You have misunderstandings here.

“tinted” I don’t think that makes a difference. If anything, deeper window tint is allowed here than in the US. Unless you mean something else by “tinted”. Stained maybe?

There is temporary importation and permanent importation. You need one or the other if you drive more than 25 km in Mexico. They have checkpoints, and you will be asked to show your papers, probably right at the 25km mark, then probably a few times before you reach QRoo.

With a “Residente Temporale” visa, you can choose either import method. To import temporarily, you get something called a TIP (temporary import permit). It is logically attached to your RT. Your first RT will be for 1 year, but is renewable for a maximum of 4 years. If you renew your RT, you must also transfer the TIP from your old RT to the renewed one.

You need the same permit for QR as the rest of Mexico. And you need a US or Mexican driver’s license. You can get a Mexican one after you arrive.

You need Mexican insurance. Absolutely. American insurance will not suffice.

I believe that if your California plates/license expire, it’s probably not a problem as long as the car stays in Mexico. They don’t care, your TIP is your Mexican registration, and as long as it’s valid, you’re fine.

But after 4 years, you can no longer extend your RT. You must convert to Residente Permanente (permanent resident). PRs are not allowed to have a car on a TIP, their only option is permanent import (which is expensive, involved and may not be possible for all vehicles).

So at that time you will have to bring your car back to the United States and sell it. You are not allowed to sell it in Mexico. But it’s 4 years later, and a lot can happen in the meantime. If you let your registration expire in the meantime, you will have a difficult situation to deal with when you return to the United States with the vehicle. Some expats re-register their car in South Dakota, as it can be done by mail. But CA might object if they think you’re doing it to try to avoid CA taxes. You will still be domiciled in California for tax purposes unless you move to another state and establish your residence there before moving to Mexico.

If your car is a luxury SUV or a sports car, you are automatically more visible and more likely to be targeted. If it’s a former beater, CA plates aren’t likely to cause you any additional problems, although you may be stopped and checked more often at checkpoints. In many areas it’s not wise to park on the street at night and leave your car unattended, so you’ll probably want to understand what situation you’re driving it in, in terms of safety, especially if it’s is a beautiful vehicle.

One option would be to drive around and settle in QR using your car and a TIP, then some time before the US registration expires, buy a Mexican car. At that point, you’d take your CA car back to California, sell it, then go back to QRoo and wipe your hands clean.

It depends on the value of the car, how much loss you will incur if you sell it, etc.