Last updateFri, 13 Sep 2019 3pm
Expat Tax Service

State traffic cops bring back roadside traps

Jalisco’s Secretaria de Movilidad (Semov) resumed random vehicle spot checks at lakeside this week, with local motorists reporting a team of agents posted on the highway west of Ajijic at La Cristina on Wednesday, September 19.

While the officers were presumably focused on the current crackdown on vehicles lacking current emissions verification stickers (hologramas), they were also pulling over drivers for other violations and carefully inspecting their documents.

pg2The Guadalajara Reporter received several anonymous complaints of shakedowns for off-the-book mordidas (bribes) to avoid traffic tickets and threats of vehicle confiscation.

The best method of protection against intimidation is to carry all requisite documentation and other paperwork to prove legality of the vehicle and its driver.

In the case of foreign-plated cars and trucks temporarily imported by foreign citizens, drivers should be prepared to show the following:

- Original* valid driver license issued in Mexico or abroad

- Original* Temporary Import Permit (TIP) and corresponding windshield hologram sticker

- Original* of driver’s INM visitor visa or temporary resident ID card

- Valid auto insurance policy for Mexico

Recommended complementary paperwork:

- Holograma de Verificación Vehicular (smog test sticker) applicable for cars driven by temporary residents of Jalisco over a period of more than six months

- Birth or marriage certificate* for drivers holding permanent resident status or Mexican citizenship who need to show kinship with legal importer.

- Copy of vehicle registration showing the license tag number

*Note: Officers should accept copies of documents duly certified by a Mexican Notary Public in lieu of originals.

For Mexican plated vehicles, keep handy:

- Original valid driver’s license

- Current tarjeta de circulación (registration card), corresponding with windshield sticker

- Copy of receipt for payment of annual refrendo (registration fee).

- Valid insurance policy

- Current Holograma de Verificación Vehicular


Do not try to pass off a color copy of a driver’s permit or immigration ID card which may be considered as a criminal offense or forgery.

Never carry the vehicle’s original title or factura in your car. It will be needed to prove ownership in cases of theft or impoundment.

Semov agents may review paperwork of motorists caught talking on mobile phones, riding without seat belts fastened and other infractions of the law. Circumstances under which any vehicle may be subject to towing and impoundment include illegal parking, endangerment to traffic, circulating without license plates or with tags that have been altered, partially or fully obstructed or superimposed. They may also be confiscated if spotted spewing smoke, whether or not bearing the requisite hologram.

When cars and trucks registered in Jalisco are not up to date on smog checks, the driver will be issued a folio (ticket). The fine will be waived for owners who obtain verification and submit it at the nearest Semov office within 15 working days. Chapala’s regional branch is located on Calle Flavio Romero at the corner of Guerrero, open week days, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A local mechanic shop that is authorized to do smog tests is at Calle Zaragoza 375, between Degollado and Flavio Romero.  Guadalajara has more than 400 locations.

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