Tag Archives: driving in Mexico

New 2020 License Plates in Guanajuato

In October, I found out that the state of Guanajuato was issuing new license plates and that I needed to sign up post-haste to get mine. I had just picked up my moto license plate in January when there was the whole fiasco of the driver’s license having the letter “A” and all. Anyway, due to COVID, the procedure was going to be different. 

So I went to the special website (https://placas2020.guanajuato.gob.mx/) for more information. Amazingly enough, the new plates are free until December 31. Appointments were made beginning in September. Fortunately, my license plate ends with the number 4, so I could schedule an appointment for October. 

In order to complete the transaction:

  • The vehicle must be registered to the person who will pick up the new license plates.
  • The owner must have a photo ID (INE or driver’s license).
  • The owner must present a comprobante de domicilio (proof of address) no more than 4 months old. 
  • The owner must have a CURP (Clave Única de Registro de Población)
  • The vehicle must be current in its payments to the government without any outstanding fines. 
  • The vehicle must not have been reported stolen in the Registro Público Vehicular (REPUVE) system.
  • The current license plates (1 for motorcycles, 2 for cars and trucks) and the tarjeta de circulación (permission to circulate card) must be turned in.

If all of those are in order, then an appointment could be made online. 

To make an appointment, I had to set up an account with my email. Since my husband was going to need to go through this process too, I set him up one too. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use the same email for both, but since I have more than one email account, I finally got that done. 

Then I had to enter the CURP number and the system pulled up my name. I added in the address on my driver’s license (my sister-in-law’s address since we don’t have a street address in La Yacata). Then I had to add a phone number. Again, I couldn’t have the same number for both accounts, so I used my cell phone number and my son’s cell phone number. 

The next step was to take pictures of the comprobante de domicilio (proof of address) and photo ID. The comprobante was accepted just fine, but the IDs were “too blurry” or something and they were rejected. So I went and had all the IDs scanned at the ciber cafe, then uploaded them. With the newly scanned images, I could proceed to the next step. 

My husband’s procedure, however, was an at an impasse. Remember how I had to get the letter “A” off my license so the comprobante de domicilio and my license matched exactly? Well, when we did all the license and vehicle renewal in January, my husband decided to NOT change the addresses on his IDs. And now that decision had come back to haunt him. His IFE, truck driver’s license and motorcycle driver’s license have 3 different addresses, none of which we can get a comprobante de domicilio for. So until one of his identifications matched the comprobante, he couldn’t make his appointment. 

But back to me…I made the appointment at 8:10 in the morning and we arrived shortly before 8. A woman came out and called the names of the appointments for 8:00 to 8:15. My temperature was checked, I showed my tarjeta de circulación (permission to circulate card) and sat socially distanced with a mask on in the waiting area.

When it was my turn, I handed my ID and comprobante to the woman. She then asked for my residency card (which I always carry with me for such eventualities). I handed that over too. Next I signed a waiver allowing them to keep my information on file. I then had my fingerprints taken. Both thumbs were pressed into this little digital reader thing. I foresee this being a problem for my husband. His fingers are so calloused from work that those reader things can’t detect the lines on his fingers. 

Next, I had to digitally sign my name for the new tarjeta de circulación (permission to circulate card). Finally, I had to REMOVE my mask and glasses for a picture. I assume the picture is in the file somewhere because it’s not on the new license plate or the tarjeta de circulación (permission to circulate card). Well, me and helmet hair grimaced into the camera. My eyes are probably closed too. Que sera, sera. 

Then I was directed with my completed paperwork to Caja 4. The masked man behind the counter gave me a new license plate and tarjeta de circulación (permission to circulate card). The tarjeta de circulación (permission to circulate card) is more durable plastic than the previous versions, but’s that’s really the only difference. I was finished and could leave with the goods. 

And then there was the little matter of my husband’s documents….

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Road Worthy At Last

With my updated license in hand along with the original title with a new line ceeding the rights to the motorcycle in question to me with my correct legal name, we headed to the Oficina Recaudadora. We didn’t have to wait too long before we were in front of the same girl who said nothing could be done with our previous stack of documentation the last time.

There was some shuffling of papers while I gave her my updated license, the old license plate, the CFE bill, the old permission to circulate card, and the motorcycle title. Fortunately, this girl wasn’t offended when I waved papers triumphantly as I found them. She had me write “CANCELADO” over the incorrect endorsement on the back of the title and everything was hunkey dory.

She entered some information and let me know that the motorcycle owed $631 pesos from prior years that I would have to pay (la baja). Then there was the current value of the motorcycle which would determine how much I would have to pay to get a new permission to circulate card (la alta). She had to request that information from the powers that be, I’m assuming in Guanajuato, so while we waited for that response, she did the rest of the paperwork. 

I watched as she pulled up the address on the CFE bill on Google maps. She asked me to confirm the address. Yes, it was my sister-in-law’s house. Since the picture was taken in 2015, you can clearly see the two meters that caused the issue with the #1A and #1 problem. Currently, there is only one electric meter, the second one having been removed some time ago.

Anyway, she printed out the picture from Google maps to include in my file and told us to take a seat. We waited awhile. Finally, she called me back up and said she had the response about the value of the motorcycle. She asked whether I was going to pay with a debit card or cash. Since my debit card is from a US bank and gets flagged everytime I use it for a transaction besides an ATM withdrawal in Mexico, cash it would be.

She gave us a paper to take down the block to where the Italika motorcycles were sold. There’s a Banco Azteca desk there. So we went and paid $1,131 pesos for la baja and la alta and came back.  After another wait, the girl gave me my new license plate and new permission to circulate card. My moto is road worthy at last! Yippee!

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License Address Change

Since CFE made that momentous change from #1A to #1, and the most recent bill had the number without the letter, my newly renewed motorcycle driver’s license had to be changed to match. 

So we went back to the Oficina Reginal de Movilidad de Moroleon and talked to the only guy working that morning. He asked for a copy of the new CFE receipt and that was it. We went around the block for the copy and came back. By that time, the sole employee was nearly overrun with people and we had a bit of a wait.

Finally, he called me over and gave me the paper to go and pay for the new license. We headed to Farmacias Guadalajara and paid $196 pesos for a change of address transaction. Then we waited some more.

Eventually, it was my turn. Reinforcements had arrived and a lady was manning the license issuing computer. When I approached the desk, she wanted to see my IFE. I said I didn’t have an IFE. She said she wanted my migratory documentation then. OK. I pulled out my permanent residency card. She said she needed a copy of it. 

I tried twice to explain that I was here for a license address change, but she wouldn’t even let me finish my sentences. Remembering that I had my folder with all my medical papers with me, I started going through those, certain I had a copy of my permanent residency card in there. A few seconds later I was waving the copy around in triumphant. 

Apparently the lady behind the desk didn’t share in my triumph and all that paper shuffling offended her. She said that there was no reason for me to be angry with her, scolding me as if I were a misbehaving child. I looked at my husband in confusion as she continued on her tirade about how I needed to be in the country legally and blah blah. My husband said that I wasn’t irritated. I repeated that I wasn’t irritated only I didn’t understand why I needed to show this documentation when I was just getting the address changed. I renewed my license less than a month ago.

So she looked at my application. She called the other guy over. He patted her shoulder and said he forgot to tell her it was a change of address request. Then, she asked me if I was changing the address from #1A to #1. I said yes. She asked again, like she couldn’t believe it. Yes, that was the address change. I didn’t elaborate. I didn’t want to rile her up anymore.

After doing some typing and fiddling on the computer, she turned to my husband and asked if he was with me. He was. She gave him my previous license and told him to go and make a copy of it so she could put it in the file. So he did. I waited.

When he came back, she didn’t seem inclined to take the paper from my hand. So the other guy came from the other end of the office, took the copy and placed it with my pile of documents at her desk. Eventually, she came to the counter with my new license which I took, thanked her, and left. Whew!

Next stop, back to the Oficina Recaudadora for another attempt at registering my moto.

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