Ride Share - Vehicle Renewal after 90 days

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oggybleacher
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:49 pm

Ride Share - Vehicle Renewal after 90 days

Post by oggybleacher »

I'm planning to attend the acoustic music concerts on Feb28 , Mar1 2015 in Guatemala city. I've never seen Gaby Moreno in concert so it will be interesting. Driving from Xela leaving around the 26th and returning via Antigua on the 2nd. I'll be driving my van and there's room for several people. gas money would be appreciated. I usually sleep in the van but I might rent a pension in GC depending on what I find. I've never been there or Antigua so I want to look around as well as watch the two concerts. I guess this would apply to someone needing a ride from GC back to Xela around the 2nd of March.

Also in March I have to leave Guatemala to renew my personal visa and my van permit so I'll be driving to Tapachula for a few days to go to a beach. I miss the warm weather until I arrive back at sea level and then I miss the cool evenings and dry climate. I need to be gone by the 14th of March so I'll probably leave the 11th but that's very flexible. Also return is flexible but I don't want to import the van back into Mexico (Paying $300 dollars) for a few days so I have to stay within the 30km area between the frontera and Huixtla, where the import checkpoint is. There's not much except Tapachula since a trip to San Cristobal would require an importation.

I live in Xela now. I don't have a phone but you may email me at
oggybleacher@gmail.com
cheers
admin
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Re: Ride Share & Border Runs

Post by admin »

Hi,

Thanks for posting your offer for a ride share.

One thing I noticed..."in March I have to leave Guatemala to renew my personal visa and my van permit..."

I am not sure you are aware of this but a vehicle can not renew like a person. Your vehicles must stay OUT of Guatemala for 90 days before it is allowed back in on a tourist visa. You as a person can come back in and get a new 90 days but your car can not. The only way to get the car back in would be to pay the import taxes to import it into Guatemala.

As with everything in Guatemala these rules are ever changing, but last time I checked vehicles can NOT renew for another 90 days unless they were out of the country for 90 days prior to returning. So you may have to leave your van in a car park in Tapachula for 90 days while you wait.

I hope this is not new info for you and that you have considered this.

If you have questions feel free to post here or email me.
tom at Xelapages.com

Tom
http://www.xelapages.com - Study Spanish in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala!
admin
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Re: Ride Share - Vehicle Renewal after 90 days

Post by admin »

Chris,

Thank you for showing me some updated info on renewal of a vehicle visa and the possibility that you can renew at least one time for 90 days in Guatemala city.

This is GREAT news. Please follow up and let us all know if it worked for you.

http://antiguaguatemala.unwireme.com/dr ... rt-permit/

Tom
http://www.xelapages.com - Study Spanish in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala!
oggybleacher
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:49 pm

Re: Ride Share - Vehicle Renewal after 90 days

Post by oggybleacher »

Yes, that link to Rich's Antigua site is good. it was all I needed.
I did go as planned and it all worked out as I hoped. Even two days of Gaby Moreno concerts was a cool event.

I went to the Extranjeria on 6th ave in Zona 4 of Guatemala city. I brought copies of my passport, my original passport, the Prorroga form, copies of my credit card, a black and white matte texture passport size photo. Got my number, waited 3 hours, gave it all in and got a little written receipt for my passport.

I went to Antigua for 6 days and enjoyed that place immensely.

To give you an idea of what can be done I actually camped in my van in Antigua and woke up around 7am and got on the road to Guate City at 8...the following Monday with my receipt. Got my processed paperwork back, brought that to another window where they gave me an invoice, paid the invoice downstairs which was $15 or 114Q, got a copy of the proof of payment. Went back up and collected my newly stamped passport. I was out of there by 1PM after another 3 hour wait for nuns to renew their religious visa.

Then I navigated across GC to the airport. Found the SAT. They needed copies of the vehicle title and registration and copies of your passport. They didn't let me in the parking lot at first and I parked across the street for 5Q. After she processed my paperwork and told me to drive back with the title copies I was let into the parking lot. She took a picture of the vin# then processed the new date and gave me a new vehicle permit. My original sticker never had a date indicated on it so she didn't do anything to that.

I wrote an essay of my own on this process with photos. I don't want to copy the whole thing here because I'm a colorful writer on my blog. be warned. it's for entertainment purposes only http://www.oggybleacher.com/2015/03/tra ... emala.html

I asked what I should do in June when the visa expires and she said there is no limit of the times I can extend the vehicle visa as long as my personal visa is also extended, which I think can only be done via GC once after which I must vacate the country for a few days and then start the visa over again. Since the stamp on my passport specifically says "PRORROGA" I think they would not stamp it again if I applied for another PRORROGA. That's my theory. But if I took a plane out like someone else on Rich's site says, then that would renew my passport visa at which point I can drive to the airport with my vehicle, which has not left Guatemala, and extend my vehicle. She did say something very quickly and beyond my comprehension level about "importing the vehicle" but it seemed more than I could deal with. There may be a limit on the number of extensions/renewals before the van has to leave for 90 days or be imported. It's above my pay grade to answer that question.

But to give you an idea of the time it took I got to the airport maybe around 1:30...and dealt with the paperwork and left around 2:15...and then got forced to drive a considerable way toward El Salvador because all the U-turns were blockaded and I could not find a way to turn west on the main road toward Mixco. I drove and drove and kept missing chances. But even with that time lost, which could've been avoided if I had left the airport through a road further west...I still got on the road toward Xela and made it back here no later than 5:30. It wasn't even dark. So, wake up in Antigua, drive to GC, get both my passport and vehicle visas downtown and also at the airport, get lost, and drive back to Xela in the light part of the day. And it could be done faster the second time because I was so lost in GC in the morning and again in the afternoon and my van only fits in certain parqueos so I had problems.

I hope this helps clarify any questions about this process. I'm thankful Senor Tom for pointing out I might not be doing the right thing by driving to Tapachula to renew everything. I suspect the first time I tried to renew everything there wouldn't be problems. I think they require 90 days out of Guatemala after 6 months or a year in country...if you are leaving at all. That's my suspicion. The first time I could probably get out and back in without hassle, but the second time they would see on the passport that I had already done that once before and possibly tell me I could not return with the van for 90 days, but I could come in without the van. I really didn't want to find out something was wrong at the border when I have an apartment in Xela and I would have to abandon my van in Tapachula for 90 days so thanks to you I decided to look into alternatives and found Rich's site which gave me what I wanted, plus I already planned to go to those concerts and to visit Antigua so I personally didn't make a special 10 day trip to GC and Antigua for this one visa renewal process but it can be done for those who have to. My van isn't economical with gas so with 600Q in gas $100 in lodging and 150Q for visa fee and parking. That's around 850Q total. One kind of has to balance this process if you do not already live in Guatemala City. But if you are driving to Tapachula that's not cheap either.

Well, I'll answer any other questions to help anyone. Paperwork processing is bad enough in the United States where something always seems to be broken or missing...so I'll do what I can to help someone prepare to get this done.
admin
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Re: Ride Share - Vehicle Renewal after 90 days

Post by admin »

Thank you for the great write up on getting your car Visa renewed in Guate. This will certainly help others in the future. If you end up doing it again please come back and let us know if they allow a 2nd renewal in Guate or the border.

Gracias,

Tom
http://www.xelapages.com - Study Spanish in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala!
oggybleacher
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:49 pm

Ride Share to Honduras Nicaragua or Costa Rica?

Post by oggybleacher »

Leaving the country with the vehicle after having the vehicle in the country for 180 days does require 90 days out, either in Belize or Mexico or Costa Rica. One person ended up selling their jeep in Belize because it couldn't be brought back. I think it's feasible to renew the passport visa by either flying out of the country or taking a bus into Mexico and then driving back to the airport and extending the vehicle permit, but I'm not sure. I may drive to Costa Rica and live there for a few months rather than try to extend my Guatemala vehicle permit with that method. If Anyone is interested in contributing some gas money through those countries and seeing the sights in a 1969 Econoline then email me. oggybleacher@gmail.com I have to leave in the next two weeks so mid May to reach Costa Rica by early june. No obligation to go the whole way. I'm hesitant to drive through Honduras or El Salvador alone.
oggybleacher
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:49 pm

Ride Share - Vehicle Renewal after 180 days

Post by oggybleacher »

I decided to see if I could renew my vehicle permit after 180 days by personally leaving Guatemala and then asking for an extension of the vehicle permit. This is my explanation:
Yes, a tourist to Guatemala who drove into the country 6 months ago and hasn't driven out of the country can take a shuttle to Mexico (San Cristobal, in my case) and then return by shuttle, then drive to the Aurora Airport with their new passport stamp and give them copies of the passport, title, registration and copies of the original vehicle permit, plus the originals, and they will extend the vehicle permit to match the passport stamp without charge.
Cost for me was Q240 to the awesome city of San Cristobal De Las Casas, Mexico (shuttle leaves at 8am can be arranged through many travel agencies picks you up at your door, with a change of shuttle at cuatro caminos and the frontera at La Mesilla, arrives around 3 with an time change gaining an hour), 3 nights at hostel: 80 Pesos each night, 340 pesos return to Xela....(return shuttle leaves at 7am arrives around 3 with another time change losing an hour. I'd recommend a tour of the nearby Sumidero Canyon if you have time, but if you are in Mexico for more than 7 days then there is a rather large 350peso fee to get your passport exit stamped. This was a surprise to many of us on the return shuttle as I didn't have to pay that when I left Mexico 6 months ago after spending 6 months in Puebla, so it may be a new fee. There are signs in the immigration office so it wasn't an invented fee. As I stayed in Mexico only 3 days I didn't have to pay anything for the exit stamp.
Then 600Q for my gas hog van to go from Xela, to Guatemala City Airport, return through Antigua because of the Paddy's BBQ pulled pork sandwich and brownies at the Choco Museo, and then through Solola and Panajachel up from the lake back to Xela.
It cost me around 1000Q which is roughly $130 but it's basically unavoidable unless I want to move to Costa Rica, which would cost much more.

The main point is that the van can stay in the country for another 3 months and has not left the country in 6 months. There is a Prorroga extension available through the Guate city extranjeria ONCE for your passport, but I already used that 3 months ago so I had to personally leave the country for three days...but if I drove myself out then the van would have to stay OUT of the country for 90 days. So I had to take a bus...and then come back and drive to the airport because they inspect the van at the Aduana. Now I have the correct paperwork for the next three months in Central America.

I am still considering a move to Costa Rica and would welcome a rider so that offer still stands.
guest1

Re: Ride Share - Vehicle Renewal after 90 days

Post by guest1 »

I, personally, would pay the taxes on a international plate if you have one. I have traveled the border of Chiapas extensively in my own vehicle. I caution tourists or part time visitors about passing the Mexican border at this time. In Tapachula, especially, they have changed the rules for Central American residents and are requiring a new ID for crossing, so if you travel with someone who is riding along and that person does not have the proper card to cross the Mexican Federal police can detain you, impound the vehicle and make any excuse they want to extort you. At this point I would never drive an internationally plated vehicle into Mexico, although I have done it before. Travel is safer by shuttle or air. The plates can be changed at SAT in the capital of Guatemala and that's the best place to pay the taxes and make sure the vehicle is not costing more in permits. People import cars all the time and register them with SAT and then sell them for twice what they are worth in the US so registering the vehicle in Guatemala will mean you can sell it for more if you need or want to if you plan to live in the country. Just do it all carefully and go through SAT in the capital.
oggybleacher
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:49 pm

Re: Ride Share - Vehicle Renewal after 90 days

Post by oggybleacher »

An update to this whole process of extending a visa permit. I went in a big circle to Costa Rica and back to Guatemala and was told that the aduana people at San Cristobal, Guatemala near the El Salvador border could not and did not properly cancel the vehicle permit so it remained open and invalid the whole time I was in Nicaragua and Costa Rica. This meant I could not import the vehicle back to Guatemala when I tried to drive through the Hachadura border. They told me the prorroga had to be canceled at the airport where I got it a year earlier even though I had been out of the country for 9 months. although that would mean driving to El Salvador with a cancelled permit. this information was never made clear to me when I was getting the prorroga and even the aduana official at the border seemed puzzled, and my comprehension of the details of Guatemalan import laws is not very good and my comprehension of the explanations at the border was not very good either so I'm not even sure exactly what to tell other drivers except to ask many questions about extending and cancelling the permit and then prepare for the worst. They would not let me drive even to the hotel ten feet in front of the office. Magically, the solution involved $50 to pay the fine for retroactively cancelling the permit and then me signing over the title of the van to a passenger so it was in her name. they said they needed a lawyer notary but we managed to get around that. otherwise, they said I could pay the fine and then wait for 3 months in El Salvador, which is impossible also since they don't give 3 month visas. so it would really involve a trip to Panama to wait out the delay and avoid signing the title over to someone else. But because another person was technically the owner of the van I was able to import it. There was also an extra 300 Q fee for it being Semana Santa. My advice to people driving through Central America and back is simply drive a vehicle you can afford to lose forever. Because now I have to get into Mexico with the same passenger or else they will assume I'm being deceitful and seize the van.
xelawho?
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Re: Ride Share - Vehicle Renewal after 90 days

Post by xelawho? »

Wow. Once again that mixture of stubbornness and incompetence that only $50 seems to be able to cut through.

I'm sure you've already thought of this, but just for our edification: why can't the passenger just sign it back into your name?
http://www.xelawho.com: Quetzaltenango's leading culture & nightlife magazine
featuring the most awesome map of Xela ever made
oggybleacher
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2014 6:49 pm

Re: Ride Share - Vehicle Renewal after 90 days

Post by oggybleacher »

the Texas title doesn't have any space to reassign the title except for dealers. I don't forsee selling the van so I'll have to reapply for a title in the U.S. or else forge a new title. Mexico allowed me to enter but it was absolutely scandalous crossing at La Mesilla. the Mexican SAT wanted $300 each because I had two guitars instead of the one guitar allowed by law. They also said my registration was expired in Texas so that would deny me entry...so that involved some "digital modification" and Guatemala indeed told me I could not return for 3 months even though I had only been in the country for less than a week. But at least they cancelled the permit and Mexico finally let me enter only paying the $200 bond and a $59 tax and a $25 entry fee. But I didn't have to pay the $300 tax on the two guitars. It was brutal. Not to mention the gasoline quality in Guatemala caused complete havoc on the road to Huehuetenango and then down into Mexico. Turned 7 hour trip into a 30 hour ordeal. and anyone driving from San Cristobal to Xela through La Mesilla really needs to have their vehicle in good condition because that is a hellish long climb from the border with dozens and dozens of speed bumps.

I think I have all the details straight now, to answer other questions, but they can change so it's important for anyone driving to ask questions of current status. You need a valid permit, a valid passport and you need to cancel both properly. That's all the information you need but it can get complicated with return trips to the airport to renew and cancel the prorroga. Also, be cautious of traveling with lots of possessions like I am with a keyboard and two guitars and a small moto (bicimoto) because all of that is looked at suspiciously. Only Mexico threatened to tax my multiple instruments and tools but all the countries gave me problems for my moped because it has no paperwork in the united states but obviously has a motor. If one is traveling by vehicle to these countries bring only the essentials and be prepared to lose it all. It took all my charm to get through that border crossing without losing my shirt. They definitely wanted $600 from us and didn't care at all about my excuses. Fortunately, Mexico ignored the fact the title had been transferred on the back to my passenger so it isn't a problem right now. The permit is in my name and I should have no problems getting back to Texas once I clean the gasoline out of the tank. I don't know what I will do about the title transfer. probably apply for a replacement or else scratch out her name. Once a vehicle title has been defaced or altered it is considered invalid. I might get a mexican notary to give me paperwork that the 'selling' was totally for convenience and to comply with insane Guatemalan demands, but what U.S. state would care about a Mexican notary document? It was such a frivolous move by the aduana at the el salvador border. Man, it took hours of pleading with them to get through and many times they said they could absolutely not allow me to enter under any circumstance. Only my friend crying and me pleading reached a $50 solution and "selling" the van to her so the permit would be in her name but that meant I had to leave immediately with her to Mexico and not remain in Xela like I wanted because I could not cancel it alone. So now I am in San Cristobal, MX and it will take 6 months for me to recover from the trials of getting here. not a trip I want to repeat. lucky to be alive and have all my gear and van. I would consider my situation sort of special because of the stuff I have packed in my van but I would caution anyone to really be prepared for unexpected obstacles at every turn of the road. Bring your 'A' game because you will be taking a bus home if you take this trip lightly. I really want to stress how dangerous and difficult this trip is. the challenges I faced could fill a book.
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