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Bloviator

Apr 27, 2006, 6:16 AM

Post #1 of 18 (2564 views)

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Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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Just wanted to get everyone's attention. I know I can't sell it without taking it NoB. But I awoke this morning wondering why Mexico is so adamant about making it difficult for people to normalize automobiles here.

If I move from one state to the other NoB, I would go to the local DMV and re-register the car in the new state and get a driver's license for the new state. Then, when the car is worn out or I get rich and want a new car, I sell it and buy a new one.

Everyone benefits. I am legal and depending on the state, the state has some assurance that I can drive safely. The state gets its fair registration money. Car dealers get my business when I change cars. Some lucky person gets to buy my worn out old car (always with 200 to 250K miles on it and a transmission that is ready to fall out the next day). The whole thing works.

Here, the driver's license situation seems to be similar. I can study (or pay mordida - which I know is wrong) and get a Mexican driver's license. After that it goes down hill. For some reason, the whole process is so expensive and complex that most people either drive around unlicensed, get a SDakota license, or pay through the nose for useless licensing in their former state (often impossible due to smog or insurance requirements).

Many will not consider buying a car in Mexico because of the onerous taxation involved in the purchase. The also will not re-register their cars in Mexico because of the taxation. The whole system is disfunctional.

My question is why? Would it not be in everyones best interest to have a rational system that encourages us to obey the law, buy our cars in Mexico, and register our old cars here when we move here?
I will probably bite the bullet and buy in Mexico when I get a new car, - if I ever do - but I am not too interested in paying the exhorbitant taxes when there are simple solutions that allow me to opt out.

I realize that the ultimate answer to my question is "It's Mexico." Nevertheless, there must be a rational or history based reason why such a ridiculous system exists.



Rolly


Apr 27, 2006, 7:17 AM

Post #2 of 18 (2550 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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While pondering the Why of things, think about the high fees to use the toll roads. The fees are so high that few drivers can afford to use the roads. With lower fees there would be greater usage and increased revenue from the roads. It seems so logical that one must wonder "Why?"

Rolly Pirate


Gringal

Apr 27, 2006, 8:14 AM

Post #3 of 18 (2531 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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You are a seeker of logic after living in a country that selects it's leader through the electoral college system?

The answer to the "why" of how it's been made complicated to have a car in Mexico may be the following:

I bring my car to Mexico because, after reading about the situation, it just seems easier to drive it down and worry about it later. Aha! Now I'm stuck. Can't get it licenced again in Califrornia because I'd need to prove smog passage as well as Calif. insurance. I send off a "non-op" to California. Now what? Several funky alternatives present themselves, none of which make any more sense than "living" in a tiny postal box in Texas. I gulp, make copies of the regulation that lets me drive around Mexico without a current license, stick them in the glove compartment and remove the sticker on the license plate, hoping I will not be noticed. I tool around with my fingers crossed. My car ages slowly. It is six now. I wait for it's tenth birthday. I really WANT a different car before then. Finally, I drive to Texas and dump my car, bus on back and buy an inflatedly priced car in Mexico on which I must also pay big time taxes. I have been worn down by the system, and now, they have me. I pay. That is life. You see - Mexican logic. It works, though, doesn't it?


(This post was edited by Gringal on Apr 27, 2006, 9:39 AM)


Bloviator

Apr 27, 2006, 8:22 AM

Post #4 of 18 (2524 views)

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Re: [Gringal] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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Great comment about the electoral college system. However, it is a great system. All of us SDakotans (At least I will be when I get my SD license - and besides my great uncle was a Senator from SD and I once got shot at in Yankton) love having about twice the clout of each of those quiche eating wine slurping Californians, especially the elite liberal Berkeleyians.

Your whole posting neatly summarizes my dilemma. I'm about to shuttle my Mountaineer back to CA or try to sell it here (delivery and sale in CA, AZ, NM or TX) and get by with one car. We did so for a full year with no problem.

But inquiring minds still want to know - why.


jennifer rose

Apr 27, 2006, 8:26 AM

Post #5 of 18 (2522 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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Those foreigners who live in Mexico on anything short of inmigrado status have it made in the shade. They can keep on an endless cycle of temporarily importing US-plated cars until they draw their last breath, their heirs saddled with the responsibility of removing the temporarily imported car from Mexico.

Foreigners move to Mexico because they claim to be enchanted with Mexican culture. Well, part of Mexican culture is learning to deal with situations as a Mexican would. And a Mexican national has no alternative but to buy in Mexico, paying relatively high taxes and registration for the privilege of owning a car.

Can a Mexican simply register his or her car in the US? Not very easily. Why should the system work in reverse for foreigners? Why should foreigners living in Mexico consider themselves so darn "special" that benefits above and beyond be granted to them?

Hello? Mexico is a sovereign nation. It's not the United States of America. You want to live in Mexico, and dealing with the car situation is part of the pricetag.


Howard Botz

Apr 27, 2006, 8:29 AM

Post #6 of 18 (2521 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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Good for you Jennifer, and well said.

Howard in Ajijic


bournemouth

Apr 27, 2006, 8:35 AM

Post #7 of 18 (2519 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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You are quite right Jennifer, but it still doesn't stop us wondering about it!

Actually, I think that as long as a foreign vehicle meets smog and safety standards, it can be registered in the US - and depending on the attitude of the state involved, no sales/import taxes will be paid, other than tags and emissions control inspection.


Gringal

Apr 27, 2006, 9:58 AM

Post #8 of 18 (2505 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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The problem is in the logistics. It's a little difficult to pop up to California for that smog inspection, and it's a bit expensive to pay the insurance as well, just in order to renew the license. I'm getting used to the funkiness of having a Texas PMB address so I can do banking in the U.S. on a Vonage phone with a California area code. I draw the line at have a South Dakota license plate. Enough, already. I'll take the pickup to Texas, take a bath on it and buy my Mexican car. Life will be simpler. They need the tax money here anyway.

My original point was that logic has no place in the way governments work. Any government. It's just the way it is. We choose to live in Mexico, and when we do that, we choose the way it works, including the car stuff. Or, in the words of Star Trek's Mr. Spock "It is not logical, but it is nevertheless true."

Of course, all this is coming from a quiche-eating, wine slurping ex-Californian, so please make allowances. That stuff addles the brain.


(This post was edited by Gringal on Apr 27, 2006, 10:03 AM)


Bloviator

Apr 27, 2006, 3:16 PM

Post #9 of 18 (2467 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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Very good point. However, I'm curious. Are you sure that a Mexican living legally in the US can't "simply register his car," just as I would when moving from State to State.

My original point was simply to question why Mexico has to make it so difficult, not specifically to rail against their system. I moved here for a lot of reasons, not simply for the culture.

Given my druthers, I'd rather not have to go through a lot of the hoops that Mexicans have to go through to exist. I'm sure that a lot of Mexicans would rather not either. I doubt that many buy a new car and then go around bragging about the really neat taxes they paid for the car.

I would like to see a more rational system. I know we are expected to just go with the flow and accept the Mexican system and culture. I accept that. It doesn't mean that I can't have questions.

Incidentally, avoiding onerous laws and taxes is part of Mexican culture to the best of my understanding. I will try to do my part in that cultural effort.

However, today I found a good reason to get a Mexican license for my car. According to the lady at Parkers Insurance, a Mexican plated car with Mexican insurance can be insured NoB for collision, etc. and a US plated car with Mexican insurance can't.


(This post was edited by dlyman6500 on Apr 27, 2006, 3:20 PM)


1ajijic


Apr 27, 2006, 4:08 PM

Post #10 of 18 (2459 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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I believe that the US rule is that a foreign car can be in the US for one year. If you wish to legalize ityou will have to go through many thousands of dollars of testing that makes importing a non approved vehicle impossible. Ex. if you bring in a Nossan Sentra that is built to US specs, I believe that it has documentation of such. Without said documentation the above applies and you will not get it approved for importation.

Now the reverse. bring in your US car to Mexico temporarily. But, eventually it will ahve to leave. Unless you go through the naturalization process which involves a time window, nafta built cars only, only cars 10 - 15 years old and some high fees that compensate the gov for their lost taxes.

In both cases the countries are trying to protect their car manufacturing industry. I wonder what Canada does about foreign cars brought in?
http://www.newbeginningsmexico.com


Papirex


Apr 27, 2006, 6:55 PM

Post #11 of 18 (2431 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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Dick, Youíre never going to find out why because there is no logical or reasonable answers to your questions. Mexicans, and especially Mexican bureaucrats hate it when foreigners keep asking for explanations. If they wonít explain their actions to Mexican citizens, why would you expect them to explain them to you?

Most of the Gerentes in Mexican government offices get their appointments because they are politicians, or are related to, or are friends of politicians. Competence or consideration for the public is not a job requirement.

The Gerentes in a government office here are legally allowed to ignore parts of, or add local requirements to any federal government laws or regulations. There is a word in Spanish for it. A lawyer I was considering hiring told me the word for it about four years ago. I didnít hire the lawyer or write the word down and I have forgotten it.

Getting a driverís license varies widely from state to state here. Here in Cuernavaca, Morelos, it is absolutely vital that you have the fee to pay for it. Nothing else is needed. No test, just your FM 2/3 or a Mexican passport or voterís card, comprobante de domicilio, etc.

The annual tenencia that most people consider to be a separate tax here is the equivalent of the annual registration fees paid for a car nob. You pay it every year when you get your new license plates. It is high, but in some States in the US they are exorbitant for a new car too.

To import a car into The US, it must meet all US safety and smog control standards. Customs duties (import taxes) will be levied. I donít know what customs duties are today, but going back 25 years they were high.

In 1981 a friend of mine in Alaska wanted to import a particular Toyota Land Cruiser model. Those were the models that looked like a big Jeep. There was a model that had a small two person cab and a six-foot pickup bed that he wanted.

That model that was not allowed to be imported into The US, but they were available in Canada. My friend had checked it out and he could buy one in Canada and import it to The US, but a 25% import tax would be levied on it. That 25% tax was a showstopper.

As others have said, Mexico isnít the only country protecting their automobile dealers. NAFTA only applies to businesses, and is not for the benefit of individuals.

We may not like the way some things are done here, but if a person canít learn to ignore the warts of life here then maybe Mexico will never be a good fit for them.

Rex




"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by RexC on Apr 27, 2006, 7:52 PM)


Marlene


Apr 27, 2006, 11:11 PM

Post #12 of 18 (2405 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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Quote
Foreigners move to Mexico because they claim to be enchanted with Mexican culture. Well, part of Mexican culture is learning to deal with situations as a Mexican would.


Isn't this the truth, and my hats are off to Mexicans for having such patience. After more than 5 years of living here, I have such great respect for how locals handle these things (many times it includes just giving up). Today was an excellent example only we couldn't just give up and walk away, as is done so many times by locals.

My Sinaloa Drivers License (issued 2 years ago) expires tomorrow. Since I was busy working, hubby went in and paid for my renewal this morning and while they happily took the money and issued a receipt he was told that I had to come back and sign, to prove that I actually still exist (or something). Okay, no problem, that part makes sense. (No coyotes allowed there) Two hours later, I appeared in person. The fellow looks at me and says, oh, I didn't know you were a foreigner - you have to bring your FM3 for us to look at. Hubby says, why, this is DL RENEWAL and you didn't mention that when I was in earlier, (and see, she looks exactly like her DL picture so how could you not have noticed she was a foreigner then?) DL guy shrugs and smiles and says he needs to see the FM3. Hubby tries again and reminds him that I had showed all this stuff upon getting the original license. Doesn't matter, says the nice young man, we still need to see it again. Okay, off we go...back home for the FM3. Then the fun truly began.

We have another office, the main office and since it was on our way to somewhere else we decided to do this simple transaction there...hahaha!) We found a good parking spot under a shade tree and in we went....Hubby hands the paperwork including paid receipts, my current license plus a copy of current license, and this time my FM3. The ladies behind the counter went straight for the FM3 (at least 3 of them) and decide immediately that since my FM3 expires in September I can't have my DL renewed. Excuse me?? Yes, they insist, you need 10 months grace period on your FM3 or no DL!! And then they point to a sign on a window nearby and say it's a new rule. The sign, dated August 05, actually says you need proof of living here for 12 months or no DL (so not sure what all this has to do with a renewal of a license or 10 months grace period). My FM3 proves I have been here longer than 12 months even if the 2 year old license doesn't...so what's the problem we ask. Oh big problems they say...new rules, come back when you renew your FM3 next time.

There was a well dressed man standing next to us who joined our discussion about foreigners, renewals and FM3's...seems he was in the same situation. I believe he was from South American and he was pretty upset over "the new rule"... WHAT NEW RULE?? So between he and my husband attempting to explain that FM3's get renewed yearly and the renewal stamps show a pattern that we are not tourists, married to a Mexican etc....blah blah.....no dice. Oh, and the new rule which says you have to have a letter of good character, is not just signed by a local but must be accompanied by a copy of the local's national credential! My husband says, well give me a piece of paper and I will write a letter to you...She is my wife and here is my credential. The girl asks her older and wiser co-worker, if he is allowed to handwrite the letter? ....Now if I was not so close to tears of frustration, I would have been ROFL by now. (We would have had to go off and pay someone to type a letter on one of the many manual typewriters floating around for such purposes!)

The thought of driving around with no DL for several months just because...did not sit that well with me at this point. The clerks kept pointing to my September FM3 expiry date and saying it couldn't be done. None of this made any sense in relation to a drivers license renewal, and we weren't leaving until we could understand this logic. Just in case this became a reality, hubby starts reassuring me that many people drive without a license here and there would only be a fine, not the Juarez prison as I had envisioned! Of course I am feeling much better about this already..sheesh)

Finally we got invited into the person-in-charge's office (with the other foreigner following us) because there must have been 100 people in line behind us by now. Man in charge phoned Culiacan (where the Drivers License God apparently exists) and decided that my case WAS a tad different and should probably be approved. So he signed the approval, made small talk about motorcyles with husband like nothing had happened, and off we went to wait in line for my new fingerprints (oh yes - in case my fingerprints have changed since my license was first issued (?) or in case it isn't really me that looks like me on the front of the license, I don't know). Anyway, the fingerprint machine was acting up or maybe my prints really did change(!) ... after waiting 30 minutes to get inside the fingerprint room another 15 was spent adjusting and tinkering (with the fingerprint machine as well as my fingers and thumbs!)

The other foreigner didn't have such good luck. He is also married to a Mexican but got told to go to Culiacan in person to have his situation settled since that was the address on his FM3 and even though he works in Mazatlan, sorry, can't help you. All this for just trying to stay legal on the streets. Go figure.

The lady behind the desk asked again about the reference letter as she was handing over my new DL so my husband said, the letter wasn't mentioned by Culiacan or your boss, but I can still whip one off for you, just pass me the pen and paper... Silence... Drivers License issued. I will certainly treasure this one. Ahhhh.. and just another day in a Government Office in Mexico.


(This post was edited by Marlene on Apr 27, 2006, 11:23 PM)


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Apr 27, 2006, 11:33 PM

Post #13 of 18 (2398 views)

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Re: [Marlene] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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I think you ought to frame this one when it expires.
Getting older and still not down here.


Bloviator

Apr 28, 2006, 5:10 AM

Post #14 of 18 (2392 views)

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Re: [1ajijic] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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That's very interesting. Thanks for the information. It's also weird considering that a lot of US driven cars are made in Mexico. The obvious question is why don't the standardize them?

The obvious answer, Mexican and US driving conditions aren't that much the same??


Rolly


Apr 28, 2006, 7:04 AM

Post #15 of 18 (2376 views)

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Re: [dlyman6500] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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My Dodge pickup that I brought from Los Angeles was made in Saltillo. When I took it to the Dodge dealer in Torreůn for repairs, I was told the needed part would have to be ordered from the USA because it was different from the part used on Mexican pickups made in the same factory.

Rolly Pirate


jennifer rose

Apr 28, 2006, 7:58 AM

Post #16 of 18 (2366 views)

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Re: [Marlene] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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Lesson learned: Always carry your FM-3 and passport, along with a complete copy of both. Your comprabante de domicilio -- even a year's worth -- would've come in handy for establishing that you've been here for the year preceding. Since foreigners do not have IFE credentials, the FM-3 and passport usually work as a substitute.

Remember, the driver's license staff -- as well as those working in any government office other than INAMI -- rarely deal with foreigners, who are the odd men out among their clientele. People working at this level of the bureaucracy are rule-driven, their jobs in jeopardy if their supervisors discover that they haven't followed The Rules. Discretion, logic and judgment aren't part of their job description. Put yourself in the place of a kangaroo rying to accomplish something at a clerk of court's office in deepest Arkansas.


(This post was edited by jennifer rose on Apr 28, 2006, 10:53 AM)


alex .

Apr 28, 2006, 8:15 AM

Post #17 of 18 (2360 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] kangaroo and court in the same sentence

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hmm, that'll be another thread I reckon.
Alex


Bloviator

Apr 28, 2006, 11:44 AM

Post #18 of 18 (2320 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico

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Careful about your Arkansas comments.

A friend of mine bought some property in Arkansas and wanted to build on it. He went to the local planning officials. He asked them what process he had to go through to build. Being from CA. He expected about a six month process. The clerk's reply was: "You own it? So what's the problem, go ahead and build."

Bureaucracy at its finest.
 
 
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