SD registration vs Mexican registration

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SD registration vs Mexican registration


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Old 10th February 2012, 05:13 PM
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Default SD registration vs Mexican registration

Hello all. Am in the market for a new or used car.

When I came to Mexico, I could not get straight answers about bringing in a US car (and I suspect it might be the same now) so I sold the US cars and bought a local vehicle.

The time has come to add a 2nd car to the mix. This time I am interested in knowing what the benefits of this SD registration I have heard about on the board (and seen with my own eyes while visiting BCS in Dec!).

I have a big benefit of buying a car in the US at wholesale price due to family car dealers and it can save me thousands of dollars - if I can figure out how to bring it legally to Mexico.

I am aware of what it takes to register, insure, etc the car locally in Mexico (DF).

What I am not clear on is the SD registration, benefits of doing so, tradeoffs, requirements, etc.

In my research I understand these are the benefits of SD registration:
No Personal Property Tax
No Vehicle Inspections
Excise (sales) Tax on purchase of a new or used motorhome/car/trailer
is only 3 percent, after trade-in.

However, if I have to make the drive to the border every 6 months to exit and re-enter Mexico, those benefits might be outweighed by the convenience of local registration. Unlike some on the board, we do not make regular land-based trips back to the US.

I saw some posts about the process of registration in SD - I don't think I need a rundown on that particular process and if need be I can make a trip there to do the initial registration paperwork (and get a drivers license if need be).

I am more interested in what I need to do SOB to make this happen.

Do I have to keep insurance in SD? Also in Mexico? Both at the same time?

Sorry if this is a dense question, but can someone explain exactly what you have to do to keep the SD car registered in Mexico (DF)?

I understand this is a totally different situation than nationalizing a car - which seems pretty much impossible as we are looking at cars 2 or 3 years old.

For what it's worth, I am on a non-inmigrante (aka FM3) visa and my husband is Mexican. I am 2 or 3 years away from getting inmigrante status.

Thanks in advance.

abc

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Old 10th February 2012, 08:00 PM
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With am FM3 you don't need to drive to the border with a US plated car. You do have to notify Aduana every year you get a new visa to protect your deposit.

BTW .. I thought FM2 was the path to inmigrado .. not FM3. Once you reach inmigrado it's rumored you can't have a US plated car .... which sounds strange since so many Mexicans drive US plated cars

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Old 10th February 2012, 08:27 PM
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Thanks for the reply, sparks. Good to know I do NOT have to drive to the border and it is just a local paperwork exercise (as exhausting as that can be at times).

Next question: does the restriction about not leaving MX while having a US car here apply to an FM3 holder? Because for work reasons I have to travel outside of Mexico sometimes.

I understand FM2 is permanent residency (inmigrado). After 5 yrs of renewing a non-inmigrado (FM3) you can apply for inmigrado status. There are lots of threads on the forum about this.

Right now I have FM3.

Can anyone advise on what happens to the US plated car when you go from FM3 to FM2 / inmigrado after 5 yr renewal of FM3? If I have to drive it back to the US it might not be terrible since I would have the benefit of having it here under US plates for several years.

Can anyone chime in on the insurance part?

Thanks!
abc

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Old 10th February 2012, 09:17 PM
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I fly up every year with a car here ... I'm sure plenty others do too. No you don't need to keep insurance on both sides of the border. Some states may require insurance to register the car the first time or to stay current ... that may one of the benefits of SD

Correct me if wrong but if married to a Mexican you can go inmigrado in two years .... otherwise it's 5 years. There is no other route

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Old 10th February 2012, 10:11 PM
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Your 'FM3' is not a 'no-inmigrante' visa. It will merge with the 'inmigrante' (old FM2) visa in the immediate future and become a 'tarjeta de residencia temporal'. What used to be 'inmigrado' will become 'residente permanente'.

You may not drive a US plated car if you are working with 'inmigrante'.
You may not drive a US plated car if you are 'residente permanente'.
You may not drive a US plated car if you are a naturalized Mexican citizen.

Mexicans with US 'green cards' may drive US plated cars. Others do so illegally & pay 'mordida'.

If you live in Mexico, life is simpler with a Mexican car.

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Old 11th February 2012, 12:40 AM
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I drive a US plated vehicle and renew the registration by mail when necessary. I have a son in Texas and we drive up to visit him several times a year, so I need US ins coverage for those trips. My US ins carrier allows me to keep minimum coverage on the vehicle when in Mexico (the coverage is actually no good here, but it allows me to keep the policy in force) I send a note and let them know when I am headed for Texas and they activate the liablity portion, at an additional cost of course. Obviously, I keep Mexico coverage on it also, as it is driven daily down here.

The SD situation was driven originally, my opinion here, by residents of other states who saw a way around the higher sales taxes, personal property taxes, etc., in those states. It gained a foothold in Mexico almost as an afterthought when someone realized the ease by which one could maintain the US plates. It is actually a nice, though relatively small, cash machine for SD. There is no fine print involved, it is quite easy to maintain SD registration by somene who is not currently residing there, and an auto insurance policy is not a requirement to maintain the registration.

Having said all that, I agree with the posting above; the simplest, cheapest, most efficient way is to drive a Mexican plated vehicle, and my next vehicle will be plated here. I purchased my current vehicle new, before moving here, and I refuse to give it away for 50% of what I have invested in it, at least for another year or two.

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