Pink Slips and License Plates

A roll of red tape.

Rachel writes: My husband and I live in La Paz. We are in the process of getting our FM3’s but in the meantime we’re just here on a tourist visa. I have purchased a new truck and trailer in Chicago and am planning on bringing it down to Mexico, stopping to pick up a kit car of my husbands in Texas. We were told that the plates would take 2 weeks to arrive and they have not come yet. We drove everything from Chicago to Dallas and the truck and trailer and kit car are sitting in a friends driveway while we wait for the license plates. We have non-refundable tickets to Dallas for Tuesday and I’ve been getting very confusing information from various online sources and from the consulate in Chicago.

I am wondering if we can cross the border with temporary plates (which is what we have from Illinois) and the pink slips for the two vehicles and trailer.

Thanks in advance!

Carl replies: If you can prove ownership I don’t think you’ll have a problem, but then again, I’ve never run into this situation before so I can’t be absolutely certain. You must have Mexican vehicle insurance, right? I suggest that you call your insurance company and ask them.

Also, I’m generally skeptical about information from Mexican consulates. They often mean well but that doesn’t mean they have any real experience beyond stamping papers and assisting Mexican citizens and businesspeople. In fact, consulates aren’t really meant to help tourists — that is the job of SECTUR, the Mexican federal tourism agency.

If I were in your shoes, I’d gather up every scrap of official paper relating to the vehicles and head for the border with a smile and a positive, patient attitude. I think you’ll find the solution isn’t that difficult once you’re there.

Let me know how it goes, ok?

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