Apr 27, 2006, 11:11 PM
Post #12 of 18
Re: [jennifer rose] Can I Sell My Mercury Mountaineer In Mexico
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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)