A TIP is a Temporary Import Permit for foreign vehicles. They are needed to bring a vehicle into Mexico beyond a few border states such as Baja and Sonora. There are several types of TIPs, but basically, to get one, you need current registration, money, and the vehicle in question.
There are different ways to obtain a TIP, the easiest way is with anticipation before you leave – online. I did this and I got my TIP via email weeks ago. Due to the -newness- of Gary’s truck, there were… complications. The VIN was not decodable by the online system, so he was unable to get a TIP online. No worries, we could easily do it at the aduana or customs.
The struggle begins…
Upon arrival in Sonoyta, the border town, we asked the immigration official where the customs office was. He said it was on the highway to Caborca. I explained that we were not taking that highway and if there was another one on the highway between Puerto Peñasco and Caborba – he assured us that there was.
Sonoyta, Puerto Peñasco and Caborca make a triangle, and we were planning taking only two legs of the three for the third would make a full circle out of the triangle.
Not feeling entirely confident about the information we got from the immigration official, we asked the office manager at the RV Park in Peñasco. He said there was both a customs office on the road from Peñasco to Caborca, AND there was a Banjercito – the national bank that processes the TIPs. Yesterday, we went to the Banjercito to get the TIP and they told us that they didn’t issue them, but he gave us the number of the customs office in Sonoyta. He also said that there was a place on the highway between Peñasco and Caborca (three for three now).
Still not feeling entirely confident and having an extra hour to kill, we decided to -drive- without the trailer and the bus, to the customs office on the highway we wanted to take. 30 minutes later and we are arriving. We hop out and I go talk to the soldiers. They assured me that they were only secondary inspection and that we would have to return to Sonoyta.
After resigning to the fact that we would now have to return to the border and get the permit on a highway that we didn’t want to take, we decide to go back to Sonoyta and then direct to Caborca. After two hours on the road, we made it to the customs office where we got the vehicles inspected and headed inside. The young woman who was at the window was very pleasant to work with. She reviewed my paperwork and assured me it was all in order. She then took Gary’s paperwork and started to process it.
- Clerk: sir, this registration is expired. Do you have the current one?
- Gary: um, yes, right here in my super-over-the-top organized folder…
- Gary: …
- Gary: … it’s in the truck. I’ll be right back…
- Rocco:… it’s been a few minutes, should I go help him look?
- Me: … no, he will find it… or not…
- Gary: … after 10 minutes, with head hung low and shoulders folded inward… I screwed up… I don’t have it. I checked the tags on the plate and they are expired.
- Me: …
- Gary: …
- Me: Señorita – can we use the title instead?
- Clerk: yes that would work
- Gary: … jumping up and down with excitement, pulling out a copy of the title and handing it to the clerk
- Clerk: … do you have the -original-?
- Gary: …
- Gary: … in the safe… at home
- Clerk:… I’m sorry, we need either a current registration or the original title.
It goes on, but yes, you get the idea. Our solution was to have Gary’s wife get the title out of the safe and send it down next day via FedEx, but that didn’t work out so well either, and that’s a story for Gary to tell. The best we could do was two day delivery, not guaranteed.
So the title is now on it’s way via UPS to the RV park in… Puerto Peñasco, and we are here for three? more nights.
What to do in Peñasco
May is the beginning of the off-season in Puerto Peñasco. This is both good and bad. The bad… It gets bloody hot. It was 105F today on the way back here, although in Peñasco, it was considerably cooler – 83F. The good… there aren’t very many people here so RV reservations are not needed and we can always find a table.
Tomorrow we will be doing laundry, having some parts fabricated, visiting a hardware store to get mesh screens for my windows so I can open them without getting eaten.
We will have a few down days which is fine, we have about 1300 miles so far.
Accepting what is for what is, and being OK with it
It is not the destination, but rather the road traveled and the experiences gained by the traveling of said road that is of value. The journey -is- the destination.
When we first started planning this journey, we wanted it to be fluid without an itinerary. Because we have a friend flying down to meet us in June, I mapped out how we could get to where we needed to pick him up on the day he arrived. This was just a rough idea to see if it was doable without killing ourselves. I bragged about how after Peñasco, I really didn’t know where we would go (I had an idea), and that if we found something else to do that was of interest, we could do it. Well, second day in Mexico and our hands were forced to change. The key here is that while the reasons are disappointing, the actual change is not a big deal. What is, is and I’m OK with that.