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-   -   Expired plates (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/south-america/expired-plates-60351)

GC45 21 Nov 2011 14:55

Expired plates
 
Hi
Not entirely a motorcycle question, but a motorcycle will be included.
Let's assume I leave BC for Mexico & allow my ICBC insurance & registration to expire. I intend to do that rather than continuing to pay ICBC premiums (for no coverage) on top of Mexican insurance. I may or may not return to BC; however, if I do, what is the solution to the problem of registering & insuring the vehicle for the trip back? Obviously, I could fly, but if I wish to take the vehicle back?
If I get a Mexican DL, which I gather is a relatively painless procedure, can I then get insurance, perhaps Mexican or US, for the return trip? I gather Mexican vehicle registration is not a desirable option.
These questions apply to Central American countries as well, so any advice in that regard is welcome.

Scrabblebiker 21 Nov 2011 17:58

To renew your ICBC insurance you can give someone else power of attorney to renew it for you. They'll have to have access to your renewal notice when it arrives by mail. They can then send the renewed registration and decal by DHL, or whatever, to wherever you are. Call the ICBC toll free line for the exact details.

BUT, ICBC will refund your premiums for the time you've been outside of their coverage area (Canada, USA). You'll need some type of proof of leaving and reentering the insurance coverage area. When you cross into Mexico you'll be getting your dated TVIP (proof of leaving) and upon exiting you'll be given an official dated receipt indicating you've officially checked the vehicle out of Mexico (proof of reentering ...and leaving). Make sure you safeguard them or their copies.

If you're not driving back north, make sure you keep copies of all the import permits for the countries you go through to prove that the vehicle has bee outside of Canada/USA for the entire period. ICBC accepted my Mexican exit receipt without any issues and fairly quickly mailed me a cheque for 3 months premiums.


...Michelle
www.scrabblebiker.com

GC45 21 Nov 2011 19:20

Quote:

Originally Posted by Scrabblebiker (Post 356688)
To renew your ICBC insurance you can give someone else power of attorney to renew it for you. They'll have to have access to your renewal notice when it arrives by mail. They can then send the renewed registration and decal by DHL, or whatever, to wherever you are. Call the ICBC toll free line for the exact details.

BUT, ICBC will refund your premiums for the time you've been outside of their coverage area (Canada, USA). You'll need some type of proof of leaving and reentering the insurance coverage area. When you cross into Mexico you'll be getting your dated TVIP (proof of leaving) and upon exiting you'll be given an official dated receipt indicating you've officially checked the vehicle out of Mexico (proof of reentering ...and leaving). Make sure you safeguard them or their copies.

If you're not driving back north, make sure you keep copies of all the import permits for the countries you go through to prove that the vehicle has bee outside of Canada/USA for the entire period. ICBC accepted my Mexican exit receipt without any issues and fairly quickly mailed me a cheque for 3 months premiums.


...Michelle
www.scrabblebiker.com

Hi, thanks.
I called ICBC, & power of attorney is exactly how to proceed. Could have done that sooner & saved some hassle, but searching their site seemed to indicate the pay/refund option was the only one available. Very simple solution.

MikeMike 22 Nov 2011 12:56

You won't get a Mexican DL unless you have an FM document other than a tourist visa. You will need an FM-2 or an FM-3 and you will have to qualify for those before you can get a Mexican DL.
Your Mexican insurance will also be invalid if they find out you have expired plates by the way.

BlackBeast 22 Nov 2011 14:55

I deliberately let our ICBC insurance/plates expire on both our bikes after we left Mexico and continued South. All our docs matched what the plates said with new dates. We returned and relocated to Ontario, so just had them re-registered here.
Daryll

GC45 22 Nov 2011 15:25

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeMike (Post 356765)
You won't get a Mexican DL unless you have an FM document other than a tourist visa. You will need an FM-2 or an FM-3 and you will have to qualify for those before you can get a Mexican DL.
Your Mexican insurance will also be invalid if they find out you have expired plates by the way.

I figured I'd stay in Mexico long enough to get my FMN (FM3).
I heard elsewhere about insurance being invalid with expired plates. That's a concern, particularly with the way accidents are handled in Mexico.
I understand registering a vehicle in Mexico is difficult, and that non-tourist insurance becomes much more expensive, & annual registration fees are high.
Perhaps registering somewhere south of Mexico would be better.
Comment?

GC45 22 Nov 2011 15:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by BlackBeast (Post 356772)
I deliberately let our ICBC insurance/plates expire on both our bikes after we left Mexico and continued South. All our docs matched what the plates said with new dates. We returned and relocated to Ontario, so just had them re-registered here.
Daryll

I don't follow what you mean–matched plates with new dates

BlackBeast 24 Nov 2011 01:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by GC45 (Post 356776)
I don't follow what you mean–matched plates with new dates

Use of photoshop and some Dollar store stickers.
Daryll

MikeMike 24 Nov 2011 13:07

That's what I thought.

A few things for the other poster, how are you going to qualify for the transfer of tourist to FM-3? Unless you have a job or a pension or can prove a healthy bank balance you might not get it. You will have to qualify as either a rentista (renter on a pension or renter with enough funds to qualify as not likely to run out of money) or a worker (you need a formal job offer and you will need a number of extra documents and have them apostilized as well), or you can qualify as a property owner if you have bought a house or a condo and have the legal title to it in your name. Time has nothing to do with qualifying for an FM-3, it all has to do with meeting the requirements and you can qualify from abroad through a Mexican consulate or embassy if you have everything in order. Just waiting out your tourist visa in Mexico and then asking for an FM-3 without qualifying for it will not get you very far.
Second, to register your bike you will have to import it. That means paying taxes etc... and the use of a good customs agent if they will handle this and many do not want the hassles and time involved.
Third, you will then need to plate it somewhere and begin to pay the yearly registration fees.
Unless you speak and write Spanish fairly well, you are likely going to need some professional assistance in this and it could get more costly than you think.
Just some things to consider. Remember, you can't always bribe every official even though it is Mexico. Think through what you are planning on doing and figure on a cost and then double that in time and money.
That will put you in the ball park.

GC45 24 Nov 2011 16:35

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeMike (Post 356981)
That's what I thought.

A few things for the other poster, how are you going to qualify for the transfer of tourist to FM-3? Unless you have a job or a pension or can prove a healthy bank balance you might not get it. You will have to qualify as either a rentista (renter on a pension or renter with enough funds to qualify as not likely to run out of money) or a worker (you need a formal job offer and you will need a number of extra documents and have them apostilized as well), or you can qualify as a property owner if you have bought a house or a condo and have the legal title to it in your name. Time has nothing to do with qualifying for an FM-3, it all has to do with meeting the requirements and you can qualify from abroad through a Mexican consulate or embassy if you have everything in order. Just waiting out your tourist visa in Mexico and then asking for an FM-3 without qualifying for it will not get you very far.
Second, to register your bike you will have to import it. That means paying taxes etc... and the use of a good customs agent if they will handle this and many do not want the hassles and time involved.
Third, you will then need to plate it somewhere and begin to pay the yearly registration fees.
Unless you speak and write Spanish fairly well, you are likely going to need some professional assistance in this and it could get more costly than you think.
Just some things to consider. Remember, you can't always bribe every official even though it is Mexico. Think through what you are planning on doing and figure on a cost and then double that in time and money.
That will put you in the ball park.

I can qualify as a rentista (pensionado) with a combination of government pension & private investment income. I'll have to come up with a way to show a local address. Perhaps a long term RV park rental would qualify, with a letter from the owner as landlord. The new FMN (FM-3) cannot be obtained in advance anymore. You must be in the country, although some preliminary steps may be taken in advance.
I would prefer not to register the vehicles in any country down there unless I take up long-term residency. I'm aware that there is a lot of red tape, and a substantial cost, including, at least in Mexico, high annual registration fees & sharply higher insurance cost.
All this is about a year away. By then I hope to have a reasonable understanding of Spanish. I'm fluent in French; because of that, I have a rudimentary ability to read Spanish & Italian. I'm hoping the Rosetta Stone language program will get me to where I need to be.
I hope to avoid "la (?) mordida".

MikeMike 25 Nov 2011 13:11

It is simple to avoid mordidas.
Don't pay them. I don't and haven't in almost two decades living here permanently.
As long as you have an address that mail can get to, like the office of the trailer park, that should get you the comprobante de domicilio you will need.
It won't have to be in your name, you just have to have one (a light bill or a phone bill usually).
I didn't know about the FM-3 change, thanks. You will need to have your original birth certificate apostilized for sure. You will also have to communicate in writing in Spanish. If you are really stuck I think I still have some old form letters a lawyer drafted and you need to only fill in the blanks.

GC45 25 Nov 2011 17:48

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeMike (Post 357067)
It is simple to avoid mordidas.
Don't pay them. I don't and haven't in almost two decades living here permanently.
As long as you have an address that mail can get to, like the office of the trailer park, that should get you the comprobante de domicilio you will need.
It won't have to be in your name, you just have to have one (a light bill or a phone bill usually).
I didn't know about the FM-3 change, thanks. You will need to have your original birth certificate apostilized for sure. You will also have to communicate in writing in Spanish. If you are really stuck I think I still have some old form letters a lawyer drafted and you need to only fill in the blanks.

Useful advice.
Re mordidas: That's what I have taken as the right approach from the many discussions I've read, although it will take some time to learn how to handle situations. Mordidas and other "travel expenses" can apparently be difficult to avoid at border crossings south of Mexico.
"Apostillization"—Here's the process in Canada:

"The combined process of "authentication" and "legalization" is the Canadian equivalent of "apostille certificates" issued in other countries that are signatories to The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (1961). As Canada did not sign this convention, notaries in Canada do not provide "apostille certificates". However, in most circumstances (depending on the country and document in question), R....y Notary can provide you with our authentication and legalization services, whereby, we will authenticate and/or legalize your notarized documents.
After authentication, "legalization" occurs when the document is presented to the consulate of the relevant foreign country for certification. At that point, the document normally acquires legal validity in the intended country of use."


As far as the Spanish is concerned, I really expect to be able to handle reading & writing by the time I get there. Speaking & understanding it may take a little longer, & will doubtless provide some entertainment for the natives.:rofl:
Thanks for the offer re old letters. I may get them from you at some point. As I say, this is still a year or so away.
I contacted the poster who talked of preparing documents & plates & got an explanation of the process.

MikeMike 26 Nov 2011 13:54

Glen, what did he tell you about the legalization process for the bike?
You can't get Mexican plates unless the bike is legalized (imported) into Mexico. I am curious to see what he said about that because it is a very grey area for the most part and a lot of brokers are not that interested in going through the hassles. The "factura" for the bike is the problem here as it will not be from Mexico.

GC45 26 Nov 2011 15:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikeMike (Post 357195)
Glen, what did he tell you about the legalization process for the bike?
You can't get Mexican plates unless the bike is legalized (imported) into Mexico. I am curious to see what he said about that because it is a very grey area for the most part and a lot of brokers are not that interested in going through the hassles. The "factura" for the bike is the problem here as it will not be from Mexico.

What he described was a means of keeping BC plates & registration "current". As long as I can do that without paying premiums, I don't need to worry about
importing & registering the vehicles in Mexico, a last resort option I had considered in order to be legal if driving back to Canada. Michelle's tip re power of attorney neatly solved that problem.
If I settle in Mexico, I guess I'd have to legalize a vehicle in order to sell it, but otherwise not. In any event, Ecuador looks like a more likely final destination, Darrien Gap notwithstanding.
Mike, you say you've been in Mexico almost 20 years. What have you done vehicle/transportation-wise?


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