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Problems renewing British Columbia drivers license.... what to do?

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Post by Milena on Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:22 pm

Okay, so I get that I have to go back to Canada to renew my license, no escaping that. Conveniently, I will be back this week for a funeral so will apply. Problem is, they expect me to surrender my existing license and in its place will hand me a piece of paper that I don't think the officers here will accept next time they pull me over for mordida. I can tell ICBC in Canada that I lost my license and can then keep the card until the new one arrives. But, the buggers might only issue a replacement for the remaining period I have left til it officially expires in Feb/12, and I am NOT going back to do this again in 5 months.

Has anyone successfully waved a paper interim license at a cop and not had threats of vehicle impounding? Or do I just prepare to hand over a bigger mordida?

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Post by CheenaGringo on Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:41 pm

I would take a color photocopy or scan of your existing drivers license and then have it professionally laminated. Unless there is something really different with your Canadian license, I would seriously doubt that any Mexican police official would question it. I know things are different in the frozen tundra but haven't they advanced enough to process your license and immediately give you a new one?

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Post by Solovino on Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:47 pm

Milena wrote:Okay, so I get that I have to go back to Canada to renew my license, no escaping that. Conveniently, I will be back this week for a funeral so will apply. Problem is, they expect me to surrender my existing license and in its place will hand me a piece of paper that I don't think the officers here will accept next time they pull me over for mordida. I can tell ICBC in Canada that I lost my license and can then keep the card until the new one arrives. But, the buggers might only issue a replacement for the remaining period I have left til it officially expires in Feb/12, and I am NOT going back to do this again in 5 months.

Has anyone successfully waved a paper interim license at a cop and not had threats of vehicle impounding? Or do I just prepare to hand over a bigger mordida?

Why don't you get a Jalisco license?

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Post by arbon on Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:48 pm

Milena wrote:Okay, so I get that I have to go back to Canada to renew my license, no escaping that. Conveniently, I will be back this week for a funeral so will apply. Problem is, they expect me to surrender my existing license and in its place will hand me a piece of paper that I don't think the officers here will accept next time they pull me over for mordida. I can tell ICBC in Canada that I lost my license and can then keep the card until the new one arrives. But, the buggers might only issue a replacement for the remaining period I have left til it officially expires in Feb/12, and I am NOT going back to do this again in 5 months.

Has anyone successfully waved a paper interim license at a cop and not had threats of vehicle impounding? Or do I just prepare to hand over a bigger mordida?

If you manage to keep your B.C.D.L. at the ICBC agents (to drive in Mexico) ICBC will punch a hole in it.

You will also still be given the temp'.

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Post by arbon on Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:53 pm

CheenaGringo wrote:I would take a color photocopy or scan of your existing drivers license and then have it professionally laminated. Unless there is something really different with your Canadian license, I would seriously doubt that any Mexican police official would question it. I know things are different in the frozen tundra but haven't they advanced enough to process your license and immediately give you a new one?

B.C. drivers license' are prime I.D. ....Canadian Passports are secondary I.D.
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Post by CheenaGringo on Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:03 pm

OK! How about going to the Canadian Automobile Association and obtain an International Drivers License to use until you get your actual new license? http://www.caa.ca/travel/travel-permits-e.cfm

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Post by arbon on Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:05 pm

Milena wrote:Okay, so I get that I have to go back to Canada to renew my license, no escaping that. Conveniently, I will be back this week for a funeral so will apply. Problem is, they expect me to surrender my existing license and in its place will hand me a piece of paper that I don't think the officers here will accept next time they pull me over for mordida. I can tell ICBC in Canada that I lost my license and can then keep the card until the new one arrives. But, the buggers might only issue a replacement for the remaining period I have left til it officially expires in Feb/12, and I am NOT going back to do this again in 5 months.

Has anyone successfully waved a paper interim license at a cop and not had threats of vehicle impounding? Or do I just prepare to hand over a bigger mordida?

Don't forget your permanent address has to be current.
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Post by ferret on Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:50 pm

As Solovino says, get a Mexican driver's license. That license is also good in Canada. Easy peasy and problem solved.



Edited to add...it will be far easier to get your Mexican driver's license with your CURRENT, NOT EXPIRED Canadian driver's license in your hand.
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Post by CanuckBob on Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:12 pm

BTW you can tell them you lost your drivers license a few days earlier so you won't be expected to turn one in. That's what we used to do in our younger days so we could still get in the bar, as the bars wouldn't accept that paper as ID.
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Post by Milena on Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:05 pm

CheenaGringo wrote:OK! How about going to the Canadian Automobile Association and obtain an International Drivers License to use until you get your actual new license? http://www.caa.ca/travel/travel-permits-e.cfm

Problem with this is, the International license is only good for one year as opposed to the 5 that the regular license is, and, upon reading the application form, it is only good in conjunction with the regular license, not in place of. Just an FYI. So still need to go through all the rigamarole.

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Post by CheenaGringo on Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:12 pm

I was under the impression that the license currently in your possession was still current and could be used to get the International Drivers License. It has been years since I had one but the last one I got, I used a drivers license from India where I first learned to drive. For years, I renewed both with some clever manipulations of a fountain pen and some smudging ink stamps. Even used my "renewed" Indian Drivers License to get my first New Mexico Drivers License back in the late 60's.

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Post by papirex on Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:38 pm

CheenaGringo wrote:OK! How about going to the Canadian Automobile Association and obtain an International Drivers License to use until you get your actual new license? http://www.caa.ca/travel/travel-permits-e.cfm

Besides the problem that an International Drivers license is only valid when a driver has a current license from their country of origin, there is the added problem that México does not recognize International Drivers licenses. They are not valid in this country.

I would not waste my money or time to get an International Drivers license to try to use it in México. Of course, you may run in to a dumb cop that will accept it.

If a person is really worried about it, it will probably be a good idea to get a Mexican license too. There is no law against having more than one drivers license here. Both my late Mexicana wife and I had Mexican Drivers licenses before our US drivers licenses expired.

Drivers licenses are issued by the individual states here, and not the Federal Government, so the requirements vary from place to place. Here in Morelos state, no tests of any kind are required, and they take your word for your blood type, simple, but I must renew my Mexican drivers license every year. Not expensive, but an annual pain in the neck. My wife was from México City, and she got her lifetime license there, it never expired. They don’t issue them anymore.

A drivers license is not a valid form of ID anywhere in México, although my cell phone company has accepted mine as my ID. I usually need to show my visa, or my US passport or both, for ID. It differs depending on the city and state you are in. Nothing is done uniformly here.

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Post by Milena on Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:06 pm

Well, it all turned out fine in the end. Went into the licensing office and explained the situation to the nice woman, who happens to vacation in Cabo each winter so she knows how these things work here. She did tell me it is illegal for a non-resident Canadian to carry a BC drivers license, but I told here many 1000's here do so without penalty, so she didn't argue it further. She took my existing license and handed me the paper, but I pleaded about how it won't cut it and if I get stopped on a trumped-up charge and show this piece of paper, they could impound my car. When she handed me my receipt for fees paid, I found my original license tucked inside! Not that this would happen for anyone else, just sayin'. Me very happy! Very Happy

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Post by albertrv on Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:45 pm

Were you close enough to the expiry date that they gave you the full 5 year renewal. Any info to share on that aspect.
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Post by Parker on Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:27 am

Milena wrote:Well, it all turned out fine in the end. Went into the licensing office and explained the situation to the nice woman, who happens to vacation in Cabo each winter so she knows how these things work here. She did tell me it is illegal for a non-resident Canadian to carry a BC drivers license, but I told here many 1000's here do so without penalty, so she didn't argue it further. She took my existing license and handed me the paper, but I pleaded about how it won't cut it and if I get stopped on a trumped-up charge and show this piece of paper, they could impound my car. When she handed me my receipt for fees paid, I found my original license tucked inside! Not that this would happen for anyone else, just sayin'. Me very happy! Very Happy

Every once in a while people think with a kind heart instead of a mean spirit. Thank you this is very up-lifting. Very Happy

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