The day started out well enough.
I walked to a friend's house. The friend and I began to talk about our Mexican car permits. Interesting conversation and it got me to thinking, so when I got home I checked our permit. Oops, expires March 11, 2009.
Well, need I even tell the rest of this story?
In ten minutes flat, we were packed and in the car, pulling out of the driveway to go to Empalme, where we got our permit last June, after crossing into Mexico. Another friend saw us leaving and when we told her where we were going, she said........no, no, you don't have to renew it...... as long as your FM3 is good, your permit is good....but, i said, the piece of paper says it expires tomorrow.....................no, no, i don't think it does, she said.
We pulled out of the driveway at 2:25pm and arrived in Empalme at 5:06pm. Aduana was still open, but we noticed banjercito (the bank where you pay for permits) was closed.
We showed him our FM3, which we originally got in March, 2008, in Seattle. When we came into Mexico, the FM3 expiration was changed, by immigration in Hermosillo, to our entry date, June 18. Aduana looked at our car permit which was going to expire the next day. Aduana looked at the FM3, which expires in June. Then he pretty much said.....go home......your permit does not expire ever.....as long as you have an FM3.
I thought, well banjercito is closed, Aduana just wants to go home. I questioned him.....no, he said, and i will copy off the rule for you..............
He went away. He came back with a paper..................keep this with you, he said......... this is the rule that says you do not have to renew your car permit while you have an FM3 and are in Mexico.....highlighted sentences are important..................... we think he said.
So, Senor and I looked at each other, grabbed all of our tons of paperwork and drove to Obregon, where we got a room at the Quality Inn, watched Mexico and Bolivia play futbol, had room service and hot showers. The next morning we shopped at WalMart and Home Depot.
Back home, we have spoken to people, fluent in Spanish, who say they cannot really interpret the papers above. We have talked with people who have never renewed car permits. We have talked to people who don't even have car permits.
We have looked at websites that say they have car permit information, but have found very little about car permit renewal.
All we know is we are going to cross into Sinaloa, next week, heading to Mazatlan, to meet our daughter, with an expired car permit.....................no problemos! buenos noche! linda lou