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yodave

Nov 10, 2006, 7:41 AM

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"mexicanizing US car?"

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Have read old posts re: registering US cars, Mexican cars, etc. but things do change. I was just "sold" a 1996 Toyota that came into Mexico in May of 1996(that's the only import sticker in the front window). I say "sold" because it was actually given to me(title signed over)as a bonus on a real estate sale with a Bill of Sale of $2500-though no money exchanged hands.

So the registration has been expired for a long time, it has old California plates, a valid Title and no current import sticker(AND it's a very good car-18K miles on it!) The rumor mill at one point indicated that US cars that have been here for 10 years can be "Mexicanized"-but the Jeffe at the DMV in SMA said that wasn't true and told me I had to take it back across the border or contact a "Custom Broker" in Queretaro. All of this advice was in rapid fire Spanish and included Spanish words alien to me cuz I just don't use them so am not clear if that was exactly what he was suggesting.

I own a car here w/ Mexican plates but my Insurance agent isn't returning my calls re: this issue. I would like this Toyota to have Mexican Plates as well-possible? If I have to register it in the US-the car is worth doing that as well. All suggestions welcome.

Gracias por su ayuda!



Rolly


Nov 10, 2006, 8:22 AM

Post #2 of 40 (8514 views)

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Re: [yodave] "mexicanizing US car?"

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What the Jefe told you is true. From time to time the government opens a window of opportunity to nationalize foreign cars. This occurs, apparently, on the whim of someone in the government; there is no regular schedule, nor is there any way to know what types of vehicles will be on the list of vehicles allowed to be nationalized. It's a crap shoot.

Since you have a valid title, you can drive the car to the border and get a permit. The fact that the plates have expired is not an issue. You do don't have to actually leave Mexico, just drive to the car registration office at the border crossing of your choice. You will need your FM3 and a non-Mexican credit or check card.

Rolly Pirate


esperanza

Nov 10, 2006, 8:29 AM

Post #3 of 40 (8511 views)

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Re: [yodave] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Dave, the window to nationalize a vehicle with foreign license plates ("Mexicanize", as you said) is no longer open. You cannot nationalize a foreign-plated vehicle in the interior of Mexico at this time.

The transaction you participated in is not legal even for a car with foreign license plates. Whether a car is given or sold to you, the transaction must take place outside Mexico. In order to clear up the legalities of your transaction, both the person desiring to sell or give away the vehicle and the buyer/recipient of the gift must travel to the border to handle the paperwork.

Once the bill of sale is taken care of up north, it may be possible to nationalize your vehicle at the border and it may not be possible. You don't say whether your new Toyota is a passenger car, an SUV, or a truck. You will probably be able to nationalize a truck or SUV at the border; a passenger car may be impossible.

Your Toyota is what's known colloquially as a chocolate. At the moment, it's not legal in either the USA or in Mexico. Please consider carefully whether you're willing to drive it or not; in the event of an accident, you AND the person who actually imported the vehicle could be in serious difficulties. That person is still liable for damages caused by the vehicle, and you...well, it's not good. You don't want to spend any time in jail.

Sorry to sound so negative, but IMHO these are the facts.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









(This post was edited by esperanza on Nov 10, 2006, 8:30 AM)


yodave

Nov 10, 2006, 4:34 PM

Post #4 of 40 (8457 views)

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Re: [esperanza] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Thanks for your reply esperanza(doesn't that mean hope?)-well I can only hope there is some way to do it because the guy who signed it over is in Brazil. I suppose it's considered to be a car-not sure-it's a Toyota Rav4. Things are looking bleak. I don't want to drive it illegally and now need to find an inexpensive place to park it til I get things figured out. So far, I've done everything here by the book(well almost), and want to continue to be a good visitor/resident. But damn that's a good car to go to waste!! Thanks again.


yodave

Nov 10, 2006, 4:41 PM

Post #5 of 40 (8454 views)

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Re: [Rolly] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Thanks Rolly-now THAT is an interesting proposition. And I can drive up there on my own w/o needing the person who signed it over to me? It all seems ok except that I would be driving in Mexico upon getting the permit with an expired registration and plates which you say is not an issue(fascinating). But I wonder if I can insure a vehicle w/o an up to date registration . I do not want to be uninsured.

Another puzzle to solve in order to live in "paradise". If only the people up north had any idea of the things we go through down here to keep on the straight and narrow.

Thanks again. Have enjoyed your posts by the way.


Papirex


Nov 10, 2006, 5:15 PM

Post #6 of 40 (8444 views)

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Re: [yodave] "mexicanizing US car?"

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YoDave, I think the safest way to proceed would be after you have legalized your Toyota in the United States, to go to the border without the car, but with the new title, ownership papers, etc. This may be a pain in the neck to do, without having the car with you, but there are a few places in The US that do not require smog, or safty inspections

This would eliminate the possibility of being caught driving an illegal car here in Mexico. If that happens, the car may be subject to confiscation, and you will lose it.

In the past, I have brought two cars into Mexico. The cars were never examined, and the import stickers were given to me to put on the windshield. The Mexican authorities never saw either one of them.

If by any chance one of the people at the ADUANA wanted to see the car, or put the sticker on it himself, I would tell the a story, like “The car is in Texas today having a brake job. I wanted to have the papers ready so I can get an early start in the morning” In a situation like this, you must use flexible ethics.

Good luck, Rex

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


esperanza

Nov 10, 2006, 5:15 PM

Post #7 of 40 (8443 views)

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Re: [yodave] "mexicanizing US car?"

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The RAV4 is considered to be an SUV, hence a camioneta. You should be able to nationalize it at the border...I'll keep my fingers crossed and light a candle for your success!

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









yodave

Nov 10, 2006, 6:12 PM

Post #8 of 40 (8431 views)

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Re: [yodave] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Thanks to everyone for their help. I may post how it gets handled-could be of use to others.


jerezano

Nov 11, 2006, 11:39 AM

Post #9 of 40 (8375 views)

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Re: [yodave] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Hello yodave,

You said: I may post how it gets handled-could be of use to others.

By all means post it or write an article. This will be of use to all of us.

1. You have received good information. You, yourself cannot mexicanize (legalize) your car in México. There is no "window of opportunity" at this time.

2. To have the car here in México on your FM3, you need to take it to the border. Depending on where you pick to re-enter México you may or may not need current licensing and current insurance to bring it back into México. The law requires that you have both. The law is ignored much of the time. The first time I drove into Mexico some 20 years in the past, I was asked to provide both. And my car was inspected, and the temporary import document was affixed to the windshield by the customs agent. That hardly ever happens anymore anywhere, and as some posters have said, in some locations they don't even look at the car but hand you the documents to affix yourself. At others, the bank clerk does require you to drive the car in front of the office where he/she can at least look at the color and body even if he/she doesn't go out and inspect the car.

3. Esperanza is correct. Theoretically the former owner of the car needs to go with you to the frontier and get a constancia (free) which proves that the car has been removed from México. Theoretically you cannot do it, but if he gave you the temporary import document, you just might be able to do it without him--especially if he is in Brazil. Depends on the mood of the bank clerk (don't go anywhere near the customs agent)--and the bank clerks usually care less than nothing about the customs agents. Without that constancia the car theoretically can never be returned to México.

4. However, the records on the computer system seem to be kept by name not by vehicle identification number. If you, yourself, have never brought a vehicle into México, or if you did, you obtained a constancia for its removal, you just MAY be permitted to bring that car back into México. Unless records are kept by VIN the fact that the car never left México would be unknown. Who knows? Try it and see what happens.

5. If you cannot bring it into México in this manner, then it is time to see a broker and see if you can import the car into Mexico and legalize it as a Mexican plated car by paying those very expensive import and legalization fees. Since the car has so few miles on it, it probably would still be a bargain.

6. If all that cannot be done, then it is obviously time to sell it there in the United States. If the car is in such good condition, you should be able to get a good price for it.

Good luck. jerezano.


yodave

Nov 11, 2006, 1:24 PM

Post #10 of 40 (8366 views)

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Re: [jerezano] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Gracias Jerezano for your thorough reply.

I may not have been clear but the car is already in Mexico(here in San Miguel)so I can't do anything with it in the States(sell it or whatever)w/o crossing the border with what appears to be an illegal car.

You mentioned a broker as did the Jeffe at the DMV(in English)here so I think I need to direct efforts to finding one(probably in Queretaro)to see what it would cost to get it insured and have Mexican plates on it-then take it from there probably,depending on the cost of such an operation. I'm not sure just what "expensive" means but will find out-since I got the car for nothing I may be prepared to spend a little to own it and operate it here legally. If I can get Mexican plates, then I believe I could sell it very easily here if I wanted to and at a price commensurate with the actual value of the car and not a lower price just because I'm selling it here in Mexico. Since trying to sell it in the States looks like it would take a Herculaen effort of machinations and connections...

I seem to be in a Catch 22 situation here-friends want to buy the car but I don't think I can even sell the car legally here if all I have read and researched is accurate. Maybe I could sell it if I could somehow get it across the border(a frightening thought for me since the last time I crossed the border in a car was in 1968 for some fun in Brownsville!).

Thanks again for everyone's advice.

Yo Dave

Anyone has any suggestions for contacting a broker it would be appreciated


Oscar2

Nov 11, 2006, 2:36 PM

Post #11 of 40 (8352 views)

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Re: [esperanza] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Quote
You will probably be able to nationalize a truck or SUV at the border; a passenger car may be impossible.




Quote
The RAV4 is considered to be an SUV, hence a camioneta. You should be able to nationalize it at the border.



Weeding through this thread comes up with possibilities I thought were not possible. It’s asserted that a US plated SUV has a possibility of being Nationalized at the Boarder.

If someone wanted to Mexican Plate a US plated SUV currently driven into Mexico from the US, is it contingent upon its age and/or any other requirements? Is this done at the Aduanas Office or elsewhere? On the other hand, maybe it’s just not in the cards?

Assuming the SUV is US insured, I’d imagine Nationalizing the SUV will require either notification to the insurance company and/or new Mexican insurance at that time in order to drive in Mexico with coverage?


colibri

Nov 12, 2006, 12:48 PM

Post #12 of 40 (8304 views)

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Re: [esperanza] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Esperanza - I'm wondering if you can help me. We have a 1990 pickup with a sticker associated with my husband's FM3. This pickup has not been back to the U.S. since 2002. It would never make it to the border again from our home, Michoacan. Of course the U.S. plates are expired. It has been a warehouse truck only since 2002. We have another vehicle here with a sticker associated with my FM3. Now, we'd like to bring in another vehicle, but figure we can't because we each already have a vehicle here under our names. How can we sell or nationalize the 1990 pickup without driving it to the border? Incedentally, we tried nationalizing it once in Texas, and we were told it could not be nationalized because it had too many lug nuts (I guess indicating that only certain size pickups could be nationalized). Any ideas, Esperanza? Or anyone else out there?


esperanza

Nov 12, 2006, 5:54 PM

Post #13 of 40 (8281 views)

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Re: [colibri] "mexicanizing US car?"

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When the window of opportunity has been open for nationalizing vehicles with foreign plates, the rule has been that the vehicle must be between 10 and 15 model years old. Unfortunately, your truck does not fall within that time frame; it is 17 model years old. (The 2007's just came out.)

Unless there is a different rule for vehicles nationalized at the border, I'm afraid you will not be able to nationalize your truck.

Aside from that, it is true that only certain sizes of pickup trucks can be nationalized. You can go to this website:
http://www.aduanas.sat.gob.mx/aduana_mexico/A_Vehiculos_3.htm to review the rules. If you look near the bottom of the page, you'll see this link: Manual de Procedimientos Para la Importación Definitiva de Vehiculos Automotores que se Encuentren en Territorio Nacional, VU3.

Click on the link and you'll find even more information.

Best wishes.


http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









colibri

Nov 12, 2006, 6:04 PM

Post #14 of 40 (8280 views)

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Re: [esperanza] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Thank you so much for the information - I really appreciate it! One more question. In lieu of legalizing the vehicle, do you know how we can remove my husband's name from that sticker so that we can bring in another vehicle? This truck won't last long, so when it "dies", do you know how that works with the sticker?


esperanza

Nov 12, 2006, 6:15 PM

Post #15 of 40 (8276 views)

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Re: [colibri] "mexicanizing US car?"

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You'll need to drive the truck almost to the US border and ask the authorities at Hacienda office there to remove the sticker and your responsibility for the vehicle from Mexican records. You will be given an export document showing that the vehicle has been removed from Mexico. DO NOT LOSE OR DISCARD THAT DOCUMENT.

You will then need to drive the vehicle into the USA and sell it or give it away. If you buy another vehicle in the USA, you can then import that vehicle into Mexico. If the authorities haven't yet cleared your old vehicle out of the computer, you will need to show them the export document that you received when you turned in your sticker.

Best wishes.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









NEOhio1


Nov 13, 2006, 1:18 PM

Post #16 of 40 (8227 views)

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Re: [esperanza] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Shoot, its not just older than 10 years then....that crumbles the cookie for the 1990 wagoneer, geez. Sigh, oh well.


jerezano

Nov 14, 2006, 8:30 AM

Post #17 of 40 (8180 views)

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Re: [NEOhio1] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Hello NEOhio1,

You said: "Shoot, its not just older than 10 years then....that crumbles the cookie for the 1990 wagoneer, geez. Sigh, oh well."

Wait!.... That 10 year rule applied only to the legalization of vehicles temporarily imported to México on your FM3 or FMT. And that window of opportunity terminated on May 31, 2006 as the link provided by Esperanza clearly specifies. No matter the age of the car, you just cannot legalize a temporarily imported vehicle now.

OK. If you take your car to the border, get your free constancia that the car has been removed from Mexico, you can then donate it to some organization in the USA or sell it for junk. Usually some car agency or junk dealer will give you $50 US dollars for it as a junk car. Your husband can now import a different car into Mexico. As Esperanza said, be sure and save that Constancia. You just might need it.

On the other hand, if the car is still useable and you want to IMPORT it PERMANENTLY to Mexco you will need to take it to a Broker and go through all the import rules and regulaltions and pay all the necessary fees and IMPORT taxes. You MUST use a Broker. Not worth it in my opinion.

However you would then have the clunker for use in Mexico and your husband would be able to TEMPORARILY import a different car into Mexico on the basis of his FM3.

Now, I know nothing about the rules for cars that have been stolen, fallen apart and certified as non drivable, etc., except I have been told by knowledgeable people that there are ways of disposing of the remains and clearing the paper work. On a stolen car I have a gringo friend was able to do so. Where you go and how you do it, you will need to find out for yourself. Perhaps our friend Rolly can help. Perhaps your local state licensing (plating) agency can help. But there are ways and they are not expensive. You just need to find them.

I wish you the best of luck. Adiós. jerezano.


NEOhio1


Nov 14, 2006, 8:45 AM

Post #18 of 40 (8178 views)

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Re: [jerezano] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Well, junker no, 1990 jeep grand wagoneer, a little rust around the edges, goes anywhere, intimidated by no truck or animal and hauls at 85 mph thru the desert - gotta keep it.

Everyone has differing needs in vehicles, mine tend toward the obscure and older. I sold a 1963 Biarritz convertible after my first visit here, if I had visited twice and gone into Guad I would have realized that there was plenty of road available outside the villages area for that rolling couch. Not to mention what I could have sold it for in Guad.

We will go thru the hoops with a broker at the border. Then our other cars can come in. And one will be old enough to nationalize at the border, cuz I have my eye on a cute little 64 Corvair convertible for running around.

I will certainly be keeping our favorite local mechanic busy.


Don


Nov 14, 2006, 9:52 AM

Post #19 of 40 (8167 views)

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Re: [NEOhio1] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Here is one site you can check about exporting a vehicle to Mexico, through New Mexico. My son-in-law has legalized several vehicles and a motor cycle going to Mexico through Arizona. Same rules apply through all states. He finds it very easy. The site does say the rules apply to Mexican Residents only. It does not say Mexican Citizens only.
I might add that my son-in-law is a legal U.S. resident and a Mexican Citizen and also has a home in Mexico. The last vehicle he brought to Mexico was a convertible.


http://www.nmborder.com/vehicle.html


(This post was edited by Don on Nov 14, 2006, 9:56 AM)


ignacio

Nov 14, 2006, 2:21 PM

Post #20 of 40 (8135 views)

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Re: [Don] "mexicanizing US car?"

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The site you,mentioned has this info:

"The following types of vehicles cannot be exported to Mexico:
  • Sports Cars
  • Convertibles
  • Luxury Automobiles"
You state that your son-in-law brought a convertible to mexico ???

Is the information in that site correct, or how did he do it ?


ignacio

Nov 14, 2006, 2:27 PM

Post #21 of 40 (8135 views)

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Re: [esperanza] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Does anyone know what the NEW rules will be in 2007, as we move further along in the NAFTA timeline, where eventually all cars will be able to move freely across the borders. (-;


jerezano

Nov 14, 2006, 4:37 PM

Post #22 of 40 (8121 views)

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Re: [ignacio] "mexicanizing US car?"

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Hello all,

Here is a link and document courtesy of the Guadalajara Reporter as reported by Canadian Club Mexico. It covers NEW cars only for PERMANENT importation to Mexico. This was current as of 2004. A border broker will know about any new rules, but I haven't made a search for a broker. Previous links cover USED cars.

http://www.canadianclubmx.com/driving_in_mexico.htm

Importing A New Car Into Mexico as of January 2004 If you bring a new vehicle into Mexico here are some tips on how to go about the task and avoid problems at the border: The car must not have more than 1,000 kilometers on the odometer for it to be considered new. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) must be from the current year or the following year for the car to be considered new. The buyer must purchase the car from the manufacturer or a licensed distributor. Make sure the VIN on all the documents matches the plaque that's placed near the windshield of most vehicles.All vehicles must meet the Official Mexican Norm (NOM) and Federal Environmental Protection Bureau (Profepa) standards. If you are bringing down a vehicle for personal use, the car must have an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seal placed under the hood and on the inside of the doors. The VIN number digit that tells the cars origin must be" 1" for the United States and "2" for Canada. The importer must also present the certificate of origin that the manufacturer can provide.The importer must pay the Value Added Tax (IVA) equal to 15 percent of the vehicle's total value at the moment of importation. The importer must also pay the tax on new vehicles (ISAN) equal to ten percent of the vehicle's value, as well as the annual car owner's tax (tenencia) equal to 2.5 percent of the vehicle's value, refrendo and Mexican license plates.

As you can see the expense is prohibitive. But it can be done.

Adiós. jerezano.


Don


Nov 14, 2006, 9:33 PM

Post #23 of 40 (8087 views)

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Re: [ignacio] "mexicanizing US car?"

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The site also says you can bring in the cars only to the border states. ALL his vehicles were brought in to Jalisco State. That site just shows what you need, as I believe the rules must change often. He hires no one to bring in the vehicles. He does it himself at the Airizona crossing. He said he has no problems and was very easy. He has all the paper work that shows his ownership.


Oscar2

Nov 15, 2006, 7:45 AM

Post #24 of 40 (8052 views)

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Re: [Don] "mexicanizing US car?"

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The site also says you can bring in the cars only to the Border States. ALL his vehicles were brought in to Jalisco State.



If the above holds true, can I assume a 2000 Astro Chevy Van would qualify. Does Nationalizing the vehicle mean you can now get Mexican plates for a previously US plated Van that meets an over 5 year old vehicle/Van?

According to the website it appears this can only be done at the Santa Teresa Port, or can it be done at any port of entry?


Don


Nov 15, 2006, 9:58 AM

Post #25 of 40 (8035 views)

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Re: [Oscar2] "mexicanizing US car?"

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The Santa Teresa Port is the ONLY place you can do it in New Mexico. All vehicles he brought ( trucks and cars ) were at least 10 years old. I nationalized two vehicles in 2003 under an amesty program. One was a 1993 Ford Escort and the other a 1993 Plymouth Van. I did all this in Cuidad Guzman, Jalisco. You can do this within the country only when they have an amnesty program. But you can do this at border entry points to qualified vehicles. He also said you can import motor cycles if they are above , I believe, 750cc. I also believe you can import newer cars, but be prepared to pay " an arm and a leg".
I am unable to contact my son-in-law for the next 7 days, but when I can, I will get any info he has and post it.
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