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Empalme checkpoint  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Jun 20th, 2018 03:25 pm
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SharkBite
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How far past Empalme is the check station?  How much for a permit to get to Obregon?

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 Posted: Wed Jun 20th, 2018 03:29 pm
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Ian948
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It is at km 98 - all Sonora permit is what you need - used to be around $40

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 Posted: Wed Jun 20th, 2018 03:37 pm
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SharkBite
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Thank You.  So about 60 miles past empalme?

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 Posted: Wed Jun 20th, 2018 03:40 pm
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JCB
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It is 10-15 miles past Empalme.  It is large complex by itself next to the road so you won't have any problem finding it.

You will need registration, tourist card (they wanted to see the bank receipt when I went there) passport, all the usual stuff. 

Also, you can get a permit there but YOU MUST RETURN THE PERMIT AT K21 near Nogales.  If you don't plan to drive to the US before your tourist card expires, consider taking the bus to Empalme.  If you overstay your tourist card,  it is no big deal as far as you are concerned but it is a big deal if you let the car permit expire.

Last edited on Wed Jun 20th, 2018 03:45 pm by JCB

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 Posted: Wed Jun 20th, 2018 03:42 pm
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Ian948
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I defer to JCB on distance , probably more than I recall !


Watch out it is NOT a checkpoint and easy to drive past - watch the km counts and it is on the right hand side of the road - when you come out of Empalme and join the main highway south it is probably not more than 2 km from the bridge where you join 15 south.



Last edited on Wed Jun 20th, 2018 03:47 pm by Ian948

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 Posted: Wed Jun 20th, 2018 03:44 pm
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Ian948
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Embarrassed to say I missed it first trip - had to turn around after couple miles - knew it was there !!!!  Mind you also missed km21 in the old days - drive right past after 10km turned around to find it......  before we had gps nav in the truck !


:)

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 Posted: Wed Jun 20th, 2018 04:03 pm
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SharkBite
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Well, I have a residente temporal at the moment, soon to update to residente permanente.  I never go to the states, so I will still be fine not returning the permit, yes?  Or should I just go in the same office on the way back?

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 Posted: Wed Jun 20th, 2018 04:04 pm
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Ian948
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You can ONLY return at KM21 - I know not logical but ......


Might be less hassle to rent a car in Guaymas ?





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 Posted: Wed Jun 20th, 2018 05:34 pm
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RichD
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Definately return the permit unless you never want to get another one. Keep in mind that if you get permanente status you will not be able to get any permits, you are supposed to have a Mexican plated car. A lot of hassle to go to Obregon. For the long term, you might look into getting a Mexican plated car.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 20th, 2018 06:08 pm
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goldin
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If you have a temp visa, you car sticker is good as long as your visa lasts. Yes, you’d have to return it only at km21. To start you’d lose your $300 deposit if you don’t. There may be other penalties. This refers to an all-of-Mexico sticker. 


If you have a perm visa, you’d be driving a Mexican plated card and you don’t need the car permit to go into Mexico.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 21st, 2018 03:59 am
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odwyerpw
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With the exchange rate at almost 20 to 1 right now... A car rental is sooo cheap.... Definitely the way to go for the occasional trips if you are struggling with the whole visa / car permit / free zone / skating by issue.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 21st, 2018 01:32 pm
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MARIGOT
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I agree on the car rental.  It was easy at SixT in Guaymas, inexpensive and much better than waiting to get the TIP deposit refund.  Rented a car 2 years ago for a short trip to Alamos and would definitely go that route again when leaving the hassle free zone.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 21st, 2018 10:27 pm
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SharkBite
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I was in Empalme so just drove down to the check station to ask specifically what's up.  The Sonora only sticker is 1200 pesos.  No deposit, but it does have to be cancelled at KM 21.  If you have a residente temporal card, your sticker will expire when your card expires.  If you are on a visa, the sticker will expire when your visa expires.
For me, my card will expire in September, but then will be renewed to a residente permanente.  Once you are permanent, you cannot cross the border without Mexican plates on your car period.
So, my question was, if my car sticker would expire in September, can I just let it expire since I won't need another one in the future, I can't obtain one once I'm permanent.  I also told her I never leave Mexico, and don't go to KM 21.  She said you can't just let your sticker expire.  It's your responsibility to cancel it at KM 21.  If you don't cancel your sticker, you could never get another sticker for your car.  Since I wouldn't be eligible for another sticker anyway, would it matter?  She said it is a record that must me cancelled no matter what.  If it is not cancelled, it is on your personal record and could affect your right to be here.  I asked if she meant it could affect the right for my car to be in the country, and she said no, it is on your personal record.


Very nice and informative, and happy to answer all of my questions.  I didn't ask if she spoke English, we only spoke in Spanish.


Renting a car is the way to go for sure if you don't go towards KM 21.

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 Posted: Thu Jun 21st, 2018 11:23 pm
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JCB
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SharkBite - That ranks as one if not the best and most informative post even seen on this forum.

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 Posted: Fri Jun 22nd, 2018 02:52 pm
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RichD
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Excellent write up and a logical approach. When you get your permanente, consider getting a Mexican car. With the current exchange rate, new and late model used cars are very reasonable. A friend recently bought a new Hyundai in Hermosillo for much less than the price in the US.

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