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Driving Mex plated car to the U.S.

2729 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  AdePuebla
I am buying a 10 year old Expedition SUV here in Chapala and I would like to drive it to the U.S. and bring my 24 ft travel trailer back with me to Mexico. I will be in the U.S. for about 2 weeks and then return to Mexico where I live permanently. I am hoping to get some answers to some questions.

First of all, I do not have an FM. I had an FM3 for a few years and an Fm2 for 4 years but the agent I was using for the last renewal botched the whole thing and I lost it. For the past 3 years I have just been using an FMT because I go to the states frequently anyway to see my family. I can get an FM if I need to.

The Purchace:
So, when I (an American) buy the car can I buy it in my name or does it need to be purchased in my husbands (A Mexican National) name? I have heard that it has to be sold to a Mexican and then the Mexican transfers it to the foreigner but I do not know if this is true. If it is true, I would not bother with the transfer unless I needed to do so in order to be able to drive the vehicle to the U.S. because he is not going with me.

If I can buy it in my name do I need an FM? A Mexican Drivers licence?
What are the costs involved ?

Crossing the borders:

Can I bring my U.S. plated trailer into Mexico with my Mexican Plated vehicle on an FMT?

What will they charge me for the trailer?

Can I nationalize the trailer and what would it cost?

The vehicle is insured with AIG with it's current owner and I will go with AIG for the vehicle also. I do not know if they insure RV's so I will need Mexican insurance for the camper also. ? Does anyone have a suggestion for Mexican insurance on the camper

I will also need temporary insurance in the U.S. for both the camper and Trailer. Anyone have any suggestions?

Does anyone know of a place where I can store my camper for a monthly fee?

Are there any campgrounds in Chapala, other than Roca Azul? I would like to use a campground when relatives visit.

Is there anything I am not thinking of? I do want to be prepared.

I know this is a lot, and i really apreciate any input anyone has to any one of theese questions.

Thank you all in advance!

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I assume the SUV has Jalisco registration.
You will need an FM3 to register the vehicle, I think. When we bought our Smart Car in Guadalajara, we had to produce our FM3. Your driver's license can be from anywhere.
NOTE: If the SUV is not registered in Mexico, DO NOT BUY IT! It is illegal to sell a temporarily imported vehicle in Mexico.
Many people bring in campers and get a ten year permit. I don't know all the details, but it would seem to solve your problem of having the expense and hassle of 'nationalization'.
We have purchased temporary insurance for both US and Jalisco vehicles from Carmen Garcia at her insurance office at Plaza Interlago, on the Libramiento. See her for details.
You might check with S&S Motors in San Antonio Tlayacapan for storage, or also the park at Roca Azul. I think that's the only true RV park left in the area.
RVGringo, Thank you so very much for that information.
The Vehicle has Arizona plates, I thought that a 10 year old imported truck could be sold in the interior of Mexico without going to the border. I suppose that it is still true that the truck can be Mexican plated, but the sale must take place in the U.S.

I would imagine that the 10 year permit for a camper only applies to those who possess an FM2 or FM3.

The remaining reason for wanting to register and plate the truck in Mexico is so that my husband can drive it.

Again, thanks for the info.
No, the owner of the vehicle, who imported it, MUST take the vehicle to the border, have aduana remove the 'importada temporal' sticker and issue a receipt, removing that vehicle from the owner's immigration document and canceling the bond that the owner posted; probably by credit card. Failure to do that would result in fines and even the possibility of confiscation. Worse yet, the VIN on the vehicle would still make it the original importer's vehicle, in the eyes of Mexico, and not yours. As such, all sorts of trouble would arise if there were ever a serious accident.
So, if you want to buy that vehicle, you AND the owner must go to the USA to do the transaction after the sticker is legally removed by aduana. Then, you can register it in the USA, if you have a US address and can prove it, and temporarily import it to Mexico yourself. You will need an FM3 if you ever want to leave Mexico without the car. You cannot leave it behind on an FMT. You will need to carry a marriage certificate in the car to prove that your husband has the right, as immediate family, to drive a US plated car. No other Mexican can drive it without you (not your husband) being in the vehicle. Having US plates will save you a lot on insurance costs, by the way. However, you might want to consider buying a Mexican car instead, as there are advantages and less hassle.
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yeah i would just get a mexican plated car if i were you. that's a big hassle. OR if you were going back to get your trailer anyway, buy one in the US and have your husband naturalize it at the border when you come back.
if you have questions about cost or even about getting this car you wanna buy legalized you can call the Aduana. their number is 01800-463-6728.
whichever you choose if you go to the border to get a car naturalized be sure to get the imported vehicle sticker before you leave the border town you legalize it in. My cunada didn't get one (cause, atleast in nogales, they give it to you on your way out, you have to stop and get one) and now she's trying to sell it and they said she has to go back and get one. and who knows if she'll have fines or not. also you have to get your plates within a certain amount of time after getting it naturalized because if you dont, you get fined.
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