Baja without a title under my name

Discussion in 'Americas' started by frogshark, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. frogshark

    frogshark n00b

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    1
    Hi, first time poster long time creeper.


    Got a small question: Has anyone rode a bike through the Baja that does not belong to them? I'm planning on doing it carrying a letter of permission from the owner which will be written and notarized on behalf of the owner. The letter will be bilingual (two copies; Spanish and English) and officiated by a notary licensed in both countries. Has anyone done that before? I'm figuring the only issue will be getting the bike across the border back into the good ole U S of A.
    #1
  2. oneway

    oneway Long timer

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,395
    Location:
    Tehachapi, CA when I'm home
    I don't remember being asked about registration at all in baja. We did have one guy with us that hadn't transferred a bike registration yet and he had no problems.
    That being said, we didn't have any accidents to resolve, and I don't know about insurance. Personally I wouldn't let anything I own go to baja with someone else. Nor would I go to baja with someone else's equipment. Too much to resolve if something goes wrong.
    #2
  3. DADODIRT

    DADODIRT Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    4,416
    Location:
    Durango,CO(not quite Purgatory)
    #3
  4. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,812
    Location:
    San Antonio
    "You may ONLY request a permit for a vehicle that is registered to your name or that of your spouse, your children, or your parents."

    LINK

    This said, this applies to vehicle permits, which as you already know, are not required for Baja and the Sonora Free Zone

    Vehicle registration checks may or may not occur, and are random when they do. I don't have any definitive advice for you on what might occur if you encounter such a check in the scenario you provide.

    I just returned from Baja and rode there with someone who runs there very frequently. It was he who described to me the occasional check of vehicle registration vs. driver license. I did not see it.
    #4
  5. akaDigger

    akaDigger Amateur Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Oddometer:
    923
    Location:
    Evansville, Indiana
    You will have no problem taking the bike to or from Mexico. Mexican Immigration doesn't care if you are riding a bike, driving a car or walking. They only deal with visas (FMMs). Since you don't need to import (TVIP) if staying in Baja there is nothing to do concerning the bike at the border.

    You will need Mexican Liability Insurance to cover third party losses that are caused by you. I buy from here http://www.adavisglobal.com/welcome/drivers_license_policy. Wealth of info on this site. Read it.

    If the bike owner wants the bike covered for fire, theft and or collision, that's a whole other thing. The people at this site can help you with that http://www.mexadventure.com/home.cfm.

    I have ridden a bike owned by another in Baja in 2012. When I did this the owner was with me on the trip.
    #5
  6. AdventurePoser

    AdventurePoser Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Oddometer:
    1,985
    Location:
    in The Cloud
    The guys who have responded to your OP really know their way around Mexico. In my personal experience, I've never been asked for registration, proof of ownership, etc. In fact, I've only been asked to show my drivers license once, and that was at a military checkpoint on the mainland...In fact, when crossing back across the border into the US, I've never been asked to show my vehicle registration.

    All that being said, I've also never been in an accident in Mexico...

    Personally speaking, I would not take any vehicle to Mexico that I was not the registered owner. Too much can go sideways if you have a theft or accident.:huh Just my opinion, YMMV.

    Just my $.02
    #6
  7. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,812
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Such advice could be priceless in easily envisioned scenarios.

    Baja, as far as rules go, does seem to me to have a loose vibe to it that I could see might lull some into forgetting the insurance angle. This is only compounded by tales from those who ride Baja all the time. I'm always noting "I never had to (fill in the blank)" anecdotes.

    But one has to ask oneself - what's your risk tolerance for a scenario where you run down a pedestrian in an accident. Even if injuries are slight, but the police get involved, things could get interesting, quickly. No insurance? No tourist card? Things will escalate, quickly.

    Newbies might not know a tourist card is required outside of the established tourist corridors (Tijuana to Ensenada, for example), and now, insurance required everywhere in Mexico, even Baja.

    I'll have to give Chris at Mexadventure a shout to see if Mexico specific policies are valid without an active tourist visa where required.
    #7
  8. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,812
    Location:
    San Antonio
    Well, had a good conversation with Chris

    His advice: don't give the underwriters a reason to deny your claim

    If you are in the country illegally, i.e., in Mexico where a tourist card is required and not having one**, there is a technical reason for the underwriter to deny your claim. He does not have an anecdote where a claim was filed and denied under these circumstances to fall back on, but his advice - don't be the first.

    Note: not that it apples in Baja, but where a TVIP is required on the mainland, it is not valid unless accompanied by a valid tourist card. Some newbies don't know that.

    Note: Baja is two separate states: BCN and BCS. It might be a little known fact that liability limits vary between Mexico states. The limits for BCS are twice as high as for BCN. I think Chris said on the order of $145,000 for BCN and $300,000 for BCS. I'll check to be sure.

    **Yes I get the obvious irony in this statement
    #8
  9. tricepilot

    tricepilot El Gran Payaso

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,812
    Location:
    San Antonio
    This may be more information than the casual reader needs, but here is the chart of the increased liability limits (risk exposure) that can come into play in certain accident scenarios in Mexico:

    [​IMG]
    #9