Oct 16, 2009, 12:14 PM
Post #3 of 8
It is always a little puzzling to me why so many people try to avoid driving in México City because of The Hoy No Circula law. Driving through México City is a challenge if a person is not used to driving in heavy traffic, and does not know the unofficial “rules of the road” in México though.
Simply learn on which day you cannot drive your car there and avoid driving in the city on that day. There will be no “hassles” with that law then. Crooked cops, maybe, Hoy No Circula no. To find out which day your car cannot be driven there, check this site: http://www.mexicocity.com.mx/nocircula.html
There is not much detailed information on the site anymore, but you can determine the day you can't drive there based on the ending number of your license plate. If you just bought a car and it has a paper permit, or if you have a foreign plated car with vanity plates with all letters and no numbers, you may not drive it on Friday there.
There is also one Saturday per month that a car may not be driven in México City. The city's website has been simplified so much that there is no longer any information about which Saturday you cannot drive your car there.
Sunday is the best day to drive through the city. Hoy No Circula is not in effect on Sunday, and traffic is relatively light in the city on Sundays. Hoy No Circula is not in force after 10 PM until 5 or 6 AM every day either. Starting in the late afternoon you will usually see many cars and trucks parked just before the entrances to the city. They are waiting for 10 PM so they may drive there.
We used to live in México City. Complying with the Hoy No Circula law may have been a little inconvenient at times, but it is no big deal. We live in Cuernavaca now, it is only about 40 miles from México City. My wife and her mother go there at least once per month to take care of family business. They are there right now attending a wedding. I stayed home to dog sit. I like México City, but every time I get a chance to not go there, I take it.
My wife's new van is new enough that it qualifies for a double O (OO) verification (smog test) sticker. It may be driven in México City every day. México City, D. F. has signed agreements with 4 or 5 adjacent states to allow them to issue OO verification stickers to Mexican registered and plated cars made in 2002 and newer. Only Mexican registered cars registered in México City or the approved adjacent states need, or may get OO verification stickers. Foreign registered cars do not need, and may not get valid verification stickers anywhere in The Republic. Our second Mexican plated car is too old to get a OO verification sticker, it may not be driven in México City on Tuesdays.
We have relatives in Puebla. We occasionally drive over to visit them. We do not need to go near México City to drive there from Cuernavaca. Personally, I wouldn't drive five minutes out of my way to avoid México City.
"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo