Veracruz highway with red pickup truck

Solutions to Expired Mexican Tourist (FMM) And Vehicle Permits (TIPS)

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  • Banjercito sign

    You can't say they didn't warn you.

    Oops! Forgot to turn in or "cancel" your car, truck, RV, motorcycle permit? Forgot to cancel your tourist (FMM) permit? You're not alone. There are answers to your dilemma - maybe. I will give you some general information that may solve your problem. If it doesn't, I sell an FAQ with more robust solutions in my shopping cart.

    There are two different problems and government agencies involved - tourist permits and Migracion (Immigration) and car (truck, RV, motorcycle) permits Hacienda the (taxing authority).

    Vehicle permit regulations have changed many times in the past few years, but the procedure to cancel them is the same. If you don't cancel your car permit before it comes due, you will forfeit the bond you put down with your credit   card - AND you still cannot drive a vehicle back to Mexico until you prove that you took yours out of the country.

    If you don't cancel your Mexican vehicle permit with Hacienda or Banjercito, you won't be able to drive into Mexico again. Period. "Canceling" means driving your vehicle to the border, showing it to an official who takes a picture of the VIN and gives you a receipt. Easy-peasey - except when the border is a thousand miles away.

    Fines for failure to surrender your immigration papers (FMM) are steep -- about $1149 MXP (Pesos) for the first month and it goes up on a graduated scale from there (very roughly $600 MXP a month). Migración (Mexican immigration) has a pretty accurate computer. They caught me for not turning the FMT's in since 1996. Fortunately, Migración let me slide on all but the most recent -- a year old. The polite Mexican immigration official only wanted $2,000 -- US dollars -- from me.

    Don't Panic! There Is a Solution.

    Don't panic. Keep reading. I had to go back two times to find one Mexican immigration official who was willing to negotiate. For about $312, I got cleared. I know this because when I got my next Mexican FMM tourist card, the immigration official saw that the previous ones had been canceled.

    The only solution for an overdue tourist permit is to pay the fine. My FAQ has no information to help you with tourist permits. Don't order it for that.

    Hacienda (the Mexican treasury department) keeps even better track of your Mexican car permits. From a confidential source, I found out that their records are tied to your name, date of birth, immigration information and vehicle VIN. So basically, you are screwed if you try to bring another car in if an old permit has not been canceled.

    Occasionally, different Mexican consulates will declare an amnesty if you show up at one. IF this happens, it is usually before the Christmas and Easter seasons. The consulates may not do this every year, but you can haunt their websites to see if one is planned.