It is car registration time… again!

It is car registration time… again!

by: Gary Brasfield

Gary Brasfield

In La Paz, and anywhere in Mexico actually, if you own a Mexican plated auto, it’s the last week to renew your registration and pay your Tenencia for the year 2014 without late fees.  If you are older…like over 60 years old, you can get some terrific assistance from those people in the back room over at Transito…the city police headquarters where you get all of this car stuff done.  Here’s the deal.

 Do you have an INAPAM card yet?  Better get one!  You’ll need it in order to speed up your registration and walking out of the Transito Police F A S T. INAPAM stands for “INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE LAS PERSONAS ADULTAS MAYORES”….or in other words “Old Folks Institute”.  You can get registered and get one of these cards if you are a resident visa holder or a Mexican citizen if you are 60 years or older.  Having the card is great because besides helping you to get through Transito to renew your car registration, it also provides you 50% discount on your property taxes, your water bill, bus fares, and a host of other things.

 But now back to the latest adventure…renewing your car registration.  So you go to the Transito building.  Somewhere in the back room is this department staffed with really nice women and sometimes men, who assist you with getting through the process of renewal.  You sit down and one of them asks you if you would like some assistance.  Well of course you say “Siiiiiii” because you couldn’t possibly get through this process without them…but remember that it’s all in Spanish folks.

 If you are a seasoned veteran like I am with this process you already know that you have to bring copies of everything in your wallet and home files…..well, not quite that bad….but something like that.  I prepare well.  I make three copies of my License, my INAPAM card, my Car Registration from the previous year, my Power Bill, and my IFE voting registration card (if you are a Mexican citizen).  You hand the file folder over to one of the helpers.  When they open it and look through the stuff, they smile and say something like “Wow!  You are really prepared!”.  They do it in Spanish, but you’ll get the idea really fast.  They send the guy out to get your computer printout that shows how much you owe this year for car registration, which has all your details including name, address, vehicle numbers, etc.  Then they escort you over to the department where you have to pay your Tenencia, which is the Federal Tax on your auto.  After you pay the fee you come back to the back room and sit down again.

 The next step is to pay for your car registration.  All the things that you would normally have to run around the building and do are done for you by a helper while you sit in the back room.  When all those things are complete, the helper comes back with your papers that allow you to go pay for your car registration.  They provide you with a number ticket and escort you to a place in front of the payment window where you can sit down and wait for your turn to pay.  You get a receipt, make a copy of it along with your copy of payment of Tenencia and give it to the helper again.  The helper takes it around the building to all the windows and places it needs to go.  He comes back with another number ticket and tells you that you are finished and to please come back to Window #5 tomorrow to pick up your stickers that have to be placed on your car window showing that you are all paid up for the year.

 Basically, the whole deal took almost 1-1/2 hours…but you really didn’t have to do much except sit while the helper did all the work for you.  It’s perfect!  Without the INAPAM card at this time of the month, it could take you up to 4 hours and you better be good in Spanish too!

 Now, a little interesting information for you:  What is Tenencia anyway?  It means a payment for ten years….yes, they collect a tax on the value of your car for ten years and it goes down each of the years.  Why do they collect it?  Interestingly, it was set up and approved by the Mexican Congress many years ago to pay for the costs associated with the Olympics in Mexico City back in the 1980’s. Don’t you think that’s been paid for by now?  Certainly!  That’s why the citizens are demanding that this tax be cancelled!  Stay tuned.

For more information on about any other payment in La Paz, but mostly La Paz Real Estate, you can email me at garyb@cbriveras.com, visit our website www.cbriveras.com or call me at (612) 128 7868.

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