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Long lines deter drivers from updating their license plates

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Lines are common at the motor vehicle registration office. Photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — With a deadline just 47 days away, seven out of 10 drivers have yet to swap out their old license plates.

The Public Security Secretariat has issued a warning: As of July 1, vehicles without the new, legally required plates will be considered unauthorized.

In a statement released Saturday, the agency reminded motor vehicle owners to get in line at the motor vehicle office by June 30. 

Aside from the relatively new Centro de Servicios Yucatán by the Siglo XXI convention center, the state has established additional branches throughout the state where drivers can take care of the paperwork. 

The task is daunting, and more so for some than others. Not knowing Spanish will make it all the more difficult. Here is a data dump with the state’s official and critical details. 

And on the Service Center’s Facebook page, drivers are freely complaining about long waits.

“What kind of disorganization is this? There are people who’ve been here for over seven hours!” wrote one citizen.

“Who is being entertained by my torture,” quipped another.

Consultants such as Merida Expat Services will stand in line on behalf of clients, for a fee. Yucatecos with a thorough knowledge of the bureaucracy can earn cash by handling paperwork for overwhelmed and confused foreigners. But there’s a catch.

“Only certified Tramitadores can do the standing in line,” said Vikki Hillman of Merida Expat Services. 

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