Well, we knew better and yet it still happened to us. And this lesson was an expensive one.
We totally forgot about renewing the marbete (the registration and compulsory insurance) this year. Nothing came in the mail and we drove about completely oblivious to the expired sticker on the windshield of the Mustang. Britton went out to run some errands and stop by the beach for a bit. When he was on his way back, he got pulled over by a motorcycle cop. He had no idea what he had done. Well, it wasn’t what he had done, but what he hadn’t done: renewed the marbete. And what a fine. $500 for lack of marbete and $200 for lack of inspection (that you get when you get your marbete). $700 for something he didn’t even know he was lacking! Yikes. He tried to explain in his broken Spanish to the officer, but it didn’t matter. He was getting the tickets.
He was understandably upset, especially because we have been working to save up a bit more money working at the film sets, selling flowers and renting out the cabana. Pretty much all of that savings went *poof* with these tickets. I told him it was ok. We made a mistake. Things happen, but we should just go and get it taken care of. No sense in waiting. Plus we would need the marbete in order to keep driving the car. Luckily the police let him drive home. We’ve heard that they sometimes won’t even let you go. They will impound your car and make you find an alternative way home. Oh, joy! So…it could always be worse I suppose!
So we took the truck (at least that marbete was up to date) to Aguadilla (since the Anasco offices are closed due to Maria) along with the “inspection” of the Mustang (they don’t actually inspect anything, they just print a paper for $16 saying you passed emissions testing). We paid the $180 for the new marbete and found that we would get 30% off the tickets if we paid them within 15 days of receipt; so we did. Once that pocket ache was finished, we decided it was time for treat. Off to the ice cream shop again.
If you can learn from us, do! Never let your marbete expire. It is not worth it. The police rarely enforce any laws here. But that is one that they are super strict about. Don’t risk it, check monthly!