Mexico and Central America Ride Planning and Road Wisdom

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Jeff Munn, May 30, 2006.

  1. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    When entering Baja, always count on aquiring the tourist visa, even if you **think** you'll stay in a "tourist corredor"

    Yes, and I've heard it a lot, "I've never been asked to see my tourist visa" (or my supply of condoms, or photos of my sister, blah blah blah)

    If you have zero intentions of the ferry to the mainland, skip the TVIP, although it can be had at La Paz.

    Skip worrying about where you need the tourist visa, and just get it.
  2. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    All of the insurances I have purchased simply require that the driver be in the country legally. That means that the driver must have a visa if a visa is required. I realize that you may purchase from an insurer I have not used in the past, so your policy may be written differently.

    Discover Baja are allowed by Mexicn Immigration to issue FMM's, so there is a good chance that they have good knowledge of the law. Here is a quote from their web site:

    "Mexican tourist permits, or FMMs (Forma Migratoria Multiple), are required if you are a non-Mexican citizen and you will be traveling in Baja for longer than 72 hours and/or will be traveling farther than 20 kilometers from the border. If you are traveling in Baja for less than 72 hours and are not going 20 kilometers south of the border, you do not need an FMM. Any other trip to Baja requires an FMM."

    Of course even the immigration officials do not always get the law right so tricepilot's advice may be the prudent way to go.
  3. airdale7

    airdale7 Been here awhile

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    Anyone crossing near Reynosa tomorrow (Thursday) ?
  4. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Been buying one year Ace Seguro Platinum policies for several years now. Never required anything of the sort.
  5. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    You certain about that?

    I mean, I know you wrote a pamphlet about riding in Mexico and everything, but how did the last claim you filed end up?nor have you ever filed a claim?

    I wouldn't want to steer any of our fellow inmates wrong. It would be a true pity to have their insurance claim denied (accident, theft) because they failed to follow the rules.

    Please check.
  6. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    Never written a pamphlet about riding Mexico. You're thinking of someone else.

    I purchase Mexico insurance by phone or over the internet and the purchase itself does not require a travel visa. I always
    have a visa while traveling Mexico and, yes, I've filed a claim with ACE Seguros while in Mexico. No one ever asked me to
    present a visa during the process but then you've never known any of us on IMS to recommend against acquiring a visa so
    I'm not sure what your point is.

    Yes, I'm certain about these things.
  7. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    I went to Baja over Christmas a couple months back and the targeta de tourista that used to be called the FMT when I previously entered a couple years ago is now called an FMM (Forma Migratoria Múltiple).

    It is free for visits up to 7 days so I filled out the FMM form and they stamped the date of entry and didn't charge me anything. Don't need a TVIP for Baja either so it cost me nothing to enter Mexico from Arizona for a short one week trip to Baja.

    Not that anyone ever checked it. There was nobody home at the border to Baja Sur just north of Guerrero Negro. That is the only place past the border that anyone has ever asked to see my tourist card anywhere in all my travels throughout Mexico. But that was years ago.

    Just another data point.
  8. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    That is very true.

    As well, you cannot board a ferry without the FMM, either. Sux when you're way down in La Paz and waiting to board and they tell you you'll need to head back to the border (or Ensenada) to get one.
  9. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    Not one to steer anyone wrong, I offer this advice as part of the Traveling in Latin America Wisdom:

    http://www.mexicanautoinsurance.com/travel-info.html

    Assume nothing; read the fine print included in your insurance agreement. :deal

    If you stay in Mexico for longer than 72 hours, you must have an FM-T tourist permit (FMM). Failure to obtain such a permit may invalidate your Mexican insurance.

    Take it for what it's worth. I like to learn from others' mistakes...

    Fyi: http://advrider.com/forums/showpost.php?p=23715407&postcount=75
  10. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Just to be clear for anyone reading this in the near future. It is possible to get an FMM in La Paz if you traveled the length of Baja and forgot to get one at the northern border.

    The immigration office in La Paz it is at the corner of 5 de Febrero and Mexico. Full instructions at the link below if you are in La Paz without an FMM and happen be searching ADVrider at some point in the future:

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/14UxSzxw2bL1hNbrqWTACr27ZRBQCu8QJ06YogDc5QZI/edit

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  11. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    Correctamundo.

    I urge my friends and fellow riders heading way south to go ahead and get the FMM at the border to save headaches later.

    The ferry terminal is usually open long before departure, but...
  12. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    I filed a claim with ACE Seguros in 2011. I met with the insurance adjuster in Durango, and the first thing she did was verify that I was in the country legally by checking my visa, and that the bike was by checking the TVIP. She indicated that the claim would have been denied if either I or the bike were not legally in the country. The terms on the insurance said there was an exclusion for drivers who were not in the country legally, but it did not mention the TVIP.

    My memory of this is vivid, since the adjuster mistakenly made off with the original receipt for my visa and left me with a copy. This caused a hassle when I wanted to exit Mexico into Guatemala.

    I just looked on the Discover Baja website at ACE's terms and conditions, and I no longer see the specific language about the exclusion for drivers not legally in the country. It may be that the terms have changed.
  13. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    No one is recommending buying insurance to travel Mexico illegally.

    Does that really need clarification??

    That's like explaining that ice cream has no bones. :huh
  14. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    Sorry, I'm not suggesting that you recommend not getting a visa. But if your travels take you to Baja, because you do not need a TVIP, and because the FMM is no longer checked anywhere on the peninsula, there may be a temptation to skip stopping at the border to get the FMM. Your insurance requiring that you have one to be valid may add more weight to the "I should get one" side of the scale.

    Ice cream has no bones? WTF have I been eating then!
  15. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    My unfortunate incident with the tope was in the Sonora Free Zone but we trailered the bike home to Banamichi outside the zone where the adjuster looked at it. No one asked about a vehicle permit or a Visa. Claim was payed, bike repaired.

    I was legal, Bike was legal but no one cared. Moral of the story - it is always different
  16. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    The list of potential bad consequences for those traveling Mexico illegally is
    quite long, I'm sure. We could go on and on for many pages about it. Or just
    tell people to get their papers done right. That should cover the long list pretty
    well.

    "Stupid is as stupid does." - Momma Gump
    refokus likes this.
  17. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    Let's try to keep this thread as helpful as possible: Providing helpful wisdom to those traveling through Latin America.

    Some of us have traveled through the Americas more than others--and probably more recently.

    BTW: I can send you a copy of the " I Know Mexico" pamphlet I'm authoring...:deal
  18. SkizzMan

    SkizzMan aka SkiddMark ;^)

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    I'm trying Dan. I really am. Committed to doing my very best. But last January
    was a long time ago and I've probably already forgotten some things. Hopefully
    I'll relearn some of it next month.

    Please redact the list of "Consequences of Traveling Mexico Illegally" from your
    pamphlet and send me whatever is left. I'll carry it in my map case with Sjoerd
    Bakker's guide book. Just in case.

    Saludos,

    Schizz

    PS: have you ever met Pirate John??
  19. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    :wink:
  20. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    That's yellow card material!