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neato

Feb 10, 2011, 9:59 AM

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Driving back to the states on expired plates

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Hello everyone.

Sorry this is my first post here. I'm desperate for some information.

After spending almost 2 years in Yucatan, my wife and I have to go back to the states. We're leaving on the 23rd of this month, driving. My problem is, we brought our car down from Michigan and since we were here, we let the plates expire. Michigan doesn't have a provision to renew online once the registration expires, it has to be done in person.

My question is: Will I be required to show a valid up to date registration at the border?

I'm trying to have a family member go register the car for me, but I'm unsure if they'll be able to. Even so, I won't have the actual registration or plate tags, just a copy at best.

I appreciate any advice.

Phillip


(This post was edited by neato on Feb 10, 2011, 10:00 AM)



rockydog85251

Feb 10, 2011, 11:09 AM

Post #2 of 15 (10377 views)

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Re: [neato] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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Depending on where you cross, some states have allowances in the form of temporary permits, that allow you a certain number of days to travel to your place of licensing. Good luck!


neato

Feb 10, 2011, 11:11 AM

Post #3 of 15 (10374 views)

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Re: [rockydog85251] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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We'll be crossing somewhere in Texas...


chinagringo


Feb 10, 2011, 11:22 AM

Post #4 of 15 (10371 views)

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Re: [neato] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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The above suggestion would require a temporary transport permit from Texas since that is where you will be crossing. You mention the possibility of having a relative obtain the new sticker etc. If that is successful, why not have them overnight ship via FedEx or UPS to a Kinkos or Staples store in TX for your pickup? We had a similar situation a number of years ago with an Oregon plated vehicle but we were bringing home to New Mexico. I was nervous about it and tried to find an open State Police station. After three attempts finding all of them closed on a Saturday, I gave up and drove on home without incident. I would make sure that I had current insurance since some states treat no insurance as a much greater violation.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



mexliving

Feb 10, 2011, 1:07 PM

Post #5 of 15 (10357 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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make sure you get some usa auto insurance on-line before touching the border.. that way if the customs officer notices your plates expired, you can show them proof of insurance for the usa..


gringolandia

Feb 11, 2011, 4:54 AM

Post #6 of 15 (10295 views)

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Re: [mexliving] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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I drove a car with an expired California plate and crossed at Laredo. I had a letter from the owner saying the car would be replated when I delivered it to them. I was questioned on the US side as to where I was going and where I was coming from. I told them about the letter...they didn't ask to see it.

I was nervous and drove at exactly the speed limit until I delivered the car in Dallas. My fear was unfounded...no one cared. I was told that an expired Texas plate would have gotten attention but not a plate from outside the state.


turnabout

Feb 11, 2011, 5:53 AM

Post #7 of 15 (10287 views)

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Re: [neato] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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The crossing into the USA is Federal, not state. They really could not care less if your plates are expired. They don`t have time to call ahead for a road block. When you pull up to the US side booth, do not say, "I have expired plates" or they will give you the same look your 4th grade teacher gave you when you asked if you could use the pencil sharpener. Been there, done that. ( in 4th grade that is) When you cross, stay tight with traffic, sweating bullets, looking for the cops, Ahhh the old days.. Odds are you could drive all the way back to Michigan without being stopped. In the end, it is likely cheaper to take a ticket than to buy plates for 2 years which, if like Illinois, you will be required to buy.


stevebrtx

Feb 11, 2011, 6:08 AM

Post #8 of 15 (10284 views)

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Re: [turnabout] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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In Sept '07 I bought a used Jeep in TX, loaded a trailer, drove it down, because it was new to me, I had only a bill of sale that didn't look very official, MX required me to get a 30 day temp plate, I went back across the border, got a 30 day temp permit and came on down. In Dec when the plates expired I tried to renew only to find the plate was actually not only out of date, but canceled. I went back to TX in Feb, drove into Laredo and got new plates, no problems. A year and 4 months later again I drove into TX with expired plates, got new ones and by then the inspection sticker was way out of date, no problem.

My point is that unless you are stopped for a traffic infraction, no one else cares, don't worry about it and be ready to flash your passport if stopped, it's unlikely you'll have a problem.
http://www.chapalaweather.net


RickS


Feb 12, 2011, 3:50 PM

Post #9 of 15 (10171 views)

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Re: [turnabout] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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I recently (yesterday) drove a car with expired US plates out of Mexico into Texas (Piedras Negras/Eagle Pass). Although the 'agent' noticed my expired plates (I also mentioned it to him and briefly explained why) he, as you say, could not have seemed less interested. Now he was interested to know that I had an orange on-board and was required to 'give it up' but that was the extent of any problem with my crossing (had I not had that orange my total time crossing would have been 19 minutes). Time will tell if I can make it to Colorado in a few days with my expired (2009) plates on a car I purchased from an individual at Lakeside. I did get stopped with NO plates once by a State trooper after purchasing a vehicle from an individual in Oklahoma. When he saw the Bill of Sale and understood that I was driving the car back home to plate in Colorado, he 'let me go'.

BTW, my 2-day trip up from lakeside was very non-eventful..... had the usual military stops at predictable places and usually got waved through. At one stop a Federal cop did ask me a few questions..... "where are you going, where have you been, do you have any weapons, large sums of cash or marijuana?". He laughed and waved me on when I said, "no, senior, I am a wimp!".

Follow-Up Note: Had no problems associated with the expired plates on my car..... 3 days in Texas including a long day driving back to Colorado.

(This post was edited by RickS on Feb 18, 2011, 9:42 AM)


sioux4noff

Feb 24, 2011, 9:09 PM

Post #10 of 15 (9867 views)

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Re: [neato] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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I'm no a fan of telling 2nd hand stories, but I have one that applies here.
2 friends here in Bucerias took their minivan with expired Minnesota registration to Arizona as they were going to nationalize the vehicle.
They were questioned by ICE about the usual things - fruit being one of them. They said they had a couple apples in the cooler. For some reason, the ICE agent was quite zealous in doing her duty. After a thorough search of their vehicle, they were confronted with the fact that they not only had apples, but one pear which they had not declared. They were fined for that oversight. I don't recall the amount. They reported being questioned extensively about their Mexican driver's licenses and their Minnesota plated vehicle. The frieds never brought up the topic of their out of date registration.The agent also said she noted their registration was out of date and called the local authorities. A polcie officer came out and issued them a ticket for not having current registraton. They said the officer was quite polite and apologized about having to write them a ticket, but said that she was obligated to do so as she had been called to the situation.
The ticket had a potential fine of about $500 US.
They were able to get the ticket waived by taking to the judge and expaining they were only in Arizona to nationalize the vehicle. He (the judge) told them that if they brought proof of the nationalization, he would waive the ticket, and he did indeed waive it.


turnabout

Feb 25, 2011, 5:14 AM

Post #11 of 15 (9852 views)

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Re: [sioux4noff] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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One of the first things they ask when crossing " you all US citizens?"... " do you have any fruits or vegetables?" Declaring the fruits and it would have been a non event but they did otherwise for some strange reason. Pretty dumb if you ask me.


sioux4noff

Feb 25, 2011, 5:54 AM

Post #12 of 15 (9847 views)

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Re: [turnabout] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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I wouldn't say they were dumb. They knew the rules about what to declare on the form.
They said yes, they had a few apples in the lunch cooler. Forgetting, of course, they had one pear as well. Yes, they violated the letter of the law, but they didn't look first to inventory their cooler. I guess since they had packed the drinks and snacks several days before, they should have actually looked into the cooler and not depended on memory. They certainly weren't trying to hide anything or smuggle fruit into the US.

They said that the agent spent a large amount of time looking in, under and around the seats and floorboards in the van, as if she was looking for evidence of them smoking dope. Or maye she was hoping to find orange peels or some other clear disregard for US laws.


surebought

Mar 21, 2011, 4:21 PM

Post #13 of 15 (9355 views)

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Re: [neato] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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More than a few people I know who live here in Baja are getting caught up in the turmoil of not being able to re-register their Vehicles in California because the DMV won't recognized their daily purchases of Insurance when they go infrequently to the US. They want them to buy US Insurance by the term. Their plates then expire and it gives them something to complain about. If they go back with expired plates, they won't likely notice at the border, but the CHP? One guy( and unscrupulous individual, painted up his license plate to look like he had current tags. I was fooled until I looked real close. I imported my car and have Baja Plates so I get a break on US Insurance and I don't have to bother with the bankrupt state of California. I buy for the whole year(I think it is $120.00 US for the year.) But these guys, I don't know what they are going to do. They can't afford to import their cars to Mexico. They can't afford to move back to the US either. And they're too lazy to find a rich widow.


Ustlach


Mar 31, 2011, 12:42 PM

Post #14 of 15 (8993 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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Can you refer me to a US insurance company that will insure a vehicle with expired registration? Especially one that will issue me a valid short-term policy (for a few days) for a vehicle that is not legally registered in the USA? One that will go this over the phone, or via their website?


(This post was edited by Ustlach on Mar 31, 2011, 12:43 PM)


chinagringo


Mar 31, 2011, 8:37 PM

Post #15 of 15 (8934 views)

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Re: [Ustlach] Driving back to the states on expired plates

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Wish that I had an answer for you. For the example mentioned earlier, we insured the vehicle that I mentioned with Mexican auto insurance to get it to the border and then used our US blanket policy for any vehicle that we drove to cover us until new plates were purchased in NM. Once we did that, we just added the vehicle to our existing policy NOB.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM

 
 
 
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