RFC registration in Puerto Vallarta

Updated: Jun 8

A few years ago, it was brought to our attention that when temporary residents with no work permit went to Puerto Vallarta’s SAT office to get their electronic signature files, said office had started to reject their IDs on the grounds that they were not allowed to have an economic activity. This was the case even for people who had been signed up with no obligations and who, for example, needed the electronic signature to get registered as employers with IMSS so they could pay social security on building their houses. No matter what the explanation was as to why they needed it, their IDs would get rejected.


As explained in this post, in late 2021 the registration process went from being done online to having to be done in person and by appointment only in a government attempt to protect taxpayers from fiscal identity theft. This created a real problem at the Puerto Vallarta SAT office as well as at any other that might have the criteria of rejecting temporary resident cards as IDs.

It is important to note that the Fiscal Miscellaneous Resolution (Resolución Miscelánea Fiscal) which is an official document issued by SAT every year and amended several times per year and which establishes operating tax rules, has a definitions chapter which, among other things, defines what documents are accepted as official IDs in section 1.2, sub-section A of Annex 1-A, which reads as follows (please note that points 1-5 are only applicable to Mexican citizens):


Official identification, any of the following:

  1. Valid voter's card, issued by the National Electoral Institute (formerly the Federal Electoral Institute)

  2. Valid passport. (This does not apply to foreigners, see point number 6)

  3. Valid professional license with picture. With the exception of electronic professional licenses.

  4. In the case of minors, card issued by Public or Private Education Institutions, with a registration for officially valid study, or valid Personal Identity Document issued by the Population National Registry from the Secretary of Government.

  5. Valid card issued by the National Institute for Eldery People (INAPAM, does not apply to foreigners, see point number 6)

  6. In the case of foreigners, valid correspoding migratory document issued by the competent authority (if applicable, migratory extension or renewal)

If you want to read the Fiscal Miscellaneous Resolution, you can find it here; you can also visit this section of SAT's website with the IDs definition excerpt from Annex 1-A.


In terms of migratory documents, the National Immigration Institute issues three of these:

  • Permanent residency card

  • Temporary residency card

  • Temporary residency with a work permit card

As you can see, none of SAT's official regulations state that only permanent resident cards or temporary resident cards with a work permit are accepted as a means of identification for foreigners. On the other hand, on Immigration's side, the first requirement for the work permit application is the RFC registration as that is prove that the conditions under which the temporary residency was approved have changed because temporary residency is granted by proving solvency. The RFC registration proves to Immigration that the applicant now has an economic activity in the country and, therefore, requires a work permit to be allowed to earn income in Mexico.


When the RFC registration process went from being done online to being done in person and people started to get rejected by the Puerto Vallarta SAT office, our Immigration partner, attorney María Lazareno with KL México, approached the Immigration delegate to try and find a solution. The agreement they came to is that Immigration would process the work permit applications with an RFC pre-registration form, as opposed to the actual RFC number, as long as applicants committed to completing their files with the RFC registration notice as soon as it was finalized. This flexibility then became available to all applicants. Unfortunately, some people failed to turn in the RFC registration after being granted their work permits. Given this situation, the Puerto Vallarta Immigration delegate approached other Immigration offices and they all confirmed they were receiving RFC registrations and not pre-registration forms with people's applications because other SAT offices do accept temporary resident cards with no work permit as valid IDs. Because of this and considering the fact that granting work permits with incomplete files is a violation of Immigration Law, the Puerto Vallarta Immigration office is now not accepting RFC pre-registration forms.


KL México and Equilibrium approached the Immigration delegate on June 2nd to try and work out a solution while we manage to get SAT to homologate the ID criteria at the Puerto Vallarta SAT office; what he offered was for us to file an official request for temporary flexibility which he can present to his superiors in Mexico City. This has not been answered yet, so, for the time being, the Puerto Vallarta Immigration office will not be processing those applications. JUNE 7TH UPDATE: Due to more complications regarding the expiration date on work permit and the timeframe for RFC registrations, our request for flexibility has been turned down so the Puerto Vallarta Immigration office will strictly apply their law and will not be granting work permits unless the application includes the RFC registration.



Regarding SAT, at Equilibrium we are looking for actual cases of people who have been rejected at the Puerto Vallarta SAT office for not having a work permit so that we can request SAT's Mexico City offices to get the Puerto Vallarta office to comply with Section 1.2, sub-section A, numeral 6 of Annex 1-A of the Fiscal Miscellaneous Resolution. If you are in this situation and would be willing to aid our efforts, feel free to contact us here.


We will be updating this post as we manage to make some progress with either SAT or Immigration.



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