Placando Mytle (a little play on words) Placas are license plates. Placar means to tackle. So tackling license plates….
As much as I love my moto, I have to admit it is not as much fun to use during rainy season. With that in mind, this year we found a 1993 VW bug, known here as a Vocho, in our price range, owned by someone whose family we know and could feel reasonably confident buying from and voila, Myrtle joined the family.
With the policía del estado (State police) camping out at the crossroads that is the main entrance to La Yacata, (See Driving Hazards–mordidas) we decided to waste no time in getting license plates and tarjeta de circular (permission to circulate) for Myrtle.
My husband went down to the Oficina de Recaudadora to see about that particular transaction. He took his driver’s license, his IFE (voter registration card) and the electric bill from his sister’s tortilleria (tortilla shop). However, the guy at the desk said that one or the other of his identifications must have the address that the electric bill had listed.
Oh, but wait! My newly minted moto license has that address on it! (See Getting Legal—Motorcycle license) Problem solved. So we went back and showed my documentation. I brought my residency card, my driver’s license, my passport, just in case, and Myrtle’s papers. We checked with the guy at the desk and everything seems a go. We took a number and waited.
At the counter, the girl asked for the original factura (factory receipt), the baja (the receipt from when the previous owner turned in the old license plates), the CFE receipt (the electric bill), and my driver’s license. My husband also insisted I show her my residency card. I explained that my last name is not E. but F. and that I don’t have a second last name and that E. is my middle name. My husband signed over the car to me on the back of the original factura with 6 other transfers of ownership. He wrote Cedo a los derechos a (I cede the rights to this receipt to) my name, then signed his name and dated it. The counter girl asked for copies of all these. She told us to get a number from the guy at the desk when we came back.
So we trooped down to the first floor to a costume store that makes copies, $1 peso per side. That was a little steep, but it was the closest copy place. We went back up to the third floor and the desk guy said we could go over to the counter. But as the girl said we needed a number, we asked again. He hollered over at the girl and she said we could come on over. There wasn’t a line or anything.
So she took the copies and entered stuff into the computer. She asked how much we paid for the vehicle. My husband said $12,000 pesos although we really paid $17,000 but I guess the price of the plates is partially determined by the value of the vehicle or something. We asked if she could determine if the car had ever been a taxi since we discovered chips of green paint under the white. She said that there wasn’t anything in the system that said that it was, however since it had been originally purchased in D.F. (Mexico City) there was a good chance that it had been.
She told us that the plates would cost between $1200 and $1300 pesos but she couldn’t be sure since it was the end of the month and the price goes up at the beginning of the new month. My husband asked why we couldn’t pick them up today since it would be cheaper than waiting. She said that there was a 3 to 10 day waiting period in order for the State Police to check if the documentation we presented was fake or not. No worries! She gave us a recibo de documentación para tramites vehículares (a receipt stating she had received our documentation) and an appointment for Wednesday at 1:20 pm to come back for the alta (plates and permit and literally the opposite of the baja).
So Wednesday came around and we arrived 5 minutes before our appointment. I handed the recibo (receipt) letter that we had been given to the desk guy. He took it over to the window and gave it to the same girl we spoke with before behind the glass partition. Then we sat down. The waiting area was more crowded but the TV was on, so we watched a telenovela (soap opera) while we waited. It seemed the girl was finishing another transaction and she had to go hither and yon into different areas for paperwork, so the wait was about 10 minutes.
She then called my name and we went to the window. She apologized for the wait and said that she had indeed been working a troublesome transaction and thus the delay. She gave me the plates and read off the number on the tarjeta (card) to make sure they were the same. She asked the original factura (factory receipt) and $1123 pesos, which was much lower than we had been anticipating. I signed two or three documents. She rubber stamped and signed the original and the copy of the factura and she handed me the card. We were done.
How refreshing for an official transaction to be so simple and straightforward! We took Myrtle out for donuts that very afternoon, cruising right past the policía without a care in the world.