Friday, November 22, 2013

Stuck in Baja, Mexico

The unbelievable has just happened; we are stuck in Baja because of a bureaucratic problem that nobody seems to be willing to fix. My son, who can according to the Mexican Embassy, the Mexican Police, the Mexican insurance company and everybody else we contacted before we started this trip, ride his own motorcycle in Mexico has been denied his temporary vehicle permit because he is 17. Border control let him in, every checkpoint we have been through asked for his papers and said all was ok but the Banjercito decided that as he is 17 he cannot get the permit and thus cannot go on the ferry from La Paz to Mazatlan and continue his trip of a lifetime.

The motorcycle he is riding is actually registered in my name, yet they will not give me the permit either as you can only have one temporary permit at a time. Well, actually you can have two permits as long as the vehicle types are not the same... So if I was driving a car and my son a motorcycle then it wouldn't have been an issue but now that we both ride motorcycles it can't be done... work that one out! Motorhomes can pull trailers, trailers may carry up to 3 motorcycles on temporary permits but they won't even give us two temporary motorcycle permits. I could understand the age might be a problem if he is on his own but he is travelling with his parents! I offered to sign a declaration taking full responsibility but it was to no avail. We spend almost 7 hrs today trying to get this fixed but there simply was no-one willing to sort this out and give us an exemption. We were really looking forward to the Yucatan... it's not going to happen.

The stupidity is that he is still allowed to ride a motorbike in Mexico, as long as it's not his own. Now that really makes sense. His license is valid, his age for riding a motorcycle is not a problem and the insurance is still valid too. It's just the temporary import permit cannot be signed by him as he is under 18.

We are looking into our options as I write this. Shipping the bikes to Guatemala or even Ecuador for instance.