Aug 8, 2011, 5:08 PM
Post #1 of 5
[The follow was posted on the Mazatlán YahooGroups forum MazInfo and is reposted here with the author’s permission.]
A tale of wow with a temporary car import permit
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I visited Mazatlan recently, entering the country at Nogales on June 25 with the intention of staying until late august. My FM3 expired on July 21,2011 and one of my reasons for the visit was to renew the FM3. That is when the fun started. Since the FM3 expired om July 21, the car importation permit was only valid through July 21, at which time it was my intention to still be in Mexico.
One of the things about the new requirements is that if you overstay the date on your car permit,by even one day, your money is kept by the Mexican government. I was advised by the lady at Banjercito in Nogales who issued the permit, to make sure that once my FM3 was renewed, that I go to Banjercito in Mazatlan to have the expiration date on the permit extended. That is when the "fun" started. I got my FM3 renewed around the first week in July, got the extension of the car permit at Aduana, and was told by Aduana they knew nothing about getting the date changed.
I went to Banjercito in Mazatlan, as instructed at the border, to be met with confusion, since the Banjercito in Mazatlan has no ability to change the permit date. They "assured" me that since I had the car permit date extended, when I got to the border, I should not have a problem getting my deposit refunded. There is a form that is issued that shows the new permit expiration date. I decided to return to California earlier than I had originally planned on July 28, got to the border (KM 12) and was told the permit date had passed and my deposit was therefore lost. I tried to explain the catch 22 to the official who removed the permit and he suggested that I go to the Banjercito teller window.
After waiting in line, I was fortunate to get a teller who spoke some English. I explained the situation, she went and spoke with someone,a superior I assume, and then told me the money would be refunded to my credit card in 2 or 3 working days. It is now August 5 and no refund has shown up. My guess is that it will not, and I will have to try to get it when I return to Mexico in January 2012.
I post this experience with a couple of suggestions/observations:
1)Make your deposit in cash, so that if it is going to be refunded, you get the refund while you are in Mexico. I am now in California, 500 miles away from Nogales, and have no way that I know of interacting with Banjercito to find out what has happened to the promised refund.
2) The communication between the different Mexican agencies that deal with visas, car permits etc. seems to be non-existent. There is apparently no mechanism in place to handle the situation I described where your visa expires and is renewed while you are in Mexico, but you cannot extend the car permit expiration date in the Banjercito system, since apparently that can only be done at the border.
Ain't bureaucracy wonderful?
[The following is a follow up post today]
Since my original posting on the challenges of getting your permit deposit back as of interest, I thought I would add a bit more information.
I originally tried to get my permit at the Mexican consulate in San Bernardino, California, as I usually do, but I was told by the folks there that they are no longer allowed to issue the temporary car importation permit, that the permit now has to be obtained at the border.
I then tried to get the permit online, but was foiled because the charge to my B of A credit card was refused by B of A since the charge was coming from Mexico. Those of you trying to get the permit online may want to notify your card issuer that there will be a charge to the card originating in Mexico, before starting the process. Not notifying my card issuer about the pending charge from Mexico was my mistake and had nothing to do with Banjercito.
I am not sure that getting the permit online is the best way to go, since you still have all of the unresolved issues I mentioned in my earlier post.
(This post was edited by Rolly on Aug 8, 2011, 5:11 PM)