It is with a heavy heart that I set about finding a buyer for Myrtle, our VW bug. We had racked up some expenses and with the price of gas still high, it was the logical vehicle to sell. We use our motorcycles every day and the truck serves as our water and animal transportation, so Myrtle had to go.
The secretary at the school was deperately in need of a vehicle and soon a deal was struck. The next step in selling a vehicle is dar de baja (I have no idea how to translate this expression). This means turning in the tarjeta de circulacion (permission to circulate) and las placas (license plates) so that the vehicle can be registered in someone else’s name.
As Myrtle was registered in my name (See Placando Myrtle), it would be up to me to make sure it was done in a timely manner, within 10 days. Both license plates and the permit must be returned to the Oficina Recaudadora where the vehicle was registered. In Myrtle’s case, this was in Moroleon, even though the new owner would be registering it in Uriangato.
If one of the license plates happened to be missing, there would be a fine up to 392 pesos and if both were missing, a fine of 736 pesos. Why would license plates be missing? Well, they could have been stolen, fallen off, or removed by el transito (traffic cop) for a parking violation. In the event of missing plates, in order to complete the baja transaction, the owner must present a letter from los Transitos saying that a fine is not outstanding, however a fine would still be paid at the time of the baja. (See El tramite de alta y baja vehicular paso a paso)
In the event that that the tarjeta de circulacion permit went missing, it would be a fine of 106 pesos. Any outstanding money owed to the government, like parking tickets and the like, must be paid before the transaction is finalized.
The owner also must show a photo id, driver’s license, passport or IFE (voter’s registration card) and bring a copy of it. The actual cost of the proeedure is 79 pesos.
I finally managed to get to the office to complete the transaction sandwiched between making a lab appointment and the actual appointment (See blood draw) on yet another teacher meeting day (See Political wrangling). There was some delay as the secretary hadn’t yet removed Myrtle’s placas (plates) for me to turn in. We couldn’t find a screwdriver at the school, so she zooped around the block to have a mechanic do it for her as her incredibly pregnant stomach didn’t allow for much bending over.
That done, we headed to the office and took a number. It was only about a 45 minute wait, so that’s like lighting speed here in Mexico. I was happy about this especially since I had spent 3 hours waiting for the lab appointment set up that morning and would spend another 2 hours standing in line at the caja (register) to get my lab paper stamped authorizing the actual blood draw, which took less than a minute.
I handed my driver’s license and copy, the license plates and my tarjeta de circulacion to the lady behind the glass and she entered the information in the computer. I clarified that I was turning everything in as I had sold the vehicle.
The secretary’s mother mentioned that her son has recently sold his motorcycle and hadn’t done this transaction. I explained (as my husband explained to me) that many buyers do not turn in the license plates and keep using them. This would be a risk to the seller as the vehicle would still be registered to him or her and in the event of an accident or traffic infringement where the vehicle was impounded, the previous owner would be liable. Thus, my concern that the transaction we were doing was completed in a timely manner.
I received a receipt which I gave to the secretary, Myrtle’s new owner, so that she would be able to dar de alta (register the vehicle, receive license plates and circulation permit) in Uriangato. My part was done. I patted Myrtle on the hood and said goodbye.
Just in case you want to know, in order to dar de alta, the new owner must present the original title of the vehicle with cedo los derechos a (name of new owner), ceding the rights to said vehicle to the new owner and the signature of the seller, proof of residence of the new owner and the receipt of la baja being paid by the previous owner. If the new owner is foreigner, proof that the buyer is legally in the country, like the permanent residency card.
Just to be clear, these are the general procedures for the state of Guanajuato. Other states may have other requirements and procedures in place.