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Yet another Driver's License question

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Yet another Driver's License question

Post by sambrit10 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:09 pm

I am posting here in the hope that Spencer will weigh in but am also interested in replies from anyone who is SURE (from personal experience) of their answer.

I have obtained a Mexican driver's license (just today!) driven by the impetus that my California license is about to expire. I've twice requested the California DMV to send me what they call an out-of-state waiver which extends the license for a year as long as the car is driven out of California, but it has never arrived. First question, does anyone know if this extension is legal in Mexico, in the event that I do eventually receive one?

WIth time running out my husband and I went into Ocotlan and were very pleasantly surprised by our experience there. The written exam was exactly the one we'd found online and studied, the driving test was very easy, and there was no sign of anyone seeking mordida.

But now I'm wondering (second question): Is it legal to drive my USA plated car with the Mexican license? I've read many things that imply that it is but want to make sure.



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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by Jerry00 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:13 pm

Yes, I did it for years

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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by sambrit10 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:39 pm

Jerry, were you ever asked to show your Mexican license while driving the US plated car?

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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by Gamina on Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:56 pm

I've shown my Mexican driver's license while driving my US plated car and there were no problems. The problem is driving a Mexican plated car with a US license, which is illegal.
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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by viajero on Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:58 pm

Gamina wrote:The problem is driving a Mexican plated car with a US license, which is illegal.
I don't think that's correct.


Last edited by viajero on Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:00 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by Gamina on Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:00 pm

You can't register your car initially without a Mexican driver's license. Hey Spencer, can you weigh in on this???
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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by RVGRINGO on Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:03 pm

Gamina wrote:I've shown my Mexican driver's license while driving my US plated car and there were no problems.  The problem is driving a Mexican plated car with a US license, which is illegal.

No, it is not illegal. You may drive any properly registered vehicle with any recognized license under international reciprocity agreements. If a transito told you it was illegal, he was looking to intimidate you and get mordida. They do things like that every day.

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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by itsme on Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:37 pm

If one could not drive a mexican plated car with a us licence, then no tourist would ever be able to rent a car.

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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by Lady Otter Latté on Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:57 pm

I too drove a US-plated car and had a Mexican drivers license. Had to show it a couple of times and there was never a problem.
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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by sambrit10 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:32 pm

Thanks to everyone for your replies to my question. Unless I hear something definitive otherwise I'll drive my US plated car with my Mexican license .... until we buy a Mexican plated car and retire the current one up north with our son.

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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by thomashellyer on Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:27 pm

The biggest question isn't whether or not the Transitos will give you grief but rather will your insurance company not use your mismatched foreign plates and Mexican license as an excuse to not cover you in the event of an accident....

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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by Intercasa on Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:41 pm

Recognition of driver licenses depends on state and federal law (treaties). This should not be a problem unless the cop is a jerk or your license is from a state or country where you no longer are a resident and therefore the state law of your residence governs.
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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by sambrit10 on Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:15 pm

Thomas, we did ask our insurance company and they had no problem with any valid driver's license. But I think I'll get that in writing!

Spencer, I'm not sure what you're saying here. Is there a problem with driving a US plated car with a Mexican license? Or are you addressing my question about the California extension?

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Re: Yet another Driver's License question

Post by Intercasa on Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:23 pm

There should be no problem driving a US plated car with Mexican license in Mexico as at least Jalisco recognizes foreign licenses. If you are living in the US as there in some states within 30 days of residency you must get a state license so if you tell the cop you dont live in Mexico they may write you a citation.
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