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Putting Mexican Plates on a Foreign Vehicle

Selling a Foreign Plated Car in Mexico

You cannot sell a foreign plated car in Mexico. If you want to sell it you can either go north of the border to sell it or you can first Mexican Plate the vehicle and then sell it.

Putting Mexican Plates on your Foreign Plated Vehicle

Jalisco Auto PlatesUntil recently you could not put Mexican plates on a foreign plated vehicle. A few years ago, they started to allow people to put Mexican plates on foreign plated vehicles that were 10 years old (any time during the 10th year).

Then with the New Immigration Law in Nov 2012 and the change to the Customs Laws that came with that, they state that now you can Mexican Plate a foreign plated vehicle under certain circumstances. First and foremost, it must be a vehicle that was built within the NAFTA countries - United States and Canada. Check that the VIN # begins with a number and not a letter for confirmation.

You must also have a Temporary or Permanent Residency Visa to qualify. With a Permanent Residency Visa, you cannot have a foreign plated vehicle so changing your foreign plates to Mexican plates becomes very important. Otherwise you need to take the vehicle out of the country every six months. Note: On a Temporary Residency Visa, you are able to keep your foreign plated in Mexico as long as you are current in your Residency status. After having a Temporary Residency Visa for 4 years, you must then transition to the Permanent Residency Visa.

This could change in the near future, but the current law says if you want to Mexican plate your vehicle,  you must take the vehicle out of the country and then foreign plate it on the way back in. We have heard some rumors about the possibility of a change to allow this to happen at Customs at the airport here in Guadalajara, but have not received any confirmation that this is in place yet.

There are two ways to get Mexican plates on your foreign plated vehicle:

1.       Regularizing

2.       Legalizing

Read the rules below that spell out the process. Even if you are able to regularize, so you don’t have to pay the 16% IVA tax on the value of the car, there is quite a hefty processing fee, depending on the vehicle.

 Putting Mexican Plates on your Foreign Plated Vehicle 


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