Foreigners duped by fake smog stickers risk jail time and car impounded

Today I was able to save a lady from going to jail and having her car impounded.  What was her crime?  Not wanting to take her car to Guadalajara for a smog check and sticker.  She entrusted someone locally in the Chapala area and the car never went to Guadalajara for the smog check.  She was sold a fake sticker. 

Falsification of official documents is a crime punishable under the Jalisco state Penal Code by a 2-6 year prison sentence and impounding of the vehicle.  The mere display of the sticker is a crime. 

How do you know if you have a fake sticker?  If you did not have your car taken to Guadalajara then you probably have a fake sticker (the closest inspection stations to Chapala are in Guadalajara and Ocotlan).

Also many fake stickers and paperwork have a date of July, 2021, the program started in August so it is impossible to have stickers with a July date on them. 

How can you verify if your sticker is fake?  If you are not sure if your car was actually taken to Guadalajara for testing and you have a date of August or after, you can verify the payment receipt for the smog test and if still unsure and you still suspect, you can try to request a reprint online of the documents at:

If you do have a fake sticker then remove it immediately as right now there are no penalties for no sticker at this time but a fake one subjects you to arrest, jail and having your car impounded.

Now generally this has only been for cars driving in Guadalajara but… it is complicated, the smog check needs to be done to drive in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area which includes many municipalities including Ixtlahuacan de los Membrillos AND with the inauguration of the new smog check center in Ocotlan they are saying it is required in Chapala although their main web page does not list Chapala and they have not changed the law but may do so soon so beware!


About the Author:

Litigating Attorney and Official Court Translator in the State of Jalisco, Mexico