Bicycle registration?

The Other Site had one mention of bicycle registration in a forum topic on bicycles and motorcycles in Somoto. The word was to take a bicycle and the sales receipt to the alcalde's office and pay some small amount of money to register the bicycle. Many people apparently weren't doing this in Somoto. Anyone have any experience with this? I bought a cheap Chinese mountain bike with 24 inch wheels (can't stand over a full sized wheeled mountain bike these days). The store (one of the big chain stores -- Gallo Mas Gallo or the other one) told me where to find a mechanic to check it out, didn't say anything about taking it in for registration.

Anyone have any experience with this?

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Nobody does that here in

Nobody does that here in esteli, i didnt, i am not going to. Waste of money

When in Rome...

If there is a law saying you need it, then we as guests should obey it.

I am turned off by the blanket "Nobody" and "Everybody" comments, usually means someone is rallying support for their personal view.

I hear "None of the locals pay taxes" a lot...however it's simply not true.

The bike registration law (tax?) is one of those laws that is too costly to police and requires the cooperation of the people. Every know and again they will have a blitz to enforce the law and the people like Rebecca can smile as she cycles away free and clear.

That's if she still has her bike by then, because I also hear "Everyone is a thief here" you know!!!

When I was in line

and people asked what I was in line for, I said to register a bicycle (in Spanish) because I was a foreigner (more or less in Spanish) and that I should play by the rules (prepositional phrase in English).

I've put things out on the street and had the person who picked them up ask me if I was indeed giving them away.

Bicycle stealing is either kids joy riding (and dumping the bicycle somewhere later) or professional thieves who steal bicycles and strip them for parts. Most of the kids won't knock people off bikes; the pros who do this work in pairs (my experience in thwarting such a pair in NYC).

I feel safe enough in Jinotega, but would probably try to find riding partners for anything farther out (once/if I get in shape for that).

I suspect the cost of the plate ate a good chunk of the C $80 I paid today.

I also have a fondness for interfacing with various bureaucracies. These have been my "real Nicaragua" experiences -- and people have uniformly been patient with my attempts at Spanish.

Rebecca Brown

I did it today, got the plate

As my Sunday lunch guests pointed out, if they ever do decide to enforce the law, the gringos will probably be the first to know. I stood in line, confused the clerk who'd never handled one of those things before, met her supervisor who spoke a little English, and knew what "eighty" was in Spanish, which somewhat amused them. Or amazed them. I think I made people's days.

I have to spend US $600 a month here and I'm not doing it on food and rent.

Absolutely no protection against theft unless my sale receipt had a serial number on it. They've took a copy of my cedula, the sales receipts, and went scrounging around in a back room for the plate, which looks almost as weather-worn as my Medrano Express box.

I'm going up to my mechanic's at three to get an upgrade tire, a bicycle rack, and the plate put on.

Rebecca Brown

What is your big concern?

What is your big concern? That you won't have a chance of getting it back if it is stolen? That some police officer will stop you and give you a ticket? Or do you just want to do the right thing? Except for the third concern (doing the right thing), I wouldn't worry about it. There are better ways to identify and trace your property in case of theft, and I think the police would be happy if they could get all the motor vehicles registered. I've never seen a bicycle with plates, so...It would seem that bicycle registration is a local thing, and as such, there is no enforcement unless someone files a written complaint. If you really want to do the right thing, just ask the alcaldía. If there is such a thing on the books, I'm sure they won't miss a chance to collect some badly needed revenue.

It's like the rodamiento

It's like the rodamiento (the annual vehicle tax that is levied by the municipality), which is included in the law, but has virtually no enforcement. Generally, the sticker on the windshield is only current for cars that were recently purchased. I asked all our friends and relatives, and we could not find anyone who pays it. So far, only Managua has made noise about collecting it, but I have no idea if that is more than just noise. Although it is written into the law, I think it is written such that it allows collection of the tax, but doesn't mandate it. As a result, it would be up to the municipality to enforce it.

Rodiamento Needed for Exit Visa for Car/Truck

This is a new requirement that caused me to spend another $6 in gas to drive to and from Rivas for said sticker. The Captain in Rivas said the rodiamento requirement for the exit visa started in January. I had to show a receipt from the Alcaldia showing I had paid for the rodiamento. The office didn't even have the stickers in January, but I was told I still needed a receipt. That is a receipt I never would have saved.

managua dosnt ..

enforce it..i have 2 trucks got it on one an not the other..there was a guy selling them at la colonial,,at plaza espana..so i bought 1

More doing the right thing

The only taxes I pay here are the local sales tax, and not everyone collects those. I also haven't seen a bicycle with plates or a decal that looked official, and unlike the local motorcyclists, nobody wears helmets.

I assume that stolen bicycles, like stolen cars in Philadelphia, are basically unrecoverable if not found in the first half hour.

Rebecca Brown

"local sales tax"

No such animal for the consumer.

Sales Tax or IVA is a National Tax paid by the consumer, collected & processed by the business. The only 'local taxes' would be the businesses monthly Matricula fee.

For the sake of readers conducting research, there is "National" 15% IVA (Goods and Service Tax or you may know it as a Value Added Tax) added to most items with some food (some groceries) and other items exempted.

Rebecca's comment; ..."local sales tax, and not everyone collects those" is because not every business is registered on the IVA system. Some are on Cuota Fija, a flat monthly tax that should not/cannot be collected from the consumer as a separate 'line item' on a factura.

So, if you go to restaurant and they have added 10% under 'tax', all they are doing is recovering their "Cuota Fija",their monthly business revenue tax which they pay as a flat rate. They are not supposed to charge that back to the customer and you are within your rights to ask for it to be taken off or like me tell them to give that to the waiter as a 10% tip!! He may not get it, but you made your point to the owner.

If a restaurant only pays 500 cords a month Cuota Fija, they are doing pretty well at your expense adding 10% to every tab!!

Local as in Nicaragua, not local as in Jinotega

....but thanks for the explanation of the other tax system for businesses.

If I sell anything in the US, I pay self-employment taxes on anything over $500 a year, but not income taxes here or in the US. Seems a bit odd in some ways.

Rebecca Brown

Rebecca, if it were not for you I would often get an around

the edges experience here. How to handle something as pedestrian (pun) as registering one's bike. Rebecca, I recall your note about seeing Nica through "new" eyes. I have lived in more countries than my mother wishes to remember. I have spent time in a couple that were a bit sketchy. A saving grace was the inviting and friendly people I have met. I have always understood that there were the country-specific bureaucratic shenanigans. What I now find less clear, is the wandering responses from "locals" ~ transplant's and others; though, it may be instructive to me on Nicaragua. My readings have helped me understand that the USA has had a heavy if vestigial hand in starving current government functions to the point of dysfunction (as in, USA embargo of Cuba ~ most of the rest of the world knows this embarrassing cold-war barbarism for what it is....). LIfe may be slowly improving. "CR, used to be fiscally backward", before the Nican's had the audacity to say ~ no ~ to the USANO bosses and the US dollars that were then pumped in to Somoza coffers. Mission Accomplished? Also, a clear message sent to the rest of CA. Brazil and China may be more beneficial to Nica's future than the upstairs/downstairs "uncle" transactions to the north. Stability in the delivery of basic government human systems do not arrive in a vacuum. They more naturally evolve when governments have steady, fair-minded international relationships. NiCA may have had a naive and sycophant nephew-relationship with the USA through the Somoza's (for correlative history, see the Shah of Iran). Today, just the trappings of registering a bicycle lends clarity for other requirements that have devolved to a tortuous reality. I believe all NICAs together can ask for better. When old hands recommend the "answer" that seems like cow stuff all over a road; well maybe, its time to work together toward other more dependable small stuff delivery. Is CR better on these snow-flake issues? How about Columbia? Cruising sites; hoping for in-sights.

Legally the bike should be

Legally the bike should be registered. To do so, all you have to do is go to the Alcaldia with the receipt for the bike (in your name) and your ID. They will register the bike and, after a couple of days, you will have to go back to the office to pick up a bicycle license plate. The cost is C$40. If you're in Granada, you won't go to the Alcaldia in the Central Park, you will have to go to the office out by the old hospital; it's about a half block going west on the road immediately to south of the old hospital.