Friday, October 21, 2011

All in a Day's Work

We periodically get stopped by police at various checkpoints. The lack of a license plate on the front of our vehicle seems to always be a red flag and it's always the first question out of their mouths!

Here's a conversation Michael had yesterday after being stopped at a federal police checkpoint.

Federal Police: Good evening! Where are you coming from?

Michael: Good evening. From Santo Domingo.

Federal Police : Why don’t you have a license plate up front?

Michael: Well, I am from Pennsylvania and in Pennsylvania we don’t have license plates on the front.

Federal Police: Ok. Go ahead and pull forward to the left for a check.

Michael: (I pull forward to the left)

Federal Police: I want to see the identification (permit) for your truck. And also your passport.

Michael: Ok. (I hand him the truck permit and also my passport)

Federal Police: (Looks at the permit) Do you realize that this is a tourist permit and that it is expired?

Michael: Yes. But I have an FM-2 visa which extends this permit for as long as my visa is good. (I hand him my present FM-2 visa)

Federal Police: Where do you live?

Michael: I live in Tapachula.

Federal Police: And what do you do?

Michael: I am a missionary. I am planting churches. We are planting a church in Tapachula and another church in Santo Domingo.

Federal Police: Oh. You are driving on an expired TOURIST permit for your truck.

Michael: But according to the Customs officials, this permit extends with my present Immigrant Visa. The agent told me it was Article VI that says it.

Federal Police: What law?

Michael: I don’t know what law. I just know that the customs agent told me it was in Article VI. Here let me show you on the back of the permit. (I read to him what it says on the back of the permit) “A vehicle of a foreign national can stay in Mexico for the same time as he has a Visa as non-immigrant or immigrant rentista. (This last one is my status.)

Federal Police: Well, you're not the owner of the truck.

Michael: No, my wife actually owns the truck. (She was the one that was there to sign the title. I happened to be in Florida at the time.) But here is her visa. (I hand him my wife’s visa.)

Federal Police: Well, your not allowed driving the truck without her being there. She has to be in the truck with you, for you to be able to drive.

Michael: Oh, really? I was the one that imported the truck at the Mexican border and she WASN’T there.

Federal Police: Really? How did you do that?

Michael: With my marriage license and a letter of power, signed and stamped by a notary. And the customs officials didn’t have any problem with it. Look, on the permit it says that Crystal Mason, my wife is the owner, but that Michael Mason, I, imported it. If I can’t drive it without her, how did I import the truck at the northern border?

Federal Police: Well, what about the plate up front? Where is it at?

Michael: As I told you before, I am from Pennsylvania. Some states such as Texas have plates up front. Others, such as Alabama and Pennsylvania do not use a license plate up front.

Federal Police: Oh, ok. Well, go on.


Kara Plank said...

Fun, Fun!
"Sorry to not help you meet your quota today, Officer." :)

Christa said...

It sounds like you all are much better under pressure than I would be! :)