Temporary Residents in Mexico: How to Renew Your Vehicle’s TIP by Mail

Source: Jennifer Connor

This post is directed toward temporary resident card holders who have a foreign-plated vehicle with a temporary import permit, commonly referred to as a TIP.

The TIP is set to expire when your legal presence in the country does. If you just completed the process for a temporary resident visa in the U.S. but haven’t completed the second part of the process in Mexico, that expiration date is normally only 30 days because that’s how long you have to get to the immigration office.

Once you receive your temporary resident card (or you renew it), you must present written notification of the change of your legal status (with copies of the proof attached) within 15 days to any custom’s office in Mexico or to the main office, known as la Administración Central de Operación Aduanera.  This requirement comes from the Servicio de Administración Tributaria (SAT). 

The purpose of the notification is to change the expiration date of your TIP to coincide with the expiration date of your resident card. This will help ensure that you don’t lose your security deposit when you eventually turn the TIP back in.

If you don’t live near a custom’s office, the simplest way to make the notification is by mail. It’s important to note that the change might not be reflected on their website for a couple of months. The wheels of bureaucracy turn very slowly in Mexico.

Instructions for Renewing by Mail

1.  Write a letter asking for an extension of your TIP to match your temporary resident expiration date. You can draft your own or use the template below:

TIP Letter in PDF format

TIP Letter in Microsoft Word

Instructions for the TIP Letter Template

2. Make copies of your passport, driver’s license, vehicle registration, vehicle title, temporary resident card (front and back) and original TIP certificate.

3. Place letter and copies in an envelop that is addressed as follows:

Administración Central de Operación Aduanera
Temporal de Importación Vehículo
Av. Hidalgo No. 77, Módulo IV, 1° piso, Del. Cuauhtémoc
Col. Guerrero, C.P. 06300, México D.F.
Número de Permiso de Importación Temporal: TIP Number

4. Mail the above envelop by FedEx, UPS, or DHL to the following address:

Administración General de Aduanas
Administración Central de Operación Aduanera
Administración de Operación Aduanera “3”
Av. Hidalgo No. 77, Módulo IV, 1° piso, Del. Cuauhtémoc
Col. Guerrero, C.P. 06300, México D.F.
01 800 46 36 728

5. After mailing the request for extension, you can track your request at

Be aware that it may take a couple of months for the new expiration date to appear on the site.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Whenever anyone tells me that they plan to bring their vehicle with them to Mexico, my standard response to them is not to do it. In most cases (and there are always exceptions) it’s just not worth the expense, hassle, paperwork and stress.

In case you were unaware, they sell cars here in Mexico too.

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About the Author

Qroo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

7 Comments on "Temporary Residents in Mexico: How to Renew Your Vehicle’s TIP by Mail"

  1. Walton Fisher | April 11, 2018 at 10:46 am |

    This is fantastic news! We had no idea. When we drove into Mexico the TIP we were given had a 30 expiration just as you said. Once we completed the residence process in Playa we needed to extend the TIP – just as you said. INM in Playa told us to go to the Customs office in Cancun and gave us an address for it. It turned out to be another INM office in Cancun not Customs. We even attempted to make the change at the the Port of Entry office in Puerto Juarez – which is part of the north end of Cancun – where people arriving by boat register their entry. No dice.

    It took another day to determine that the only Customs office we could use was at the Cancun airport. Unfortunately no one at the airport – airline employees, security guards, INM officials at the in terminal kiosks, taxi drivers – had any clue where the Customs office was located. We returned another day and found it near the cargo terminal in the back of the airport. They did not want to allow us to enter because they had never encountered the public at their door. It took another hour or so until a supervisor decided to come to work. She gave us entry. Extending the TIP took 3 hours. When we finally got our copy we asked the supervisor what took so long to produce a few docs from the computer. Her reply was “we had never done this before”.

    Take Paul’s advice and do it by courier. If it takes a Mexican interim to come back to you don’t sweat it. We have lived in Playa, Cancun and Merida for the last 6 years and have never been asked to show the TIP docs. We were never stopped in Playa, we were stopped several times in Cancun over a 2 year period, but the well documented “mordida” solved that. They are particularly fond of 307 to the airport with US plates. We’ve been in Merida for 6 months now and now police stops. We did get a ticket for parking on a yellow curb once. The traffic cop waited for an hour while we were having lunch and politely gave us back our license plate when we gave him 350 Pesos. He had explained that if he had left us the ticket it would have been 700 Pesos. We haven’t checked the veracity of that as yet.

    Again take Paul’s advice and do the TIP extension by courier and take my advice and keep 500 Pesos in the console of the car. 2 – 200’s and 1 – 100. It is negotiable. I have recently learned that if you pay the ticket within 2 to 4 weeks, I can’t recall at the moment there is a 50% discount on the ticket.

  2. Ingrid Royle | April 11, 2018 at 12:07 pm |

    Thank you for the excellent advice.

  3. Walton Fisher | April 11, 2018 at 4:45 pm |

    On a related subject. Your US plated car probably costs a considerable amount to register, smog check, insure. Clay County, SD has saved me all of that. The car has been in Mexico without leaving for 4 years. It is insured with Novamar for a reasonable price in Mexico. They can be found online and are located in Puerto Vallarta. About $350 US for full coverage in Mexico with English speaking agents and adjusters.

    The kicker is that Clay County, SD has no residency requirement, insurance requirement, smog check requirement.
    Wow! Just mail them your title and registration card, pay the fee online or by phone with a credit card (our Suburban is $100/year). They sent back to my US address at the time a new title for SD, plates, and registration card. Now I renew online and they send a new “year” sticker for the plates to me at USA Box in Miami. That is another story for another day. Briefly they forward whatever I need on to me via DHL.

    I’m on a tequila roll! My wife is asking me to turn on Pandora for some music from the States. It is made possible by my VPN – another story about watching US tv in Mexico.


    • I’m actually working on an article about why so many expats have SD plates.

      As a former law enforcement officer, the procedures in SD make me shake my head in disbelief. They are issuing license plates to non-residents without inspecting and verifying the VIN or the identity of the person. A non-resident can retitle a car from another state without the police ever inspecting the vehicle to see if the VIN is altered (common with stolen cars). That would be impossible in Florida.

      South Dakota has made themselves very attractive for anyone looking to launder stolen cars from other states or commit title fraud.

      It’s a good thing we expats are all honest and wouldn’t do nefarious things like that. 😉

  4. Walton Fisher | April 13, 2018 at 3:47 pm |

    I agree with everything you have said and I am sure that it must happen. However because of Clay County, SD I am able to comply with Mexican law without driving to the US every year for a smog check and no longer have to maintain a valid address in the US and buy US insurance in that state. My vehicle is legally registered in the US with a current year sticker on the plates. I am insured to drive in Mexico per their laws. I know it sounds a little dodgy but it’s legal and it works.

  5. Thank you for the information. I renewed my TIP at the Cancun Aduana this morning. I used the form provided in this article and included everything with 4 copies of each, which they required. I also included my CFE bill because I needed that the last time I renewed my TIP in Progresso. It took less than 30 minutes to get everything done. They typed me up a piece of paper that said they would email the response of my paper work and had me sign and date it. Otherwise I had everything they needed. The Aduana is located near Terminal 3 at the Cancun airport. The location will come up on Google Maps. Just park in Terminal 3 parking lot and walk around the corner. The entrance is a gray door just after the Aduana de Cancun sign.

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