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Vehicle Registration

What Do I Tell the DMV if I Leave My Vehicle in Mexico?

We we're on vacation in Mexico, and our vehicle had a major break down. The vehicle is paid for and we're going to leave it in Mexico. I have canceled our vehicle insurance since we are no longer going to bring it back to the States. What is it that we need to do to take it off the DMV in California? Vehicle staying in Mexico permanently.


FUN FACT: If you abandon your foreign-plated (California) car in Mexico, you’ll have to pay Mexican Customs 40% tax on the car’s value. This rule was established to discourage foreigners from abandoning their California vehicles in Mexico. There is an option of donating your vehicle to Mexican Customs if you want to dispose of it legally.

Once you've completed the necessary transaction in Mexico required to remove yourself of the vehicle's ownership, submit to the California Department of Motor Vehicles a "Notice of Transfer and Release of Liability". This will tell the DMV that you no longer own the vehicle. The Release of Liability form should include the buyers name and address. You may complete the process online here.

posted by SmogTips Support 04-07-2022 10:53 AM

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