Thursday, April 13, 2017
Waiting A Long Time For IT To Happen!
When NAFTA went into effect about eight or ten years ago requiring that all vehicles be nationalized, if
possible, it was not possible for me to do so with this car because it was made in Japan. Only cars
made in Canada or the USA could be nationalized.
If I had had a permanent visa, it would have been illegal for me to keep my import sticker on the car so for
the last sixteen years, I had a temporal visa. As of November, I have had a permanent visa. For one reason, in order to keep a temporal visa, I would have had to go back to the USA, to the Mexican Consulate and reapplied all over again as though I had never had a visa. With that, one must prove income of $2400USD per month or an exceedingly high number in savings or investments. Rather then go through
that, I opted to roll over to a permanent. This means that I never have to apply again for a visa. It also means that my car is no longer legal, although I do have Mexican car insurance on it here in Mexico.
I drove the car to the beach in January wondering if I would get stopped. One police officer did raise his
hand as I started to leave a toll booth, but he just wanted to talk. And, then he waved me on.
However, I headed out the other day to Celaya, which is about 45 minutes from here, to Costco in search of a spiral ham. There is always a roadblock to check papers etc. of Mexican vehicles, but in the past they have just waved me on. Not Tuesday.
A young, sharp eyed officer noticed that my Temporary Import Permit was expired on the windshield. Now if I still had a temporal visa it would automatically renew with my visa. He did not ask for my visa, but my
driver's license. Stupidly I gave it to him - lesson learned. He would say that my permit was expired and I would say no it was not that my visa automatically renewed it.
But, he was sharp, in a polite way. He had a smart phone. He would write in his comment in Spanish and translate it to English. Well, we both know that the translation sometimes makes no sense, so I would shake
my head and in English tell him I did not understand. This went back and forth for about ten minutes - me in English - him in Spanish. I just wanted to see what would happen.
Ultimately, he said he would have to give me a ticket. I said, "OK". Then he asked where I was going and I said "Celaya". Then I asked how much the ticket would be and where would I go to pay it? On his phone he wrote 1100 pesos and I laughed and shook my head "No". He then quickly changed it to 600 pesos.
That is about $30USD. I asked him again where I would go to pay it and he said "Aqui". Then I got it!
For the first time in over forty years of driving in Mexico, I was asked for MORDIDA. I was astounded.
So, I gave it to him in order to get my Mexican drivers license returned. Never did I get the ticket.......or his name. With that I drove off and no further problems.
Several people had told me that if I got caught, that my car would be confiscated and I would go to jail.
Nothing even remotely close to that happened. Every time I have ever been stopped by the Federales or in this case, local police from Celaya, the officers have always been very polite and not threatening at all.
So, now I know. It was an interesting experience. One I will chalk up to another adventure on the roads of Mexico. By the way, no spiral hams at Costco for Easter dinner. No hams at all! That's life.