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karenarch

Oct 3, 2009, 11:24 AM

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Complicated Car Permit Question

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So I've got a question I hope someone can/will help me with.

I left my car at our house in Mexico, on one of those 6 month temporary importation permits with the $400 credit card deposit. Now we're back in the states and I'm trying to get an FM-3. We can't afford to go back to Mx as soon as we thought, and are trying to figure out our options and possible consequences.

Here are the questions to which nobody at any of the embassies/consulates here can give us a straight answer:

1] if I do not get my FM3, and don't get the car to the border before the 6 months is up, what happens?

2] if I get my FM3, but don't make it to Mx in time to take the car to the border before the 6 months is up, what happens?

3] if I get my FM3 and do make it to Mx before the 6 months is up, do I still have to take the car to the border, or can I get some kind of permiso down there to keep the car there?

Many thanks,
Karen Arch



sparks


Oct 3, 2009, 6:55 PM

Post #2 of 28 (8765 views)

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Re: [karenarch] Complicated Car Permit Question

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There are no 'permisos'

My car has been in Mexico for 5 years on a tourist visa. People say I should drive to the border and change it to an FM3. I talked to Aduana in Manzanillo and they say it's not necessary. Rules mean little in Mexico except for the 'official' you happen to be talking to at the moment.

If you want to relax and be safe ... just resign yourself to drive to the border whenever you get here

Hopefully we're not talking a drive from Cancun

Sparks Mexico - Sparks Costalegre


chicois8

Oct 3, 2009, 9:45 PM

Post #3 of 28 (8738 views)

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Re: [sparks] Complicated Car Permit Question

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Hopefully we're not talking a drive from Cancun

Sparks, if she were in Cancun she would only have to drive to the border at Chetumal, correct?


shoe


Oct 4, 2009, 5:50 AM

Post #4 of 28 (8718 views)

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Re: [karenarch] Complicated Car Permit Question

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If you get your FM3, you have a year from that date, to take your vehicle to the border (any MX border) and turn in the old permit and get a new one. The new permit will be valid as long as you keep you FM3 valid.

If you do not get your FM3, you agreed to remove the vehicle from Mexico within 6 months when you got the permit. The penalties vary from customs place to custom place and there are no options. While the Federales do not have any jurisdiction on this they do have the right to impound your vehicle and notify customs that you have violated your agreement and then it is up to customs to do as they wish. Usually just a peso penalty but it could be worse.

Now if you drive to the border and do not get checked just get a new permit on your way back in. You may have to turn in the old one if you are still in the computer, which is getting better and better as time goes by and there might be a penalty that you will have to pay but this has not happened often.

There are some old threads on this that you could do a search on. Anyone that has really checked into this and talked to people that know the law will verify this.

cya,
shoe

Nothing is intrinsically good or evil, but its manner of usage may make it so.
-St. Thomas Aquinas


bournemouth

Oct 4, 2009, 7:01 AM

Post #5 of 28 (8700 views)

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Re: [shoe] Complicated Car Permit Question

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I've never heard that you have one year to take your car to the border and get a new permit under your FM3 - can you cite the actual law on that please?

I understood that you replace the permit when you remove the car from Mexico for the first time after getting an FM3 - so the time frame you quote is a new wrinkle.


karenarch

Oct 4, 2009, 7:24 AM

Post #6 of 28 (8694 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Complicated Car Permit Question

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Thanks everyone for the very reassuring info. Sounds like, as with all things Mx, it's next to impossible to get a ruling that is observed by all offices. Also sounds like I need to get the FM3 and then the worst case scenario will be that I have to get to the border within a year from the FM3 initialization, and best case scenario is that even if I don't there will never be a problem unless some law enforcement official wants to harass me. For which, as we all know, no legal reason is actually necessary :-)

Karen


Moisheh

Oct 4, 2009, 3:10 PM

Post #7 of 28 (8647 views)

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Re: [sparks] Complicated Car Permit Question

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"Rules mean little in Mexico except for the 'official' you happen to be talking to at the moment. "

Sparks I am surprised you would make such a blanket statement. I would not want to be in accident with an expired car permit ( NO FM3). That is clearly illegal and would likely result in your car being impounded and then siezed. I also wonder what would happen to any insurance you might have?? They are always looking for an excuse to not pay. My advice to the original poster would be to follow the laws. Mexican jails suck!!


Moisheh


sparks


Oct 4, 2009, 7:51 PM

Post #8 of 28 (8606 views)

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Re: [Moisheh] Complicated Car Permit Question

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Despite your usual negative attitude about what can happen to a person in Mexico .... I suppose an expensive lawyer or the lawyer for a taxi, bus or other transportation company 'might' find that loophole in an accident situation.

That possibility is about .001 percent of this conversation but maybe should not be excluded or we'll hear the consequences on Canadian news

Sparks Mexico - Sparks Costalegre


shoe


Oct 7, 2009, 4:29 AM

Post #9 of 28 (8534 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Complicated Car Permit Question

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bournemouth: On the one year to get the proper permit for a new FM3 holder, I was told this by the expediter in Chapala, Margo. It was confirmed by the permit people at Laredo when I changed mine and by a customs officer at the Belize border. I only asked him because of a argument with a friend and I wanted another opinion. He would have sent me back to the border to get the right permit if I did not have connected with the FM3. He checked the dates for this.

I do not have a copy of the law.

As has been posted in other threads even all the people at the border do not know the law. If you ask the right people, hard to find, you will get the right answers. Most people just go for the answer they want and causes them the least trouble.

I have never asked my insurance agent what happens if I do not have the proper permit on my vehicle in case of an accident. Maybe I will the next time I see her. Usually on this type of question she emails the home company and their lawyers provide the right answer.

cya,
shoe

Nothing is intrinsically good or evil, but its manner of usage may make it so.
-St. Thomas Aquinas


bournemouth

Oct 7, 2009, 7:23 AM

Post #10 of 28 (8511 views)

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Re: [shoe] Complicated Car Permit Question

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Thanks for that information Shoe - I think it all depends on who you come up against - like so many other things here.


doggeroo

Oct 16, 2009, 7:35 PM

Post #11 of 28 (8376 views)

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Re: [karenarch] Complicated Car Permit Question

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As with all things Mexican, it depends. (I think most of those who posted will agree with that)

But, I have a question for those who have been here a while:

I have a Ranger (1999) down here (in Nayarit) on a 180 day permit, that I plan on getting MX plates for. I have an FM3, but the Ranger is down on my wife's visa and she doesn't yet have an FM3. Anyways, when I brought it down, I also brought a trailer with 2 jet skis. Anyone know how that happens? (getting plates, I mean.) Do I also have to do the trailer and skis? (no problem, maybe, but the guy who talked to the guy in Tepic said "Oh, this will be a problem..."), I would like to avoid driving the whole mess back to the border just to do a U-turn; that's 4 days and $1,000 in gas/tolls/hotels

Thoughts?


Rolly


Oct 16, 2009, 9:05 PM

Post #12 of 28 (8364 views)

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Re: [doggeroo] Complicated Car Permit Question

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It is highly unlikely that you will be able to get Mexican plates. In fact you cannot, only a Mexican citizen can do that. And the latest word on the street is that vehicle nationalization is closed to everyone. You need a plan B.

Rolly Pirate


Marlene


Oct 16, 2009, 10:05 PM

Post #13 of 28 (8353 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Complicated Car Permit Question

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The solution to this situation would be for your wife to get her FM3.


Vichil

Oct 17, 2009, 7:27 AM

Post #14 of 28 (8310 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Complicated Car Permit Question

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You do if you pay cash but it is waived if you pay with a credit car when you enter the country. This is what I was told at the border a few years ago but of course this could have been the current interpretation and things may be different now..

A few years ago my husband went to Texas to sell our California plated car that had come in under my name. He left alone and ran into problems about the papers needed so decided to come back without selling the car.
He was stopped at the border and could not reenter with the car as he already had entered with our pick up a few years before. He called me and I got on the night bus for Laredo got there in the morning to enter the car. As I saw no use for my credit card I left it at home.
When I tried to enter the car I had to pay the bond and it had to be with a credit card in my name ..so I had to pay cash and I was told I had a year to come back to get a new permit as the bond would expire. We needed to sell the car anyways so it was ok but I would have had to go back to the border at the end of the year.
We both had FM3.


lsvgspepe

Oct 17, 2009, 4:44 PM

Post #15 of 28 (8272 views)

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Re: [karenarch] Complicated Car Permit Question

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I recently retired and moved to Mexico. I drove my car and check in Nogales, Sonora. Mexico. They explained me the rules:

a) I left a $200.00 deposit refundable when I cancel the 180 days permit. The permit is to be used in Mexico for one year. Works like this: Every time I return to USA regardless of border check point I must inform them that I am leaving Mexico. The permit is cancel and I get my money back. If I stay longer than 180 days, I loose my deposit. If am found to be driving with an expired permit, the Custom office will confiscate the vehicle.

b) I may leave Mexico let's say after 3 months and stay in USA for 3 months when I go back to Mexico, my permit is still good for another 3 months as long as I check with the customs office.

c) I go back to USA and I do not plan to go back to Mexico, my permit will be cancel and I get my money back.

d) I left a deposit of $ 200.00 and before the expiration date I return to USA let's say for shopping, or any reason I will cancel the permit and get a new one for 180 days. I drive my car for ever in Mexico with the same $ 200.00.

Problem: The American registration and plates must be valid for the following six months. Some states require smog test and proof of American insurance that will be a hassle.

Solution: Import the car to Mexico. Or sell it in Mexico to someone willing to pay the import tax.

BEST DEAL NOW.
Starting on November 2009. Anybody may import a car, suv, a pick-up or van for a fee of about $ 200.00 US dollars.

THE DEAL: It must be a 2000 model not newer not older.

BEST VEHICLE TO DRIVE IN MEXICO: A pick-up or Suv. There is bumps everywhere, with no signs, hard to see at nights and so on. They damage suspension, get cars out of alingnment that if you don't take care inmediatly wear out the tires, I have met people who have lost several oil pans and mufflers.

THE BEST OF DRIVING IN MEXICO: This is a very, very beautiful country, with wonderful landscape, charming towns
and the nicest people.

THE WORST OF DRIVING IN MEXICO: Many drivers don't have any idea of the rules of driving, they follow too close and think they own the road.

THE WORST OF THE WORST OF DRIVING IN MEXICO: Toll highways are the biggest rip-off known to man. Absolute Highway robbery, none to complain, they are highways franchised to private companies, they lack good signals.
A three hours drive from Guadalajara to Manzanillo @ 180 miles cost 300.00 mexican pesos @ US $ 23.00 and the price of gasoline is about the same as in United States.

THE BEST OF THE BEST: It is good to have a car to do errands and short trips. I take the Bus to go long distances. A trip in a beautiful modern bus non stop from Guadalajara to Manzanillo cost only 170.00 Mexican pesos @ US $13.00 and if you have a Senior Citizen card you get a 50% discount. Try to beat that! With the same card you also get 25% off plane tickets 50% off in museums and so on. Stay away from tourist traps and rents are very affordable. In my case, I rent a beautiful apartment in a brand new building, with underground garage, Consierge, two bedroom, one bath, kitchen, laundry room and plenty of windows, security and conections for gas, internet, phone and cable tv for $ 2000.00 mexican pesos @ US $ 153.00 per month. I walk to the public market when I don't feel like cooking and have a complete meal for about two dollars. Twenty five hours of ballroom dancing lessons for only US$ 12.00
per month with a very good proffessional instructor. In most municipalities, city hall sponsors dancing for everybody, in my town, Danzon dancing on thursdays and tropical dancing on sundays all for free. I did live in Las Vegas, Nv for 15 years and don't miss it at all.

CONCERNED ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE? I have sign up for the Mexican Government Social Security Health System
for about $ 170.00 per year with hospitals, clinics and modern medicals centers that cover the whole country. No deductibles, no pre-existing conditions. they only made a test for blood pressure, took a sample of blood, urine and x-rays and I was in. Try to get that in USA. Social Security also helps with funeral expenses just in case.

I have only been in Mexico for a few months but my life has made a 180 degrees turn for the best, with the right attitud everyone accepts you and welcomes you with open arms. I am 100% sure this has been the best desition of my life. Money goes long way if you know what to expect and if you are willing to adapt. I get my pension check direct deposit in an american bank, I opened a checking acct in a mexican bank transfer some funds from usa and use my ATM. Life couldn't be simpler and easier. Almost every weekend a visit some other place and always have nice ladies to go with me. Cops are nice, government offices personnel are also nice and helpful all it takes is good attitud.

Consider Mexico if you want to get and feel younger. About 2,000,000 american and canadians have.

Note: I live in Tulancingo, Hidalgo. On the highlands it is an hour drive Northeast from Mexico City. An old city founded by the Toltecs on 600 AC. Actual population 250,000.



mazbook1


Oct 17, 2009, 4:58 PM

Post #16 of 28 (8267 views)

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Re: [lsvgspepe] Complicated Car Permit Question

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lsvgspepe,

Your case "b." is a non-starter, absolutely not true. And you must remember, most folks don't put up a cash bond, they just charge approx. $30 USD on their credit card.

Where are you getting such exact information about nationalizing of model year 2000 imports beginning again in November of this year? $200 USD cost sounds very, very low. In the past when these programs were available you couldn't nationalize ANY vehicle that was already in México with a temp. importation permit, you had to go out of México, bring the vehicle back and, with the services of a customs broker, then go through the process. Cost usually ran somewhere in the general vicinity of $1,000 USD


lsvgspepe

Oct 17, 2009, 5:32 PM

Post #17 of 28 (8255 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] Complicated Car Permit Question

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I paid US $ 200.00 for my permit for 6 months in Nogales, I will get it back when I return To US and my permit will be cancel. The car came to Mexico for 6 months only. Once is cancel if I come back to Mexico again, I do the same again
get a new permit.

I ask at the personnel of Banjercito (They handle the permits) Office about importing a car permanently to Mexico and was told by that person that starting november 2009 it can be done if the car is a 2000 year model. And the fee runs in about $ 200.00 US. Laws and rules change constantly in Mexico.



Marlene


Oct 17, 2009, 5:48 PM

Post #18 of 28 (8248 views)

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Re: [lsvgspepe] Complicated Car Permit Question

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From what you have written, it seems as if you might be a Mexican national who has been living and working in the USA, and of course driving a US plated vehicle. Different rules apply to the Temporary Import Permit if this is the case, than applies to foreigners driving their car into Mexico.


lsvgspepe

Oct 17, 2009, 6:12 PM

Post #19 of 28 (8234 views)

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Re: [Marlene] Complicated Car Permit Question

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I was born in Mexico, I lived in USA for 38 yrs. I am a United States Naturalized Citizen. The dual citizenship does not apply to me because I renounced to the Mexican citizenship in 1986 way before dual citizenship became law in Mexico. Now I must fill up some papers and follow a process with the Mexican immigration bureau that I am about to start. All the tramitation I did was was done as an American Citizen. About definite importation of cars applies only to
Mexican citizens. Cars must be 10 year old and trucks can be older. Definite importation must be done by a Customs Agent. At the moment I am a tourist in the country where I was born and am here on a one year visa. I am geting all the ID's that prove am from here. My friends and relatives know my situation, authorities don't care. I can go back and forward and to get to Mexico I just sing them the Mexican National anthem and they believe me. to go to US I just show my US passport. I hope I answered your question.



mazbook1


Oct 18, 2009, 6:56 PM

Post #20 of 28 (8177 views)

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Re: [lsvgspepe] Complicated Car Permit Question

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lsvgspepe, That $200 USD fee is just the start. Besides that you have to pay a customs broker who knows about importing and nationalizing a vehicle and then you have to pay the IVA (similar to sales tax) of 15% on Aduana's valuation of the car and then there are some other minor (and possibly not-so-minor( costs. I have never heard of anyone importing a car and nationalizing it for much less than $1,000 USD.

Banjercito folks may have told you the program starts in Nov., as that is when it always starts WHEN it is happening, but so far we've heard nothing from the government about it. The program has been shut off for some time now and with the economic situation I doubt the government will restart it, since it is thought to damage new and used vehicle sales in México.


Manuel Dexterity

Oct 18, 2009, 7:40 PM

Post #21 of 28 (8168 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] Complicated Car Permit Question

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Here we go again!!! We really need a "rolls eyes" emoticon here.

It wasn't a "program" that expired. The 1st of November has nothing to do with a "program". That is the date the model year begins for 10 year old vehicles. This Nov. 1, 2009 will be the first day that the model year 2000 vehicles will be allowed to be imported under NAFTA rules.

At the beginning of this year the federal government changed the paperwork requirements, specifically requiring a "certificate of origen", for all cars being imported. If you couldn't provide this certificate then there were additional fees which increased the cost of importation by nearly triple. What prior to Jan 1 2009 would have cost approx 600usd rose to between 1500-2000usd if you can't produce the certificate of origen, which is impossible to acquire for a 10 yr old car.


mazbook1


Oct 18, 2009, 7:55 PM

Post #22 of 28 (8160 views)

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] Complicated Car Permit Question

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Like I said, the program ended.

By requiring the certificate of origin, it effectively put an end to the program. I know that Nov. 1 is when the "program" for model year 2000 officially starts and the one for 1999 ends. However, since the government has put a de facto end to the "program" and hasn't announced any change that would allow it to restart with a reasonable cost, it looks as if the "program" is done for for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for the additional excellent data, Manuel D., but there needs to be no "eye-rolling", as what I said was just a simplification of what you wrote. The "program" is ended.

BTW, I never spoke with anyone who actually got it done for as low as $600 USD, but they were mainly pretty clueless folks and probably got taken every step of the way, starting with some pretty avaricious customs brokers.


Manuel Dexterity

Oct 18, 2009, 8:03 PM

Post #23 of 28 (8156 views)

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Re: [mazbook1] Complicated Car Permit Question

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In Reply To
Like I said, the program ended.

By requiring the certificate of origin, it effectively put an end to the program. I know that Nov. 1 is when the "program" for model year 2000 officially starts and the one for 1999 ends. However, since the government has put a de facto end to the "program" and hasn't announced any change that would allow it to restart with a reasonable cost, it looks as if the "program" is done for for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for the additional excellent data, Manuel D., but there needs to be no "eye-rolling", as what I said was just a simplification of what you wrote. The "program" is ended.

BTW, I never spoke with anyone who actually got it done for as low as $600 USD, but they were mainly pretty clueless folks and probably got taken every step of the way, starting with some pretty avaricious customs brokers.


Sorry, maz, there was no "program". Unless there has been a recent decree prohibiting the importation of used vehicles, which I doubt, then the law remains and vehicles can be imported. Mexico has to abide by the NAFTA rules. What they have done is used legal mechanisms to increase the cost so as to discourage imports. And that is what has basically stopped used cars from flowing across the border.


Marlene


Oct 19, 2009, 6:53 PM

Post #24 of 28 (8110 views)

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Re: [Manuel Dexterity] Complicated Car Permit Question

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I think there is more to it than that. We had a friend recently import a 10 year old truck. He was unaware of the current situation when he arrived at the border, and found it nearly impossible. They delayed he and his family a full 10 days, necessitating hotel stays, etc., while they did whatever it is they do now before approving . They checked absolutely everything to do with the vehicle, and then the fee for the importation was something like $15,000.00 pesos.


homeless_vagabond

Oct 30, 2009, 11:24 PM

Post #25 of 28 (7899 views)

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Re: [Marlene] Complicated Car Permit Question

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Not sure if this deserves a new thread or not:

Let's pretend I get a job in MX. Do I have to 'import' my 15 year old car to MX in order to drive it around, or can I get away with serial 'temporary' 6 month permits?

Thanks in advance...
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