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    How to Return a Temporary Imported Vehicle That Became Illegal While in Mexico

    In order to import a foreign plated vehicle into Mexico, it is necessary that the importer has any of the following Immigration status:

    • Visitor
    • Temporary Resident

    Therefore, the validity of the Temporary Import Permit of a foreign plated vehicle will be for the same period of time of the Immigration status of the foreigner, as long as he is a visitor or a temporary resident.

    When a resident changes his Immigration status from temporary to permanent residency, he will have to return his vehicle abroad, because it will no longer be legal in the country, given that the permanent residency is not authorized for this purpose. However, there are cases in which the vehicle is not returned abroad while the Temporary Import Permit is still valid and it becomes illegal.

    There are two ways to return an illegal vehicle abroad that has an expired temporary import permit:

    • By land, with a “Retorno Seguro” (safe return) permit
    • By sea

    By land

    In order to return abroad a vehicle by land, it is necessary to obtain a “Retorno Seguro” permit, which will allow the importer to drive it legally with the only purpose that the vehicle leaves Mexican territory.

    The application for the “Retorno Seguro” permit will have to be submitted at the “Servicio de Administración Tributaria” (SAT).

    The documents required for the application are the following (original and two copies are needed):

    • Title
    • Immigration form
    • Identification (passport)
    • Temporary Import Permit
    • Valid driver’s license
    • An address to receive the “Retorno Seguro” permit

    In order to obtain the “Retorno Seguro” permit, these are the steps to follow:

    • Go to the local SAT office with all the documents previously mentioned
    • Fill out the application forms for the “Retorno Seguro” permit
    • Wait for approximately two weeks until the “Retorno Seguro” permit is delivered to your address

    NOTE: The “Retorno Seguro” permit is valid only for 5 business days, in which the vehicle will have to leave Mexican territory.

    By sea

    The steps for the departure of a vehicle by sea from Yucatan are the following:

      • Go to the shipping company and obtain a letter stating that the vehicle will enter the same day to the fiscal warehouse.
      • Go to BANJERCITO to file some paperwork for the return of the vehicle abroad and to have the sticker removed.
      • Return to the shipping company to conclude the necessary paperwork to enter the vehicle to the warehouse.
    • With a member of the shipping company, enter the vehicle to the warehouse.
    • Wait for the scheduled day for the shipping of the vehicle.


    Before you start the process, you must have in mind the following:

    • The process is made in just one day, taking approximately from 4 to 5 hours.
    • It is necessary to have a customs agent in order to enter the vehicle into the US. In case you don´t have this type of contacts, the shipping company can provide you with some.
    • The fees to the shipping company can be paid as follows:
      • At the office in Progreso in USD cash.
      • At the office in Progreso with a check (USD account).
      • In the US when you receive your vehicle.
    • Shipping rates
      • From Progreso to Panama City: 750 USD approximately
      • From Progreso to Houston: 1,500 USD approximately.
      • (These prices may vary and depend on the value of the vehicle)

    NOTE: The vehicle can enter the warehouse up to 15 days before the shipping day.

    Here at YES we can help you with any of these two options. For more information you can call 927 24 37 or contact us at info@yucatanyes.com.

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