Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA

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Rolly

Dec 17, 2009, 9:32 AM

Post #1 of 15 (18586 views)

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Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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Watch commander Klump. (520-375-5785) of the Customs and Border Protection Agency in Nogales gave these rules for crossing into the USA with Mexican plated vehicles:

If you only have a residence in Mexico and do not have a residence in the USA, you will have no problem. Customs assumes the vehicle will only be driven in the US temporarily and will be returned to Mexico. If you have a residence in the USA, even with another in México, you may not take the Mexican plated vehicle into the USA.

Mexicans citizens may drive their vehicle into the USA

It is not clear to me how this can be enforced.

Rolly Pirate

Reefhound

Dec 17, 2009, 9:37 AM

Post #2 of 15 (18576 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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What if the Mexican citizen owns a home in the U.S.? What about dual citizenship?

Rolly

Dec 17, 2009, 9:41 AM

Post #3 of 15 (18567 views)

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Re: [Reefhound] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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If a person has dual citizenship, the law in both Mexico and the USA says he must identify himself as a citizen of the country he is in at the moment.

Rolly Pirate

BajaGringo

Dec 17, 2009, 7:19 PM

Post #4 of 15 (18487 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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I drive my SUV with Baja plates into California all the time. I carry an annual insurance policy to cover the minimum insurance California requires.

TalkBaja: Over 25K members…

ken_in_dfw

Dec 17, 2009, 8:48 PM

Post #5 of 15 (18474 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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I have to confess, the petty, immature part of me wishes that, just once here in DFW, I’d see a THD patrol car on the side of the road, having pulled over a vehicle with Nuevo Laredo plates, imposing a “Mexican” tax – just once.

I know, pretty petty, and a good thing that it doesn’t happen. There is so much other crap that my country imposes on folks from SOB. But still…

Mexikaner

Dec 27, 2009, 7:21 AM

Post #6 of 15 (18325 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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In Reply To
Watch commander Klump. (520-375-5785) of the Customs and Border Protection Agency in Nogales gave these rules for crossing into the USA with Mexican plated vehicles:

If you only have a residence in Mexico and do not have a residence in the USA, you will have no problem. Customs assumes the vehicle will only be driven in the US temporarily and will be returned to Mexico. If you have a residence in the USA, even with another in México, you may not take the Mexican plated vehicle into the USA.

Mexicans citizens may drive their vehicle into the USA

It is not clear to me how this can be enforced.

It’s actually quite simple.

What they do (INS) is give you a temporary registration for 90 day’s maximum, which in turn is then relayed to all 50 DMV’s.
As soon as law enforcement discovers that vehicle has become expired, your vehicle is then confiscated.
(Bribes not need apply)

(This post was edited by Mexikaner on Dec 27, 2009, 7:42 AM)

Reefhound

Dec 27, 2009, 9:39 AM

Post #7 of 15 (18300 views)

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Re: [Mexikaner] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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In Reply To
What they do (INS) is give you a temporary registration for 90 day’s maximum, which in turn is then relayed to all 50 DMV’s.
As soon as law enforcement discovers that vehicle has become expired, your vehicle is then confiscated.
(Bribes not need apply)

I think the point was not about what happens if you keep it here beyond the 90 day temporary registration but that if you own property in the U.S. you cannot bring it here AT ALL. And I suspect that it would be difficult to enforce unless customs has the tens of thousands of appraisal districts linked to it’s computers. Not to mention it would likely violate the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Georgia

Dec 27, 2009, 3:59 PM

Post #8 of 15 (18254 views)

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Re: [Mexikaner] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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Under US law, a Mexican plated vehicle may remain in the United States for up to a year. I have taken mine to Florida and had it there for nine months. No permit was issued.

Ustlach

Dec 30, 2009, 8:16 AM

Post #9 of 15 (18130 views)

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Re: [Georgia] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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I am wondering what you who are not Mexican citizens do for liability insurance, if anything, driving your Mexican plated car in the USA.

I just got back from one of my fairly regular trips to Tucson, AZ driving there in my partner’s Mexican plated car. He will drive in Mexico, but will not drive in the USA. So I have to do all the driving in the USA.

We always stop along the way on the Mexican side of the border and buy temporary liability insurance. To this day I do not understand if liability insurance is for the driver or for the car. The agent always takes down my partner’s information and that of the car, and then we ask if we can add my name and US driver’s license information so I can drive the car in the USA as well. They have always said, sure, no problema.

Time before last we bought the insurance at a different place than usual. Everything proceeded as described above, except that printed on the front of the policy, in bold lettering and in red, was a warning that the insurance was only valid for Mexican residents. It stated, in English, very clearly that any non-Mexican driver experiencing with a claim would void the policy. We asked about this and explained that I have an FM-2 visa but I do have another official residence in the USA. I do not have a Mexican driver’s license. The agent then said that without a Mexican DL the insurance would be no good. I guess they think Kansas is a Mexican state when they enter that information into the policy.

When we arrived in Tucson I called my US insurance company, 21st Century, and asked if the liability insurance I carry on my US plated vehicle would cover me/the Mexican plated car while I drove it in Arizona and they told me quite definitely that I/the Mexican plated car would NOT be covered. I tried to find out if that was because the car is foreign plated or what, but got no where on that topic.

So I am wondering what you all (those who are not Mexican citizens) do for liability insurance, if anything, when driving in the USA. It occurs to me that all the insurance we have purchased has been a complete waste of money because I am the only one who drives inside the USA and apparently the insurance was invalid the whole time.

bournemouth

Dec 30, 2009, 8:51 AM

Post #10 of 15 (18126 views)

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Re: [Ustlach] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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Check into Seguro Gringo, which is an on-line insurance agency from Texas:

https://www.segurogringo.com/sg/

(This post was edited by Rolly on Dec 30, 2009, 8:59 AM)

Georgia

Dec 30, 2009, 10:54 AM

Post #11 of 15 (18096 views)

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Re: [Ustlach] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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If you have a Mexican plated car, just before most border crossings, there are businesses that will sell you basica liability insurance for up to a year – the maximum time you can keep your Mexican plated car in the US. It’s not terribly expensive.

Rolly

Dec 30, 2009, 11:03 AM

Post #12 of 15 (18094 views)

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Re: [bournemouth] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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I looked at the link you provided. It says the insurance is available to Mexican citizens and residents, but it does not define resident. Leaves me wondering…

Rolly Pirate

johanson

Dec 30, 2009, 12:33 PM

Post #13 of 15 (18076 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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Excuse me for going off topic Rolly; but I love your new picture.

Pete

Ustlach

Dec 31, 2009, 2:57 PM

Post #14 of 15 (18001 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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Yes, Rolly, I agree. It is way too vague.

And I have to admit now, to you, Bournemouth, and others, that I have asked this question here before and had completely forgotten that someone (I believe it was also Bournemouth at that time) referred me to this same website, and company, SeguroGringo.com. And I had the same issues/doubts/questions about the “resident” thing at that time.

I also remember that I called the underwriters for the insurance, National Unity, in San Antonio, TX, and was eventually placed on the line with a lady there who told me that at a minimum to prove one is a permanent resident of Mexico one must have a valid Mexican driver’s license and must not have a residence of any type anywhere in the USA. Actually, the issue is that the insured’s ONLY residence must be in Mexico.

And I remember that the definition of residence came up, what constitutes “residence” for them, the underwriters. We went around and around, and finally I told the lady that I rent a room from my daughter in Kansas and use that address for purposes of maintaining a legal US domicile, so that I can have a US driver’s license, so that I can get registration and insurance for my US plated vehicle, and so that I can qualify for a Medicare Advantage plan.. Additionally, I have a mailing address at a UPS store in Tucson. She said all of this, especially the address in Kansas would be sufficient to disqualify me. In their thinking I cannot be a permanent resident of Mexico if I have a domicile/residence in Kansas, USA. Despite the fact that I own a house in Mexico where I live, at least so far, 99% of the time. I do occasionally stay in hotels in the USA and Mexico, and when I go visit my daughter in Kansas, I stay at that address, which is the one where I have established my legal US domicile.

So, at least in my case, I am convinced that because I have that domicile in Kansas and because I do not have a Mexican driver’s license, that this insurance would not be valid for me. They would not consider me a permanent resident of Mexico. I think if I were to get Mexican citizenship, at some point down the road, this residence issue could still haunt me.

There is an outside chance that some US liability policies (for my US plated pickup) might cover me driving my partner’s car while in the USA. I still need to follow up on that possibility, but I am not very hopeful. As soon as they hear the vehicle I am talking about has Mexican license plates and is owned by and registered to a Mexican, in Mexico, I doubt they will cover me. We’ll see.

For me this now means I cannot drive my partner’s car when we use it to go shopping in Tucson. We perfer to take it instead of my pickup truck because it is much newer and in better condition. It is cheaper to operate, and actually holds more stuff, securely inside the trunk or on the back seat, while stuff in the bed of my pickup is not safe/secure.

My partner, in his wisdom, says there are sacrifices we all have to make in life, and this is another one of the many for me, trying to pound round pegs into square holes by trying to live with one one foot in Mexico and the other one in the USA.

Reefhound

Dec 31, 2009, 3:19 PM

Post #15 of 15 (17994 views)

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Re: [Ustlach] Driving a Mexican-plated vehicle into the USA
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It doesn’t matter beans what they tell you, the only thing that matters is what is in the actual contract. If the contracts says resident of Mexico and you can prove residency in Mexico, then residences you own elsewhere do not change that. Lots of people own multiple residences in multiple countries. Their interpretation would never hold up in court or before a department of insurance review.

As for your existing insurance covering you while driving another vehicle, I think it depends on whether it is commercial or private and is not dependent on the nationality of the owner or the car. But in any event, look into a rider called “Unlimited Non-Owned Car Coverage” (UNOC)

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