in the future, and depending on how many hassles you might want to avoid with police and military retenes.

      In the strictest, narrowest legal terms, you do not have to annually notify Aduana of the new expiration date of the permit.

      In practical terms, police and military officers across Mexico are gradually expecting every gringo with an Aduana TIP to also carry a current Aduana letter showing the current expiration date. Having a letter makes these roadside stops fast and pleasant.

      Additionally, if you ever want to or need to permanently import your car (due to changing to Residente Permanente?), the annual Aduana letters then become your only acceptable and definitive proof that you maintained the validity of your TIP. Without the Aduana letters, Aduana offices currently reject applications to convert TIPs to permanent import permits (refusing to issue pedimentos).

      There are a few reports of police seizing TIP vehicles being driven by gringos who have no annual Aduana letter describing a fresh expiration date. To me, the advantages of renewing definitely outweigh the potential hardships of trying to prove that you are “right” and proving that the police officer is “wrong” during a roadside stop – particularly in rural areas.

      • linda439712 says:

        I arrived with my car in 2006 on an FM3, then moved to FM2. It was/is my understanding that if your INM card was current then your TIP vehicle’s sticker was was valid. I’m soon going to border to nationalize before getting permanent resident card – are you saying my application will be rejected with an Aduana letter (I’ve never had one)? In posts itemizing what a US/MEX broker needs emailed in advance I’ve not seen mention of an Aduana letter in order to get the process started. Am I missing something please?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Linda,
        You wrote: “I’ve not seen mention of an Aduana letter in order to get the process started.

        What do you mean by “an Aduana letter” ?

        Before you permanently import the vehicle, you will need to cancel out your old TIP. Since Aduana was working with paper systems for TIPs back in 2006, it is easiest to surrender your old TIP and sticker at the same crossing you entered. You are not required to go to the same Aduana crossing, but if you cancel your old TIP at a different Aduana office, then it takes Aduana weeks to months to get the old TIP cancellation registered across all their system.

        So, you can take a letter with you to Aduana, asking them to cancel out the old TIP, or you can do it verbally. Or… are you asking about the annual Aduana letters that they have issued since June 2010 documenting that you have registered your current expiration date???

      • linda439712 says:

        Thanks for the clarification — yes, I was referring to annual Aduana letters from 2010 and soit wouldn’t affect me. “Paper systems” used in 2006? That would be like looking for a needlein a haystack I would think. Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:08:09 +0000 To: linda439712@hotmail.com

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Linda,
        We just had a friend return from the Matamoros border crossing, and the Aduana supervisor there confirmed that his old TIP had not been cancelled in their Matamoros Aduana records yet, or in the Aduana TIP computer data = because it takes time for the paper systems to catch-up to un-integrated electronic local computer records vs the national computer records.

        This means that you can cancel your TIP at the border (at a different office than the 2006 entry point), and when you hit the 25km checkpoint, the 25 km checkpoint records will likely show that you have an uncancelled TIP… and they can stop you for having a “chocolate”. Since you will have a copy of the new pedimento with you from permanently importing the car, you can show them the pedimento…

        Read our latest new postt on this at the Yucalandia home page.

      • linda439712 says:

        Thanks Steve, a big help in knowing this. Keep up the good work in helping us all!Linda Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 19:05:37 +0000 To: linda439712@hotmail.com

      • linda439712 says:

        Here’s an email I just received from Gerardo Uc who says my 2004 Toyota Corolla can be nationalizedfor 24,000 pesos – and without a trip to the border. I see no mention of my having to return 2006windshield sticker but I know I need to (Texas/Mex). I used Google translate to get the gest of his email. Si es posible la legalizacion de su vehiculo, y el costo es de $26,000.00 pesos. El proceso es el siguiente:La importacion se realiza en la frontera norte del pais, sin presentar el vehiculo.Se hace la importacion a nombre de una comercializadora, y luego se expide una factura de compra venta a nombre de usted.Yo le entrego el pedimento original a nombre de la comercializadora, factura original de compra venta a nombre de usted, placas de Tamaulipas, pago de tenencia, y tarjeta de circulacion.Luego usted puede cambiar las placas en cualquier estado de la republica. Estamos ubicados en la Calle caobas num 108, Subteniente Lopez, Quintana Roo, frontera con BelizeSi a usted no le es posible presentarse personalmente, puede realizar una transferencia bancaria, y enviar los documentos por correo electronico.Posteriormente se le enviara su documentacion por paqueteria,el tiempo aproximado es de 20 dias habiles

        Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 18:08:09 +0000 To: linda439712@hotmail.com

      • yucalandia says:

        The quotes that Sr. Uc gives for the importation does not include cancelling the TIP.

        He has told one person that he needs an additional $6,000 pesos to cancel that person’s TIP – which seems very high. If you have an Aduana office with a Banjercito nearby, it would be easier and cheaper for you to cancel the TIP yourself – especially if you can also recover any cash deposit made when you got the TIP.

  22. Bernard Wasow says:

    I have read here repeatedly that cars 6 years old or older can be imported with reduced fees. But when I use the Mexican official web sit you recommend (see below), I find that cars from 2008 and older have reduced fees. Cars from 2008 are five years old, not six; or am I making a mistake?
    I have done this search many times with used cars advertized (with VINs) on Craigslist. Every time, 2008 cars carry low importation fees and 2009 cars carry high fees. The evidence seems conclusive that 2008 is the first vintage to carry reduced import fees right now.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Bernard,
      You are likely doing the searches correctly.
      Vehicles “6 years old or older can be imported with reduced fees” is a relative statement: Relative to the even higher fees charged on 0 – 5 year old vehicles. 0-5 year old vehicles pay roughly 40% – 50% duties – so, the duties calculated on 6 year old vehicles are reduced from very high 0-5 year old fees. Checking the Banjercito/cotizador website really is just a first step. After checking there, continue on to contact a customs broker for the rates you will ACTUALLY pay at an actual border crossing.

      The customs agents and Aduana offices at Mexicali, Tijuana, and Nogales crossings are recently charging 2X to 3X lower duties and overall rates than Texas. (Imagine that? Texas charges people 3X more for the same thing. *grin*) This is similar to how Chetumal customs broker(s)/Aduana charge about 2X less than Progreso Aduana/customs brokers.

      Overall, the biggest saving come when importing 7, 8, and 9 year old cars at Nogales, Tijuana, or Mexicali. Overall costs go up when you choose other years and other Aduana offices for permanently importing cars.

  23. Panda says:

    We have just returned from the Progreso Aduana in our second attempt to obtain an extension letter for our TIP vehicle with our Residente Temporal status. They say things have not changed. Residente Temporal are not allowed to keep their TIP vehicles. Yes,they have spoken with Lic. Karen Villasenor at Aduana in Mexico City as mentioned at the beginning of this article. They will send our documentation to Mexico City who will send us a reply in 2 to 3 weeks.

    • Michael M Selover says:

      I am most interested in the response you get. I have a very similar sounding scenario here in Vallarta. Local SAT officials have told me that I cannot obtain a TIP extension and I must remove the car from Mexico. Interestingly, they cannot/will not provide a guarantee that I will be able to obtain a new TIP under my Residente Temporal visa. The local official was completely uninterested in contacting Ms Villasenor. He simply said that if anyone tells me I can get a TIP extension after transitioning from a no inmigrante visa to a Residente Temporal, they are misinformed. At this time I am planning to request a Safe Return Permit and drive it back to the USA just to see if they will issue a new TIP at Nuevo Larado under my new visa. If not, I will have to sell the car (it is only 9 months old) and fly back to Vallarta. And I will be seething mad if it comes to this.

      • Panda says:

        As the 3 week process time is now up we contacted Progreso Aduana today to see if they could tell us when we might receive a response. They contacted Mexico City and responded promptly to us. Our paperwork is now at Nacional de Migracion who will take another one or two weeks. It will then be up to Aduana Central (Mexico City) to decide and will mail the result to us. Although we don’t have an answer and it’s going to take more time, I was impressed that they were able to tract the paperwork that quickly. We are still hopeful in receiving an extension letter.

      • Panda says:

        Received extension letter June 25th. Applied April 8th.

    • Michael M Selover says:

      Thanks Panda!

      Just today I have enlisted the help of a Mexican friend and he went to Aduana with me. We spoke to the same person I spoke to 2 months ago about the same question and this time he had a different response. Now, he has an extension request form that he provided to be completed and returned to him and subsequently to be sent to Aduana DF. Once returned, the indication was that we would get an answer to our extension request in about 2 weeks. So, that means 2 to 6 weeks, and I’m hoping that is if Saturn is appearing the in the western sky in the evening. And it is. So, hope upon hope we have found a reasonable pathway, finally.

  24. Pingback: 3 Residente Permanente’s Temporary Import Permit Cars Confiscated | Surviving Yucatan

  25. Carlos Douris says:

    My car is 11 years old. It was imported via Linea Peninsular three years ago. Banjercito issued the blue windshield sticker at that time. I had the Fm-3 visa at that time and now the Non-Inmigrante card for two years. That card expires in May. But due to a family situation at home I had to return to the US in March and Immigration could not renew the visa because it was more than 60 days until it expired. They said to go to a Mexican Consulate in the US which I did, but they said they are not permitted to renew the Non-Inmigrante visa. I contacted the immigration office in Progreso and they said that while my visa will be expired in May, and I can not return until June, that I have 55 days after the expiration date to return and apply for the Temporary Resident visa with no penalty. Does that one month lapse in the visa affect my car being there in Mexico even though the law allows me the 55 days? Finally, I did go to Banjercito and was given a copy of the law to show police, if necessary, stating that the blue import sticker and the car are legal as long as my visa is current. When I get the Temporary Resident visa is there anything more I need to do? Nothing according to Banjercito. Thank you. Carlos

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Carlos,
      Overall, your current understandings are basically good, except for a few points.

      Since Nov. 8, 2012 when the new rules came online, the INM has not had a guaranteed policy of extending visas with no penalties. They can charge $5 a day for every day late, or worse, they can make you start over – which is what I think they meant when they sent you to a US Consulate. Unfortunately, the Progreso INM folks did not tell you how to start over properly. To start over with a new Residente Temporal and new NUE, you have to surrender your existing FM2, and you also have to surrender your Aduana Temporary Import Permit (TIP), and take the car out of Mexico – as you agreed to do when you signed up for your TIP.

      You had not done these things, so this is likely why the Mexican Consulate told you that you could not apply with them – and further, Consulates have not been able to renew Inmigrante or No Inmigrante visas for many years – so the INM Progreso folks have been telling you several specious things.

      When your INM permit expires, your TIP expires, and your car becomes illegal. You can return to Mexico with a Visitante INM permit, and then get a Retorno Seguro permit from SAT in Merida, that gives you 5 days to take the vehicle out of Mexico.

      If INM feels kind, they might allow you to renew/extend your current FM2 (Inmigrante) permit as a Residente Temporal, or they could tell you, sorry, you have to return to the USA, formally surrender your TIP paper and windshield sticker at the border, and then go to a Mexican Consulate in the USA, to start the Residente Temporal process.

      Maybe, maybe, maybe INM gives you a fine and allows you to extend/renew your FM2 as a Residente Temporal while here, and Maybe, maybe, maybe the Mexican Legislature passes a general amnesty, and allows you to permanently import your TIP car – but since you will have a break in your INM permit, your Aduana TIP is formally expired – and you likely would not qualify for an Aduana amnesty.

      Really, by following the very bad advice from the Progreso INM has set you up to possibly drive back to the USA and start over – or they might, might, might use their discretion and give you a Residente Temporal. That does not help you with your TIP car though, because Aduana de Progreso is telling all gringos with the new Residente Temporal permits that their TIPs are now invalid, and they must take their cars out of Mexico… it really is a mess with all the changes…

      sorry I don’t have happier news for you,

  26. Carlos says:

    Thanks Steve. A lot of information to absorb there. Not likely to make any difference, but I have never had FM-2. Only FM-3 visas acquired at the Consulate until the Non-Inmigrante card replaced them. The Mexican Consulate did offer to provide a new visa, but I could never meet their financial requirements…which I still can not believe. They said I would have to show $100,000 USD income PER MONTH. I did send a copy of my Non-Inmigrante visa to the immigration office in Progreso and after they reviewed that, the following is their reply. “Yes, you and your wife can renew here in Progreso for two years more…. And you can come back with an expired document within 55 days after it expires but be careful because your wife’s card expires one week before your card. I’ll only need the documents that I wrote in the last email. We do not need any financial information.”
    I know that does not address my car problem and I don’t know what I am going to do now. Based on that email quote above, and Banjercito telling me that my sticker is good “forever” as long as I now apply for the Temporary Resident visa.

    The consulate in the US said the new law was enacted to make things easier. I can’t see that.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Carlos,
      When you wrote earlier that you shifted from FM3 to No Inmigrante, I thought you had made a typo, because FM3 and No Inmigrante are exactly the same – so there was no shift. INM continued to use the FM3 naming convention on their web pages, internal documents, and INM personnel continued to call that permit either FM3 or No Inmigrante, interchangeably. Since I assumed you had actually changed permits (like you wrote), assuming you changed to an FM2, that caused me to analyze your situation incorrectly.

      How long have you had that FM3/No Inmigrante permit in total by May? If 4 years, then, yes, you must start a new Residente Temporal permit at your consulate. If less than 4 years total, then you would have up to 4 years total allowed on your FM3/No Inmigrante and Residente Temporal combined.

      Please read our article on the New Rules for Immigration article at: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/.

      Focus on the Financial Independence (Savings or Income) Requirements for Temporary Residency / Residente Temporal Applicants section at: https://yucalandia.com/answers-to-common-questions/new-rules-and-procedures-for-immigration-visiting-and-staying-in-mexico/#Various%20Types%20of%20Proof%20of%20Financial%20Independence%20for%20Temporary%20Residency

      If you read this section, you would know that either your Consulate was wrong, or you misunderstood them. There monthly income/deposit requirement is about $2,000 USD a month, ($25,904 pesos) per month. There are also options to use Mexican real estate or your savings/retirement account annual average balance ($125,000 USD – which you may have misunderstood them to say for monthly income) to prove personal fiscal solvency, and qualify for Residente Temporal.

      If you check with your Mexican Consulate, you may find that you misunderstood, or if they really do not know the actual $$ requirement, you can show them the actual published regulations. Every time we have had readers show them a copy of the section of the INM law, the Consulates change over to the correct values.

      How many total years will you complete on your current FM3/No Inmigrante by this May?
      Specifically, what does the “Prórrroga ___” number say on the back of your INM card? 3? 4?

      That is what defines your total years on this current permit.

  27. When dealing with INM I am using “YES” http://www.yucatanexpatriateservices.com. They charge 160 USD for extension of FM, well worth the money for the troubled saved.

  28. Carlos Douris says:

    You are a busy guy answering all of these queries, Steve. So, I will clarify these previous posts, We spent about a half hour at the consulate in Philadelphia and half of that was discussing this $100,000 per month requirement. They were adamant about that and even added that because of that ridiculous income per month requirement, they have only issued three visas since November. It may have been misinformation on their part, but it was clearly not a misunderstanding on my part. I am not one to leave there until I get the answers. I go deeply into these matters and always simply do what is required if I am able. So, in my current car and visa issues I have received conflicting opinions from customs, immigration, consulate, and Banjercito, and now this great information that you have provided.

    And to clarify the FM-3/Non Inmigrante issue that you asked about. I made a distinction between the two for this reason. The first three years when we were coming to Mexico and bought our condo in Progreso we were getting our FM-3 visa at the Philadelphia Consulate each year…the little green booklet that looks like a passport. Then things changed over to the plastic photo card which we acquired in Merida then Progreso. So, the Prorroga number that you asked about is a 2 because immigration told us they can not count the three previous visas acquired in Philadelphia.

    So with thanks for your attention, I leave this again with, “I don’t know what I am going to do.” While it would create a serious hardship I could consider returning to Mexico before the May 15 visa expiration, but I could not stay for the entire waiting period for processing the visa application which they told me could be four or more weeks. I would like to apply, go home, return when it is ready, but then I do not know what means I have to leave and return…in other words what documents would be necessary. Sorry, I think I am just rambling now out of confusion and frustration.
    Best regards,

  29. In Mexico every official feel like he has the authority of the supreme court, ie the ability to reinterpret the law as he like. What I was told is: “show income of at least 2,500 USD in your last 6 bank account statements.”

  30. Jan Burrell says:

    Hola, my husband and I were under the impression that the law has not actually been passed yet regarding “ilegal” cars. We brought a 2004 Landrover here last year and had a letter sent to the officials to ensure we could keep it here after our sticker expired. The car is not going to be legal as it was made in England and we have canadian plates on it.
    We both have our temporary resident cards and were not planning to do anything until the law was passed. We thought, if we had to, we would drive it back to Canada next year. Would this be a problem? Would it possibly be confiscated before we got to the border?
    Who, in Puerto Vallarta would we contact to find out our situation?

    • yucalandia says:

      As long as you have your valid FM2/Inmigrante Rentista permit or FM3/No Inmigrante permit, then your TIP is still valid (regardless of what the windshield sticker says – Read Articulo 106 Fracc. IV of the Ley Aduanera and keep a copy in your car…

      You also need to contact the Aduana de Puerto Vallara officials to find out if they approve expiration date extensions for Permisos de Importación Temporales de vehiculos (TIPs) for Residente Temporal permit holders.

      Some local Aduana offices (like Progreso) are rejecting ALL renewals/extensions of TIPs for Residente Temporal and Residente Permanente.

      If PV Aduana is approving TIP extensions for Residente Temporales, then get your annual letter from them.

      If PV Aduana is rejecting TIP extensions for Residente Temporales, then get your annual letter from the Aduana office in Distrito Federal (Mexico City). See our main article on Importing cars for the Mexico City/DF address, if you need it.

  31. Jan Burrell says:

    Thank you for the quick response. We went over to the person is helped us with our temporary residence etc. and she was the one that sent the letter to customs to extend our permit Last year. According to her she was contacted yesterday and told that we could have our permit extended to 2016. We explained to her that our car was not manufactured in North America but she seemed to think that was no problem. Unfortunately I think this is a case where the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.

    • yucalandia says:

      Your situation actually makes sense, and fits the law.

      Since you still have eligibility years to extend/renew your INM Residente Temporal permit, the Aduana permit can also be extended for Residente Temporales to the same expiration date as your INM Residente Temporal permit.
      GREAT !

      post script: Since you are NOT trying to permanently import the Range Rover, the country of manufacture is not an issue (OK for TIPs).

  32. Elisa Schwartz says:

    I drove my car to Mexico from Calif. in 2009 on a tourist IM. Since then I have had an FM/3 until 3/13 when it expired. I am now a Mexican citizen. My car was made in Germany,a VW Passat wagon 1999. I was told that if a car was made in free trade country w/Mexico it would be OK. Help! I don’t know what to do. Thank you in advance for your reply.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Eliza,
      You simply take the car to the USA or Belize or Guatemala, turn in the old TIP, and sell the car.

      There are customs brokers who do imports of German-made cars, but it is not clear yet that these imports will be considered fully legal for the coming years, and these customs brokers have to do creative things, like use your papers to sell your car to a Mexican car dealer, the Mexican car dealer does the import, the car dealer then sells the car back to you… and if the dealer is in Tamaulipas, then the car dealer gets Tamaulipas plates and registration. Maybe the car dealer will just give you the pediments, but this is not clear (yet).

      Unless you live in Tamaulipas, you have issues renewing the Tamaulipas plates – so you then transfer the Tamaulipas registration to your home state, and pay your state’s IVA in taxes for the transfer, and pay to register the car in your state…

      Since all of this may cost you $1,500 to $2000 USD, that may cost more that the good old 14 year old Passat is worth.
      Happy Trails,

      • Elisa Schwartz says:

        I forgot to say that I live in Nayarit so it is a long way to the border. I am afraid I agree that the car isnt worth the expense. Thanks for your reply.

  33. Is anyone considering permanently importing their non-NAFTA car through TioCorp Insurance under the amparo? Does anyone know if the amparo is overturned, would that affect vehicles already permanently imported while it was in effect?

  34. Carlos says:

    Hi Steve, After reading all of these posts, I know now that the woman at the Mexican Consulate was joking with me when she said the new law made things easier for we gringos. It is clear to me now that everyone is scrambling with their visa and car issues. My car was made in Hermosilo at the Ford plant so I brought it home to Mexico three years ago with no problems, no fanfare, no negative issues and have driven it without incidence since then. And now it has nearly 200,000 miles on it and while still running, has little value. So, I have given up…just too many conflicting interpretations. I think I will just return to Progreso in June, renew my visa as Temporary Resident for two more years as immigration has told me they will do, and just drive until the car is junked, donated, or even confiscated. I find that I do no care any more. Since all of these posts relate to visas and cars, let me try another subject. What laws are in effect regarding visas and owning property in Mexico. Will that be the next issue with which to struggle? You have been very kind in helping so many people with their queries about cars. Thank you.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Carlos,
      Thanks for the kind words.

      You wrote:
      What laws are in effect regarding visas and owning property in Mexico. Will that be the next issue with which to struggle?

      There are no issues there. Any of the permits allow you to own Mexican property.

      If you want to get out of the Fideicomiso game, and not have to file all the IRS forms with the US govt on your Fideicomiso(s), then consider getting Permanent Residence, as a route to then going on to Mexican citizenship. As a Mexican citizen, you pay no Fideicomiso, you do ZERO/ZIP/NADA reporting to the US govt. on your home, and … when you sell the home, you qualify for the homeowners exemption/waiver of the 28% Capital Gains taxes… plus, you can vote here too… AND you have the right to complain to the Mexican Govt, without triggering the expulsion/restrictions on foreigners for interfering in Mexico’s political affairs.

  35. Lopo says:

    Carlos, now I’m curious as to what kind of visa you currently have. My husband is due for renewal in June, and we’ve been thinking that since he’s had the FM3 and now whatever it’s been called for over 4 years, that they would insist on his applying for “residents permanente.” If they might consider giving him 2 more years of “temporal,” then that would at least give him a chance to get his broken leg healed before having to get his motorhome out of the country.
    And we’re also wondering what would happen regarding our house and fideicomiso if we just give up and go back to tourist visas.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Lopo,
      Have him look at the back of his FM3/No Inmigrante card, at the “Prórroga #“.

      If that number says “1” then you have completed your original permit year, plus one (1) extension year at the expiration date of the card.

      If your Prórroga # says “2” then you have completed your original permit year, plus two extension years at the expiration date of the card.

      If your Prórroga # says “3” then you have completed your original permit year, plus three extension years at the expiration date of the card. This would mean you have completed 4 total years on your FM3/No Inmigrante.

      Since the new INM law changed the limit on temporary permits to no more than 4 total years, A Prórroga # of “3”, means you have no more extensions of temporary resident permit left, and you must either:
      ~ Change status (estancia) to a Residente Permanente permit, or
      ~ Surrender your old FM3 (Temporary Resident) permit, surrender any vehicle Temporary Import Permit, and return to a Mexican consulate in your home country, and re-apply for a fresh new Residente Temporal permit.
      Hope that helps you understand,

      Your home and fideicomiso are fine with 6 month Visitante cards…

  36. Carlos says:

    Hello Lobo,
    I have no expertise to reply to your questions in your first paragraph, but it seems that Steve replied to you on them. I have had five visa renewals over the years, but immigration do not count the visas I acquired at the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia, only the ones renewed first in Merida and then in Progreso. I can only say my current situation is that there is a number 2 on the back of my visa now. In an email received from an immigration officer, she said I can return to Mexico and she can renew with a Temporary Resident visa for two more years…and she did see my visa that I sent to her via email. But as you might have seen in some of my previous posts, I was hoping that would solve my car issue since the official at Banjercito told me I would be OK and even gave me a copy of the law in the event the police stopped me for some reason. Now, however, I am not sure of anything. And you might have seen on Steve’s reply that there is no problem with the home and fideicomiso with any visa…visitante, temporary or permanent. Best of luck as I know you appear to be as confused as I am.

  37. Lopo says:

    I understand the law, Steve, but silly me dared to hope that the local offices might be extending the Temporary Resident status in some cases. My husband’s No Inmigrante card has no prorroga number on it at all – neither front nor back of it.
    My other issue that I’m still not clear on is whether the Progreso aduana is likely to extend my own TIP after I let my No Inmigrante status slide and am going to be starting over on my Temporary Resident visa. I have my visa from the Orlando consulate and don’t doubt that I will be issued a new Temporary Resident visa, but I’m not clear on what to expect on the TIP.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Lopo,
      You wrote:
      My husband’s No Inmigrante card has no prorroga number on it at all – neither front nor back of it.” and
      we’ve been thinking that since he’s had the FM3 and now whatever it’s been called for over 4 years, that they would insist on his applying for “residents permanente.

      If you “understand the law“, then you know that your husband’s No Inmigrante card has no Prórroga number on it because he has had NO renewals completed on it… so why even consider that he must switch status to a Residente Permanente this coming June, when he has 3 more years left as a Residente Temporal under the current law? I’m confused. Do I misunderstand what you wrote?

      You wrote:
      My other issue that I’m still not clear on is whether the Progreso aduana is likely to extend my own TIP after I let my No Inmigrante status slide and am going to be starting over on my Temporary Resident visa.

      If you “understand the law“, then you know that 15 days after your INM permit expiration date, Banjercito confiscates your deposit due to an expired car permit. Further, the law says when you allow your INM permit to expire, your Aduana issued car permit expires. If I understand what you wrote (???) then your car appears to be in Mexico illegally, and is not legal to drive. If that has happened, your legal option is to come here, get a Retorno Seguro permit (https://yucalandia.com/2013/04/06/safe-returns-retorno-seguro-permit-for-taking-tip-cars-to-the-border/), and take the car out of Mexico within 5 days of receiving the Retorno Seguro permit.

      How long has your INM permit been expired – let “slide”?

      Under the law, INM can require you to start all over by re-applying at a Mexican Consulate near your home. If this happens, the Mexican Consulate may check your Aduana TIP records, and find that you have an expired car TIP – and that you did not surrender the car permit, nor did you take the car out of Mexico under the requirements of the law. Under the law, the Mexican Consulates have the right to deny your application for Residency due to the expired TIP that has not been surrendered to Aduana.

      Check with your local Mexican Consulate. They may allow you to re-apply for a Residente Temporal. They may ignore your expired(?) TIP and give you a temporary visitors visa to travel to Mexico, with a requirement to go to your local INM office within 30 days of entering Mexico, to finish getting your Residente Temporal.

      I really hope that these things resolve OK for both of you,

  38. Lopo says:

    Steve, as I said, I already have my temporary permit from the Orlando consulate (last December) so I guess they let the TIP issue slide or more likely didn’t even check it. I was given 180 days to return to Mexico on it, with it and plan to return next month when hopefully my husband is able to travel with his broken leg. I know that I then have just 30 days to apply at INM for a new Temporary Residente card.

    I’m well aware that my car is there illegally and has been illegal for a year now, and don’t understand how to proceed with it once I get my new Residente Temporal. Will INM in Merida find what the Orlando consulate did not find, and deny me my Residente Temporal because the car is illegal? Will they issue it to me and I’ll then ask for a Retorno Seguro, drive it to the Belize border to remove the expired permit and get a new TIP when I come back in with it and my new Temporary Residente card, or might aduana in Progreso issue me a new permit? For all I know, one or all may kick me out of the country, but I do know that my deposit should be be long gone although the charge has never appeared on my credit card.

    As for my husband’s, we figured out that when he arrived back in Merida over 60 days after his former No Inmigrante card had expired last spring, they started him with a brand new one – which is marvelous news. They didn’t actually tell him what they’d done, he says, but just chewed him out and told him “Don’t let it happen again.” So in spite of having had FM-3’s for many many years, he’s now blessed with a new start and has 3 more years to deal with getting his motorhome out of the country before he gets Residente Permanente status in 3 more years.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Lopo,
      You wrote:
      as I said, I already have my temporary permit from the Orlando consulate (last December)

      Since Mexican Consulates do not issue Residente Temporal permits, then you actually do not have a temporary residency permit.

      You likely have a visa, good for 180 days, that allows you to enter Mexico under special conditions – as that is what Mexican Consulates have issued since Nov. 2012.

      I’m well aware that my car is there illegally and has been illegal for a year now, and don’t understand how to proceed with it once I get my new Residente Temporal.

      Nothing has changed in the law since I answered the same question in the last reply to you:
      If you “understand the law“, then you know that 15 days after your INM permit expiration date, Banjercito confiscates your deposit due to an expired car permit. Further, the law says when you allow your INM permit to expire, your Aduana issued car permit expires. If I understand what you wrote (???) then your car appears to be in Mexico illegally, and is not legal to drive. If that has happened, your legal option is to come here, get a Retorno Seguro permit (https://yucalandia.com/2013/04/06/safe-returns-retorno-seguro-permit-for-taking-tip-cars-to-the-border/), and take the car out of Mexico within 5 days of receiving the Retorno Seguro permit.

      I am really glad that things fortuitously worked out so well for your husband.

      Now all you have to do is get a Retorno Seguro permit when you are here, drive with the hubby to the border, and have him import the car under his Residente Temporal permit.
      Happy Trails,

      • Lopo says:

        And since my husband doesn’t have Residente Permanente and won’t now for 3 more years, he can’t import a car, right?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Lopo,
        You have it exactly backwards…. *grin*

        BECAUSE he is a temporary resident, he can do the temporary import, for the same number of years that he has his temporary resident permit (either FM2 Rentista/FM3/Residente Temporal – any of the 3 qualify).

        As a temporary resident, he can also permanently import a vehicle at the border. If he still has his FM2 or FM3, he can even permanently import a 2004 or 2005 model year car (8 or 9 years old) at the official sea port of his choice…

        All of this says that he will have several more options than you do for importing cars.

  39. Lopo says:

    No can do since it’s a 2003. He tried to do last summer. So it won’t be an option for me to get a new TIP for it, huh? In that case, I guess I’ll forget getting a new Residente Temporal and just go the tourista route, drive it down to Guatemala or Belize, come back in, and plan to drive it back to Florida whenever I need to come back here. Not good, but there you have it.
    (And sorry for adding to the confusion by not being careful with my language; I know that what I got from Orlando is not the Residente Temporal. I don’t know what it’s called, and now I don’t know how to come in as a tourist with it in my passport.

    • Lopo says:

      I’m sort of speechless to think that if I obtain an Residente Temporal next month as I intend to, I have lost both my deposit and the privilege of ever having another car in the country. Is it a rule that serves as a punishment, that if I didn’t renew my TIP, I can’t ever get another one, even though they kept the deposit?

  40. Hi Steve. Just submitted my FMM for renewal into rentista for extra three years. It should be ready within a month. When that happens I will have to renew my TIP car. As I understand Progreso don’t renew them anymore. Should I go to Chetumal instead of Progreso to renew my TIP? When that happens I will have three years to see what happens. As my car is Chevy 2010 I will be missing one year for permanent importation and that is going to be additional issue.
    – What a mess –

    • yucalandia says:

      Good Afternoon Meir,
      You need to renew your TIP permit before it expires, regardless of when INM gets your new card to you.

      Since Aduana de Progreso is not personally approving extensions of TIPs expiration dates any more, they said last week that they now send them (forward them) to the Aduana DF office….

      Messy enough now – with yet a new convolution…?

      So, you could either go out to the pier at Progreso, and file a request to extend the expiration date of your TIP, now, using your comprabante letter from INM to prove that you have a valid INM application in process, or you could mail the information to Aduana de Distrito Federal , or you could wait until you have your INM card in hand and then apply for the TIP extension.

      The last option of waiting to apply for the TIP extension when you have the new INM card in hand means…. you forfeit your $$$ deposit, because your TIP likely expired while INM is processing your 2013 application.

      Do you care about the $$ deposit on the TIP? If you want to preserve it, you need to apply before the TIP’s 2013 expiration date.

      • Michael M Selover says:

        ‘you need to apply before the TIP …expiration date.’ In my case I found that I could not apply for my TIP extension until I had my new visa, but I could not apply for my Residente Temporal visa until my no inmigrante visa had been expired for 2 business days. My TIP expiry was on my no inmigrante visa expiry date. So, my deposit was lost according to Adunda law, because I followed INM law. Consequently, I’m in an illegal pickle vat that I’ve been trying to get out of for two months now. Truly a mess.

  41. Lopo says:

    He already has his motorhome on his papers, Steve, and they gave him 10 years since it’s an RV. He can’t bring another one in, can he?

  42. My TIP will expire in about 10 month, as I understand, if they forfeit my $400, I will also lose my ability to legalize the car. What a mess.

  43. Carlos Douris says:

    Good Afternoon Steve,
    A hectic couple of weeks trying to determine my options. Here is what I think might work for me. Please tell me if I am on the right track, or where there is any flaw in this idea. I will return to Progreso the first week in June and immediately go to immigration. They have a copy of my current card and in an email said, Yes, they will issue me Temporary Resident visa for two more years. Then I will drive the car to Belize and have it nationalized. Does this sound reasonable? Can you tell me who to see, where I go, and what paperwork I will need to take there so I am prepared? Any flaws here? Thanks. Much appreciated.

  44. Well the saga continues here in Zihuatanejo. I was all set to permanently import my Nissan XTrail. Then I found out that its VIN begins with letters, not numbers, which means it is not a MAFTA approved vehicle and cannot be imported permanently. Then I learned about TioCorp where they told me about the amparo which would allow its importation after all. Last Thursday they said they would send me the forms by email to get the ball rolling- but I haven’t heard from them since. Now a lawyer here has told me that if the amparo is negated, as it very well might be, according to TioCorp, that any cars imported already under the amparo would again become illegal.
    In a nutshell…too much drama for me. Too much uncertainty. Too much risk. Just too much for me. I have decided to drive my XTrail back to Canada & buy a Mexican car on my return in Sept. Hassle-free. I was going to be looking for another car in Canada anyway.
    So I started inquiring about the seguro retorno. I was told today that is only for Mexicans. Good grief. I was also told AGAIN, (depends who you talk to) by aduana here, that my car is legal no matter what my status is. (residente permanente) That I brought the car in with an FM3 and it has not left Mexico since then, that no matter what MY status changes to, as long as my status has remained current at all times, which it has, my car is legal here. Good grief once again.
    I was told to print out the regulation stating all this and carry it with me to the border. This is from the website dof,gov.mxnota_detalle.php?codigo=5191383&fecha=27/05/2011&print=true article 4.2.7 roman #2 (don’t know how to make that) and roman #6, section 3.

    Good luck to all of us!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Linda,
      You wrote:
      So I started inquiring about the seguro retorno. I was told today that is only for Mexicans.

      This is simply not true.

      Did a SAT employee tell you this?

      It is SAT who issues the permits, and the SAT office in Merida has been issuing them to gringos here very liberally.

      Our local SAT office did not know how to do the permits prior to 1 month ago, so back then, they told applicants to apply (by mail) with SAT in Mexico City. In the meantime, our SAT office has come on-line for this, and has been issuing them like clock-work.

      • Still going in circles. I can’t find it here now, but you, Steve, sent me an address and phone number for a SAT office here in Zihua. Well phoned. It was an 800 number, so the person we talked to is not in Zihua. They scanned and emailed us a letter from SAT which says cars with TIPs are ok as long as the migratory status of the owner does not expire. He says a CHANGE in that status has not yet been address, therefore is ok for now. He says just to show that to any nice officer who stops us. Since Res Permanente has not been ruled on, there is nothing in this document that says our car would be illegal.
        I asked about getting retorno seguro anyway. He said I have to go to Acapulco, write 2 letters in blue ink, take a zillion copies of everything, and it could take 10-20 days. Well, we are leaving before the 20 days, and the road to Acapulco is closed right now due to the teacher demonstrations, so I won’t be going to Acapulco.
        I will go to the address here in Zihua and see if any office still exists there. This will not be over until we actually cross out of Mexico.
        So what if we drive all the way to the border without incident (I hope so), and then we go to turn in our expired TIP & sticker – will there be any problem at that time? at the actual border?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Linda,
        You should have no problems driving NORTH as long as you avoid traffic accidents. The only place that has reported confiscations of Residente Permanente owned TIP vehicles is Mazatlan. The police in Mazatlan have announced that if you are headed north out of Mazatlan, going to the border, then even they have no problems with vehicles with expired TIPs.

        As always, keep a copy of Articulo 106 Fracc. IV in your car, and be prepared to firmly make the point that you still have:
        un exigente Visa de Inmigracion,“, and “… entonces, nuestro Permiso de Importación Temporal de vehiculos es tambien … exigente …” and show them Articulo 106 de la Ley Aduanera.

        If stopped by the police or militars, be calm but firm, and you will be fine.

        Drive safe, be happy, and enjoy the drive,

  45. Marsha says:

    Has anyone had any success on Option 4 – Permanently importing your NON-NAFTA car using Sr. Uc in Chetumal as a broker? I have recieved an email from Sr. Uc saying it will take 20 days after he recieves the information required and money.

    Thank you.

  46. Hi again Steve, Years ago I had a copy of the article 106, but now I can’t locate it. Could you please tell me where to find it on the net? Thanks for your calming words and great advice.

  47. Christine says:

    Steve, I think I may have lost the thread I posted on, but this one seems more current anyway.
    I am ready to go to the border, to the Mexican Consulate by bus tomorrow to get my bank statements etc. accepted and get a temp. RT visa. The immigration attorney I consulted here in San Miguel said I did not need to take the truck up and change the permit on it (good til Sept). I could do this in Queretaro at the Aduana after I got the new permit. Later I consulted a woman who handles the paperwork for Americans to get them through their visa processes here and she said the attorney had given me the wrong information, that I MUST take the truck to the border when I go up to get the temp new RT visa. So, I now have conflicting information in writing from two different sources, both of whom should know what they are talking about. I am frustrated. I do not want to drive the old truck to the border right now in this heat, but I want to move on this visa issue now for several different reasons related to financial proof, health insurance and other private matters. What do you think?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Christine,
      The Ley Aduanera has NOT been harmonized with the new INM law, which causes even supposed experts to not know exactly what to do.

      You could leave the truck in Mexico, while you start your new Residente Temporal process back in the States, but that possibly leads to 3 complications.
      1. loss of your TIP deposit to Banjercito’s automatic confiscation computer system, unless you can get the whole Residente Temporal process done before your current INM permit’s expiration date + 14 days.
      2. Many Mexican Consulates are checking the Aduana TIP database records, using your passport number, and if they find that you have a TIP car back in Mexico, they can reject your Residente Temporal application – forcing you to return to Mexico on a visitors visa (which definitely makes your TIP car illegal), and then take the car out of Mexico, , cancel the TIPand start the Residente Temporal process over again. We know 2 different people to which this has happpened = $$$ and time. or maybe you get lucky, and the Consulate does not notice that you have a TIP car….
      3. When you return to Mexico with your new partially completed INM visa, Aduana could decide that since you have not continuously maintained an INM Visa, they could declare that your TIP is not valid, and the car must be taken out of Mexico – or even when you get your Residente Temporal, some local Aduana offices are not extending/renewing TIPs for Residente Temporales. You really need to talk with your Aduana office and get them to agree with your plan, otherwise you drive to the border with an illegal car.


      You could drive the car to the US border, surrender the TIP before it expires, preserve/collect your deposit, and have a clean record to apply for a new Residente Temporal.

      This route gets messy though, because when you return to Mexico, INM only gives you a visa to enter Mexico for 30 days, so Aduana only gives you a 30 day TIP…. You then have to rush through finishing the INM process inside Mexico, get your new Residente Temporal card, and then get your local Aduana office to extend the expiration date of your TIP (that trap again), or apply to Aduana DF to extend your TIP, but if they don’t get it done before the 30 day expiration date + 14 days, then Banjercito confiscates your TIP deposit… and they may not approve your TIP extension…

      Getting the point(s)? No perfect route on this one?

      If your vehicle is a 6 years old or older NAFTA vehicle, and you believe you really must keep this car, I would just permanently import it at the border. Imports at Tijuana, Nogales, and Mexicali have been reported to cost between $600 – $1,300 USD, which is 2X to 3X cheaper than going through Texas’ systems – Contact a customs broker at your port of entry to get the details of what they need (emissions testing, $$,??)…

      or take the car out of Mexico, cancel out your TIP on the way out, sell the car in the USA, and buy a nice used car here…

      or …. You could contact Gerard Uc, as proposed in our Options for Foreign-Plated “TIP” Car Owners in Mexico, esp for Permanent Residents article, as Mr. Uc offers a service to get gringos permanent imports for about $1,500 USD that includes Tamaulipas plates and registration – in a paper-only process. We are waiting to hear results from people who are now trying Mr. Uc’s process.

      This stuff is so complex , with so many little traps and pitfalls, we really have not seen anyone figure out how to jump through all the hoops smoothly, leaving the so-called experts giving conflicting advice, because I bet that neither of them pointed out all the problems with each of their preferred paths. ??

      Hope this was not too confusing.

      Feel free to write back with clarifying questions.

      …or wait and pray for the Camara de Diputados to rescue us from these Catch 22’s with a new Aduana law.

      • Christine says:

        Thanks Steve. What a mess. No wonder I’ve gotten conflicting opinions.

      • R Blair says:

        Update: I am not sure where you get the $1,500 dollar cost via Sr. Uc. He quoted me 30,000 pesos, closer to $2,500 dollars for my 2008 Buick Lacrosse.



      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Roger,
        I was getting quotes for older cheaper cars… Like a 2000 Taurus.

        Private party KBB values for your nice Buick appear to be $16,000 USD, so, he is quoting you a rate of about 16% to pay for duties, handling, importing, and registration & plates.

        There is no pressure to use Sr. Uc. Choose the path that fits your style and needs. Sr. Uc is simply offering a paper-only service, where you do not have to drive to the US Texas border, nor drive to Houston to get emissions, nor drive back and wait at the Texas border, where your 2008 does not qualify for importing at lower rates until next year.

        Current duties for you to Do It Yourself (DIY) for your relatively new car would appear to be 40% of book value. We neither endorse Sr. Uc nor discourage people from using him. We only note that there were 2 positive internet reports from satisfied gringos in Q. Roo who used his service.
        Happy Trails,

  48. Christine says:

    Steve, if it were you doing it (and I do not have the choice to buy a new car at this time, nor can I eventually nationalize the truck since even though it is a Ford, it’s ’94 and therefore too old), which of the bad choices would you place your money on, given what you know of this crapshoot?


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Christine,
      As I wrote in the earlier reply:
      ~ 6 year old and older NAFTA vehicles can be permanently imported at the border. Your truck may cost as little as $600-$800 to import at Nogales, Mexicali, or Tijuana => your truck is NOT too old – it is OK for a US border import.

      Me? To avoid future hassles with trying to renew your TIP every year, I would permanently the truck now, when you go the the USA to start your Residente Temporal process.

  49. My imigration status is Residente Temporal and my vehicle’s TIP was issued in 2009. It is my plan to drive to the border, Nogales, and surrender the current TIP. Upon returning can I secure a new TIP as Residente Temporal that will expire on the date of my Residente Temporal status or when re-entering Mexico get a tourist visa at INM and then get a 180 day permit for the vehiclle?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi nucerity,
      Yes, you can use your Residente Temporal status to temporarily import the car. Consider: If you had your INM status continuously since 2009, then you do have the option to ask Mexico City Aduana / Aduana-DF (or your local Aduana office) to extend the expiration date on your current TIP to match your current Residente Temporal card’s expiration date.

  50. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for your reply. I have a trip planned to The U.S. in the next few weeks and wanted to confirm whether or not TIP’s are being issed to people with Residente Temporal status when I return at a later date. It is also my understanding that because my current TIP was issued in 2009 and will have no issue driving from Puerto Vallarta to Nogales. Thanks.

  51. LopoLopp says:

    Steve, can we import older cars only at the US borders or also at at the Belize and Guatemala borders?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Lopo,
      There are customs brokers (like Sr. Uc in Chetumal) who are importing foreign-plated vehicles for foreigners – but his imports are processed in Tamaulipas (at the US border).

      If you want to personally import your older vehicle, then our best understanding is that you need to go to the US-Mexico border – especially because that is where you can get the US border-state emissions certification required by Aduana rules. (Drive to AZ, CA or possibly Houston – because the TX counties that give emissions certs are around Houston – not at the US border).
      Happy Trails,

  52. Cay Osmon says:

    Oh, boy.
    I’m researching the emissions test issue and thinking that’s what will do us in (well, if something else doesn’t do it first!). We’re thinking of driving both Jeeps to the Texas border to import back in (the Sn. Uc option seems a little…..something).

    The question is: which emissions test is required by Mexico? I see that Texas has several types of tests depending on the vehicle’s age and location of the testing station.

    It probably doesn’t really matter; my check engine light has been on for almost 7 years so it wouldn’t pass anyway!


  53. kaytordg@gmail.com says:

    Hello.. We have just completed the re-approval process for the TIP in Progreso and it has changed from last year. We entered the country on September 23rd, 2011. Last year, with renewed FMs we went to Aduana Progreso to renew our vehicle permit. We used the letter Steve so graciously provided indicating, in Spanish, that we were seeking permission to extend our TIP. As Steve advised, we attached all the requisite copies: Two separate packages including the letter, copy of my husband’s passport as he is the registered owner, copy of his new FM3 and,of course, a copy of our CFE bill. One trip out to have both copies reviewed and stamped, leaving one with Aduana officials. Two days later, trip back out to retrieve the package which now also included a letter from SAT indicating our TIP had been extended for one year. DONE
    This year we did the same except that we had to include a mailing address on the letter as Mexico City now decides and will send the answer by mail in 3 weeks. So to save readers an extra trip, I thought I should let you know to include either your mailing address if you have a mail box plus the address of the postal station, or a mailing address for whoever in your life has mail delivery. Remember, if you use a post office box address you must also include the address of the Post Office.. For example we have a mail box in Progreso so had to include the information as follows: Calle 31, No. 150 por 78y80, Col. Centro, Correos de Mexico, Apartado Postal #38, CP 97320, Progreso, Yucatan, Mexico.
    Hope this is helpful

  54. linda439712 says:

    It would appear that Option 2 is now not available given the wording in Spencer’s email yesterday, ie. permanent residents not being able to “have” or drive their foreign car. Of course if it were hidden in a garage and not parked openly perhaps? Still it would seem to me that’s taking an
    unnecessary risk.

  55. gozmom says:

    If, indeed, Sr. Uc charges 30,000 pesos to facilitate licensing a foreign car in Mexico, it’s way too expensive to be worth it when your car cost $2500 when purchased 3 years ago — a 1997 Ford Explorer. Seems more sensible to just drive it until it’s taken away, then use the 30,000 pesos to buy a Mexican car.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Gozman,
      The idea to “drive it until it is taken away” sounds exciting, but as the lawyer Spencer McMullin points out, it is no fun to sit in a Mexican jail, until your lawyer figures out how to get you out, after clearly breaking a law.

      Have you contacted Sr. Uc?

      The $30,000 peso figure appears to be an upper limit for expensive cars worth $12,000 USD or more (The Buick cited has a KBB value of at least $16,000 USD). He has given quotes of $12,000 pesos on older cheaper cars.

      One wise friend commented: “Would I pay $12,000 pesos to buy my old car?” “You betcha !”

      So, if you cannot replace your old car for the price of a permanent import, then does it make sense to intentionally drive it to get it confiscated – possibly go to jail – and then have to buy another car too?

      It’s all your choice, but I like the friend’s attitude,

  56. gozmom says:

    Hi Steve:
    Ahhh, when jail is added to the equation, the price becomes much more reasonable. I don’t live in Yucatan, but began following this thread when we began the process of applying as residente permanente. Our story is a bit more complicated than simply going from temporal to permanente, and we live in Q. Roo, so I’m just trying to learn all I can before we face actually having to do something. Hearing that there are lower prices for older cars, and especially hearing ‘Mexican jail’, we will no doubt be contacting Sr Uc when we get our permanente status. Thank you for your continued time and effort on this thread, it’s obvious I’m not the only one who appreciates it.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Goz,
      I personally don’t know about the jail issue, as I am quoting the normally calm Lic. McMullen.
      Fortunately, there have been zero reports of more vehicle confiscations and no reports of jailings.
      All the

  57. pldumo says:

    We’re new to your blog Steve but think it’s a great source of good info. We are in the Chapala area. Will be posting some soon (my wife has some interesting tidbits from personal experience about TioCorp) In the meantime we’d love to get the phone number and contact(s) of the SAT office you’d given to Linda Leonard that she refers to in an April 20th comment. We’ve lived here for 5 1/2 years and are also in the midst of obtaining Residente Permanente/car nationalization, etc. My wife is a very resourceful and thorough investigator (being bilingual helps a lot) and has gleaned quite a bit of info thus far but we’re wanting to have all our ducks in a row before moving ahead.
    Thanks for any info you can forward our way.

  58. The number Steve gave me was 01 800 46 36 728
    The office address he gave me for Zihua (which I had also located on the net) no longer exists. At the number above I was told I would have to drive to Acapulco and the permit could take up to 6 weeks to arrive. I don’t have 6 weeks, and am not up to driving to Acapulco (hubby just had surgery & life is very hectic), as well as the road is sometimes blocked by the protesting teachers.
    I also mentioned that I had been in touch with TioCorp. They didn’t return my 2 emails, so I phoned and talked to the lady who is looking after the imports under the amparo. She guaranteed me an email or phone call the next day to give me my quote. That was almost a month ago- haven’t heard from them at all. As well, I have been told if the amparo gets reversed, cars imported under it end up back at square one…long story short we are driving our car back to Canada in 3 weeks from now, and will buy a car locally when we return. Good luck with your process….keep us posted!

    • yucalandia says:

      I hope that everyone reading this knows, by now, that “the Amparo” was a fake, and never existed. That is why the one “pedimento for a successful TioCorp import” was a fake, did not and does not appear in the Aduana VIN & Pedimento on-line program for checking if a valid pedimento exists: http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/soianet/oia_consultarap_cep.aspx CONSULTA RÁPIDA DE PEDIMENTO ESPECÍFICO

      TioCorp publicly has written that they accepted and “lost” over $100,000 USD of gringo-“deposits”, supposedly paying for “paper-only” permanent imports.

      TioCorp has written that ALL of the money gringos gave therm (from before April 12) is gone/lost.

      TioCorp has sent one email claiming they will reimburse gringos who sent in funds after April 12, but oddly, TioCorp is not returning phone calls, not returning emails, and have issued $0.00 in refunds according to their “customers” public reports.


  59. pldumo says:

    Thank you Linda and Steve. We’ll keep plugging along and report back sometime.

  60. Wow. I didn’t know that the amparo was a fake. I just didn’t have a good feeling about it, nor the lack of promised communication from TioCorp. I am so glad I listened to myself and made all the right decisions.

  61. Meir says:

    Me too I contacted them but it just didn’t seems right.

  62. Sylvia says:

    I found another contact in Chetumal, that i’ve used for importing my boss’s vehicle…..
    —Quotation to do the impo in merida/progreso: 66,000 mxn……..
    —Quotation to do the impo at the north border: 1750 usd + the trip to take the vehicle there ( around 20,000 mxn and not to mention the risk !!! )
    —Total paid in Chetumal: 24,300 mxn……..
    I have license plates ( verified on webpage and they are legal ) , valid pedimento ( checked on the sat webpage ) and he helped with the TIP cancellation in CHetumal. ( trip to chetumal around 3500-4000 mxn )

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Sylvia,
      What is that person’s contact information?

    • Ken Holland says:

      Hi Sylvia,

      I am glad you achieved this with great legal results. I was just about to do this through Snr. Uc but the news came out about illegal plates and using brokers who do this. So I held off. My car is a 2006 but will not be legal to nationalise until Nov 01/13 and FM3 expires Oct 08/13 so for three weeks approx. will be illegal because I have to change to the permanent visa. I was worried that I would have false/stolen plate etc., and also not removed from the data base. How did your plates get delivered? Snr. Uc said they would be mailed to me but the Mexican mail has been spotty at best. Can you provide info on who did yours.


      PS. I live in Merida

  63. creaghsteve says:

    Sylvia, please supply more info, what state are the plates from and contact info please.

  64. Sylvia Canto says:

    License plates are from tamaulipas, but can be changed into yucatecan license plates, tomorrow i will go to this process and i will let you know, if it is successful ( i;m almost sure it will be everything is legal ) then i will pass you contact and if you need help with the quotation and translation i can help..
    I’m not a broker just someone who did all the research, quote on all the possible options and analyze them according to the law and finally finishing with this headache

  65. creaghsteve says:

    Sylvia, how did it turn out.

  66. Sylvia Canto says:

    THey are getting an stamp from aduana since it is another state, and tomorrow i will have license plates…… still waiting !!! i haven’t forget to update you….

  67. Owen says:

    Hello there,

    Thank you all very much for all the info you have posted here on your site. My wife and I drove our 1986 VW Westy across the boarder on 12/12/12 and have been stuck (willingly) in Mazatlan since. Our TIP is set to expire on the 6 month anniversary of our entry however our Tourist VISA’s are valid until August as we had to make a trip back north to Canada in February and received new 6 month VISA’s when we returned to Maz in March.

    We are looking at driving north to CA, USA in June but are wondering if we bring the vehicle back across the boarder on say the 20th which would be 8 days after our TIP expiration will we have any problems? Would we still receive our deposit back?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you,

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Owen,
      I hate to burst your bubble, but your TIP on the Westy has been invalid and the Westy has been in Mexico illegally since your left Mexico in February. The TIP is tied to your visa when you brought in the Westy. When you flew to Canada in February, you surrendered (cancelled) your visitor permit. Your Westy and its TIP became invalid that day you left Mexico.

      The only legal way to drive the Westy now is to go to your local Hacienda office and get a 5 day Retorno Seguro permit. See our https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/#What%20to%20Do%20If%20Your%20Car%20Becomes%20Illegal section on this.

      If you get in an accident, or if the police stop you and check your TIP, they could permanently confiscate your Westy. This is not likely, but it has happened 3 times already this year over on the west side of Mexico (Jalisco – Puerto Vallarata – state and federal police). Note that some insurance companies use an expired TIP as justification to deny paying accident claims – invalidating your insurance coverage. With the $3 million to $5 million pesos per accidental death insurance limits required by Mexican states, the $$ hits could be crippling for some of us if we got in an accident and our insurance refused to pay due to the expired TIP.
      Safe travels,

  68. Owen says:

    Hello Steve,

    Thank you very much for your quick and informative response. That is bubble bursting news but better to know in advance that suffer the consequences of ignorance! I will be sure to follow up on the 5 day Retorno Seguro permit to make arrangements for safe passage before we launch off and until then I guess we will keeps our heads down and lay low.
    – Owen

  69. winter says:

    Hello Steve
    Thanks for the information,I have been totally confused about the foreign vehicle news since I now have my permanent residency card..Know that I must get rid of my vehicle and given the options I will decide on one of them..My vehicle is older and not worth a lot and may go the scrap it and forget it…would love to dig a hole and put it in, it has been a good vehicle but now showing its age and scared to drive it anywhere for a long distance..so will have it put to sleep so to speak, thanks for the information,

  70. John Wagner says:

    I entered Mexico in September 2010, got my TIP, and settled in Xalapa, VER. I received my FM-3 in November and went to the Aduana in Veracruz to inform them of my change of status. I have kept my FM-3 (No Inmigrante) current since them and am now in Prorroga 2.
    I gather I will have to apply for the new Residente Temporal or Permanente this October, but right now I am wondering what to do about my car, a 2006 Honda which I believe was manufactured in the US since the VIN starts with “1.”
    Here are my questions:
    Can I import the car through the aduana in Veracruz, or should I think about driving it to a northern border crossing? There could be a problem in taking my car back into the US because my car does not have current CA registration; I switched it to non-operational status in order not to have to pay for insurance in CA.
    I have not gotten extensions of my TIP after my change of status from FMM to FM-3 in 2010 because I found out that my TIP would be valid as long as I had a valid visa.
    What course do you recommend? What would be the easiest way to import my car?
    Should I wait a month or two to see if a law is passed?
    I’m going to nominate you for sainthood, esteban, for this wonderful service you are doing.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi John,
      Your understandings are all good except the one about renewing/extending the date of your TIP.

      The Aduana law changed in June of 2010, for any TIPs issued after June 2010, requiring submitting a written request to Aduana every year to extend your Aduana TIP expiration date to match every INM FM3 renewal.

      If you had known about the 2010 change to the law, and you had annual the Aduana expiration letter proving your renewed extension dates, then you could import your 2006 Honda at Vera Cruz Aduana this November. Since you did not follow the Aduana law, Banjercito has most likely confiscated your $$ deposit (15 days after your first TIP expiration date), and you will have to go to the border if you want to permanently import your car. You could check with a customs broker in Veracruz, but the customs brokers at Progreso and other ports have said the Aduana requires proof that you kept your INM permit and your TIP renewed every year => and the proof is the annual Aduana letter… Check with a local customs broker to see if Aduana gave you a letter now, if they could process a permanent import at Vera Cruz this November 1, 2013 (when your car turns 9 years old).

      Alternately, you could extend your FM3 as a Residente Temporal (since FM3s no longer exist), and also file your new Resident Temporal expiration date with Aduana DF to keep your TIP valid, but the $$ deposit is almost guaranteed to be lost, due to not reporting the 2011 and 2012 FM3 renewals.

      Me? I would get the Residente Temporal, and apply to extend the TIP’s expiration date before the 2013 anniversary of the original expiration date of your TIP, requesting an extension of the TIP expiration date to match your new Residente Temporal’s expiration date. That approach give’s you another year to figure out what you want to do. You could choose to permanently import it at the border either now or in the future, since 6 year old and older vehicles are eligible for permanent importation at the US Mexican border. There is a small possibility that Aduana and the Legislature will pass/approve an amnesty of some sort that allows foreign residents in Mexico with foreign plated cars to permanently import those cars under some special one=time amnesty program. Will this happen? Most likely not (due to opposition by the auto dealers associations)…

      Hope this helps,

  71. John Wagner says:

    Thanks for the quick reply, the accurate info, and the sound advice. I have some follow-up questions.

    First, as to the age of the car. It is a 2006. Is November 1 the date when they calculate the age? Then wouldn’t my car be 7 or 8 years old this coming November 1, not 9? Is there much difference in the duty I will pay between 7 and 8 and 9 years old?

    As for my TIP deposit, they took my credit card info with a provisional charge of $460 at the border in September 2010, I got a one-year TIP extension in November 2010, and the credit card was canceled in April 2011, so there is no way they could have collected the deposit. Who knows if they tried? When I got that first and only TIP extension, the folks at the aduana in Veracruz didn’t seem to know what I was asking for at first, but someone in that office eventually gave me copies of the law that says the TIP is valid as long as the holder has a valid visa. Hmmm. No one at the INM office knows anything about car stuff.

    My Mexican spouse has a friend from prepa who works in imports in Veracruz, so we will contact him to see if he can offer any kind of assistance.

    If I take the car to the US border to permanently import the car, will US officials allow me to bring it in without current CA registration stickers?

    Is it still true that import duties are lower in Mexicali, Tijuana, and Nogales than at Texas border crossings?

    The Belize border (Chetumal) is a day closer to Xalapa than the CA/AZ crossings, and my lapsed CA registration would not matter there, I assume. So would it be possible for me to permanently import my car at Chetumal? How does the duty % there compare?

    Is an emissions certificate an issue for a 2006 model?

    And, finally, is it a good idea to carry the original TIP document in the car? I read somewhere that you shouldn’t leave it in the car because of the danger of having it stolen. But I have been stopped a couple of times, and the officer scolded me for not having the original.

    One advantage of going to the Belize border for importing the car is that I could visit Merida, which I have always wanted to see.

    Again, I appreciate so much . . .

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi John,
      You wrote: “First, as to the age of the car. It is a 2006. Is November 1 the date when they calculate the age? Then wouldn’t my car be 7 or 8 years old this coming November 1, not 9?” and “Is there much difference in the duty I will pay between 7 and 8 and 9 years old?
      On Nov.1 2013 your 2006 car will be officially 8 years old, and hence, eligible to import at a sea port. (Nov. 1 2013, is the start of the 2014 model year.)
      You can import your car now at the US Mexico border, as all NAFTA cars 6 years old and older are eligible there.

      The price difference between 6 year old vs 9 yr old imports might be guesstimated at as much as $3500 vs. $800-$1000 USD, depending on make and model. Go to our Importing a Car into Mexico article and look up your car’s value in Banjercito’s cortizador website or on the Aduana spreadsheet website of vehicle values to get a quick estimate of valuation for determining import duties, and then call a customs broker at the border crossing to find out the REAL import cost.

      As for my TIP deposit, they took my credit card info with a provisional charge of $460 at the border in September 2010, I got a one-year TIP extension in November 2010, and the credit card was canceled in April 2011, so there is no way they could have collected the deposit.
      When you renewed your INM FM3 last November, you most likely lost the $460 deposit (what you call a “provisional charge”)

      If I take the car to the US border to permanently import the car, will US officials allow me to bring it in without current CA registration stickers?

      People using a professional customs broker report that you do not need to take the car into the USA to permanently import it into Mexico.

      Is it still true that import duties are lower in Mexicali, Tijuana, and Nogales than at Texas border crossings?

      The last reports we read from the web found that the Cuevas group in Nuevo Laredo has been offering lower cost imports, but still not as modest as Nogales, Tijuana, or Mexicali. Call or email the brokers to get actual current quotes.

      The Belize border (Chetumal) is a day closer to Xalapa than the CA/AZ crossings, and my lapsed CA registration would not matter there, I assume. So would it be possible for me to permanently import my car at Chetumal? How does the duty % there compare?

      The last report was that there were no brokers in Chetumal doing imports at the Belize border – just Sr. Uc processing them through Tamaulipas.

      Is an emissions certificate an issue for a 2006 model?
      In theory, yes, but recent reports from US border imports using customs brokers have said they did not need emissions testing. Call the broker.

      And, finally, is it a good idea to carry the original TIP document in the car? I read somewhere that you shouldn’t leave it in the car because of the danger of having it stolen. But I have been stopped a couple of times, and the officer scolded me for not having the original.

      You should keep the TIP paper part with you in the car, especially if you cross any state borders. It is the PEDIMENTO that you should NOT carry in the car, because the pedimento (from permanent imports) is the ownership document – like the title in the USA,

      • linda439712 says:

        This was posted on San Miguel de Allende yahoo group “Coollist”: May 17, 2013

        At 2:30 PM I called Aduana 01-472-103-5400 ext 61356 and spoke with Lic. Irma Carolina Gonzalez. I asked, in Spanish regarding a Permanent Resident who has a foreign plated car and she said the car is legal. She stated, only when their is an official change of law posted in the Diario Official de la Federacion (DOF) and then on Aduana’s web site will anything be different. Again she directed all with a concern to their web site and to print out the page.

        The issue was clearly stated to ensure no misunderstanding. A Permanent Resident can have a foreign plated vehicle at this time.

        This is my third call over 6 weeks and each time I spoke with a different representative and the answer always the same.


        Sonia Date: Sat, 18 May 2013 18:20:01 +0000 To: linda439712@hotmail.com

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Linda,
        If you read the weblink you posted: http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/2008/vehiculos/141_11213.html, it basically says that ONLY No Inmigrante and Inmigrante Rentista qualify for TIPs and TIP renewals… There is nothing in there that indicates that permanent residents (Inmigrados or Residente Permanente) are allowed to have TIPs.

        Re the gringo forum web report that a single agent in the local Aduana Guanajuato has the authority to set national Aduana policy or describe national Aduana policy.

        I just got off the phone with the central Aduana office in Distrito Federal, who specialize in auto importation permits, and they said : The information from Lic. Gonzalez is ERRONEOUS.

        I gave the officials in Distrito Federal Lic. Gomez’s contact information, and they said they will contact her, and instruct her on the proper procedures:

        Official Rules as of May 21, 2013:
        The Aduana official national policy: Residente Permanentes are NOT allowed to keep their foreign plated TIP cars in Mexico.

        Residente Permanentes have only 2 options:
        ~ They MUST take the cars out of Mexico immediately, or
        ~ They MUST permanently import them.

        If Lic. Gonzalez will personally write you and other SMA gringos official letters on Aduana letterhead, formally certifying Aduana’s approval of the change to Residente Permanente, and certify the new expiration date on your TIPs, then GREAT. Just realize that the last Aduana local office to do this (Puerto Vallarta) was later forced by Aduana DF to cancel all of those letters, and the PV Aduana office had to order all of the Residente Pemanentes to take their cars out of Mexico within 5 days. I suspect that if Lic. Gomez has been issuing permission letters, Aduana DF said they will be contacting her to have the letters retracted.

        Oh well,

      • linda439712 says:

        Thanks so much for following up. As we all know, in Mexico we often receive conflicting reports and this one had the potential to misguide in a potentially expensive way for anyone giving it credibility. Date: Tue, 21 May 2013 16:30:03 +0000 To: linda439712@hotmail.com

  72. Holly Hunter says:

    Hi Steve,
    I drove my Honda CRV to PV under my fm3 with both my name and my husband’s name on the title (no liens), I was also pulling a pop up camper which was imported along with the car under my visa. I am now about to receive RP so I plan to drive to Columbia Bridge with a Seguro Retorno, leaving this Sunday. The plan is to re-register the car in TX in just my husband’s name as he has been issued RT, despite having more years than I on his FM3. This would presumably give us 2 more years before the law changes, we take it back out for good or it dies, or we nationalize it. I have not kept up the reporting requirements, lost my receipt for the TIP and I am not taking the trailer back with me. YEP! World of hurt coming up.
    In the middle of the night I thought, perhaps since the title has hubby’s name on it and he has RT, do we even need to take it back out? The TIP if they could check in the computer would show the car registered to me at the border. On the other hand, all of my local friends think I am nuts and are convinced that I would be able to green grease the situation if it arose. My biggest concern would be the insurance piece since TIP would still be in my name and not updated.
    If this were you, would you be packing for TX right now?
    Thanks in advance,

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Holly,
      The name on the TIP and the INM permit associated with the TIP are yours, so there is not wiggle room to finesse things with hubby as a co-owner.

      The first question I would resolve is if your insurance company disallows claims for foreign-plated vehicles inside Mexico illegally (TIP cars owned by Residente Permanente).

      The specific question I would want answered:
      Will you (my insurance company) pay out in full the $300,000 USD per person or higher claims if someone is killed in an auto accident on an illegal vehicle with no valid permit to be in Mexico?

      If they say: “No” – then my choice would be clear for almost everyone. Take the vehicle out.

      I think you are choosing correctly, to go to the border to make it legal. Lot’s of Canadians and Americans intentionally cheat on their taxes, lie to the police, approve of their children cheating in school, yada, yada, yada. I personally think all that gunk is their issue. I personally believe that societies and countries function well when the citizens do their best to follow the law without having the police following us around to force us to => think Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark…

      Sure, we can all cut corners. We can sign up for welfare, if you know the IRS national averages for your particular income you can fill out tax returns with completely bogus deductions and exemptions (as long as you stay close to the national average), bribe the police, etc. What does that lead to? Does the gringo community want a strong reputation as cheaters, liars, an deceptive folks, who are just pigeons waiting to be plucked by the latest crooked cop?

      I’m not preaching about being a Boy Scout.
      Really, part of the reason Russia continues to be a crummy place to live is the institutionalized cheating by ordinary Russians who ignore the inconvenient laws, who pay lots of bribes, who dodge paying taxes…. and Mexico is facing the same thing.

      What kind of Mexico do you (and the rest of us) want?

      Do we want a healthy well-functioning democracy , or do we want to slide backward into the corruption and stagnation of the PRI days?

      Do we want to face the bad-old-days of SURPRISE – ~ 100X devaluations ? or ~ or waking up on Monday morning to 1000X devaluations?
      – all driven by a morally bankrupt government-citizen culture>

      Each individual action either moves us all closer to good solutions or that choice/action steps off into the muck.

      If your friends think you are foolish for following the law, foolish for not cheating, foolish for doing what is overall good for Mexico – then their beliefs speak volumes about who they really are, and on how ultimately reliable or trustworthy they are.

      Some people only do the right thing when they think others are watching. Some people do only what they are forced to do, avoiding doing anything that they don’t like or that is incovenient – acting like selfish children.

      Is life all about getting everything I can for me, like cutting corners to save-every-buck-possible? or is there more to it all?

      Mexico really is at a cross-roads right now. Mexico has entered the top tier of countries of the world in several areas ~ and whether Mexico fully enters that top tier of nations really does depend on how the people living in Mexico act in these specific areas… What Mexico do you want to live in?

      Do what makes sense for who you think you are. Make choices that fit with your core values and fit with what you think is important.

      Happy Trails,

  73. Holly Hunter says:

    I sleep better at night with a few skeletons in the closet as possible.
    Thanks for your input, packing now.

  74. Holly Hunter says:

    Oops, should read “AS” few skeletons in the closet as possible.

  75. John Wagner says:

    I second that emotion, Steve. Thanks for putting that in words. It’s easy to become cynical in Mexico when it seems nobody sees a law they don’t want to get around. One can understand the mistrust and disrespect for government, but what can you do? Try to make it better, I say.

  76. Dennis says:

    One of the options for pemanent resdents was to park the vehicle and wait a few months to see if they change laws regarding foreign vehicles. Do I nèed to report to customs with my status change and hand in my tip or suggest what to do so I dont get a fine. I plan on seeing customs tomorrow and will donate tihe vehicle if they want it, then my problem is over and can then buy a mexican plated vehicle.. my vehicle is not worth legalizing and eould never make a trip back to canada. Suggestions please .

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Dennis,
      We still have no updates out of Mexico City, from either the Camara de Diputados or Aduana.

      You could convert the vehicle to scrap (sell it to a deshuesadero) and cancel your TIP with Aduana. The last vehicle we attempted to donate to Aduana last fall at the Progresso Muelle, they turned us away, saying they had no program in place to accept donations.

      Could the vehicle make the 5 hr trip to Belize and sell it there, and clear the TIP?

      • Dennis winter says:

        Thank Steve for you prompt reply. Ive been going crazy with this problem but think that selling it to autowrecker would be the best thing to do…The vehicle is a 2000 Venture with book value of about 1,888 US but my van has a lots of rust on the roof and the windshield is now loose, someone smashed into the van in feb and pushed the right fender over the tire and just so many little things gone wrong with it , it is just not worth putting the money in…can buy newer one here with plates from mexico..and the 5 hour trip to Belize im sure wont make it..it has a problem making it to merida from progreso as it overheats , the bone yard will be the fate….thanks again and great with all the news,,,,i know lots of gringos are going crazy with the changes , wish them all well ..Dennis

        Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 01:55:46 +0000 To: denniswinter35@hotmail.com

      • yucalandia says:

        Hey Dennis,
        Travel safe.

        If you want to cancel out the old TIP, Aduana used to want a Notarized letter from the wrecker saying that the vehicle is junk (chatarra) and cannot be used (no sirve) and will never be driven again.

      • Dennis winter says:

        hello steve. went today to merida to find an autowrecker that would buy my vehicle, and found one that would, told him that the vehicle cannot return to the road as a vehicle and must be torn apart and sold as parts only..he agreed so now going tomorrow to my lawyer to have a letter drafted up for the owner to sign and make him responsible for the vehicle..of course didnt get much for it but was happy that he would buy it…so happy trails for me and hope that progreso customs will have no problems with my vehicle being dumped in an autowrecker for parts..going to buy a nice motor bike to run around progreso..tomorrow another day so hope all goes well..dennis

        Date: Thu, 23 May 2013 14:50:21 +0000 To: denniswinter35@hotmail.com

      • yucalandia says:

        Great Image…

        and Well Done !

        Do you mind sharing a copy of the text of your Notario letter on the disposal as chatarra que no sirve ?

      • Dennis winter says:

        Hi Steve Was going to email and ask you if a notarized letter from a lawyer is as good as from a notario,, i know notarios hold more water but alsoI I think customs just want to know that the vehicle is off the road. for good… For you second question I found the autowrecker in the altabrisa area, there are a lot of them located short distance apart..they usually have the make of vehicles that they deal with and Ifound one that dealt with chevrolets… Iwill send you all the info. and copy of the letter or what was in the letter after custom accepts it so I wont be giving out bad info…going to speak to them today about the transaction ..hopefully all will be done by next week, manana manana I learnt to take it easy with things here and know that they dont always work out as you want them to..will keep in touch with the saga..chow for now Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 03:55:19 +0000 To: denniswinter35@hotmail.com

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Dennis,
        You asked:
        Was going to email and ask you if a notarized letter from a lawyer is as good as from a notario
        I understand things a bit differently:

        Do you mind “a peek behind the curtain” ?

        Most (all?) lawyers who are actively practicing law, have a Notary as an associate. They prepare the documents, and the Notary logs it in his book, and signs off on it. Alternately, if you go directly to a Notario, many (most?) documents that Notaries provide are prepared by their (staff) lawyer associates. So, even if you go directly to a Notary, many Notaries just sign-off of on what the lawyers do.

        Some Notarios do write their own documents – but on important things like wills, you likely want a separate independent lawyer to review the will written by the Notario – to make sure the Notario didn’t miss anything or misword things. e.g. Notarios tend to be big-picture guys – writing things in broad terms, while the lawyers follow-up and tweak the details of the language to get the will to actually do specifically what the client wants.

        Clear as mud? Aduana simply wants to see the letter signed off by a Notary.
        What happens before that Notario approval is not important to Aduana.

  77. Ken Holland says:

    Can you tell everyone who the auto wrecker was? I may need to do the same with my 2006 that KBB says is worth about 14k. Guess I’ll get something since the wheels and tyres are worth about 6k alone.

  78. Rob says:

    Hi Steve.
    Every time I think I understand what I need to do with my car I discover I was yet again given incorrect information, so please forgive me if I am asking questions that you have answered before. I brought my Canadian registered 2005 Ford into Mexico via Matamoros in November of 2008 on a TIP. I have no extensions on the TIP. I currently have an FM2 but will become Permanente in July. I would like to legally import the vehicle so what are my options as you understand them??
    As a side note, I was at the US Consular meeting this week as well and unfortunately the official from Aduana Progresso did give out numerous pieces of erroneous information.
    Thanks for any clarity you can provide!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Rob,
      Are you Canadian?

      That complicates things.

      Canadians are supposedly not allowed to personally import their Canadian-plated cars at the US-Mexico border. Have you contacted a customs broker at the border to find out if there is some work-around? I understand the answer is no.

      Sr. Uc of Chetumal (listed above) has a procedure where he has a dealer in Tamaulipas legally buy the car from you. The dealers have special rules for imports… The dealer then imports the car using his privileges, and sells the car back to you. Since he is selling the car in Tamaulipas, he has to get Tamaulipas plates. You convert the Tamaulipas plates to Yucatan. Does this work? We are waiting to hear back from 2 different friends to hear if they got valid pedimentos, and if the VIN shows valid plates in the Mex. Gob. databases.

      Talk with some customs brokers to find out your best options. Since you have a NAFTA 2005, still have your FM2, and can prove you kept your INM permits valid, you could be eligible to import it at the Aduana in Progreso.

  79. Ken Holland says:

    I am waiting to hear if the Sr. Uc deal is OK he has given me a quote for my 2006 plated car from Canada. Just as I was about to send the money I read on this blog about the phony/illegal plates so that scared me. I have also been in contact with Sr. Ceveras (spl) he responded to mey e-mail of May 13/13 same day and said to send the car papers and he would get me a quote. As of today still no quote although have written twice to him asking for the quote and details. He just seems to ignore any mail after the initial contact from what I’ve heard. If anyone can provide details on Sr. Uc or the details that another lady who went through the process and said she would send a follow up details of who she used and how her experienced turned out. I am desperate to get this behind us.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Ken,
      I would love to brighten all our days with good news as to some positive resolution of the TIP and Residente Permanente issue, especially for Canadians.

      Unfortunately, there currently is no easy or guaranteed or cheap route. For people with 2004-2005 NAFTA vehicles with proof of maintaining both INM and Aduana permits, and who still have an FM2 or FM3, then the rules allow importation at the Aduana Progreso office – but that requires the aid of a customs broker, and Hiram Cervera has not been returning client’s calls or emails…

      It would be great is we got solid proof of Sr. Uc’s method working.
      All too messy,

  80. Rob says:

    Hey Steve.
    Yes, I am Canadian and was not aware I could not import the vehicle at the US border….another great piece to add to this puzzle! I have been in touch with Sr Uc but am wary to send him money without any proof that the car would be legally imported. He informed me that you can no longer import a vehicle yourself at the border crossing in Chetumal, something I was considering.

    You mentioned I can prove I kept my INM permits valid (which is true), how do I do that? On the back of my fm2 I have refrendo 3 since I had 2 years of fm3 first (am I correct in thinking this is what refrendo 3 refers to?!). One of the local expat services companies has also claimed they can do a paper only importation for me but require proof of my INM permits validity (they wanted photo copies of all my previous visas, something I only wish I had kept!).

    Is Sr Cervera still handling importations in Progresso, it seemed like there were some less than positive comments about his service.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Rob,
      I only know the legal theory and what some Canadians have reported about the restriction for Canadians to import cars at the border. Have you contacted a customs broker at the US border?

      First, find a broker in Progreso who is accepting private party applications to import cars. Hiram Cervera imported one car for a friend of ours under that program, but Hiram and his firm have not been returning calls or emails. The process requires using an official customs broker, and we currently have none to recommend. If you can find a broker, then you can work at proving that you kept your INM and Aduana permits current.

  81. Ken Holland says:

    Thanks Steve,

    I am tempted to just give it a go with Sr. Uc. My car is a 2006 Mazda 6 Station Wagon and worth about US 14,000 right now. The quote from Sr. Uc was MP$26,000 so not bad, then I would have the plate change over to Yucatan. I had a Mexican friend call him and explain the process and my biggest worry at first was getting the plates through the mail system then the illegal plate thing got in the way. I heard from someone yesterday that their was a public meeting in Progreso with Aduana and the US Consulate people and one of the subjects to be covered was all the US people with potentially illegal cars. Didn’t see anything on this did you hear about the meeting?

  82. Rob says:

    Hey Steve,

    I have not yet contacted a customs broker at the US border, really trying to avoid that drive! I’m going to see what the expat services company here in Merida can come up with, they are quoting similar rates as Sr Uc but without the out of state plate scenario. We’ll see……

    As for the meeting with Aduana in Progreso that Ken was asking about, the overwhelming conclusion was that the Aduana officials were confused at best. It did not help that all information presented and all questions/answers were being translated by a US consular rep. In general most questions had no clear answer or an incorrect answer. Not terribly helpful unfortunately.

    I will let you know if I have any success!

  83. Ken Holland says:

    That’s to bad about the Progreso meeting as I know quite a few people who were holding out hope that something positive would come out of it.

    I’m also going to give YES a try as they used to do my FM3’s and I have asked them to look into the car part as I will have them do my Permanent Visa just from a convenience point of view. I live just around the corner from INM and when I walk my dog at six in the ,morning I see people already queuing to get in and the queue sometimes stretches to a couple of blocks.

    I will let everyone know when I hear back from them or Sr. Cevera (if ever).

  84. dennis says:

    hello steve.
    found a few guys that would buy my vehicle for junk, and it is junk. but got new information that the only way it can be junked is that it has been involved in an accident and cannot be driven or an appraisor says it is junk and in both cases the parts cannot be sold in mexico..im so confused going to lawyer tonight but sure he will not know any more..information came from the bank called banjercito if you know any difference let me know, so much confusion going on here…thanks

  85. Jeff says:

    Hi Steve,
    Tremendous job you’re doing here, trying to help all us headless chickens running around in circles. Many thanks. This site seems to be the only place to find up-to-date, more-or-less accurate information about this confusing situation. I only say more-or-less because things are so fluid that it appears impossible to pin down every detail at this point in time. (BTW, Sr. Cervera recommends your site.)

    It appears that I will wind up taking my car (and trailer, damn it) to the border and coming back in to nationalize it. I’ve read all about the process but have yet to read about anyone who has actually gone through the process. If I do have to make the trek (from Progreso), knowing as much about the process as possible would be both helpful and comforting. This is not a trip I want to make, and certainly not one that I want to spend extra days on if it can be helped. So I would love to hear from someone who has actually gone through the process.

    Thanks again!

  86. Holly Hunter says:

    We just drove to the border and decided to leave the trailer behind, bad idea. Yes they do keep track even after 4 years and they would not remove the TIP attached to my soon to become RP Visa. We inquired about nationalizing our 2003 Honda CRV and were told it is not possible due to the Vin # beginning with an S, they said no letters are allowed. We planned to come back in for 2 years on my husband’s RT Visa and then Nationalize. A trip to the Consulate here in Austin this morning confirmed a bit of good news. Their computers track autos by name NOT by Vin number. So we will scrape off the permit and re-enter under my husband’s RT Visa. We have different last names and spent today registering the Honda in TX in his name only and now have new plates, new registration and soon a new TX title. Not sure if we will ever take the trailer out as we use it regularly at our campground. Since it’s attached to my RP visa and I will never be allowed to import a vehicle then it doesn’t matter if the trailer stays attached to my former FM3 or my name.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Holly,
      Good Report !

      Your information on needing to take out the trailer with the vehicle (when cancelling/surrendering the old TIP) is a superb bit of new information. We’re going to make a quick post on this to alert other Yucalandia readers – and update our main Importing and Driving a Car in Mexico article to include this tasty and useful bit.

      The issue of only NAFTA vehicles being permanently imported by private parties has been reported for years. This has meant “NO VINs starting with letters” has been the watchword on the internet for years, when considering permanently importing a vehicle. See: Importing and Driving a Car in Mexico if you want more details on the official rules.

      The issue of Banjercito tracking old TIPs by passport/name of the person of the old TIP has also been reported for several years. See: Updates to Aduana, INM & Banjercito Procedures for Visas and Importing Cars – The Article .

      Your very good report confirms these important things, and is a big help to others.

      Happy Trails,

  87. Ken Holland says:

    Thought I would post this as it shows it is just not Mexico that has import laws as I have mentioned previously. Not quite as bad as we are all experiencing now here in Mexico. http://autos.ca.msn.com/specials/road-trip-guide/bringing-the-rv-home#scpshrjmd

  88. Steve,
    I think I sent my question to the wrong place, so I am trying again here.

    We will return to Mexico June 12 and visit immigration office June 13 to renew visa as Temporary Resident. Yes we do have a car there and will deal with that issue when we return. So, my question is this: the car is in my name so I will have to get the new visa. Our condo is in my wife’s name. We have both had FM-3 for three years. We never stay in Mexico for longer than three months at a time. Is there any reason, being the owner of the condo, that my wife needs to also apply for the Temporary Resident visa? Can she simply travel on a tourist visa?

    Thank you,


  89. wrytr says:

    OMG!!! Steve, the woman I talked to at Aduana in D.F. is the very same Karen Villaseñor you mention above, yet she DENIED my extension, saying I have a “lucrativa” status and therefore cannot have my car. WHAT GIVES?????

    Here is what your article says:

    “Lic. Karen Villaseñor of Aduana de DF has been ordering errant local Aduana official to change their past mistaken policies and allow Residente Temporal card holders to renew their TIPs.”


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Anne,
      You did not say that you had lucrativa status. This does mean that you cannot keep the vehicle. Only retired people are allowed to have temporary imports. You have to take it out.

    • Panda says:

      Did you have an FM2 or FM3 before your new visa. An FM3 was allowed a TIP vehicle even with lucrativa status but an FM2 was not. At least that was my understanding. We were told we will here next week from Aduana DF. We had an FM3 lucrativa.

  90. wrytr says:

    Steve, one more thing…Lic. Karen Villaseñor told me that even though “the old law … allows ‘temporary’ residents (FM2-Inmigrante Rentista and FM3 No Inmigrante permit holders) to have a TIP car,” that does not apply to me because I have a work permit (“lucrativa”). She said the law has changed and now “lucrativa” permit holders, even if they are still temporary residents, cannot drive U.S. plated cars. How can I find out the truth when the same person (Ms. Villaseñor) seems to be talking out of both sides of her mouth?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Anne,
      You wrote: “…The same person (Ms. Villaseñor) seems to be talking out of both sides of her mouth?

      Lic. Villaseñor is communicating clearly. She has described the rules in clear terms. Residente Temporal card holders who do not have permission to work are treated the same way as the Inmigrante-Rentista: they are allowed to keep their TIP cars. On the other hand, Residente Temporal card holders who DO have permission to work are treated the same way as the Inmigrante-Lucrativa: They are NOT allowed to keep their TIP cars.

      The “Temporary” in Temporary Import Permit, is just that: temporary.

      It is clear that you did not have an understanding of the May 2011 INM law describing the changes when you applied for your Residente Temporal. There were many changes made in May 2011, and then yet more details on those changes published in Nov. 2012. We do our best to describe the changes in our articles, so, we invite you to become a regular reader in the future, to avoid these sorts of misunderstandings and unexpected hassles.

      I would offer you different advice if I could, but Lic. Villaseñor has described the situation clearly.

      Depending on what vehicle you have, you could consider paying the import duties to keep the car in Mexico, and permanently importing it. There are Customs Brokers at the Guadalajara airport doing imports at the airport.

      Fortunately, you got to keep your car in Mexico, duty free for years, but that changed last November.

      • wrytr says:

        If I wasn’t supposed to get a T.I.P. for the car I brought down in June 2012, why did Aduana at the border issue me one? Why didn’t they look at my visa and say, “Oh, for this type of visa you can’t get a T.I.P. You need to visit a customs broker to nationalize your car and that’s the only way we can let you in.” You’d think that of all the Aduana offices in the country, the one at the border would be the most well informed about the legalities of issuing T.I.P.s.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Anne,
        You wrote: “If I wasn’t supposed to get a T.I.P. for the car I brought down in June 2012, why did Aduana at the border issue me one?

        I did not say that you should not have gotten one in the past. I said that a Temporary Import Permit, is inherently: ~ temporary ~ .

        I said that there were NO FM2 or FM3 equivalencies in the new INM visa system described in the May 2011 INM law. If you were a cautious person, you could have read the summaries on the May 2011 INM law, and identified that Aduana’s TIP status were not harmonized with the 2011 INM law – so, in 2011, various folks published the problem with TIPs on the internet, as related to when the new INM law was to come into force.

        It was not Aduana’s responsibility to look into the future of what might happen. They told you the laws of the time. You say that Aduana should have been informed. Well, since they can only go by the law and rules given them by Distrito Federal and the Camara de Diputados, Then blame the Distrito Federal politicians and bureaucrats for not harmonizing the new INM law, (with 29 fewer visa categories), with Aduana law.

        Really, these issues were heavily discussed here on Yucalandia and on Mexconnect in 2011 and 2012 – so, readers did have opportunities to read about the potential inconsistencies and take actions back then. Fortunately, with the internet, we have access to more good information than the Government websites can offer.

        When you go to court in the USA, do you go in and represent yourself alone?
        On important things: Do you accept everything a politician or govt. bureaucrat tells you?
        or Do you first seek out the advice of an expert – like a good lawyer or good accountant ?

        The experts have been giving advice on these specific issues for 3 years.
        Fortunately, now you have more resources than just asking a remote office’s govt. clerk’s opinion,

  91. Dennis says:

    Hello Steve
    Regarding having my vehicle sold to autowrecker or mechanic for parts and chatarra and not to be used on the streets ever again…Talked to Angie at Banjercito in Progreso and she told me that all i need to do is sell it to them but that I could never import another vehicle again..I want to purchase a mexican vehicle so that would not be a problem . I asked if i need to bring paperwork to Aduana but she said no…Now im really confused , I have someone that wants to buy it and sell it for parts but scared that im going down the wrong road with this…please help, i read your comments on how to dispose of vehicle to autowreckers etc…dont want to get in trouble down the road… She also mentioned that I can donate the vehicle to Hacienda….

    • yucalandia says:

      Talk with someone else at Banjercito, and explain that this is exactly like when you wreck your car, and it cannot be repaired. Aduana DOES cancel out TIPs on cars that can have been disposed of because they can never be driven again. Emphasize the Notary letter certifying that the car is wrecked/ruined… Emphasize that you will give them the original paper copy of the TIP and the sticker.

  92. Gary says:

    My understanding has always been that FM3/FM2/Inmigrante/No-Inmigrante were only allowed a TIP if they were Rentista No Lucrativa. If you are here to work, then you cannot have a TIP.

    • wrytr says:

      Gary, I wish I would have been “in the know,” but apparently I haven’t. Would you be so kind as to post a link to this language in the Federal law, or to whatever source you may have consulted to find this out? Thank you!!!

  93. Pingback: Residente Temporal: Working vs. Non-Working and Foreign Plated TIP Cars | Surviving Yucatan

  94. wrytr says:

    Steve, you said:

    “It is clear that you did not have an understanding of the May 2011 INM law describing the changes when you applied for your Residente Temporal. There were many changes made in May 2011, and then yet more details on those changes published in Nov. 2012. We do our best to describe the changes in our articles, so, we invite you to become a regular reader in the future, to avoid these sorts of misunderstandings and unexpected hassles.”

    I applied for my original FM3 (which was a booklet!) in March 2010. When I renewed in March 2011, I turned in the booklet for a laminated card and added the work permit (“lucrativa”). For that I had to visit the SAT/Hacienda office and they walked through every detail of what I could/could not do with a lucrativa. There was no restriction on my driving a car with foreign plates at that time. If there was a change in those rules as of May 2011, I was not aware of that, nor did I know about this website. (We have nothing like the Yucalandia.com site in San Miguel de Allende or the state of Guanajuato, by the way, and our consular agent has said it’s not his job to be informed about Aduana law or to help his constituents navigate it. Consultants often steer clients the wrong way, too, as you’ve pointed out elsewhere in this blog.)

    My second renewal in March 2012 gave me another “No Inmigrante” visa card with the designation “lucrativa.” During the renewal process at INM, nothing came up about the status of my car, and we weren’t yet under the new law where you have to pay a deposit coming into the country. I don’t recall when that went into effect, but the first time I ever had to make a deposit was last June (2012). If it was illegal for me to bring a car into Mexico on a T.I.P., why did they allow me to do it? (Rhetorical question.)

    Finally, this past March (2013), I applied for my third temporary resident visa renewal, and this time I got a card saying “Residente Temporal” and it also says “Permiso para Trabajar” on the front. While I understand that INM and Aduana don’t coordinate on behalf of their common constituents, it seems odd that no one at my local INM office would have warned me about the car situation, especially since every time I went in there (9 times in the 6 weeks it took for the card to arrive), I expressed concern about getting the visa in time to extend my T.I.P. before it expired. They did know enough to tell me that if I couldn’t go to Aduana with the physical card (because it was so late in arriving, vs the 5 days last time around), I could obtain a “Certificado de Condición de Estancia” in its place and take that to Aduana with the rest of my application documents. I did that, and the Aduana people didn’t object to the “Lucrativa” status either. If the law changed in November 2012 (when I still hadn’t heard of Yucalandia.com), why didn’t the Aduana Querétaro agents point that out when they were looking at the copy of my visa saying “Lucrativa” right on the front of it? Why did they go ahead and submit my application to Aduana D.F. when it seems I shouldn’t have been able to apply for the extension at all?

    Should I have ignored what Aduana/Banjercito told me at the border and NOT applied for an extension? How could I possibly have known that anything changed legally when the authorities who should have known said nothing, and when any news of “possible changes” to the law becomes a confusing jumble in the rumor mill of San Miguel, where I live? This is frustrating, and I’m not sure why you would imply that I should have known better. I have heard about all kinds of changes in the law over the years, but never before this week have I heard or read anything that says former FM3-holders with work permits cannot have a U.S. plated car.

    • Panda says:

      We received an extension for our TIP in January of 2012 with our FM3 Lucrative with no issues.

      You said “Finally, this past March (2013), I applied for my third temporary resident visa renewal, and this time I got a card saying “Residente Temporal” and it also says “Permiso para Trabajar” on the front.”

      My card doesn’t say “Permiso para Trabajar”. We wondered why it didn’t say Lucrative like the last cards but had never questioned it. We only got Lucrative cards in the first place so we could write cheques on our corporate account at the time.

      Our lawyer had told us that FM3 lucrative was allowed to have a TIP vehicle but FM2 was not. Of course we know they also don’t know everything.

      • wrytr says:

        Thanks, Panda. That’s odd…you didn’t cancel your work permit, and yet it doesn’t say Lucrativa OR Permiso para Trabajar on your visa? Are you sure? My visa card says RESIDENTE TEMPORAL in all caps above my name and nationality. Then it has my date of birth and my CURP number (which also appeared on last year’s visa, the one that said “No Inmigrante – Lucrativa”). Then on the next line below the CURP # it says “PERMISO PARA TRABAJAR” and lastly the expiration date, above the bar code. If the law changed in May 2011 to prohibit T.I.P.s for lucrative holders, I don’t know why they would have issued your extension—unless they misinterpreted the law, and perhaps it was clarified in Nov. 2012. But I have yet to see the language of that law specifically stating that a former FM3-lucrativa holder, or a Residente Temporal con Permiso para Trabajar, cannot have a T.I.P. I have looked on this site and failed to find a link. Can someone please post that?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Anne,
        You wrote: “If the law changed in May 2011 to prohibit T.I.P.s for lucrative holders, I don’t know why they would have issued your extension—unless they misinterpreted the law, and perhaps it was clarified in Nov. 2012.

        If you read the articles I have listed and given you links to, you would not be asking all of the non-sense questions.

        Please, do some readings of the main articles on Immigration and on Importing cars, and then ask questions based on history and facts, rather than all the conjecturing you raise based only on confusion and a lack of knowledge. The INM law, Reglamento, and Lineamientos alone are over 450 pages, and we have provided accurate summaries of the parts that apply to expats. You have consistently falsely criticized the Mexican Government over things that you have chosen not to read about.

        Please read:
        New Rules and Procedures for Immigration, Visiting, and Staying in Mexico
        Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico .

        The May 2011 law was clearly put on hold until the Reglamento and Lineamientos were issued 18 months earlier. During those 18 months there were many discussions on the web about how TIP cars were going to be a problem under the new INM law, because the old Aduana regulations were not harmonized with the new INM law categories.

        I have yet to see the language of that law specifically stating that a former FM3-lucrativa holder, or a Residente Temporal con Permiso para Trabajar, cannot have a T.I.P. I have looked on this site and failed to find a link. Can someone please post that?

        If you had followed these issues, you would know that Aduana has gradually been adjusting their policies over the last 6 months, to accommodate the INM changes in Nov. 2012 – as I have answered you earlier. Because these Aduana changes are administrative rulings, there are NO citations to be given, except to refer to Aduana letters and phone conversations with Aduana managers in DF. Really, as I wrote to you earlier, the Camara de Diputados (the Legislature) is the one who created the mess, by not simultaneously writing a new law for Aduana/SAT and for SRE.

        We realize the changes and uncertainty are frustrating for many, but it is better to remain calm, read what facts are available, and rationally search for answers,

      • Panda says:

        In response to WRYTR below as there was no reply option below the comment. Our card is the same as yours up to the CURP and the line after that is the Expiration date.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Anne,
      You wrote: “…During (my 2012) renewal process at INM, nothing came up about the status of my car, and we weren’t yet under the new law where you have to pay a deposit coming into the country. …”

      Again, this is incorrect. In another thread where you posted this, I replied that the Aduana law on TIPs changed in June of 2010, requiring deposits on any cars brought in after that date. So, yes, we were under the Aduana June 2010 changes requiring cash deposits on new TIP imports, when you renewed your INM permit in 2012.

      You wrote: “…While I understand that INM and Aduana don’t coordinate on behalf of their common constituents, it seems odd that no one at my local INM office would have warned me about the car situation, especially since every time I went in there (9 times in the 6 weeks it took for the card to arrive), I expressed concern about getting the visa in time to extend my T.I.P. before it expired. …”

      As I have written to you in other replies, it is the Camara de Diputados (the Legislature) who must make the changes to harmonize Aduana law with the new INM law.

      Please stop spreading rumors that Aduana and INM are not cooperating – as that is simply not their job nor their responsibility. This is simply more wild speculation on your part, and your continued rumors and speculation only muddy the waters for the other readers.

      You wrote: “… Should I have ignored what Aduana/Banjercito told me at the border and NOT applied for an extension? … ”
      This is yet another poorly formed question that does not fit reality.

      Your best option was to contact Aduana DF to find out what the rules were for your unusual car situation, as affected by your working INM permit on your existing TIP. INM is not responsible for advising you on Aduana rules. Aduana is not responsible for advising you on INM rules.

      This is like saying: “I went to the US IRS to discuss my taxes here and in Mexico, and the IRS did not tell me about State Department rules on getting a new passport. Now I am blaming the IRS for not telling me about passport and visa requirements.

      As I proposed in a different answer to you: Contact an expert in the specific area where you have a problem.

      Don’t rely on border clerks to know the quirks of Aduana law.
      Don’t rely on the police to know Aduana TIP rules.
      Don’t rely on INM clerks to know the arcane minute details of Aduana law.

      There were appropriate experts available for you to ask, but that would have taken extra effort. You simply chose the nearest government official who you were talking with, asking them inappropriate questions about issues that they did not know about.

      You unfortunately chose poorly. It does not help to blame others for the consequences of our poor choices.

      Fortunately, other readers can read about your mistakes, and they can choose to find out the real facts and valid answers, before they make their decisions on important INM issues, on Tax issues, and on Aduana issues.

      Thank you for providing this valuable service,

  95. Jeff says:

    Hi Steve
    Back again, looking for more help. I’ve spent a few hours searching for this info and have come up empty. Basically I’m trying to find out what a Mexican citizen has to do to import a foreign plated car purchased in Belize. I’m also wondering what a possible time frame might be, i.e. a few hours wait or a few days wait or……??? We are trying to arrange to sell our car in Belize, and then buy the car back once it has re-entered Mexico as a “Mexican” car, which seems like it should work out for us as long as the re-entry procedure is not overwhelming.

    So if you or any of your readers can shed any light on this process, I would really appreciate it.


    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Jeff,
      Since it really does take the assistance of a licensed customs broker to permanently import a car, you will need a customs broker.

      As of our last visits to Chetumal / Santa Helena / Subteniente Lopez / Free Zone of Corazol, the Aduana/Banjercito office there did NOT handle permanent imports and there were no customs brokers there importing cars at that border. You could contact Sr. Uc (as described above) in Chetumal to ask what he can do for you.

      • Jeff says:

        Thanks Steve,
        So you are saying that Mexicans who buy a car in Belize cannot import it? Since the person who suggested the Belize plan to us was with Banjercito, we assumed that it was possible for a Mexican to bring the car back into Mexico from Belize. If that is not the case, we need to scrap that plan and move on to plan C or is it D or….???
        Appreciate your help!

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Jeff,
        That is my best understanding. That is also why I said to contact Sr. Uc – since he imports truckloads of stuff from Belize, daily, as his main business. Sr. Uc can tell you what is possible, and if it is possible, he can tell you how much it will cost, as he is currently our best local resource at that Belize/Mexico border crossing.

  96. wrytr says:

    Steve, I asked why I would be issued a T.I.P. if it were illegal for me to have one, and you gave me a good tongue-lashing (uh…thanks), but you didn’t answer my question, so maybe someone else on this forum would care to comment. I’m not the only one raising my hand in the classroom here; as I am posting, I’m doing so for others who have written me to say, “Please find out for us! We’re in the same situation!” Apparently I’ve overstepped my bounds in relying on Yucalandia.com as a resource, so I’ll go elsewhere now, unless someone can provide information without the superior attitude. Thanks.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Anne,
      You wrote: “Steve, I asked why I would be issued a T.I.P. if it were illegal for me to have one, and you gave me a good tongue-lashing.
      I did answer your question. When Aduana issued your TIP, you had a type of INM permit that allowed you to temporarily import a car, paying no duties. Now that you changed your INM permit to the new type of visa, the new visa type that you chose does not allow you to have a TIP car under Aduana rules.

      INM changed their rules (over 6 months ago), and the change affected your ability to keep a temporary car in Mexico with a working INM permit. You blame INM clerks for not giving you full advice about the Aduana consequences with your TIP. INM clerks are not expected to know the minute details of Aduana rules. This would be like asking a US State Department person about the arcane details of US-IRS and Mexican Tax treaty agreements. Sure, the Tax Treaty is an international agreement between governments, but State Department clerks should not be expected to give accurate tax advice.

      You claim that I gave you a “tongue lashing”.
      I mentioned those related things that you misunderstand, because you have not carefully read the answers previously written to you. You have not read the articles offered to lift your confusion, and you continue to speculate wildly and make false accusations that only serve to start yet more false rumors. We have been battling false rumors on these things since 2010, and we prefer that readers read first, and then ask questions. Spreading confusion through wild accusations only muddies the waters and confuses people.

      The answers to your questions were all answered in the replies. You chose instead to continue to make wild speculations.

      I don’t think that replacing wild speculations with solid factual answers is somehow having a “superior attitude”. It is simply asserting what is true and factual.

      You repeatedly have not read the answers carefully, and you then hurl empty accusations and rumors as if they were fact. This is why I attempt to correct your understandings and decrease your confusion by citing dates and facts.

      You can continue to blame me, or continue to blame Aduana for what you have not learned. Blaming everyone else for your poorly-informed choices does not seem to help either your situation or other people’s situations.

      Hang in there,

      • wrytr says:


        You’ve shown your colors. Thanks. I will know to avoid you in the future, as no one needs that kind of a response. In fact, I shared this little interchange with a highly respected couple who consult with expats on this and other issues, and their comment was: “Steve has a huge ego and therefore we quit posting on Yucalandia and also Mexconnect which he dominates.” I’ll follow suit.


      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Anne,
        Yes, I have shown my colors.

        I dislike it when people spread false rumors that create wrong impressions in people’s minds.

        I dislike it when people make false accusations that color readers view on into the future.

        I dislike it when people do not make an effort to find out what is important and needed to do things well.

        I dislike it when people make minimal low-quality efforts, and then blame others for their problems.

        I dislike it when people do things badly, and then blame others for the consequences of their own poor choices.

        I dislike it when people do not take ownership for their actions.

        I understand that “highly respected couple who consult with expats” who personally do not like me, have a history of giving very poor, incorrect advice, and that they then have lied repeatedly to cover up their mistakes. The person who is annoyed with me gives months (lots) of legally and factually incorrect advice because they did not read the regulations or laws. I and others have pointed out the months of varied bad advice and errors of “highly respected couple who consult with expats“, and this couple now has an ax to grind. They do not like being outed for their errors.

        This couple, like you, have not taken ownership for their mistakes that have harmed others.

        This couple, like you, has a history of blaming others for the consequences of their mistakes.

        This “highly respected couple who consult with expats” repeatedly lies to try to cover up their mistakes.

        This couple has made so many errors on both Chapala.com and Mexconnect.com that they have to keep changing screen names to disassociate themselves from their past errors and past 6 months of bad advice.

        This couple, like you, hide behind screen names.

        I just don’t like it when people don’t make an effort to learn the rules or read the regs,
        then repeatedly give bad advice,
        then tell big lies to try to cover those mistakes,
        then blame others,
        and then go on to vindictively punish the people who correct their wrong advice and lies.

        I do not admire these sorts of behaviors.

        It makes very good sense that you fit with them, and that you believe what they tell you.

        It makes sense that you are very compatible with them.

        Hint: That “highly respected couple who consult with expats” now gives some good advice, because they have been proven wrong, and they changed their positions, and changed their advice to fit what I and others have pointed out to them.

        The “highly respected couple who consult with expats” do not appreciate it when their advice is shown to be completely backwards from the law. This The “highly respected couple who consult with expats” goes on the attack when other people correct their bad advice and correct their confused understandings of the regulations.

        This couple continues to go out of their way to vindictively attack people who have exposed their incompetence.

        I have made mistakes on Mexconnect, but unlike the “highly respected couple who consult with expats” , I appreciate it when people point out my errors. I enjoy replacing my misunderstandings with facts that work. I welcome correction, and I honor the people who help me to do things better, and who improve the quality of our information on Yucalandia.

        It is unfortunate that you confuse excellence and hard work with a big ego.

        Your experiences with Aduana have improved the quality of information on Yucalandia, and I heartily thank you for that,

      • yucalandia says:

        If you took the time to read the publicly written advice of the “highly respected couple who consult with expats“, you would find that for months they repeatedly wrote the following FALSE advice:
        ~ Only Residente Permanentes are allowed to work.
        ~ Residente Permanentes have full legal rights to keep and drive their TIP cars.
        ~ Aduana DF is telling Residente Permanentes can have and drive TIP cars.
        ~ The American Consul at SMA talked personally with the Head of Aduana about TIP cars and Residente Permanente.
        ~ The Head of Aduana told the American Consul at SMA that Residente Permanentes can keep their TIP cars.
        ~ They claimed that Lic. Karen Villaseñor of Aduana DF told them that their Residente Permanente clients could keep their TIP cars.

        These are just a few of the months of legally incorrect pieces of advice the “highly respected couple who consult with expats” have published on the internet. They have also given incorrect advice on getting Residente Temporal permits from Mexican Consulates, wrong advice on how family members of Mexicans and Residente Permanente apply-for and get residency, etc.

        Note that the following things are factual and true:
        ~ Residente Temporales AND Residente Permanentes AND Visitantes are allowed to work.
        ~ Residente Permanentes are prohibited from keeping and drive their TIP cars in Mexico.
        ~ Aduana DF managers and SAT agents have consistently told Residente Permanentes they CANNOT have and drive TIP cars.
        ~ There is NO American Consulate at SMA. There is a civilian employee who acts as an agent of the US State Dept.
        ~ This civilian Agent personally says that he NEVER talked personally with the Head of Aduana about anything.
        ~ This civilian Agent says that he only spoke with phone techs on the Aduana help line, and he said he suspected that when a clerk told him that Residente Permanentes can have TIP cars, the US Agent actually called Aduana back to find a phone clerk who gave him the correct answer.
        ~ The Head of Aduana NEVER told anyone that Residente Permanentes can keep their TIP cars.
        ~ Lic. Karen Villaseñor of Aduana DF says she NEVER told anyone the Residente Permanentes could keep their TIP cars.
        ~ When other people publicly corrected the bad advice and exposed the lies, the “highly respected couple who consult with expats” then accused 3 other separate individuals of lying or misleading others.

        Whom should we believe?
        Should we believe the “highly respected couple who consult with expats” who repeatedly gave their paying clients very bad advice for months even after being shown the regs and laws, and after being told how wrong their advice is?

        Should we believe that 4 other individuals who have read the laws, who have read the rules, and some who actually work in Aduana and INM, are all either liars or are supposedly wrong, as the “highly respected couple who consult with expats” claim?

        Should we trust the gossip of people who are paid to give incorrect bad advice, who then make up lies and stories to cover their mistakes, and then who attack the people who correct their errors?

        Is it due to “big egos” that multiple people recognize these errors and point them out?

        Who has “shown their colors” by believing and repeating false accusations vs. those who read the regs and give correct and appropriate advice?

        Who has “shown their colors” by denying errors and lying to cover their mistakes vs. those who admit and own their mistakes and are grateful for good corrections?

        Really, on the internet and in life, people’s reputations are important, and you and the “highly respected couple who consult with expats” have grossly misrepresented the facts to fit their own needs.

        Some people recognize and value good accurate advice,
        they make long hard efforts to read the laws and regulations,
        they work with 4 different attorneys who are experts and knowlegeable in their fields,
        they update their information to find and report the latest best quality information and advice,
        they make repeated phone calls to government agency supervisors and managers to find out the real policies,
        they read 1,000’s of posts on expat internet forums across Mexico to stay current with what actual INM and Aduana offices are currently doing.

        So, yes, I thank you for prompting me to “show my colors”.

        Thank you for revealing these things,

      • yucalandia says:

        To put a bow on all of this, did you notice that the “highly respected couple who consult with expats” gave legally incorrect advice about your situations?

        If you had consulted with them about your Residente Temporal lucrativa permit, from last Nov through Feb, they were publicly writing that it was not possible under the new law.

        If you had consulted with them about your TIP car, from last Nov – this May, they were publicly writing that it is legal for you to keep it and drive it in Mexico.

        If you had consulted with them about your TIP car, they have not pointed out that your insurance company might refuse to cover any damages from accidents while your TIP is invalid. Current Mexican Regs say you would be at risk of $3 million to $5 million pesos of damages for every death from a traffic accident.

        Does their history of advice on INM regulations, Aduana regulations, and insurance risks fit what you expect and pay-for from valued “highly respected” experts?

        If you value doing things well, simply, and smoothly:
        I advise avoiding the “experts” who do not read the regs, and
        avoiding “experts” who repeat the same false advice for months.

        Thank you for sharpening our understandings on
        what is important,
        whom to trust,
        whom and what to value, &
        whom to keep in our lives,

  97. wrytr says:

    Wow. You don’t even know who I’m talking about. Even if you did, my earlier comment stands. You really are an asshole.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Anne,
      Actually, the comments of the “highly respected couple who consult with expats“ are very transparent. I have a very good idea of who you are talking about, because the INM and Aduana internet-advice-to-gringos-world is very small. The man in this couple has said on Mexconnect, and in Private Messages, and here on Yucalandia, just what you said he said. He is remarkably consistent in his criticisms.

      My apologies to him if he is not the one who wrote on Mexconnect about “the US Consul in San Miguel Allende” and all the other errors.

      Have you read the Mexconnect posts of the “highly respected couple who consult with expats“ to know what bad or good advice they have given over the last 7 months?

  98. Jan Burrell says:

    Do you think you two could have your quabble through private emails and let the rest of us discuss and determine the new laws?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Jan,

      Since Anne keeps making public false accusations and public emotional speculations about INM and Aduana rules, I have replied in public.

      Anne is the public relations expert with 25 years experience in crafting media campaigns, unless someone has hijacked her foto and name. I’m just a public health scientist/chemist.

      Re Determining the new laws: We are still dealing with the May 2011 INM Law and the Nov 2012 Lineamientos, and the 2012 Aduana law, so there have been no new laws for 7 months. For better or worse, I think everything has been resolved.

      What remains unresolved in the “new laws” ?

  99. John Wagner says:

    Niños, niños. Ya basta! Obviously you are jockeying to have the last word. Anne, it seems that a couple of days ago you said you would not be engaging on Yucalandia any longer. Steve, I appreciate your advice and all the work you have done to try to make sense of this TIP issue. But this back and forth between the two of you, which was entertaining for a little while, seems to have crossed a line and gotten close to vicious and a bit petty. So how about an uneasy truce for now? Please?!

  100. Jan Burrell says:

    Hi Steve,
    I am not sure at this point which is right side up. As you say, so many different answers from different people. We have a car we brought down in 2011. My husband and I both have our residente temporal (?) and we thought we would wait to see what is actually put in writing regarding the import of vehicles. If it comes down to it we will just drive our landrover back to Canada and buy a car in Nayarit. We have 3 years before we can apply for our permanent residence. We did get our TIP extension in 2011 when we got our FM3s then we requested an extension for the remaining 3 years April 15th, 2012. We are still waiting for a reply from Mexico City….

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Jan,
      Really good update.

      Other posters from across Mexico report that Aduana has not given multi-year extensions of the TIP expiration date, regardless of the Residente Temporal permit’s expiration date. They have been given 1 year extensions.

      We look forward to hearing how your case works out.

  101. Gary says:

    A couple of years ago, I was told by someone at Banjercito in Mexico City that it was possible to renew at TIP by going to the SAT Office (no need to go to Aduana if it was too far). Of course, I don’t know if that was accurate. It would be a solution, given that Progreso is being totally uncooperative. SAT has the authority to issue a Returno Seguro so why not a TIP extension as well. Wishful thinking on my part.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Gary,
      Interesting thought.

      I just spent parts of Friday in the Merida SAT office, and they were both helpful and friendly. They handle many many things there, including making payments, receiving payments, issuing business RFC numbers, issuing personal RFC numbers, etc, etc, etc.

      Their official system that works most efficiently is to go to the SAT website and make an appointment (cita). There were roughly 10 day waits between applying and getting an appointment. There is also a line for people with no appointments. During my 2 sessions there, it appeared like you would have a 30 minute to 1 hr wait to talk with the receptionist, and maybe another 20 minutes or half hour to talk with a supervisor???

      Really, Aduana de Progreso local management may be acting difficultly, but they do accept letters and applications from (rentista) Residente Temporal TIP car owners to extend their TIP expiration dates, but Progreso just forwards your application to Aduana de Distrito Federal – passing off the responsibility to headquarters. Get your application/request filed BEFORE your old TIP expires though.

  102. Michael Selover says:

    Our story is a long one that began in early February, before our FM3s came up for renewal. Fast forward to now. We are still waiting to hear from Aduana DF regarding our TIP extension request that we filed on May 2nd 2013.

    We will be in the USA for most of the month of June, so if we do get a letter from Aduana DF, we likely will not be able to provide an update until early July.

    Our TIP was in an expired condition at the time we submitted our extension request. But, due to conflicts between INM procedure and Aduana rules in February, it was not possible to obtain a Residente Temporal and request a TIP extension in a timely fashion. We tried. Aduana PV would not accept our extension request before our new visa was issued and our TIP expiry was the day of our FM3 visa expiry. INM would not accept an application for a new Residente Temporal until 2 business days after our FM3 visas expired. Then, it took 5 weeks to get the new Residente Temporal card. After getting it, I made an appointment with SAT in PV which took another couple of weeks to get to talk to someone. That person told me there was NO WAY my TIP could be extended; I needed to obtain a secure return permit and drive the car out of Mexico. I was preparing to do so. Then, I went back to Aduana PV and they now had a new extension request form (that they didn’t have in February) and they accepted my extension request. They stamped the application and instructed me to carry it in my vehicle until I received my letter from Aduana DF to prove I was complying with the law and my extension request was in process. So, we wait. Will they approve the extension? Will they not? Stay tuned…

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Michael,
      Great description of your Aduana / INM process !

      We have a bunch of gringos here in Yucatan with exactly the same problem, because like the PV Aduana office, the Progreso Aduana office also refused to extend TIP expiration dates, until Aduana DF finally forced them to change.

      On a positive note, the local and national campaign that Yucalandia started back in February to get the contrary Aduana offices like Progreso and Puerto Vallarta to stop rejecting Residente Permanente’s TEMPORALes’ rightful claims to TIP extensions, we all actually did make a difference.

      Anne and other newbies don’t know what roles Yucalandia’s and Mexconnect’s and other websites played in rallying expats to make some noise, formally complain to Aduana Distrito Federal, and to their Consulates and Embassies about the TIP mess.

      Yucalandia readers really did play a role in getting that abominable policy changed.

      This is partly why I bristle at Anne’s sniping and wild speculations and hyperbole about how things actually are, because we worked hard to change things to benefit … people like her.

      Anyway, Michael’s story is a good one – and it shows that we are NOT victims, and that we can make a difference.

      I tell these stories, because we may have another opportunity to sway Aduana policy, if Aduana refuses to honor the TIPs of people who got their Residente Temporals back in last Nov – February. If we sink into the swamp of complaining and blaming others,

      we become victims, and
      we miss the opportunities to make real positive change.

      If working to keep changing things for the better,
      if working and wanting people to know the facts,
      giving them the tools and information to educate themselves
      so they have the opportunity to make good and even better choices
      makes me seem to have a big ego, well, so be it.

      I make no apologies for believing that
      excellent efforts to present things
      honestly, accurately, and precisely,
      and to improve things for us and others
      are worth the hard work and occasional defense needed
      to push back the critics, whiners, and nay-sayers.

      All the best,

  103. Philip says:

    Sorry I like to know what abominable policy has been changed ? I hope so, cause this is a mess and just gives some police agencies a open door for mordidas

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Philip,
      The abominable policy was when the local Aduana offices across Mexico were cancelling all TIPs for anyone with Residente Temporal, and ordering the expats to take their cars out of Mexico immediately, or face vehicle confiscation.

      As Michael pointed out, I MISTYPED Residente Permanente, in place of the intended Residente Temporal.
      my bad,

  104. Michael Selover says:

    Greetings Steve:
    In your response, you typed: “On a positive note, the local and national campaign that Yucalandia started back in February to get the contrary Aduana offices like Progreso and Puerto Vallarta to stop rejecting Residente Permanente’s rightful claims to TIP extensions, we all actually did make a difference.”

    I believe you meant Residente Temporal, correct?
    Thanks for all that you do.



  105. Jan Burrell says:

    this is sort of good news re recieving your extension. we were getting worried as we sent off our application April 17 and have not yet heard. so Maybe in the nest couple of weeks we will have a response as well.

  106. Michael Selover, Puerto Vallarta says:


    Great news for you.

    We submitted our extension request on May 3 and have yet to hear anything. The duration of your ordeal arriving at an actual response is heartening. Ours? Maybe next week/month. 🙂

    I am presuming your extension request was approved rather than denied. Correct? Also, can you say for how long your extension was granted for? We have 4 year Residente Temporal visas and hope our TIP will be extended until the expiry of those visas, March 2017. However, I’ve heard that Aduana is only granting 1 year extensions (only another ugly rumor so far as I know). What say you as a person with actual experience?

  107. Panda says:

    Yes the extension was approved. The expiry matches the expiry on our Residente Temporal visa which is in 2015. I should also mention that it came by registered mail that required a signature.

  108. Lopo says:

    Has anyone applied for the extension after having allowed their old one to expire? I”m assuming that they won’t grant me one under those circumstances, right?

    • Panda says:

      I’m not sure if you are referring to only the expiration of your TIP extention letter or something else. Our TIP extention letter had expired in November along with our FM3. We didn’t receive our Residente Temporal visas until February. At that time the Progreso Aduana denied the extension. In April the Progreso Aduana still said no but forwarded the information to Mexico city. We received the extension letter recently.

  109. Michael Selover, Puerto Vallarta says:

    I did. I’ll let you know what the outcome is, presuming I ever receive a response from my TIP extension request.

    The only way I could transition from a No Inmigrante visa to a Residente Temporal was to let the former one expire. My TIP expired on the same date as my prior visa. Aduana would not allow me to request a TIP extension until after I had a new visa, which I could not apply for until two days after my prior visa expired. So, a Catch 22. I could not comply with both laws; one worked against the other. I went ahead and submitted an extension request anyway in hopes that Aduana would not hold this against me.

    Stay tuned. 🙂

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Michael,
      Under the current Aduana system, you apply to extend the period of your TIP BEFORE your TIP expires, using a copy of the comprabante letter/document that proves you have applied and paid for renewing your INM permit – which means there is and was no “Catch 22” – you simply had to do things in a non-traditional way – and possibly you had to apply with INM of Mexico City (as we advised in various Yucalandia articles).

      Since some of the local Aduana offices were applying the extension of TIP expiration date policies INCORRECTLY – with some outright refusing to accept extensions of expiration date requests, I understand that INM Mexico City is accepting the late applications, especially if you explain that your local Aduana office refused to work with you.
      All the best,

    • Michael Selover says:

      Just in case anyone has continuing interest in this subject thread…
      We submitted our TIP extension request to ADUANA PV on May 3, 2013. (there is a whole history of actions on our part in this regard that extend back to February 2013, which predates the expiry of our TIP. The action o.n May 3 represents only the most recent action.) As of today, we still have not gotten a response. I did attempt to contact ADUANA DF on a couple of occasions, but after being placed on hold each time to wait for an english speaking agent, I was told none were available, to please call at another time. Yesterday, I had a spanish speaking friend call on my behalf to follow up on the status of my extension request. The one positive result was at least an acknowledgement that ADUANA DF did receive my request. They confirmed to my friend the ‘case’ number assigned to the request, which is the last 5 digits of my vehicle VIN. They declared the status to be that they have sent a request to INM to verify my immigration status, and that they have not yet gotten a response from INM and are waiting (I currently hold a Residente Temporal that expires in March of 2017). They did not indicate when they sent this request to INM nor whether ADUANA procedure includes any followup step. ADUANA DF suggested continuing to wait and asked me to call back in 3 weeks time to follow up again on the status. It has now been nearly 12 weeks, and we were originally told we could expect a response in 2 or 3 weeks. So, we continue to wait.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Michael,
        When you sent in your request for extension of your TIP, did you include formal/official written proof from INM that you have a 2017 expiration date on your Residente Temporal?

  110. Best of luck. I did think it was ever a good idea to allow a visa to expire, unless of course you are out of the country. Then the law allows you 55 days to return and renew the visa with no problem and no penalty.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Carlos,
      That 55 day grace period is an artifact of the old law, and does not exist in the new law. If you allow your INM permit to expire, you potentially lose ALL past credits for prior years of residency, and you may have to pay extra (if you are changing status due to the expiration of the old prior visa), and you have to start all over again – meeting higher standards of qualifications and documentation…

      …not a good idea …

      • Carlos says:

        Good morning Steve, and thanks for the reply. I know nothing about the 55 day thing being an artifact of the old law. Under normal circumstances I would never allow a visa to expire. However, the day it expired (in 2013) I was in surgery in the states. But I received this email from immigration, “Yes, you and your wife can renew here for two years more…. And you can come back with an expired document in the next 55 days that it’s expired but be careful because your wife’s card expires one week before your card. I’ll only need the documents that I wrote in the last email.” (And that was just the old FM3, proof of domicile, copy of passport, and photos…nothing more). And that is exactly what we did. Friendly, efficient immigration official. Smooth operation. No problems.

      • Carlos says:

        Also Steve, this is a copy and paste item of March 2013 from a site giving INM visa instructions. Maybe the key is that you must be out of the country. But I am certainly no expert.”
        Annual Residente Temporal Visa Renewal:

        Renewals can only be made within México at your local INM office and must be made within 30 days before your visa expires.

        There is a myth that you have a 30-day grace period after the renewal date in which you can do a late renewal without a penalty. This is not true. There is no grace period. Letting your visa expire is a serous matter and can result is its being cancelled.

        There is a 55-day grace period if you are out of México when your visa expires. If you return during that 55-day window, get yourself in gear to do your renewal promptly — you have only five business days to report to your INM office. You will need proof that you were gone — airline receipts and boarding passes should help. If you are more that 55 days late, your Residente Temporal will be cancelled, and you will have to start all over by applying anew at a consulate in your home country..

      • yucalandia says:

        Good good clarification on the grace period, and on the 55 day rule. Can you tell if you lose your past years of credit towards citizenship and Permanent Residency if you trigger the 55 day rule?

  111. I meant, “I did NOT think…”

  112. Michael Selover, Puerto Vallarta says:

    Nor did we. Our No Inmigrante visas expired in late February. We began our attempts to renew in late January, 29 days before renewal. Because our prior visas has a 4 on them, we were told we either needed to convert to a Residente Permanente and remove our car from Mexico or to apply for a new Residente Temporal in which case we could keep our US-plated car in Mexico. We were told by INM that we needed to leave Mexico in order to apply for a new Residente Temporal. However, we consulted with a Mexican Immigration attorney on this point and he said, Nooooo! We engaged him to apply for our new 4 year Residente Temporal visas. Because of our circumstances, he said that we could not begin our Residente Temporal application until 2 business days after our prior visas expired. We confirmed this with INM in PV. So, we contacted Aduana PV about applying for a TIP extension (before it expired) and were denied because we needed our new visa info first, which of course we didn’t have and couldn’t get. In fact, we didn’t have our new Residente Temporal visas in hand for 6 weeks after our application. So, at that time, we went back to both Aduana PV and SAT PV with all of the info they required and they first told us that since our TIP was expired, there was no way we could extend it, that we needed to obtain a secure return permit and remove the car from Mexico. I kept searching for a way to avoid removing our car from Mexico for some months afterward. Then, in late April, I returned to Aduana PV and they suddenly had an extension request form and it didn’t seem to matter that the TIP had expired during this ordeal. They accepted my completed application on May 3 and told me to expect a letter of denial or approval from Aduana DF in 2 to 3 weeks. They also told me that a stamped copy of my application should be carried in the car as proof to any police that I was in compliance with the law and that my extension request was pending in Mexico City. That was nearly 8 weeks ago.

    It sounds like others have similar scenarios and at least Panda for sure finally received an approval letter. We have not, but are encouraged.

  113. Carlos says:

    The answer to your question is, “No.” The renewal process went through as if there was no lapse in visa, and it did not affect the credited time we have here. I think that this “55 day rule” is one of the excellent accommodations that the immigration officials made as it just makes a lot of sense. I can picture their discussions when making the law saying “if you let your visa expire due to laziness or neglect, too bad. It’s your problem.” But they considered that there could be unforeseen circumstances when out of the country that prevents a timely renewal…death in the family, natural catastrophies, or as in my case, I was in surgery in the US the day it expired. But it does not matter the reason you are out of the country…there is no requirement to give an explanation, only proof that you were out of the country…stamped passport, boarding pass, etc. Your question also brought up this point for us. Our first three FM3 visas were acquired at the Mexican Consulate in Philadelphia and we have had that new No Inmigrante card for two more years yet it only had the number “2” on the back of the card because they do not count the previous visas from Philadelphia. So, in that email I sent you that I received from immigration when I was back in the states, the official says she can renew as Temporary Resident for two more years.

  114. Fred says:

    Does anyone know what happens to US plates after nationalization of your car? Are they still good in USA or not.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Fred,
      Not legitimate after permanently importing your vehicle into Mexico. The law requires either driving in the USA for up to one year with your Mexican plates, or getting the vehicle re-titled with temporary tags when you return.

  115. justinmango says:

    soooo, very interesting . from what i understand , im f u c k e d . i have been in chiapas since 2001 with a fm3 lucra . my caly plated landcruiser is here with me since 2004 . my fm expires aug 16 , so i went to the migra a couple of days ago and was forced on pain of leaving the country and my mango orchard , wife and kids behind to apply for the permanent residency visa . i paid the nearly 5k , what a joke the estudio for 1k pesos , and now am i to understand when issued my new tarjeta , my truck will become illegal and subject to impound ? really ? would UCD work ? im think that where i live i always present the aduana reglas from their website since i have the same sticker since 2004 , have gotten very agile with arguing, je je , where the 1st part is how with your forma migratoria vigente your permission is re newed automatically , my plan is that i hope that my very beautiful mexican wife can get them to stop reading onward before they get to the part of the no migrante and migrate rentista part , show my valid tarjeta , albiet permanente , and be on our way . i stress i know i will no longer take trips where i pass aduana or retenes federales apart from militares only local where the tamarindos are my well paid friends , sic . i hope it beats burning my beautiful 1994 toyota landcruiser on the beach instead of donating it to these bastardos in a homage to isis . or the UCD? comments ????

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Justin
      Yes, UCD does work in some states – but you may (in effect) need to quarantine your vehicle to that state, because other states do not recognize UCD. Make sure your insurance company will not use the UCD status as an excuse to collect your payments, but then cancel coverage due to the UCD if you get in an accident. The issues of having an accident not covered by an insurance company due to having an illegal car (just driving without the UCD) also raises the issue of you sitting in jail indefinitely and being liable for up to $5 million pesos person for injuries/death.

      You could also get a quote from Sr. Uc to get your vehicle permanently imported through a car dealer – who can import Japanese J cars.

      A good friend sold his even older Toyota Landcruiser for good $$ in Belize just 18 months ago.

  116. John Wagner says:

    What is UCD?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi John,
      Your question deserves a good quality, detailed, and thorough answer.

      Neither I nor my family, nor friends have chosen this route, so I will give only a very cursory – very inadequate – answer.

      UCD – crudely – is a type of program – seemingly organized by campesino groups (??) – based in some Mexican states, that provide an “alternative” to using official Mexican Govt. registration and licensing programs….

      Campesinos clearly qualify, but I have no idea of how it works for foreigners. …

      I have read past news reports where these UCDs issue their own placas and registrations – and when or if the police hassle them over the “unofficial” papers, groups of other campesinos come out to protest with signs and chants – getting media and press coverage – and the police and govt. official back-off, because they just don’t want to deal with the conflict or hassles …


      We really need to hear from someone who has used and knows the system and the history for years….

      In the meantime, we at Yucalandia, choose to only advise people to use workable paths that we know (based on real-world experience), have functioned well for expats, visitors, and other foreigners.

      • linda439712 says:

        Below is an email I received from usuarioweb2@… after I wrote to them
        on their web site. Google translated as follows (if anyone wants
        Spanish version just let me know). While pedimentos done through UCD without
        final stamp at 20 km Aduana checkpoint may check out today as
        being valid, it could be that someone has circumvented the system only
        temporarily. Not saying this is definitely the case, but am posting this
        SAT response so people can draw their own conclusions and/or write to SAT with
        their own questions. Name of Sonia’s Mexicali customs broker has not
        been posted anywhere but would assume that would be the first step to
        authenticating actual credentials.
        “In response to your inquiry, we reiterate that in this section we have no
        information that the General Administration of Customs has an agreement with the
        Democratic Union Campesina
        , by the above, we reiterate that any procedure you
        want to perform in relation to their final Import vehicle, only do it any
        licensed Customs Broker by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit.

        To ensure that the customs agent you hire to import your vehicle permanently
        have its
        by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, you must do so through any of the
        following confederations:

        · Confederation of Customs Brokers Associations of Mexico (CAAAREM)
        Cell 01 (55) 33 00 75 00 or 51 41 59 45 in Mexico, DF
        Website: http://www.caaarem.mx

        · Latin American Confederation of Customs Brokers (CLAA)
        Cell 01 (55) 57 86 81 90 in the DF or 01 (800) 702 04 22 National Toll
        Website: http://www.claa.org.mx

        He invites you to visit the website of the General Administration of Customs,
        where you can find important information on customs and foreign trade in the
        direction http://www.aduanas.gob.mx

  117. Rob says:

    Hi Steve,

    I thought I would share our success story with you and your readers, especially fellow Canadians trying to import a vehicle.

    This past Thursday our British Columbia registered and plated 8 year old North American made vehicle was successfully imported at Aduana Progresso! We ended up using Yucatan Expatriate Services as an intermediary with Sr Cervera and the process went fairly smoothly, other than quite a bit of confusion as to the validity of our paperwork as far as Aduana was concerned; they are used to seeing American vehicles with very clear Title documents, not a Vehicle Registration document such as we have from the province of BC. And the importation was done with our 2008 TIP which HAD NOT been extended, ever. We just had to provide documents from INM proving we had never let our FMs lapse.

    As far as we know this is the first vehicle from BC to be imported in Progresso, so it should now be easier for others to do the same.

    As for Sr Cervera, it seems he was inundated with individual inquiries re: car importations, hence the lack of response….but he worked very well in conjunction with YES and was very diligent in helping us resolve the title document situation.

    Now we just have to work through the maze of Yucatecan registration and plating…..our third visit to the registration offices on Monday should hopefully do the trick!

    Best of luck to everyone else out there…..

    • yucalandia says:


      We much appreciate you coming back and reporting the details.
      Glad it worked out for you,

      • Fred says:

        I have just finished importing my 2002 ford excursion with Cuevas Group in Laredo, Paper work sent ahead of time then 1 day at aduana to finalize papers. Long day but easy. 2 days later plates from San Luis Potosi, S.L.P. total cost, Cuevas-1310,usd, 120 usd for aduana and transit letter. 975 pesos for plates etc in SLP. Permanent Resid. card in SLP 10 days total from first visit to final card

      • yucalandia says:

        Hey Fred,
        SWEET !

    • Elizabeth Ferdinand says:

      Has this worked for anyone else with a Canadian vehicle? Has anyone had success using Sr. UC of Chetumal?

  118. Michael Selover says:

    To Steve:
    No. I provided the documents requested on the request form which included a copy of my Residente Temporal card (both sides) showing the 2017 expiry date. I attempted to include a letter of explanation in spanish to explain why I was so tardy in submitting my extension request. Although the ADUANA official in PV did read this letter, he would not accept this letter nor any document not specifically requested on the extension request document for submission to ADUANA DF.

  119. Pingback: Foreign Plated Vehicle Questions - Playa del Carmen & Riviera Maya Forum by In The Roo

  120. Andrew says:


    I’m desperate to find the legal basis for Option 8 as mentioned above. My Notario can’t seem to find any justifiaction for the action, and ADUANA is absolutely no help. My car is on a TIP and has recently become undrivable. Could you please pass on some information regarding where (or who) I might be able to contact for the legal basis of declaring my car undriveable and abandonable? I could really use some help with this! Thank you!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Andrew,
      The justification is the same as if the car was in a wreck and is undrive-able.

      Have you submitted a letter from a Notary and mechanic/junk-yard that certify that the car is chatarra and cannot be driven, ever? With a letter asking them to cancel the TIP, plus fotos of the junked car, and the sticker off of the windshield with the sticker plus the original paper copy of the TIP?

      • awaterma2013 says:

        Hi Steve,

        I have a notario that’s willing to do so, but when we called the Aduana, they told both him and me that I have to take the car out of Mexico. Currently, the car is parked in the lot of a local towing company. The issue I have is my transmission has gone out, and as it’s a hybrid, the only way to fix it is to import a transmission from the states and have that installed. The cost is about equal to the current value of the car. I have documentation from the car dealer backing this up, but that’s all. Also, we have a local SAT office here, but no Aduana nor Hacienda. It’s about 3 hours to the border, so I could head to the Aduana office there. Should I try with my documentation and a notarized letter at the border Aduana office to get the TIP cancelled out? And then subsequently give the car to a dehuesadero? I’d love to find a lawyer or notario that might know something about this. Any information you could pass on would be super useful! 🙂


      • yucalandia says:

        Hi awaterma,
        I only know one person who did this. The junk yard took apart the vehicle. The people I have known with vehicles that were wrecked, filed their TIP surrender claims with Aduana DF.

        Contact Lic. Karen Villaseñor’s office at Aduana DF:
        Lic. Karen Villaseñor 01-55-5802-0000 x46889
        Administracion Central — 01-55-5802-2069 ciitev_AduanaMexico@sat.gob.mx

        Wish I could give you more information for how to make it work in your area.

        When you hear from Aduana DF, could you come back and tell us their suggestion/advice?

  121. I contacted Sr Uc to inquire about importing our 1997 Ford (US licensed) now that we are residente permanente. He replied promptly and quoted me the cost. Unfortunately, it is so much more than the vehicle is worth, we can’t go ahead with that option at this time. It was 28,000 pesos for the nationalization of our vehicle. He assured me that the documentation would meet all requirements, including aduana pedimento.

  122. EB says:

    A couple of questions/scenarios I’d like some advice or direction on.
    1. Has anyone had their non-NAFTA car imported (like license plates/pedimento in hand) from Sr. Uc? Last reports I’ve heard is that people have been waiting for 5+ months, and still don’t have anything for their non-NAFTA cars…
    2. I’ve had an offer from a friend to drive my expired TIP, non-NAFTA, illegal 2001 POS north. Is there anyway to do this legally? Is the Returno Seguro only valid for the TIP holder? Notarized letter giving permission for him to drive it out of the country? Any ideas?
    3. Similar question for getting it out of Mexico and into Belize. Do I have to be in the car/physically present?

    Thanks, as always for the great advice and information.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi EB,
      1. Sr. Uc: His process seems to have been stuck for the past 2 months according to one friend’s experience.
      2. A different person (non owner) can drive the car under the Retorno Seguro permit, but you submit their driver’s license when you apply.
      3. You do not have to be in the car.

  123. wrytr says:

    No matter where you ive in Mexico, call Sonia Díaz in San Miguel de Allende. She can nationalize cars in any state, even non-NAFTA, but call NOW beause there was a rumor going around that this is the last week for starting the process with non-NAFTA cars before prices go way up. Here’s the contact info: SONIANGEL32 AT hotmail.com . cell: 044-415-106-1499

    Facilitator: Seguro Popular healthcare; Immigration Visas; Mexican Driver’s License; Mexican car registration; Selling a foreign plated car in Mexico; Management Workshops similar to Laura Niño; Conversational Translation; Hacienda issues (taxation); Mexican Driving Record; Property Management; INAPAM; SRE expat approval process to buy property, etc.

    Cars: Nationalizing NAFTA and non-NAFTA made cars without leaving your home regardless of where you live in Mexico. Full refund if documents do not arrive. We have several clients with their Mexican plates and title.

    UCD plates to allow foreign plated vehicles including newer cars to be driven in QRO, GTO and SLP states.

    • David says:

      O.K. ….. I’ve been out of the country for the last 6 months and have not kept up with the forum, so please explain when/where the policy changed in regards to importing NON-Nafta cars if you are Residente Pemanente.
      In my case probably not important because I have elected to go back to visors visas anyway. Cost of obtaining two Residente Pemanente visas plus the cost of importing and licensing a vehicle ( Non-Nafta ) is cost prohibitive compared to visitors visas and refundable TIP’s
      But… I’m curious as tho whether there really was a change in policy. I was told last year there was NO way you could permanently import a Non-Nafta car

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi David,
        There was no change in Aduana policy on non-NAFTA imports. Private individuals still cannot import them, but official licensed car dealers have had the right to import them.

        Some customs brokers are doing a work-around where a Mexican car dealer buys your 6 year old or older car, imports it (for $2,000 to $3,000 USD – much higher costs than normal personal imports of NAFTA cars), registers it in the name of a Mexican citizen (meaning you need a Mexican to give you a copy of their IFE voting card to put the car in their name), and then resells it back to you.

        How long will Aduana allow this work around? Lo no se….

  124. David says:

    Too darn complicated. If a Mexican dealer can circumvent the law then as a Residente Pemanente, you should have the same rights.
    Glad we chose to go the tourista route instead.

  125. David says:

    Steve says ” If you start a corporation, then qualify-for and pay-for a dealer’s license, and then hire an accountant to file taxes on your dealership, (yada yada yada), then you would have the right.
    I don’t think Residente Permanente costs include dealership licenses, corporate filings, etc . *grin* ”
    So it’s all about money, rather than upholding the spirit of Nafta which was supposed to protect the interests of auto dealers/manufacturers in Mexico / U.S. and Canada.
    So if you want to skip the corporation/dealers license and accountant etc. if you could find a Mexican you trust and a lawyer, then sell the car directly to him then buy it back everything is o.k.
    Still gets back to …. why do Mexicans have the right to circumvent the Nafta law and not Residente Permanente’s

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi David,
      The trusted Mexican you propose still could not import the non-NAFTA car – to sell back to you later – because only licensed dealers are allowed to bring in non-NAFTA cars. I mentioned some of the basic costs of becoming and operating a car dealership, to say that the car dealers have paid for the privilege.

      Reality around the world says that governments regulate what comes into their country. Around the world, people and businesses pay for the privileges of using rights and responsibilities reserved for the government. e.g. Why pay for a driver’s license?

      Adults should be allowed to do what ever they want. (yes?)

      Shouldn’t we all have the right to drive, without the nuisance of tests or training?

      That kind of thinking says that there no need to regulate human behavior.
      This way of thinking has old traditions and has an old name: Anarchy.

      Supporters are called Anarchists.

      Sure, it sounds really good at first glance: Adults should be allowed to do what ever they want ~ without any “interference” from government ~ shouldn’t they?

      Unfortunately, Anarchy allows the strongest, swiftest, and most manipulative to rule: Might makes right is often one result of anarchy… Liars and cheats also like anarchy – because under anarchy, there is no rule of law or police/prosecutors/judges to catch and jail the offenders – because without rules … there are no offenders.

      We may dislike some aspects of government, but I personally appreciate street lights, streets, police and fire protection, interstate highways, and all the things that require $$ from duties and taxes – things we sometimes take for granted. First World amenities come with a price tag.

      Anarchy also means that I have the right to dump my over-flowing chamber-pot and dirty dishwater out the window – and it is the responsibility for passers-by to either duck or step around the ….

  126. Steven says:

    Has anyone received their paper work from Sr. Uc in the last few months? I have been “in process” with my NAFTA car since September.

  127. creaghsteve says:

    I heard Uc has been refunding monies as the documents were fakes and he was called on it.

  128. joseph will says:

    Wow Yuclandia!! This was an EPIC thread and Ive read it start to finish! Thanx so much to EVERYONE who has taken the time to post their experiences and try to allow us ALL to learn from the mistakes and successes of others.

    I bought a 93 Ford Ranger with CO plates HERE in QROO about 8 years ago and had no problem, at THAT time, putting it “under my Fm3” and paying the Temp Import which I then dutifully re-applied and paid for several years after. At one point my front window was smashed and the Temp Import sticker destroyed, so had to make a run for Belize and come back in, pay another Fianza of 200 bucks for the new sticker. This was about 14 months ago.

    Now, like many, Im about to get the Res Permanente (have been here since 2000) and the truck is still running strong and was hoping to get a couple thousand dollars for her. Have been offered by Deshuesaderos but my lawyer has NOT been able to confirm, via SAT, exactly what the procedure should be with the Notary Public etc..

    Has ANYONE else gone this route and can share experience? does the whole operation have to be Pre-approved by SAT? Are there any official FORMS or we just type up the “constancia” and include pictures etc?? Is it necessary to rip the VIN off the motor?

    Better yet, now that I see that this Chetumal UC character was just taking money and not offering results (go figure!) has anyone experience with the woman Sonia Diaz en SMde Allende and her “miracle cures?”

    Im open to any suggestions. Really seems a shame to leave the ol girl rotting in the backyard when the 4×4 and A/C still work great and shes got another 100k miles of hard work under the hood!!

    best regards and thanx in advance!

  129. John Wagner says:

    Has anyone had experience with the Cuevas company in Laredo/Nuevo Laredo? I live in Xalapa, Veracruz, and have not been able to get any help with importing my car through the aduana in Veracruz. I’m thinking I may have to drive up to the border. I have been in touch with Cuevas, but they want me to send documents and a $300 deposit before I take the car up there. Apparently they car is transferred to a Mexican National and then imported. Sounds risky to me. Lots of trust needed!

  130. Fred says:

    I had my ford excursion done by grupo cuevas. Everything took one day once they had the paperwork and deposit. My car has both mex plates and Texas plates. Texas doesnot care what happens on the other side. I have U.S and mex insurance and travel to laredo every 15 days. No problems on either side of the border. My mex pedimento was on the SAT web site the next day.

    • wrytr says:

      We used Grupo Cuevas, too, and kept our U.S. plates. We bought insurance through Qualitas and that covers us in the U.S. when we drive up for short visits, so we don’t need to maintain additional U.S.-based insurance. The process was fairly smooth with Grupo Cuevas but we were stuck in Laredo for three days because the Aduana computer system went down and Aduana was processing all applications by hand. When we got to the Aduana office in Nuevo Laredo, the line was a few hundred cars long, so it took several hours inching foward in the line for our turn. But they sell yummy tortas and beverages, and everyone was friendly, and it turned out fine. Instead of continuing on the San Miguel de Allende–a full day’s drive from the border–we drove to Matehuala for the night and completed the trip the next day.

    • John Wagner says:

      Thanks very much, Fred, for your reply. Did you need aMexican driver’s license to get your plates when you arrived home (SLP?)?

  131. John Wagner says:

    Thanks so much for your reassuring reply. So we should be prepared to stay longer than one day in Nuevo Laredo. Did you subsequently get Mexican plates in the state where you reside? Did you need a Mexican Driver’s license to do so? Oh, and I assume you did not have to take the car out of Mexico. (I have CA plates that are not current and no US insurance.)

    • wrytr says:

      John, I did take the car out of Mexico, yes. I had to because my TIP expired. Even if that’s not the case with you, I’m not sure if Grupo Cuevas can do the whole thing on the Nuevo Laredo side or not. Call them. You’ll find their numbers on the website: http://www.loshermanoscuevas.com/.

      Now you don’t actually have to go through this if you don’t want. There is an agent here in San Miguel who can legalize the car for you without taking the car anywhere. Contact Sonia Diaz at soniangel32@hotmail.com. It’s more expensive but not really because you’d be paying for gas and lodging. She’s worked with several of my friends and all is above-board and legal, and you can trust her. (You can trust Grupo Cuevas, too. And the delay in my process was strictly because of Aduana’s computer issues, not the broker.)

      About your expired CA plates and no US insurance: you can buy insurance for a day from Sanborne’s and others. And the Grupo Cuevas office is really close to the border, so you could take a chance and just drive straight there, or to your hotel, and park the car. However, maybe the insurance companies won’t sell to you if your plates are expired. If you have time, you could go online, pay the registration to get it current, and have the tabs sent overnight by Fedex. But this kind of thing is why you might rather use Sonia Diaz to get this done. Another reason: You keep the title in your name the whole time. She doesn’t transfer ownership to a Mexican. I did have to transfer ownership, and it cost me double to get my plates because essentially I had to “buy back” the car from the Mexican and pay sales tax, even though he is my boyfriend!!!

      About the new plates and insurance: Yes, I got plates in the state where I reside, which is Guanajuato. You have 30 days after the date on your pedimento (document showing you have imported the car). You start by filling out a form online (that’s new), and then you go and pay, and the plates come in 3-5 days. You also have to get an emissions inspection. As for insurance, we went with Qualitas, but there are several agencies. I’d recommend going with one that has an office in your town, in case you need personal service. I got full coverage that allows me to drive in the U.S.

      One thing I wasn’t prepared for was insurance on the way back to my town from the border. I drove uninsured and was nervous the whole time! I thought as soon as I got through Aduana with everything stickered and stamped, there would be a dozen insurance agencies lined up on the next block, waiting to sell me a policy, but no. We kept our eyes peeled all the way through Nuevo Laredo and saw none. We had to either keep going, or turn back and ask around, and it was late afternoon, so we kept going. At the checkpoint, I was afraid they’d ask about insurance because they DID inspect all the importation paperwork, but they let us go. The problem is, you can’t buy Mexican insurance until after you have imported the car. There is a Qualitas office inside the Customs building where you go on the U.S. side to get permits, etc.–but were we supposed to cross back over and get it there? We were confused. So as soon as we got home, we went out looking for insurance and didn’t drive the car for a few days until we had a policy in hand.

      Hope this helps!

      • John Wagner says:

        Wow! I really appreciate your taking all the time to write this important info. A few things: I contacted Sonia but found that her process takes up to fourteen weeks, costs about $900 more, and may not be quite a sure thing. So right now I am thinking it may be better to go to the border. I can’t reactivate my CA registration unless I buy insurance in CA, and that’s a very expensive proposition. I don’t ever intend to take the car back to the US. I think Cuevas has offices in Nuevo Laredo and suspect that we won’t have to take the car into the US.

        What I wasn’t thinking about was the necessity of obtaining insurance for the drive back. I currently have Sanborn’s insurance, but it’s my understanding that I will need a different company to insure the car after it is imported. (Is it required to have insurance for an imported car? I have a feeling most Mexicans don’t have car insurance.)

        I believe the TIP is still valid as my immigrant status has not lapsed. I did not go to the aduana every year to report my prorogas, but I think the TIP is valid as long as one has a valid visa. I did report my change of status when I converted from tourist to FM3. I now have residente temporal and have to convert to permanente in November.

        The car will be transferred to my Mexican husband’s name, and we may just leave it that way.

        Glad you were able to get your car imported. I believe I recall reading some of your posts when you were trying to get this all sorted out. It is just so byzantine. We are reduced to tracking down rumors and asking each other for help when it could all be so simple. All of this is to protect Mexican car dealers.

  132. Fred says:

    I have only a tx lic. San Luis is very easy for everything. The car doesnot have to cross into US. because you must go back over bridge 1 to the motor vehicle in Mexico.

  133. wrytr says:

    John, I’m sure you’re correct that your TIP is still valid (and you probably brought the car in before they started imposing deposits, right?) so no worries there. You are also correct about insurance. Sanborn’s won’t cover you once the car is registered in Mexico. However, I went to a local branch of Santander Bank (I’m not a customer or anything) as they are a broker for all the insurers. They printed out a matrix of all the insurance companies and what their products cover, and their prices. Of course the price is lower if you go directly to the insurer. So I picked Qualitas, went to them, and got signed up. I don’t know the laws about insurance but what if (God forbid) you hit someone? Can you afford to pay the medical bills? My car is important to me, and if it were totaled, I would have to come up with the cash to replace it right away, so I insure it. I wish I knew the answer to the interim insurance question for the trip down from the border. Maybe go to a couple of different providers in person before you head up to the border and ask them. Someone’s gotta know!

  134. Larry Jackson says:

    My Temporal Residente Visa expires in April of 2014 & I will go Permanente. I have a 2002 GERMAN Eurovan that I have paid a licenciatura 600 pesos to run the paperwork to a border Aduana ( don’t know which one). Previously only NAFTA ( assembled in North America) cars have been allowed to nationalize, but he says there is a chance that will change. He even cited a 19,300 peso fee ….if it goes through. Has anyone heard of anyone being successful in trying to nationalize “other than” NAFTA cars?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Larry,
      For the past 9 months, there have been at least 4 different work-arounds used by private individuals to permanently import German and Japanese 6 year old and older vehicles. Several Mexican states have amparos (think temporary restraining orders) in place that will allow licensed Customs Brokers at the border to use these special, normally-disallowed, permanent imports until next December. Some of these amparos only allow 6 year old or older NAFTA cars. Others allow German and Japanese cars. The process is done by a licensed Customs Broker – and takes less than half a day at the border. Nogales and Mexicali are cheaper than the Texas crossings. The cost is typically between $8,000 and $15,000 pesos, for the pedimento (Aduana’s permanent import document).

      The second type of import is a paper-only deal – you do NOT drive to the border – just send your papers to the agent – it works for 6 year old vehicles (NAFTA, German, and Japanese cars), and comes with a state license plate (Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Estado de Mexico, or Jalisco). Some of these state license plates never expire, but NOTE that most (all?) Mexican states require that you get your car re-registered in your state within 30 days or 60 days of living there. The cost of these paper-only imports (no trip to the border) is $20,000 – $30,000 pesos and takes 3 weeks to 6 weeks.

      The third type of special import process for German and Japanese cars has you sell your car (on paper – in an all paper deal) to a dealer. The dealer is allowed to import foreign cars. The dealer then imports it and registers it in his state – getting you both an Aduana pedimento and state plates – and he ships your papers and plates back to you.

      A fourth type of special import process for German and Japanese cars has you use the UCD or ONAPPAFA campesinos organization to import your car under their special low tax program – but then you pay an annual ($300 pesos) fee to the UCD thereafter – (to remain a UCD member?). There are now 3 national insurance companies that accept these specially UCD permitted cars for insurance – and Aduana DF and the Federal Govt recently both agreed to allow UCD permitted cars to drive all through Mexico (where they were once restricted to just a few states).

      Many states require vehicles to be re-registered in the state where the owner resides – typically within 30 – 60 days. If you get the UCD plates, be sure that you can get insurance, and be sure that your state’s police will allow you to keep and operate the vehicle in your state.

      More Confused? Less Confused?

      • Larry Jackson says:

        Thank you Steve. That is more info than I had hoped for ,and I’ll definitely pursue this to we which might work.

      • Larry Jackson says:

        Another thought or two…..or course…..I apparently have hired one of those licenciaturas working in the second type of “workaround”….nice word…that sent my paperwork to an agent at a border. Its already been 7 weeks and he still hasn’t heard anything from his contact. If that falls through, would it leave a paper trail so that if I drove to Nogales it would show up and nullify any attempt to do the first type mentioned?

        Question 2…..you said that some amparos do and some don’t allow outside of NAFTA. Is there any way of knowing before you actually get to a border station

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Larry,
        I don’t know of any paper trail. Either the application is approved and a pedimento issued, or nothing.

        If you go to the border, contact a licensed Customs Broker first, and make arrangements. They will tell you what is allowed.

        Oscar Angulo at Nogales is very good. His contact information is listed in our main article on importing cars into Mexico: https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/

      • Dianne says:

        I have a new topic/question. And I really need HELP.
        I moved to Mexico in March 2014 and obtained a TIP. After I began the residente temporal process, I obtained a letter from the INM to return to Texas in early April. At the border, my TIP sticker was removed. When I returned to the border, I was not allowed to obtain another TIP because I had no legal status either as a tourist or as a residente temporal. I then illegally drove my car to my home in Mexico. I now have a residente temporal, and thus now have legal status in Mexico to obtain another TIP and make my car legal. How can I do this without getting my car confiscated? Do I need to drive to the border in the dark? Do I need to somehow sneak across the border? (I did accidentally cross the border into Mexico twice one time. The border folks couldn’t figure out how I did it.)

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Diane,
        There is a GREAT fully legal route for you to fix the problems. See our main article on Driving and Importing Cars into Mexico at: Importing & Driving a Car in Mexico

        See the subsection on the SAT/Hacienda (Aduana) Retorno Seguro program: https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/#What%20to%20Do%20If%20Your%20Car%20Becomes%20Illegal

        It describes how to get a 5 business day (1 week) free permit to drive to the border, legally to get your permit. Realize that your insurance company can deny paying any claims because your car is being driven illegally. This means that not only can the police confiscate your car permanently, but if you get in an accident, you could be personally liable for $5 million pesos per person – with no insurance protection. If a Mexican family of 4 was killed in an accident with you, you would be liable for $20 million pesos – $1.5 million US dollars – for driving an illegal vehicle.

        Safe travels, and please,
        correct this serious problem soon,

      • David says:

        Having been affected by this ridiculous rule/law not allowing Jap/German vehicles to be imported when you take out residencia permanente we have decided to forego the residencia route and just do 6 months at a time tourist visas which then allows us to continue bringing our Japanese ( J ) vehicle with us each time and paying and getting back the $300 deposit each time we renew the visas.
        When you do the math and factor in the cost of the customs broker to import the vehicle then the import duty, plus putting Mexican plates on it and then paying an annual license fee … the cost becomes exorbitant and we calculated that we can come and go as tourists for almost 15 years for the same price as going the residente permanente/import the vehicle route.
        Unless you really want to go through the whole process of eventually becoming a Mexican/dual citizen, it’s a financial no brainer to go the tourist route.
        I am convinced the whole restriction against Jap/German vehicles is strictly a scam for the customs brokers to make money.
        If the authorities really wanted to comply with the NAFTA concept, then NOBODY ……… ( customs brokers included ) should be allowed to import non-Nafta vehicles.
        Either that or allow ” individuals ” to import the vehicles without having to use a broker and thus eliminate the ridiculous cost.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi David,
        I’m sorry that you are troubled “by this ridiculous rule/law not allowing Jap/German vehicles to be imported“. Blame Japan and Germany for not-negotiating and not-signing free-trade agreements with Mexico, and maybe THANK US leaders for signing a broad sort-of “free-trade” with Canada and Mexico.

        Consider also the extremely high duties and incredibly stiff requirements that Japan and Germany use to protect their industries… (Also, no one forced any of us to buy foreign-made cars…. I personally sold my very-nice Nissan Maxima before moving to Mexico, for this exact reason, and replaced it with a NAFTA-made car that we easily imported.

        How long have you had your Japanese or German foreign duty-free car in Mexico?
        How much have you paid in registration fees to Mexico for using her roads?
        How much have you paid in ownership taxes to Mexico for using her roads, signs, lighting etc?
        How much have you paid in import duties and 16.5% IVA taxes, costs that the rest of us pay for having a Mexican vehicle?

        You are allowed as a Temporary Resident to continue to use Mexican public services and roadways for free, using a Temporary Import Permit.

        Is FREE for years, really so bad???

        Do Americans or Canadians allow foreigners to use American & Canadian roadways for decades for free – unregistered? unlicensed? Not at all – just 1 year, and then OUT.

        The tourist visa route does work, especially if you live near a border to do the surrender-permits/exit/re-enter/get-new-permits dance every six months.

        Me? as the son (and 10 year employee) of a paving company owner, I have a sense of what it costs to build and maintain roads and streets. I personally appreciate and am grateful for public services. These things cost substantial money – so I am confused as to why some people resent paying for using them.

        Should paving workers work for free? Should gravel quarries, equipment operators, truck drivers who haul the stone, cement, and asphalt give it away for free… do it all for free?

        Public (expensive) projects benefits us in so many ways: Without good roadways, grocery-store shelves would be pretty bare, and there would not be much in the hardware or building-supply stores.

        Who should pay for the roadways?
        Who should pay for maintainence of the roadways and streets?
        Are annual taxes for licensing and ownership somehow wrong?
        Are taxes on vehicles – including the import taxes and duties paid by dealerships – wrong?

        Just how do all the good publicly-used things happen, unless someone pays?

        I realize that you enjoyed “free” use of Mexican roads, streets, signage, lighting, etc for years.

        Should it be free for all foreigners, forever, just because …???

        Does any society really appreciate “free-loaders”,
        the few who expect others to pay their bills?


  135. John Wagner says:

    Sanborn’s insurance says they will give me some sort of endorsement when I permanently import my car so that the insurance I have already bought will cover me until the policy runs out. Them I will have to buy domestic insurance.

  136. David says:

    Regarding Steve’s reply about the non-Nafta issue.
    You are offering some legitimate arguments about taxation and road use etc. but you are missing or ignoring the main reason that annoys me, and that is the fact that I can’t import the vehicle myself and am forced to hire some broker ( at a ridiculous fee ) rather than being able to do it myself at any Aduana office. This is nothing more that govt’. sanctioned protectionism …. maybe there’s a kick-back involved ?
    Anyway, on the issue of taxation and road use fees… remember that a ” large ” percentage of Mexicans pay no, or very little taxes and a large percentage of their vehicles are unlicensed and the drivers themselves are unlicensed and carry no insurance. Not to mention that road maintenance other than the autopistas around Mexico City is atrocious or non existent.
    Overall, even as a residente temporal we have probably contributed far more to the economy than has the average Mexican, based simply on what we spend in this country, so don’t try and lay a guilt trip on me for not paying road taxes etc.
    Also comparing what rules and fees Japan and Germany impose is hardly relevant considering how few people import cars back and forth between the U.S. and those countries.
    The issue here is if you are going to have Nafta agreement restricting importation on non-Nafta vehicles …. then stick to it.
    No exceptions for brokers …. same law has to apply to everyone

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi David,
      Choose honor, … choose integrity,
      … take responsibility for yourself … and for what you do,
      … do things in ways that work,
      and be happy.

      It is your mis-understanding-of and lack of understanding-of Mexican law that is causing you to incorrectly blame others. If you knew how Mexican law works, you would not make so many false claims and false accusations.

      In Mexican law, there is an old tradition of the amparo. An amparo is an order issued by a judge that gives temporary relief from a law. The closest thing in American jurisprudence is a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). Some amparos are written very broadly, others are very narrow. Amparos are created by someone paying a Notario to file lots of paperwork with a judge, making a case, and presenting that case before a judge. The judge then either rules, or asks for more information or clarifications. The rulings can be very narrow – granting temporary exceptions or exemptions for that individual or for a group of individuals. The amparos can expire or they can be overturned by higher courts. When an amparo ends, the interested party then has to file another set of legal proceedings to create another amparo – at significant cost. For these reasons, amparos may not be available for the general public to use for free.

      Really, what is your obsession with trying to get so many important things, all for free?
      Why the obsession with using things paid for by other people?

      Just as you like to use the Mexican roadways for free – enjoying much & benefiting much – paying nothing – while other’s pay for your continuing “free”-rides – now you are insisting that you should personally be allowed to use an amparo that you did not pay for, nor supported.

      Just as you insist that it is fine for Germany and Japan to erect big trade barriers through very-expensive duties and exotic requirements, you flip-flop and deny Mexico’s right to put even small duties into place. … peculiar…

      Now, you insist that you should have access to the amparos that you did not pay for and you spray around false accusations.

      Next, rather than owing-your responsibility to pay for what you use and enjoy, you instead point fingers of blame at others.

      Really, people who have integrity simply do what is right.

      Why make excuses that you should not have to pay?
      Why should you abuse the rest of us who do pay – because you imagine that others are not paying?

      The Mexican government does stick to the rules of NAFTA, except in the case of legal exemptions.

      If you don’t like it, then, either
      ~ become a Mexican Citizen and work to change things,
      ~ hire a Notario to file an application for amparo for you,
      ~ get a multi-year Residente Temporal visa and a FREE multi-year Temporary Import Permit (TIP) for your foreign non-NAFTA car,
      ~ don’t come to a place that you dislike (stay in your home country),
      ~ Simply sell your US car and buy a NAFTA car like the rest of us?
      ~ use the 6 month visitor visa route and FREE TIPs option.

      Really, why continue making lots of false complaints and false
      accusations, when you have 6 very good options available to you?

      Educate yourself about the facts,
      and learn the law,
      rather than making up fantasies
      about why things seem to be against you.

      Choose honor, … choose integrity,
      … take responsibility for yourself … and for what you do,
      … do things in ways that work,
      and be happy,

  137. Ben says:

    Have a US plated Cali van we are looking to sell either down in the yucatan peninsula of Mexico or Belize any help would be greatly appreciated it’s a dodge van 96 model

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Ben,
      As a reassurance to anyone who would want to buy it: You can sell the van to anyone, by making a quick trip to the Mexico-Belize border. If they have a Visitor (tourist) visa or Temporary Resident visa, they can get their TIP at the border. If they live in Quintana Roo, and drive it only in Q. Roo – maintaining current US plates (by keeping the California registration paid up and valid) – (or by getting a new South Dakota title and SD plates), they can drive freely around Q.Roo without any TIP.
      Happy Trails,

    • yucalandia says:

      Ben, you might also want to copy your post, and put in our main article on driving in Mexico, since that article gets more readers: https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/

      also, craigs list? or taco list?

  138. SharaLiz says:

    Hello! I have recently come across your page, and all the information you have collected on driving in Mexico has been soooo enlightening. Many kudos to you, sir! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope you’d have some time to help me figure out what to do with my situation.

    I am a canadian living in Puebla, and I am the owner of a car with plates from Texas which I want to sell. This car was imported temporally (Permiso de Improtacion Temporal de Vehiculos de Banjercito) in July 2011 in Nuevo Laredo.
    My problem is that the VIN starts with a “W”. It’s a 2008 Mercedes Benz made in Germany. I have asked several customs brokers and they all have told me that it is impossible to nationalize it, though they have offered to “regulate” it.
    So I was very glad to find on your site information on selling in Belize! I had no idea of the free zone, and I want to pursue this venture very much, although at the same time it has got me nervous! I had a few questions concerning the sale that you say can be done:

    1) If I sell the car in the Free Zone of Corazol, are there any fees/taxes to be paid? Not even for entering and exiting the zone?
    2) Does the buyer have to be a gringo with the Residente Temporal permit? Can it be, for example, a german with an FM3?
    3) You stated that after the sale of the car in Corazol, the car title had to signed over to the new owner. Do I sign on top of the original title like in Mexico: “Cedo y traspaso los derechos de la present factor a —-buyers name— con domicilio en —-buyers address—.” Date and my signature. Would I have to include a copy of my passport for the buyer?
    4) Do you recommend I get an extension on my TIP from Aduana in order to drive down to Belize? Or carrying a copy of Article 160 is sufficient? If not, would you have an example of the letter for Aduana to request this extension?
    5) Is there a website that you’d recommend to find a buyer? I have already enlisted the car in yolisto.com, been up for 2 months now and I haven’t had any responses. I also have it on mercadolibre but I have been contacted only by mexicans! (And they can’t buy the car in Belize right?)

    Sorry for throwing so many questions at you, but any help would be greatly appreciated!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi SharaLiz,
      You wrote: (My answers are ~ in normal font)
      “1) If I sell the car in the Free Zone of Corazol, are there any fees/taxes to be paid? Not even for entering and exiting the zone?
      ~ No fees or taxes owed – you just have to find a buyer with enough cash to meet your price.

      2) Does the buyer have to be a gringo with the Residente Temporal permit? Can it be, for example, a german with an FM3?
      Any buyer with cash is fine. (We found our past buyers in the business owners of the shops in the Free Zone.) If the buyer is foreigner who wants to take the car back into Mexico, they must either have a Visitors visa or a Residente Temporal (non-working) – or if a foreigner, they could drive it only in Quintana Roo (as long as they keep the Texas registration current – or get current South Dakota registration from Clay County).
      ~ You could also drive north, and sell it in Texas to anyone…

      3) You stated that after the sale of the car in Corazol, the car title had to signed over to the new owner. Do I sign on top of the original title like in Mexico: “Cedo y traspaso los derechos de la present factor a —-buyers name— con domicilio en —-buyers address—.” Date and my signature. Would I have to include a copy of my passport for the buyer?
      ~ With a Texas title, I believe you just sign the back. It’s good to also give the buyer a bill of sale that includes the statements and information you describe, plus VIN, make and model, and buyer’s passport number – or if Mexican buyer: IFE card copy (front and back). The buyer can carry the bill of sale in the car…

      4) Do you recommend I get an extension on my TIP from Aduana in order to drive down to Belize? Or carrying a copy of Article 160 is sufficient? If not, would you have an example of the letter for Aduana to request this extension?
      ~ All foreign-plated cars that were brought into Mexico after June, 2010 are supposed to have gotten the annual extension letters from Aduana. Article 106 is not sufficient. You may have already lost any deposit you paid if you have not sent in written annual extension requests to Aduana. I would make the request to Aduana, with proofs that you kept your INM visa continuously, with no breaks and no penalties or fines. … or get a free 5 business-day Retorno Seguro permit. You can see our main article on Driving In Mexico for examples of the Aduana TIP permit extension letter, and Retorno Seguro permits at:
      ~ https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/
      ~ https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/#Example%20Letter%20Notifying%20Aduana%20of%20changes-in%20or%20renewals-to%20your%20INM%20Visa
      ~ https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/#What%20to%20Do%20If%20Your%20Car%20Becomes%20Illegal

      5) Is there a website that you’d recommend to find a buyer? I have already enlisted the car in yolisto.com, been up for 2 months now and I haven’t had any responses. I also have it on mercadolibre but I have been contacted only by mexicans! (And they can’t buy the car in Belize right?)
      ~ ??? Excellent question. Do you have Craigs List site for your area? or Craigslist for a Texas border town? or try Merida, Yucatan’s Craigslist. Mexconnect.com may have an area for selling things – or logon and ask a question there and list the car and its details to quietly troll for buyers while asking legitimate questions.

      Hope these answers help,

      • vupora says:

        Thank you so much Steve, you responded right away!
        All this information is great, I will start working on the extension letter from Aduana. The deposit made is probably forfeit as you mention, what makes me mad is that when I renewed my INM permit I specifically asked INM if there was anything I had to do for my TIP car, and they said that all I needed was to have my migratory status in order. Actually, I had to apply for a prorroga, or ask for more time to renew my status the last time, and even so they said nothing about the car. I wonder if Aduana will give me a hassle because of that. Would they fine me?

        Looks like I will work on that and the Texas registration, which I’d like to ask, what happens if I don`t renew it? I’ve been in Mexico the whole time so I hadn’t even thought of it, and it expired in 06/12! :S I will check how much the renewal could be.

        Thank you so much for the suggestions to list the car! This has been very helpful, I will let you know what develops!

        Good day!

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi vupora,
        Unfortunately, asking one government bureau clerk about the policies of a different bureau’s changing rules – can lead to problems. It’s like asking a US State Department clerk about how to meet IRS’s specific tax policies on Americans living overseas. US State Department clerks just don’t know the IRS’s special tax rules for Americans living abroad, just like INM clerks don’t know changing Aduana rules.

        Re the prorroga, Banjercito (Aduana’s partner) may not have confiscated your deposit. In any case, as long as your INM permit did not formally expire, your Aduana TIP should be fine – but you do need to file with Aduana, now, telling them your current INM permit’s expiration date. So, Banjercito may have confiscated the deposit, while Aduana still allows you to renew your extended expiration date. (Makes a lot of sense, eh? Banjercito’s computer can automatically confiscate the deposit 15 days after your first registered TIP expiration date – unless they get prior notification from Aduana of a NEW expiration date – but that’s a Banjercito bank issue – separate from Aduana’s permission to accept your application for a new expiration date.)

        The expired Texas registration may or ~ may not ~ be a problem: If your insurance company will certify that they will cover accidents when you do not have legal registrations and when you do not have legal plates, then you have cleared one hurdle. Since each accidental death from a car accident can now cost the other driver up to $5 million pesos, if a family of 4 were killed in an accident with you, you could be on the hook personally for $20 million pesos – if your insurance company uses a fine print clause to say that your policy is invalid because your car is not legally registered, or is not in the country legally (with no current legal Aduana TIP permit?). Unfortunately, we sit in jail indefinitely after a car accident if we cannot prove that we can pay all the potential liabilities from an accident. plus, It’s really hard to deal with these things from jail.

        It’s very unlikely that this would happen – but know that insurance agents are just sales people and like your INM clerk, the insurance agents generally really do not know the fine print of their policies. In other words, get the Aduana letter and keep valid insurance protection, to stay out of jail.

        Also realize that many Mexican states do require foreign plated cars to maintain valid US or Canadian registration and current plates, so driving around Mexico can trigger different requirements than your home state’s. (It’d be a real bummer to have some police at a reten or state border crossing figure out that your nice Mercedes is not legal, and confiscate it permanently.)

        Overall, you should be fine… Just don’t get in any accidents, make sure your insurance coverage allows you to have expired registration, and if you cannot get registration and cannot get the expiration date extension letter from Aduana, then don’t drive and get a 5 day Retorno Seguro permit to take the car out of Mexico.

        Best of Luck in making your vehicle legal again,

      • goatwrangler says:

        Lewis & Lewis requires current registration of your car in the US.

        Holly Hunter http://www.RanchoSolYMar.com Volunteer application found at this link. http://www.ranchosolymar.com/RanchoSolyMar/FAQs.html http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rancho-Sol-Y-Mar/161161017283855


  139. Ben says:

    Thanks just uploaded it

  140. Pingback: Tipping Mexico | AFL Footy Tipping

  141. vupora says:

    Hello again Steve!
    I haven`t done much but this is a quick update with a few Q’s:
    I have called the Texas DMV asking about how I, a resident of Mexico, could renew my Texas plates, since the online renewal process requires I be a resident in the county where the car is registered and that I have proof of insurance, stuff I don’t have. On the phone I was told that these requirements are only necessary if I go the US and that there was no registration process for Texas plated cars in other countries. I don’t know what more can be done here.
    I have my letter prepared to take personally to the Aduana in Puebla (where I am located), do you recommend me taking certified copies of the TIP and/or of my new INM card? I called the Aduana to ask them this, and they were very specific that they give NO information over the phone.
    And I wanted to confirm with you: Can a Mexican citizen buy this car from me and then import it into Mexico? Or is it impossible because of the foreign VIN?
    Thanks in advance!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi vupora,
      Re renewing Texas plates w/o a physical address or formal residency: Sorry, we don’t know.

      Per the legal agreement you signed, foreign-plated TIP cars are prohibited from being sold in Mexico. You could either take the car to the border yourself and cancel the TIP and then sell it, or get a free Retorno Seguro permit to have someone else drive your car to a border using a Carta de Poder giving them permission to drive your car, including permission (as your agent / representative) to cancel the TIP and to sell the car.

      The other person can only import the car if it meets the current rules (6 or more years older, NAFTA manuf. VIN, etc.). See our main article for details on Cars and Mexico at: https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/
      Happy Trails,

  142. Don says:

    Help! Im a mexican citizen but came in as a tourist from US and lost my green card looks like i may have to wait to get back to the US if at all i want to permanently import my car which is already her with a tip but its a 2002 german bmw so what can i do? What’s worse my permit expires in 4 weeks and im losing faith that anything can be done to keep it since i can’t drive into the US plus im pretty far from the boarder and would be a dangerous trip. Is there any loopholes, exceptions? anything i can do to keep it with me here in mexico?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Don,
      As you lost your FMM, if you are flying out of Mexico, you pay a fine to INM (about $40 US dollars), and INM gives you permission to board an airplane.

      If driving, you simply drive out.

      What kind of license plates does the car have? If it has valid US plates and registration, you could drive it back into the USA. If you are in Q. Roo (or Baja), you could go with any foreigner with a Residente Temporal and take it to Belize, cancel the TIP at the border (or the USA), you sell it to them, and the Residente Temporal could drive it in Q. Roo (a free zone) without a TIP. Foreigners with Residente Temporal could also buy your BMW, sold to them on a road-trip to Belize or Guatemala, and they could get their own TIP to be able to drive it around Mexico.

      See our main article on cars and driving in Mexico at: https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/

      Hope this helps,

  143. Glenn Turner says:

    We’ve been in Mexico for 6 months, going home to Canada in a few weeks. Our truck was stolen while here. Our insurer, GNP, requires cancellation of the TIP before they will process the claim. We are in the middle of that process now (lengthy because we don’t have the TIP, and it has also expired) but we understand we will have to pay the 40% tax in order to cancel the TIP. Is there any way around this, or any way to recover the tax? Our insurance company has advised us that we could donate the vehicle to Aduana to avoid the 40% tax, but not being in possession of the vehicle, this seems unlikely to work. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Glenn,
      Our main article on cars and driving in Mexico describes your situation at:
      What Happens if Your Foreign Plated Car is Stolen …. SURPRISE ! @#%&***!!https://yucalandia.com/driving-in-mexico-issues-fun/importing-driving-a-car-in-mexico/#What%20Happens%20if%20Your%20Foreign%20Plated%20Car%20is%20Stolen

      Since 2008:
      If your foreign plated car is stolen in Mexico, you owe Aduana a 40% tax (as the Import tax) for not being able to take the car out of Mexico, as you agreed-to when you got your Temporary Import permit. Aduana instituted this fee because past expats would dump their foreign plated cars that they did not want to take back to the border, and then claim that “My car was stolen.” to get around the Aduana requirements.

      If you choose to not pay the tax, you forfeit your future rights to Temporarily Import another car and drive it here with foreign plates.

      Sorry, when you signed the contract for your Temporary Import Permit from Aduana, your signature unfortunately means you agreed to Aduana’s terms and requirements.

      … including taking the car out of Mexico before the TIP expired, and risking the stolen car penalty.

      Unfortunately, you are paying the consequences for many past gringos who illegally sold their Temporary Imported cars inside Mexico – and then filed false claims that “my car was stolen” : a gringo version of “the dog ate my homework“.

      Sorry that you are being penalized for the prior bad acts of other Americans living in Mexico.

      Wish I had better news for you,

  144. Glenn Turner says:

    Hi Steve,
    Thanks for your response. Thanks to your article I was already aware of the tax implications of cancelling the TIP. In our situation, I would rather not cancel the TIP (and therefore hang onto the tax which will be about $8000), as we don’t have plans to do this trip again. Unfortunately, I cannot process my insurance claim unless the TIP is cancelled, or so GNP says. If anyone has advice regarding proceeding with a stolen vehicle claim without cancelling the TIP, it would be appreciated.

  145. sdibaja says:

    sorry, I am going blind trying to read all the past comments.
    I have a 2005 Dodge Durango, registered in California.
    I live in Ensenada, BC and am Inmigrado
    we have no issues but I wish to quit paying for insurance in the US, as required by Ca. despite this vehicle never crossing the border.

    can anyone recommend any customs brokers? Ensenada, TJ, Mexicali, etc. thanks

    • sdibaja says:

      update: I got no responses so I used the Yellow pages. a few calls later and an office visit and it was set up.
      I used a local importer in Ensenada.
      I dropped the car off with him on Sunday evening, he drove it to Otay crossing on Monday morning. I provided my pink slip, copy of FM, proof of residency and the ca$h.
      Friday afternoon it was back, Pedimento and Factura in hand.
      Monday I bought insurance and then I went into Municipal and got my new plates.
      simple, easy.

  146. John Wagner says:

    I came from CA to Xalapa, Veracruz, in 2010. I felt I was in a Catch-22 with the insurance too. I couldn’t register my car in Mexico yet (it is a 2006) because it wasn’t old enough. Yet the insurance I was supposed to pay to keep my CA registration current wouldn’t cover me here. I had no intention of ever taking the car back across the border. So I decided to declare it out of use (or whatever the correct term is) and thus didn’t have to pay registration fees or insurance. And the car wasn’t going to be used on CA or US roads at all. Then I went to Nuevo Laredo to get the car imported. I paid a broker about $2000 to do it. The experience was harrowing, but everything worked out OK. I now have Veracruz plates. I have Mexican insurance. I did all of this a few months before I became a permanent resident. Unfortunately it seems you now have to export your car officially from the US before it can be imported to Mexico. Or so I’ve heard or read. How you do that I don’t know. You are lucky to be close to the border; you don’t have to make a long trip to a dangerous border area like Nuevo Laredo. Best of luck.

  147. bernard wasow says:

    Our experience is not directly relevant but might help. In 2005 we drove a Nissan to Michoacan which we used for the next 8 years. We kept the US plates, obtained Mexican insurance for US plated cars (through a US broker in LA who specializes in that trade), and let our US insurance lapse. In 2013, the good old Nissan was declared “caro non grata” due to its Japanese origin, so we exported it back to the US. We got US insurance at the border (with Arizona) without difficulty. We brought a replacement car into Mexico, a US manufactured Honda. We entered at Nogales, Arizona very smoothly. The agent who saw us through the import process (we officially “nationalized” the used Honda) was Oscar Angulo:
    LIC. Oscar Fco. Angulo.
    AnCo Comercializadora.
    Tel 631-31-52571
    Nex. 32*13*322903
    Cel Mex 045 6311573821
    Cel Usa 520 988 5060

    Mr. Angulo was extremely helpful. I recommend him highly. Of course, laws are different now from 2013, but I am sure that Mr. Angulo is on top of them all. I suggest that anyone who might consider Nogales as a crossing point and needs importation advice should seek the services of Oscar Angulo.

  148. Andrew from Canada says:

    For heaven’s sake; what a tangled issue! Steve, you rightly suggest in more than one post that the only thing worth doing is the right thing. I agree. But Mexico being Mexico at this particular point in its transition to the “First World”, it isn’t always easy to find out what the right thing is. I have read this entire thread, and still can’t figure out how to rid myself of my British 1980 Triumph TR7, which I inadvisably brought into Mexico from Canada five years ago when I was Non-Inmigrante. Now I am Residente Permanente, and stuck with an illegal car which was fun for a few years (drop-head coupe, great climate, fun-to-drive), but which I now can’t risk driving anywhere that the Federales might be on patrol.

    I can’t drive it back to Canada because I won’t take the risk at my age. It isn’t worth the cost of shipping it back because it’s worth peanuts, and anyway who is to take delivery at the other end? If I drove it over the US border, I can’t sell a Canadian registered car in the US (and no reputable scrap yard would accept it). It seems that Aduana won’t accept it as a “donation” (what would they do with it anyway?). It seems that I can’t scrap it because it has to be wrecked and unusable.

    Meir Gershenson suggests that the answer is to abandon it (presumably stripped of all I/D and VIN) and walk away. I have seriously considered that! But surely there is a solution more acceptable to one who would like to be considered a mensch?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Andrew,
      I can see 3 basic solutions off the top of my head:
      1. Make a trip to either Belize or to the Free Zone of Corazol – a truly duty-free zone at the Belize-Mexico border – outside of Chetumal, and sell the car there.

      2. Sell the car to a gringo.
      …. a. A gringo with a Residente Temporal could buy it from you (at the Mexico-Belize border) and they get their own TIP to drive it.

      …. b. A gringo who lives in Quintana Roo (a formal free zone like Baja California) is allowed to drive a foreign-plated vehicle, as long as the plates/registration are kept current.

      3. You could move to Q. Roo and drive it there yourself – with current plates/registration from back in Canada.

      When taking the car to Q. Roo or Belize, you get a Retorno Seguro permit (free) valid for 5 business days, to allow you to drive the vehicle legally. See our main article on importing and driving cars in Mexico:

  149. Bernard Wasow says:

    I returned my US plated “carro non grata” to the US in 2013 after it had spent eight soporific years in Michaocan as a resident alien from the US, I used a permission letter that I obtained from the tax people (if I remember correctly). The letter gave me five days from its date of issue of free passage to get the offending vehicle out of Mexico. I was stopped once by the police on the drive north, in Chihuahua state, but the police were after hidden drugs, not US plated vehicles. As a US citizen, I registered the car in Arizona, immediately in Douglas, where I crossed, and drove it onward to California. I think it would have been possible for me to drive it anywhere, in the US, at least, with its temporary Arizona tags. I am not sure what problems a car with Canadian registration would face in Arizona. But for my car with its 2005 Washington DC plates and registration, it was no problem in 2013 to get the letter of permission in the state capital (Morelia) to drive it to the border, and no problem with making the car legal and insuring it right after I crossed into the US in Arizona.

  150. Chuck Friedman says:

    Like others, I’ve read thru your blog (from 2014 on) and still need your input. I live in San Miguel Allende and wouldn’t bother to request info from SMA’s “Snivel List”—I’d get 6 answers from 4 people, and all of them would be wrong.At least your responses have accuracy and validity !
    My Residente Temporale expires in June, and I’ve been looking into nationalizing my 2009 NAFTA vehicle. Unfortunately, all of the brokers I’ve contacted (including Oscar Angulo and Grupo Cueveas who you have recommended) tell me that NO ONE is nationalizing cars now, and they have not been able to do anything for almost five months. No one can tell me why the gov’t has stopped nationalizing cars—but that’s a whole separate issue.

    I think my only option is the following, and I’d like your input or suggestions. (BTW: the title of the car is in my name only)
    1..Before my RT expires (and my car becomes illegal) , drive to Nuevo Laredo, turn in my current TIP, then cross to the US.(Question: is the TIP return done at the Mexican Aduana?) I know I won’t get my deposit back because an attorney here in SMA screwed up and never renewed my TIP when my RT was renewed the first time.

    2. Come back into Mexico as a tourist (valid for 6 months). I believe no visa is required, but can you verify this?

    3. Once I’m in in the US, I assume I will need to get auto insurance for the 3-4 days I’ll be in Laredo. (I have Mexican insurance, but I don’t think that it’s valid in the states.), Any thoughts on where/how? Anyone know if I can do this on line BEFORE I cross into Texas?
    I should then properly EXPORT my car before returning to Mexico. (Regulations requiring this have been on the books for years, but no one has paid attention to this until recently—and who knows what the consequences of NOT exporting your car will be down the road.) Any idea what “issues’ there might be getting back into the states with a car that was never “properly” exported?

    4. Bring the car into Mexico as a tourist. Get a new TIP at Aduana. The car should now be “legally” in Mexiico for 180 days while I’m a “tourist.”

    5.Once back in SMA, I can apply for a new RT, as my wife will be a Residente Permanente, and I’ve been told that, as the spouse of a RP, my application should go through without a glitch. (Any thoughts on this?

    6. Once I have my RT, I can then start the nationalization process all over again since, hopefully, the gov’t will be nationalizing cars again well before my RT expires in 4 years.

    If this seems to make sense, l hope you, or another reader, can let me know. If the pieces of this puzzle all seem to fit, I will probably have a few more questions about the actual process. Many thanks.

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Chuck,
      Unfortunately, expat forums around the country are often rudderless when it comes to providing current accurate information on Aduana and INM issues.

      Fortunately, most INM & Aduana offices are operating with pretty much the same policies.

      Re the stoppage of permanent imports for foreigners: Since last September, Aduana DF decided to crackdown on illegal “paper only” imports and other illegal imports at the border, arresting 2 judges, a number of Aduana employees, and the customs brokers who participated in years of fraudulent/illegal activities. Mexican citizens are allowed to import vehicles the past few months (which opens the presta nombre route for some foreigners).

      On a related note, as Aduana consulted with their US CBP counterparts, they discovered that the “paper-only” import “facilitators” in Mexico were NOT following US export law on used US-titled vehicles, so the Aduana crackdown included a NEW additional requirement that all used American-titled vehicles for permanent import into Mexico have their US titles formally marked “cancelled” by US CBP, before the car is eligible for permanent import.

      Here are the answers to your questions:
      1..Before my RT expires (and my car becomes illegal) , drive to Nuevo Laredo, turn in my current TIP, then cross to the US.(Question: is the TIP return done at the Mexican Aduana?)
      Sort of, you stop at the Banjercito office (associated with Aduana).

      2. Come back into Mexico as a tourist (valid for 6 months). I believe no visa is required, but can you verify this?
      Sort of, you are entering on the simplest form of visitante visa using an FMM to apply. (no preapplication required – do it all at the border with an FMM)

      3. Once I’m in in the US, I assume I will need to get auto insurance for the 3-4 days I’ll be in Laredo. (I have Mexican insurance, but I don’t think that it’s valid in the states.), Any thoughts on where/how? Anyone know if I can do this on line BEFORE I cross into Texas?

      Check with your Mexican insurance company to see if liability coverage is included for the short stay in the USA.
      Many Mexican insurers do offer liability coverage as a special rider for very modest costs.
      Progressive and Esurance (American websites) do offer insurance, but I’m not sure if you need a US address.

      If you want full coverage, including collision damage coverage, one person has recommended segurogringo.com .

      I should then properly EXPORT my car before returning to Mexico. (Regulations requiring this have been on the books for years, but no one has paid attention to this until recently—and who knows what the consequences of NOT exporting your car will be down the road.) Any idea what “issues’ there might be getting back into the states with a car that was never “properly” exported?

      Good news on this item: You only need to export your car from the USA, if you plan to keep the car longer than 1 year in Mexico on a TIP, or plan to permanently import it into Mexico (not happening right now).

      We know of ZERO checks done by CBP on US vehicles returning to the USA.
      We know of ZERO problems for any Americans driving their US cars back into Mexico, as related to not previously exporting the vehicle.
      So far, this has been a regulation that was changed 2 years ago, but has not been enforced.

      4. Bring the car into Mexico as a tourist. Get a new TIP at Aduana. The car should now be “legally” in Mexiico for 180 days while I’m a “tourist.”

      Perfect. Should work out GREAT!

      5.Once back in SMA, I can apply for a new RT, as my wife will be a Residente Permanente, and I’ve been told that, as the spouse of a RP, my application should go through without a glitch. (Any thoughts on this?)
      Yes, that’s a good assessment and a good plan.

      6. Once I have my RT, I can then start the nationalization process all over again since, hopefully, the gov’t will be nationalizing cars again well before my RT expires in 4 years.

      Hopefully the unofficial moratorium on allowing foreigners to import used NAFTA cars will be resolved soon – but there really is not fact-based news on when this might happen.

      If this seems to make sense, l hope you, or another reader, can let me know. If the pieces of this puzzle all seem to fit, I will probably have a few more questions about the actual process. Many thanks.
      All good, your plans fit with other reader’s needs, and I still have the energy/desire to answer questions (when I know the answers).


  151. Linda Simms says:

    I got a TIP for my 1999 Truck in April 2011. It was my second TIP for the truck. I left Mexico with the TIP on my windshield fully expecting to return to Mexico before my TIP expired. Well plans changed and since I did not turn it in at the boarder I still had it on the truck for all these years. I just sold the truck and took it off the windshield. Is it worth my while to try to send it back to Aduanera? Any thoughts? I found a form called Formato de Solictud de Cancelacion de Permiso de Importacion Temporal. I have filled it out and have just guessed what other papers I might need to send via DHL. Any input?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Linda,
      Send both the TIP sticker and the original TIP paper document (that the sticker was attached to).

      A foto of the VIN used to be required. Copies of your passport, your prior and current immigration visa (if you have it). Those were the items we needed to cancel a friend’s expired TIP.

  152. Terri says:

    I would like to share my experience with Options 8 and 9. Neither of them worked for me. I had a 30-day TIP and currently my visa is in transition from Residente Temporal to Residente Permanente. Because of that I was not able to renew the 30-day TIP. I went to the Banjercito office in Progresso to enquire if they would accept a letter from a deshuesadero or mechanic certifying that the car had been destroyed, because I had a mechanic lined up, and the Notario too. The nice lady at Banjercito said no, and advised me to visit SAT/Haciienda – the one near Sam’s Club in Merida. She said that sometimes SAT/Hacienda accepts cars as donations, using them for non-profit organizations or whatever. At the entrance gate of SAT we were directed to the door around the left side of the building – human services. I was there for about two hours, and after spending much time on the phone and listening to my story and reviewing my papers, the nice lady there informed me that they would not accept my car as a donation – that I instead would have to get the five-day Safe Returns permit and take it out of Mexico once I had my permanent residency visa (assuming that it will be granted to me).

  153. Luca says:

    I’m in Chetumal (canadian plates), and have to sell my van. Do you have any contacts of broker/people that is interested in buying the car?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Luca,
      We have friends who know dealers in Belize … but dealers pay less than individual private buyers.

      There are business owners in the Free Zone of Corazol – at Santa Elena (Subteniente López crossing) who like to buy our vans.

      I personally would drive to the Free Zone, go into businesses to talk with the owners or managers (who have a spare $3,000 – $5,000 USD cash) to buy a decent van.

      Try to get paid in MXN pesos, so you don’t have to lose (pay) an extra 1% – 3% to convert/exchange Belize dollars to MXN pesos.

      Happy Trails,

      • Eva says:

        Hello there,
        I want to sell my canadian plated (british columbia) car in the free zone of Corazol / Belize.
        My buyer wants to nationalize it in Belize, car brokers from there told me that this is totally do-able.
        My problem is: since it is a canadian car, it doesn’t have a propper title, only my insurance, which works like a title. Do you have any idea what kind of contract we shall sign? Will contract, copy of my insurance, copy of my id be sufficent for belizean border officals letting the buyer entering Belize?
        Any suggestions would help.

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Eva,
        What a unique situation> the combination of unknown(bare minimum document) requirements for Belize’s customs and vehicle registration, and the frankly-unique-peculiar BC Autoplan system.

        Unless someone steps forward to offer detailed information oh how Belize qualifies these BC cars, I think you have to trust that the Belize car brokers know enough to back up their promises to you … and be prepared to drive the car back into Mexico if they can’t pay you for the car.

        Good Luck,

      • Carole says:

        Steve, I might want to take my car to Belize to sell. Can you send me a few dealer names and where they might be located?

      • yucalandia says:

        Hi Carole,
        We’ve only dealt with private parties (business owners) in the Free Zone of Corazol – finding a buyer in less than a day and selling the car without us importing or taking it into Belize – doing the whole process in the Free Zone.

        Contact Vicki Hillman and her husband, as they know brokers/dealers who sell cars inside Belize. Vicki is on Mexico Amigos on facebook.

        I believe she is part of Merida Expat Services: https://www.facebook.com/Merida-Expat-Services-489643821140209/ ,

  154. Eva says:

    Thank you Steve. I will try to figure out what kind of documents they need for imigration and try to post a resumen here. As far as i know i am not the only person trying to sell a bc plated car in Belize. ICBC said that from their side there are no requirements at all, but no idea of what Belize Customs requires.

    There is one question left on which you might have an idea: At Corozal Freetradezone you have to make your deal in cash or can it be done with bank transfer as well?


  155. Dinter says:

    Do I need to make a TIP if staying only in Nuevo Laredo? And if I want to drive from there to Colombia bridge or to Piedras Negras?
    More specifically – I am now in Nuevo Laredo. my TIP expires in a couple of days and my tourist permit a day before that. I want to return the TIP, leave the car in Mexico, cross over to the States and return to Mexico after a few days or a week to take the car (and probably get back with it into the states. for some bureaucratic reason I can’t yet bring it back to the States – it’s registration is suspended and a few more days are required for it to be reinstated.)


    • yucalandia says:

      You can use the border exclusion zone rule… to be allowed to drive the car freely with no TIP in the 25 km(?) zone from the border… and down into both Baja California States, and parts of Sonora, and in Quintana Roo etc.

      Happy Trails,

      • Dinter says:

        Is this exclusion for the car only or also for myself (staying without the FMM) – so maybe I can stay here with the car instead of crossing back and forth to the US (trying to save a hassle as I am not a US citizen or resident).

      • yucalandia says:

        This one gets a little messier….

        The Mexican government began tightening up pedestrian border crossings in the summer of 2015. Before then, pedestrians walked across the border from the U.S. unhindered, and only needed to present papers (e.g. passport) if they traveled beyond the 25 km “free zone”. Now, pedestrians crossing into Tijuana at the San Ysidro crossing need to complete a form, present a passport and, if they intend to stay for more than a week, pay a fee of around US$20. People driving across the border are not currently affected by these changes.

        … The situation is in flux … and conditions may change and may depend on the border crossing.

        and yes, if they officially log you in, and charge you a fee, you may have to fill out an FMM (30d – 180d).


      • Una mc menamin says:

        Hi Steve,

        I am travelling with a Chilean car and would like to sell it. We are coming from Guatemala, through Belize to Mexico (Quintana Roo). Is the free zone to sell it in Mexico or Belize? I read above Corazol Belize.
        If so, when we enter Belize from Guatemala will it be stamped on our passport that we have a car with us? Or is there one in Mexico too, in Cheutumal?

        Is it legal to sell it in This area?

        Any help greatly appreciated Steve,


      • yucalandia says:

        Please read our answers to your question(s) that you posted on the Importing and Driving a Car in Mexico’s comments section.

      • Una says:

        Hi Steve,

        Just wondering about the free zone area. I am travelling with a Chilean car and would like to sell it. I am travelling from Guatemala to Belize then to Quintana Roo.

        Is the free zone in Belize? When I enter Belize will they mark on the passport that I entered with a car? Or must I enter via Mexico and not get an import?

        Many thanks


      • yucalandia says:

        Please read our answers to your question(s) that you posted on the Importing and Driving a Car in Mexico’s comments section.

  156. Dinter says:

    Interesting…I guess I’ll just have to go there and see.
    Thanks a lot!!!

  157. Carrie says:

    Hi! This question falls a bit outside the general scope of the conversation, but I imagine it will be relevant for some as well. I greatly appreciate having found this forum. Thank you so much for hosting it! Here’s the scenario – I have a temporary resident visa and a USA drivers license. I am considering purchasing a Mexico-plated car on the mainland. What requirements will I need to meet in order to be able to circulate in this car? Many thanks for any feedback you might be able to offer. Bonito dia!

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Carrie,
      Each state sets its own registration requirements, so contact your state DMV.

      There are no titles in Mexico, so the original factura from the dealer acts as a title.

      The seller handwrites a bill of sale on the back of the factura and signs it. Check their INE card for ID, and record their personal data.

      Some people advise checking the State’s DMV records for unpaid taxes and unpaid tenencias… which also lets you check that the seller is the actual owner.

      Check the registration papers vs sellers ID vs VIN on the vehicle…

      You’ll definitely need passport, RT card (copies of both), plus likely your US Drivers license and a comprabante (CFE bill within 3 months ol) to prove your address. The dealer factura…plus whatever your state wants
      Happy Trails,

  158. Henry Van Gemert says:

    Steve, thanks for the info, but I have a question.
    If I take a tip vehicle to the Belize border, can I cancel the tip (in my wife’s name) and immediately obtain another (in my name,since I have a Temporal and it can last longer? Or must I actually enter Belize and come back the next day?

    • yucalandia says:

      Hi Henry,
      A year ago, I went to the border with a friend and his wife’s TIP vehicle.

      We used a Carta de Poder to transfer all rights of ownership and operation, with the addtional specification that the wife gave him full rights to cancel her TIP, and for him to either sell the vehicle (in the free zone of Corazol) or to return with a new TIP in his name. We had the sticker intact, and the original TIP document + car registration + title. Aduana said fine to
      ~ cancelling her TIP
      ~ taking the car into the Free Zone of Corazol (for sale)
      ~ to return and get a TIP in his name.

      There was no overnight stay in Belize needed … but they tried to push us to do this … and I gently & POLITELY pushed back (in Spanish), pointing out that the Ley de Migración did NOT require any overnight stay in Belize.

      They relented… and it all went fine.

      Other people’s mileage may vary… ??

      Happy Trails,


  159. Sarah says:

    Hi Steven, I am looking for some advice on selling my can in Belize. It is a TIP car and I have been a permanent resident for a few years. I have a buyer in Belize. Do I have to cross into Belize to sell it to my buyer? Do they have to cross into Mexico to take it across? Will I be stopped trying to drive it out of Mexico? Before I became a permanent resident the Mexico side never paid any attention to my car when I crossed. On the Belize size I had to do a temporary import. Looking for advice.

  160. Sarah says:

    I know the free zone. Belizians typically can’t enter… but I’ll check how things are now a days. So if I can meet them in the free zone I can sell it there? Then they do the import to enter belize with it? Thanks again for your advice.

    • yucalandia says:

      All the Belizians who work in the Free Zone enter daily, so your proposal that Belizians somehow cannot enter the Free Zone doesn’t make sense. I’ve also met at least 20 Belizians just hanging out in the Free Zone, who do not have not jobs there (including kids & elders) … so, there’s some misunderstanding here… ??

  161. D. Phillips says:

    Is this still valid? Thanks.

    Option 8: Dispose of your car and cancel out your Aduana TIP
    You can have your car legally parted-out / scrapped / disposed and surrender your Aduana TIP permit to Aduana/Banercito, and preserve your Banjercito $$ deposit. Simply get a Notario to draft a letter for the mechanic, junk yard, dehuesodero, auto recycler to sign. The letter should have your name, your passport number, the car’s Make, Model, Year, and VIN, the Aduana TIP permit number, and it basically states that the undersigned ___________ has scrapped the car, and that the car is ruined and can no longer be driven.

    Submit the Notarized letter, along with a Cover Letter, plus supporting documentation to Aduana. (Include the original paper permit, the windshield sticker and Cover Letter with description of the Make, Model, Year, VIN of the car, your name and permit (TIP) number, your passport number, etc).

  162. Fulvia says:

    Hi Steve!
    I accidentally, already wrote to you regarding my problem posting a comment on the wrong topico Page…. I’m Sorry about It!
    I need help or tips for selling my Canadian car in belize….
    Im worry to be and easy scam prototype….
    Im gonna be in Chetumal soon
    Thanks again for your time and help…

  163. Tim says:

    Thank you so much for this article and all of the comments.
    A friend of mine from Italy bought a car from the washington state, USA and brought his car into mexico on a 6 months TIP. The TIP has already expired and do to Covid, he cannot leave mexico to renew his TIP because he is italian and cannot enter the USA. If I buy the car from him, what options do I have to take the car out of mexico? I would like to travel to the rest of central america (Belize, Guatemala,etc.)

Leave a Reply to Panda Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.