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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been living in Tampico Mexico since March 2016, I brought what I could with me when I flew in, also had mailed some boxes prior to arriving. I have a car load I want to bring with me this time. I am in Missouri right now at the moment helping my father move, and with him moving I need to bring my items I had left at his house when I came to Mexico last year. I think it will all fit in one large SUV but packed top to bottom. I am getting conflicting reports of what is needed..I will be crossing in McAllen - I am making an itemized list in english and spanish of whats in each box.

I am curious what your experiences have been?
 

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I have been living in Tampico Mexico since March 2016, I brought what I could with me when I flew in, also had mailed some boxes prior to arriving. I have a car load I want to bring with me this time. I am in Missouri right now at the moment helping my father move, and with him moving I need to bring my items I had left at his house when I came to Mexico last year. I think it will all fit in one large SUV but packed top to bottom. I am getting conflicting reports of what is needed..I will be crossing in McAllen - I am making an itemized list in english and spanish of whats in each box.

I am curious what your experiences have been?
On my initial crossing the agent looked at my packed truck and trailer and just waved me on. He didn't even want to bribe me and this was the Aduana office below Matamoros that is now closed.

The itemized list is a good idea, I had one also and was never asked for it, all experiences will be different according to where you cross and who is at the gate. It's never as bad as you imagine it will be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
On my initial crossing the agent looked at my packed truck and trailer and just waved me on. He didn't even want to bribe me an this was the Aduana office below Matamoros.

The itemized list is a good idea, I had one also and was never asked for it, all experiences will be different according to where you cross and who is at the gate. It's never as bad as you imagine it will be.


I have a feeling I am making it worse in my head than it really will be. Its hard since each place does something different and each agent will be different. I am a planner so its nerve wracking LOL
 

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I don't mean to be contrarian - but we went the menaje route. It was kind of our own design - it had a column in English and a column in Spanish. It did not have any monetary values on it. In fact - it had a lots of things on it which we did not bring to Mexico. It was approved at the Mexican consulate the same day we received our RP approvals. That whole period for us was stressful enough. I had never driven a trailer before and here I was planning to drive from Miami to the middle of Mexico pulling a trailer. Then we had four cats in the back of the car as well. One of the most enjoyable nights I have ever spent in a hotel was when we spent our first night in Mexico in a very nice hotel in Saltillo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't mean to be contrarian - but we went the menaje route. It was kind of our own design - it had a column in English and a column in Spanish. It did not have any monetary values on it. In fact - it had a lots of things on it which we did not bring to Mexico. It was approved at the Mexican consulate the same day we received our RP approvals. That whole period for us was stressful enough. I had never driven a trailer before and here I was planning to drive from Miami to the middle of Mexico pulling a trailer. Then we had four cats in the back of the car as well. One of the most enjoyable nights I have ever spent in a hotel was when we spent our first night in Mexico in a very nice hotel in Saltillo.
I am also bringing my dogs, I have brought them with me before so i feel confident on what I need for them. I am getting my temp. residency once i move down there since I am married to a citizen I can do it while inside of mexico so I dont have the menaje just going in on a tourist visa. he is coming with me so he will do most of the talking for me when we cross.
 

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We had a ton of stuff left in Texas, 3 TV's, clothes, kitchen things, pots, pans, plates, coffee pot, blender, etc and I bought a brand new lawn mower. We always planned to live in Mexico just because of the cost of living so we got my wife a visitors visa, good for up to six months with a six month extension customary.

We went in to apply for the extension a month in advance and the lady told us that they were 6 months behind and that is on a 6 month visa. So we applied and received a reply that it was being processed. This is as good as an extension as you are legal while waiting for the actual extension. But if you leave the country they may or may not let you back in, its all up to the particular agent that you encounter and some of them are real jerks. He can push the "why did you leave?" point.

My wife had a death in the family and had to go take care of the grand kids back in Mexico. I packed the truck to the walls and ceiling under the camper and the entire back seat, it was crammed full and I was prepared for the worse on import taxes. The woman I got as an agent in Matamoros spoke some English so I just told her the truth. That my wife was from Mexico, I had a notebook with transparent sleeves and I showed her our marriage license, an electric bill that proved my residence in Mexico and even a few wedding pictures of my wife.

I then explained about the visa expiring and what happened causing my wife to have to leave. I showed her my wife's clothes and purses in the back seat. I bought a new 60 inch Samsung TV and wrapped the box in brown paper to hide the fact that it was a huge TV to deter theft. She took one look at the box and asked, "Is that a TV?"

After looking through a few boxes of kitchen supplies she said, "I believe you about your wife's visa, but we still have things being imported to Mexico so I will say 1,000 pesos.

I was delighted.
 

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I brought a SUV into Mexico in the end of May/1st of June, 2017. I crossed early early in the AM at Bridge 2 in Laredo. I had to be checked at the brodge even though I got the green light. I complained about it and they dropped the issue and let me go through. I got stopped at every single checkpoint (Laredo/Zacatecas/Auguascalientes/Guadalajara) and believe me they were looking for anything to catch me. In Zacatecas they asked for the letter of items I had. I didn't have it. After 1 hour and asking to see superior officers I was able to go but I learned my lesson. Make the letter and save yourself some grief from some shady state or city cop looking for some extra cash............ Or don't go this route.
 

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I brought a SUV into Mexico in the end of May/1st of June, 2017. I crossed early early in the AM at Bridge 2 in Laredo. I had to be checked at the brodge even though I got the green light. I complained about it and they dropped the issue and let me go through. I got stopped at every single checkpoint (Laredo/Zacatecas/Auguascalientes/Guadalajara) and believe me they were looking for anything to catch me. In Zacatecas they asked for the letter of items I had. I didn't have it. After 1 hour and asking to see superior officers I was able to go but I learned my lesson. Make the letter and save yourself some grief from some shady state or city cop looking for some extra cash............ Or don't go this route.
Luck of the draw I guess. A couple of years ago, I filled a passenger van with stuff I had stored in the US and drove it back to Mexico. I crossed at El Paso/Ciudad Juarez at midnight. They shined a flashlight in the van, looked in the top of a couple of boxes and let me go on my way. At about 20 km south of the border we had to show our passports and visas, but they didn't say anything about the van. No one ever stopped us after that. One point that might be relevant: the van was a rental and had Mexican plates.
 

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I entered three times with a car loaded to the gills and a car top carrier also filled. Each time I got a cursory inspection at the border and was waved on. They always seemed to think it was so interesting that I was moving to Mexico.

One of the three times I got the red light at aduana and the agent just looked at everything, asked me if it was cool being a musician (I had a lot of music gear with me) and smiled and sent me on my way.

Even though I never had a problem, I think there is no harm in having that letter even if it is not an official, consulate approved menaje.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We had a ton of stuff left in Texas, 3 TV's, clothes, kitchen things, pots, pans, plates, coffee pot, blender, etc and I bought a brand new lawn mower. We always planned to live in Mexico just because of the cost of living so we got my wife a visitors visa, good for up to six months with a six month extension customary.

We went in to apply for the extension a month in advance and the lady told us that they were 6 months behind and that is on a 6 month visa. So we applied and received a reply that it was being processed. This is as good as an extension as you are legal while waiting for the actual extension. But if you leave the country they may or may not let you back in, its all up to the particular agent that you encounter and some of them are real jerks. He can push the "why did you leave?" point.

My wife had a death in the family and had to go take care of the grand kids back in Mexico. I packed the truck to the walls and ceiling under the camper and the entire back seat, it was crammed full and I was prepared for the worse on import taxes. The woman I got as an agent in Matamoros spoke some English so I just told her the truth. That my wife was from Mexico, I had a notebook with transparent sleeves and I showed her our marriage license, an electric bill that proved my residence in Mexico and even a few wedding pictures of my wife.

I then explained about the visa expiring and what happened causing my wife to have to leave. I showed her my wife's clothes and purses in the back seat. I bought a new 60 inch Samsung TV and wrapped the box in brown paper to hide the fact that it was a huge TV to deter theft. She took one look at the box and asked, "Is that a TV?"

After looking through a few boxes of kitchen supplies she said, "I believe you about your wife's visa, but we still have things being imported to Mexico so I will say 1,000 pesos.

I was delighted.


thank you for this :) i will have our marriage license, our photos, his deportation documents with me and he is going to be there with me too so he can explain it all, plus i have our dogs which ill have their papers also im getting that taken care of the day before i leave. i feel confident that they will open boxes but once they see its all used items, no tv either lol, i am just wishing and hoping to get an agent like you had :) im going through mcallen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I brought a SUV into Mexico in the end of May/1st of June, 2017. I crossed early early in the AM at Bridge 2 in Laredo. I had to be checked at the brodge even though I got the green light. I complained about it and they dropped the issue and let me go through. I got stopped at every single checkpoint (Laredo/Zacatecas/Auguascalientes/Guadalajara) and believe me they were looking for anything to catch me. In Zacatecas they asked for the letter of items I had. I didn't have it. After 1 hour and asking to see superior officers I was able to go but I learned my lesson. Make the letter and save yourself some grief from some shady state or city cop looking for some extra cash............ Or don't go this route.


which letter are you referring to? i am making a detailed list of items in english and spanish but other than that i have no letter, i have my husbands deportation documents and our marriage license etc things like that but i do not have any letter from like the consulate. im starting my process while in mexico, which because i am married to a citizen i can do instead of starting at the consulate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Luck of the draw I guess. A couple of years ago, I filled a passenger van with stuff I had stored in the US and drove it back to Mexico. I crossed at El Paso/Ciudad Juarez at midnight. They shined a flashlight in the van, looked in the top of a couple of boxes and let me go on my way. At about 20 km south of the border we had to show our passports and visas, but they didn't say anything about the van. No one ever stopped us after that. One point that might be relevant: the van was a rental and had Mexican plates.


i am bringing a truck/suv down to cross my things into mexico, once right outside the border gate will switch my items into my husbands mexican plated truck, then my dad will leave mexico with the american plated truck and go back home. he is driving down with me and dropping me and our things off so to speak. so on our way back home in mexico it will be in a mexican plated truck. i have driven the route home and there are no checkpoints normally so im not to worried about that. but even if there are ill have my husband with me, we are traveling daylight hours only.
 

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thank you for this :) i will have our marriage license, our photos, his deportation documents with me and he is going to be there with me too so he can explain it all, plus i have our dogs which ill have their papers also im getting that taken care of the day before i leave. i feel confident that they will open boxes but once they see its all used items, no tv either lol, i am just wishing and hoping to get an agent like you had :) im going through mcallen.
I think the agents are a little more sympathetic if you are married to a Mexican national moving to Mexico with the current administration in the U.S.
 

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Jenny, I have no advice to offer about your travel plans, but I do want to wish you and your husband "buena suerte" as you begin your new life in Mexico. Please keep us posted about how things go for you.
 

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We came in June, Crossing at El Paso with 3 cars packed to the hilt. We were asked to pull around the back for inspection. They briefly poked around in each vehicle and sent us on our way. We had no list.
 

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which letter are you referring to? i am making a detailed list of items in english and spanish but other than that i have no letter, i have my husbands deportation documents and our marriage license etc things like that but i do not have any letter from like the consulate. im starting my process while in mexico, which because i am married to a citizen i can do instead of starting at the consulate.
Your situation changed dramatically as soon as you said you were brining your husband with his deportation documents with you. You can pass through with nothing more than the deportation documentation, and explain your situation. The letter is called a "Menaje de Casa" and is simple to do. Just get it stamped by the Consulate before you leave. I have never seen a Mexican citizen do this however, they just bring their things with their deportation documents and are allowed to pass right through. This is what I know from those who have done this as in your situation.
 
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