Smog permits for Lakeside cars. If your license ends in 7 or is not from Jalisco, book an appointment now
Patrick O’Heffernan Ajijic JAL. Lakeside residents must now obtain either a temporary or annual smog verification document to enter or drive through Jalisco, even if their car has non-Mexican plates, according to an expert who has handled registrations for years.
“A lot of people are freaking out about the latest rules the Governor released about smog inspection,” said Antonio Regalado, owner of R&R New and Used Cars and Car Solutions in Ajijic who handles dozens of registrations. He warned people, especially Expats, not to trust everything they read on Facebook about smog checks.
“The Governor wants every vehicle to be smog tested, but your car will not be impounded if you are late getting a permit,” Regalado told Laguna. “But, the regulations require that out- of-state or foreign plated cars need to get an appointment now regardless of the last number of your plate – the appointments are available in mid-September. It is a new system and it is backed up with many people, so the sooner the better,” he said.
The regulations he referred to were published March 3 in the El Periódico Oficial El Estado de Jalisco, but the English translation is not clear on whether or not non-Mexican and non-Jalisco plates are excluded from the last number of the license plate system initiated for Jalisco-plated cars. Regalado says his reading is that out of state and out of country plates need appointments now for inspections regardless of their last plate number.
The Verificación Responsable website is also not clear. In its Q&A section it says that:
“All vehicles circulating in Jalisco are required to carry out Responsible Verification, including those from other states” directing readers to the March 3, 2020 regulation. However, in the site’s description of the Verificación Responsable system, it reads: “As of August 1, 2021, Responsible Verification is mandatory for all cars that circulate in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area, except hybrids and electrics. Private vehicles have to be tested once a year and heavy-duty vehicles twice a year. Check when you have to verify in the month-plate calendar.”
The question of whether out of state or non-Mexican plated cars can remain in Jalisco with a temporary pass good for the few days they may be in Guadalajara is not clearly answered. Regalado recommends that those with out of state or country plates assume they need full smog permits and make appointments now.
Regulations require that vehicles spending less than 20 days per month in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area (AMG) obtain and display a » Verificación Responsable » pass on a car window. The pass can be downloaded online without a visit to an office, but must be obtained for each visit to Guadalajara.
Passes are available for download at the New Verificación Responsable website. You will need your car’s registration card, VIN, and license plate numbers as well as the make and model. You can only select the days you plan to visit/drive through Guadalajara and you are limited to 20 days every six months. The site will generate a pdf. for you to print out and tape to your car window. You have to obtain a new pass for each visit. For full details, see instructions posted by Pat’s Plates at www.fb.com/PatsPlatesPv
If you plan to be in Guadalajara more than 20 days a month you need to obtain an annual Responsible Verification sticker ( bi-annual for commercial vehicles and trucks – hybrids and electrics are exempt). Appointments for inspections are now available for private cars with license plates ending in “7”, for out of Jalisco plated cars, and for heavy duty/commercial vehicles whose plates end in “3” and “4”. Enforcement begins Oct 1, but no fines will be assessed util 2022.
Obtaining a Verificación Responsable requires making an online appointment for an inspection, paying a $500MX fee in advance, passing the smog test, and displaying the sticker. At present there are only three inspection stations available for online appointments , all in the Guadalajara area, although more have been promised by the Jalisco government. The website offers a credit card option for payment, but it appears to reject American-based credit cards, requiring the user to print out a form to take to Oxxo or a bank.
The program is labeled as “new” by the current administration in Jalisco because it is replacing an earlier program that did not function well. The regulations can be found in Spanish at https://periodicooficial.jalisco.gob.mx.
OPINION: Patrick O’Heffernan
Car in Chapala.
Patrick O’Heffernan Ajijic JAL. Each year you have to renew your car registration by March 31. In Jalisco you get a discount if you pay early, starting in January. Theoretically, you can do this online at the site of the La Secretaría de la Hacienda Pública You will need your license plate number (placa in Spanish), your VN number, and your old vehicle registration card (tarjeta de circulación in Spanish). If the site is working, you can pay online and then after March, take your receipt to the traffic office in Chapala and pick up your new registration card. There are also some Oxxo’s and banks that will take the payment. Best to do it in early January because the discount is highest and the crowds are smallest. Keep the receipt in a safe place.
If you are re-registering a car from another state in Jalisco, the cost, red tape, hassle and time involved go way up. You will need a lot of documents, you will have to get up at 5 in the morning and go to a registration office in Guadalajara, you will have to have the car inspected, and you will run into problems if the VIN and motor numbers do not match the numbers on the facturas (bill of sale), or if the original factura has no motor number – not uncommon.
You will need 3 copies each of (these requirements can vary from office to office):
- Original factura and all preceding changes of ownership.
- Proof of residence
- Identification, like a US passport
- Proof of legal residence in Mexico
- ‘Baja’ from the last owner or the license plates
- Receipts from the last 5 years of ‘tenencia’ payments (or fewer if the car is not 5 years old)
- Report from the REPUVE proving the car was not stolen
- A print out of a Google Map showing the address of your proof of residence
Once you have gathered and verified your documents, go online and make an appointment with the Verificación Vehicular. Set up a user name and password and follow the prompts. Print out your appointment confirmation and bring it with you or you won’t be admitted into the Verificación Vehicular office. The closest office is in Tonalá, but there are offices all over Guadalajara and Zapopan, but none in Chapala or Jocotepec. A map of the registration centers can found at https://gobiernoenlinea1.jalisco.gob.mx/vehicular/#/mapa-recaudadoras
The website tells you “not to be surprised if the process is completed in one day”, not a reassuring message, especially since some Facebook posts report three trips to a Verificación Vehicular to finally get the documents the way the clerk of the day wanted them.. Also, don’t be surprised that you have to show up at 6:30 am because the office opens at 7 and if you not in line by 7 am you will not be allowed in and have to start the appointment process all over again.
You vehicle will be inspected, then you have to pay the taxes, fees and license plate charges, which are based on a formula but can run over $10,000 pesos for a late model car. Part of the inspection involves checking your VIN and motor numbers and making sure they agree with the previous registration and facturas. If you don’t have the paper receipts for the previous registrations, even though the stickers are on the car window, you may be asked go pay all previous registration fees.
While in the Verificación Vehicular office , you will sit and wait until you are moved into the first chair and called; you will have to show your documents to three different people, so keep them in good order. If there are no problems, the process will take 7 -8 hours.
If you bought your car in Mexico City or it has a Mexico City license plate, the process is more difficult because Mexico state has a reputation for registering vehicles that can’t be registered in other states. In this case it is best to use a gestoria de vehicular service or an automotive facilitator who specializes in obtaining plates. In Chapala, you can contact Antonio Regalado of R&R New and Used Cars and Car Solutions, Luis Perguero, or go to Pat’s Plates on Facebook.