You can do it in one visit if you follow these guidelines.
Call first 225-9937, 8 or 9 and ask if they are issuing INAPAM cards that day and at what hours. This would have saved me three visits.
The word INAPAM stands for Instituto Nacional de las Personas Adultas Mayores, (National Institute of Senior Citizens) a federal program administered locally by DIF (Desarrollo Integrál de la Familia) (Whole Family Development) In the past, the card was generally issued only to Mexican citizens and foreigners holding an FM-2 immigrant visa. In the last year or so, the rules have officially been changed. Now, foreigners 60 years and older holding an FM-3 can get this magic discount card. If you already have an INSEN card, it may still work, but you'll be well served to replace it with the newer version. (Bold text is my translation.)
What the INAPAM Card Can Do
So, assuming you're over 60 and have an FM2 or FM-3 (or plan to get one), what can the INAPAM card do for you? More than you would imagine. From shops to restaurants, bus lines to basic services, it can save you money. Senior discounts in Puerto Vallarta and elsewhere can run from 5-50% on all sorts of goods and services. Sometimes, your card will even get you in free.
Here are some of the discounts you can expect to be given with a smile:
· 50% off on inter-city bus travel (though some lines limit the number of senior seats to two)
· 50% off on city buses
· Free or reduced entrance to museums and archaeological sites
· A discount on property taxes after an inspection.
· A discount on your water bill.
· Discounts at many, many stores—some offices will give you a booklet listing them when you apply for the card. The discounts tend to run 5-15%.
· Discounts in some pharmacies—usually 5-10%.
· Discounts of 25-50% on tickets to such high-value events as the Festival Cervantino, the Jalisco Symphony and concerts at Bellas Artes in Mexico City.
· Discounts at some movie theaters.
· Discounts—usually about 10%—at many restaurants, including some well-known Mexican chains like VIP's and El Porton. You should ask at every restaurant.
· Steep cuts at some hotels, and some beautiful resorts in Puerto Vallarta and around Mexico.
According to the INAPAM website, many clinics, labs and hospitals also take part in the program. Some dentists honor it and it sometimes works when getting eyeglasses. The official list even includes preferential treatment in government offices that offer services to the public.
The list is long and this one is not complete as new businesses and services are added regularly. Always show your card and ask for your senior discounts in Puerto Vallarta stores and other businesses.
How to get your card and what you need to bring:
First, if you don’t have a CURP number you can get one free and it only takes a few minutes. (See below)
Come Prepare and you can do it in one trip.
Here's what you should bring to the DIF office in PV with you:Your passport plus two photocopies of the photo page. They give you back one copy but the instructions ask for two. Go figure!
· Your CURP (Clave Unica de Registro de Población, or Unique ID Population Register) number. This is a national registration number. If you don’t have one see below to get one quickly, easily and free.
· Your valid FM-2 or FM-3 plus two photocopies (see above) of the photo page and the page that shows the renewal date.
· Be sure to bring the originals of both just in case.
· Proof of current residence in Mexico: i.e. a utility bill in your name, deed to your home, or rental lease (two photocopies – see above)
· Instructions say three photos (but they only need two) in "infantil" size available at the Guadalajara Pharmacy on Insurgentes at Lazaro Cardenas in Zona Romantica and probably many other Guadalajara Pharmacies. You’ll get 4 “infantile” size (smaller than passport size) for $25 pesos in ten minutes at the photo area.
· Contact information for someone to be contacted in case of emergency
If you don’t have a CURP number, here’s how to get one, free and easy.
C.U.R.P. you can get one on-line, here http://curp.jalisco.gob.mx/curp.html
Take one copy of the photo page of your passport and one copy of the FM3 photo page plus one copy of the FM3 page that shows the expiration date (if it’s different). (I think all FM2’s already have a CURP number. Check to be sure.) Bring the original passport and FM3 with you just in case. That’s all you need.
Go to the Civil Registry office. It’s in the building with the big clock facing you across the street at the north end of Calle Peru, where you make the left turn at the VW dealer and go onto Calle Francisco Medina. Go in the front door and straight ahead of you is a big CURP sign over a desk. Take your documents directly to that desk. All of the other people in that office are there for another reason and you will probably be the only one there. Present your documents and in a few minutes you will walk out with a printed document that has your CURP number. This is the easiest official thing you will ever do in Mexico. J Check your FM3, you may already have a CURP number. All FM2’s apparently do have it.
Getting your INAPAM card in one visit.
Gather up everything and head to the offices of DIF in colonia AURORA. Here are some directions. You can take a bus marked AURORA and get off at the first stop around the corner at Sam’s Club. If driving, take the main road heading east from Sam's Club. I believe it is Prisiliano Sanchez. A short way up you will see Farmacia Guadalajara on the left. Facing the building, there is a narrow road to the right of the farmacia. It’s unmarked and looks like it’s the entrance to a parking lot rather than a real road. The DIF building is a short way up that street on the left. There are two buildings there. The DIF building that issues the cards is the second one (the bigger of the two). If you get lost (and that is quite easy) just ask anyone you see. They all know where DIF is. At the reception desk they’ll give you a number and when it’s called you go to the desk and ten minutes later you leave with your card. I found mornings are much less crowed than later in the day. Stop at Office Depot or Office Max to have it laminated for about nine pesos.