Quintana Roo: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration

When it comes to paying bills and taxes, I don’t like to procrastinate. I pay them as soon as I possibly can, and here in Mexico, that type of behavior is often rewarded with substantial discounts. If you remember from a previous post, that’s how I saved 20% on my property taxes for 2019.

Even if there aren’t any discounts involved, I still like to get things off of my plate. That’s why I went ahead and renewed my vehicle registration for 2019, even though I have until March 31st to get it done.

Since we have a lot of newly arrived expats in the area who are probably unfamiliar with how or when to renew their vehicle registrations, I decided to do a quick post on the subject.

When to Renew

You must renew their vehicle registration annually by March 31st.

On designated years that are three years apart, every vehicle in the state is issued new license plates. The next time this is scheduled to occur is in 2020.

How to Renew Online

You can renew easily online by going to the following website:


You will need your old vehicle registration card — called tarjeta de circulación in Spanish — for this part. That’s the small silver card the lady is holding in the main picture above.

On the screen, enter the tag number (placa) and the registration number (folio) from the tarjeta de circulación. The folio number can be found on the front of the card in the lower left hand corner.

Once you enter the information, you should be able to see your tax bill. If you have any past due fines or fees associated with the vehicle, those will likely appear on that bill also.

It should look like this:

Payment Options

You have several payment options:

  1. Pay in person at the SEFIPLAN office (that’s where you will pick up the new registration)
  2. Pay at an approved bank or business (e.g. Oxxo)
  3. Pay via the online portal

I personally think that the third option is the easiest, but it does require that you have access to a printer because you’ll need to print the payment receipt.

Picking Up Your New Tarjeta de Circulación

Bring your payment receipt (if you paid online, be sure to print it) to the nearest SEFIPLAN office to pick up your new tarjeta de circulación.

You’ll also need to bring the expired tarjeta de circulación and a photocopy of your passport and/or your resident card. If you have a CURP, it’s a good idea to bring a copy of that as well (sometimes they ask for it).

If you’re either unwilling or unable to go down and pick up your new tarjeta de circulación yourself, you can complete a carta poder and have someone else do it for you. To learn more, click HERE.

The Importance of Keeping Copies

It is extremely important to keep copies of all payment receipts. If you decide to sell your car, you will be required to show proof that the taxes were paid for the previous five years. If you’re missing any, you may be required to pay the taxes again.

Let’s Wrap This Up

The cost to renew my vehicle registration was only $379 pesos, or about $19.50 USD. That’s significantly less than what I was accustomed to paying back in Florida.

If you’re interested in knowing how much we typically pay for other things like electricity and health insurance, check out Retiring in Mexico: How Much Does It Cost to Live in the Riviera Maya?

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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.

20 Comments on "Quintana Roo: How to Renew Your Vehicle Registration"

  1. Cherry Scott | January 4, 2019 at 11:32 am |

    Looks like another option for payment might be at OXXO. Am I correct?

  2. Good idea to wait 72 hours after paying before going in to the office so they have a record of the payment

  3. Bernardo Farmer | January 4, 2019 at 1:09 pm |

    thanks for the article Paul. I might have forgotten to renew my plates without it, lol.

  4. Carole Waterer | January 5, 2019 at 10:01 am |

    With best wishes for 2019 – Would you please consider an article on the Fedecommiso which many non citizens have to have when purchasing a property.

  5. Dorothy Thompson | January 6, 2019 at 7:03 pm |

    I and two other 80 yrs old ladies are planning a cruise to cozemel have you heard of any problems there lately?

  6. Hmm… It looks like the receipt they give you to print after paying online says “comprobante provisional” and “no tiene validez oficial como comprobante legal o fiscal”. Will this still be accepted when going to SEFIPLAN? Just want to make sure there isn’t a different printout I should have received. Thanks for the information!

  7. Jared Cardenas | January 21, 2019 at 9:53 am |

    I really thank you for all the wonderful information you provide on this informative and insightful for blog for moving and living Mexico.

    Thank you for all your help!

    Undeniably Grateful,
    Jared C.

  8. Paul, is it required to renew the license plate annually on the anniversary of the purchase, in addition to this registration?

    • No, the date you bought the vehicle doesn’t affect anything. Everyone is required to renew their registration by March 31st every year. On designated years that occur three years apart, everyone will get new license plates along with their new registration card. Even our friends who bought a car last November just renewed their registration for 2019.

  9. Thanks so much for all your valuable help to Gringos in Mexico. I heard once that if the car (now registered in Mexico brought down from USA) is over 10 years old…….there was no need to register it any more……
    Is that the case? Again, thanks for your info.

    • That’s not true. That 10 year thing comes from the tenencia, which is a diminishing tax based on the age of the vehicle. That tenencia is waived every year in Quintana Roo anyway, so none of us pay it. However, you still have to pay the other taxes (called derechos).

      If your vehicle is registered in Quintana Roo, you can see exactly what you owe at the link in the main article.

  10. Thanks for all your informative articles. I followed these steps last year and went to the closest SEFIPLAN office which was Tulum. They informed me that I needed to go to the Cancun office where I purchased the car.

    • Thanks for sharing that, Steve. I imagine the car was registered in Cancun at that time. In that case, they will send you to that office. However, if the car was registered in Tulum after you bought it, it wouldn’t make an sense to send you to Cancun.

      Several of our neighbors purchased cars in Cancun and registered them in Tulum. They have all been able to renew in Tulum without any trouble.

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