Puerto Vallarta: What Would You Do?

22 December, 2019
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The Mordida

For anyone who asks, if ever pulled over by an officer of the law in Puerto Vallarta, we always advise to keep your money in your pocket and take the ticket. There are still come cops who will accept a bribe (mordida), though we hear and see this practice less and less as the years go by. It seems to be either the older, weathered policemen who do this, or the young, fresh ones trying to make a buck peso on the side.

Here’s how it goes if you decide to take the ticket and not offer a mordida: In many cases, they will simply let you go, give you a harsh warning, (which you will deserve if you were speeding or breaking any other law involving an automobile or motorbike) rather than go to the bother of writing up a citation. They will explain that you must go to the police station to pay. Back in the day, they would take our driver’s license, meaning there was no choice going forward; we had to pay to get it back.

Some people are misled in thinking the authorities in Puerto Vallarta don’t keep computerized records. That’s not true and don’t ever rely on this type of misleading information because it can get you in a lot of trouble, including with any government department….like Aduana (customs), for example.

You will receive a citation written in Spanish, but it will contain your pertinent information, plus the amount of your fine. These tickets don’t amount to much and if you pay within a certain period of time, usually three days, they will actually half it. This means standing in line, sometimes in the hot sun, but the queue moves fast and in the end, you have not broken the law. The address of the station in Puerto Vallarta will be on the ticket and if you have any questions, ask. It is the police officer’s responsibility to make sure you understand and this is a good time to make sure you have his name and badge number.

If you do offer a mordida to a policeman, keep In mind it is illegal, and depending on the time of day, position of the sun, global news, or the mood of your apprehending officer, you could go to jail for doing so. It’s a huge risk to take and one that could ruin your day and that of any passengers who may have accompanied you on your excursion in and around Puerto Vallarta.

Que es cómo es.


Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here



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