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The trials and tribulations of having a foreign-plated car in Mexico

By Robin Loving Rowland

As almost every expat and many Mexicans are aware, it is complicated and expensive at best to have a foreign-plated car in Mexico, despite one’s best efforts to follow the ever-changing rules for same in Mexico. Gerie Bledsoe, who participates in the annual Mexican road race called La Carretera Panamericana, has become an expert on these matters, and will share his expertise at the Rotary Club of San Miguel de Allende – Midday Tuesday, March 4, at 12:30pm at Misión de Molino at Salida de Querétaro , free of charge.

Rotary Club presentation
“The Trials and Tribulations of Having a Foreign-Plated Car in Mexico”
Tue, Mar 4, 12:30pm
Mision el Molino
Salida a Querétaro 1

Having been through this process myself, which entailed buying a new car in the States on the advice of the consul there, then returning it on the advice of the consul there, then bringing my older car here, then being told by officials here that I could get my permit in Querétaro, then finally returning to Laredo at my expense, I was very interested in what Bledsoe knows, so I asked for his presentation in advance.

I read the 12 very clearly written paragraphs and thought, no way. I’ll never do this again. Thank goodness Bledsoe is here to unscramble the process for the rest of us.

How many permits does it take? How much does it cost? How long does it take? What visa does one have to have. What are the differences between one car and another in the process? What are the laws? What if I want a Mexican to drive my car? Can I do this here or in Querétaro or León? Do I have to join a Mexican union to get license tags? Will my permit be good outside of Guanajuato state?

These are just some of the questions you might need to ask. Others include: How does NAFTA play into this? Will it matter if my car has parts made in Europe or Japan? What kind of a receipt do I need to show proof of ownership? What the heck do holograms have to do with my car permit?

Still other questions are: Can I get away without the permit? Will the new photo surveillance cameras in town make a difference if I choose to ask for forgiveness instead of getting permission? Do the laws pertain to motorcycles? Come to Rotary to get clear on what you need to do!

Rotary professionally, intelligently and inspirationally unites diversely competent leaders to ethically and responsibly lead people to generate sustainable solutions to the world’s most acute humanitarian challenges through the strong connections of friendship and peaceful service.

For more information, contact Rotary President Lee Carter at, and see the website,


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