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Old 26 Aug 2011
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Can you buy motorcycles in Honduras/El Salvador under your name?

Possible to buy motorcycle in Honduras/El Salvador under your name?
Question: Is it possible to buy and register a motorcycle under your name in Honduras or El Salvador *on a tourist visa*? If so, how long does the paper work takes to get the placas?

My friend and I are planning to purchase two motorcycles (125cc) and drive them to Panama, via boat to Columbia and on to Ecuador and Peru. We had planned to buy in Mexico or Guatemala but because of the timing we are have to continue travel south.

We found the following first hand info:

In Mexico (San Cristobal de las Casas) : If new bike, much easier. Get the Factura from the vendor, copies of your passport, a friend's electricity or water bill. It takes one day at the Administrativa. When you sell the bike you must notify the Administrativa that you sold it.

In Guatemala: Per info from Guaterider and our first hand experience, get the NIT (tax ID) at the local SAT, all you need is your passport. Once you have the NIT you can take it and purchase the bike at the vendor, and then go and get it registered (we didn't get to this since we didn't have the time).

In Nicaragua: We just found out you need a residency visa to own a bike under your name. Otherwise you can ride in the country but not take it outside.

Hence, we're trying to see if it's possible in Honduras or El Salvador.

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Old 29 Aug 2011
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Honduras is a no no, because as a foreigner to register @ the DEI or the dealer, you have to show your RTN numeral, which is your tax number and you only get that if you are a resident. There is no way around this. In the case you beat the system, you will never get plates anyway, they didn't issue any in the last 2 years, which ended just to be a rip-off for buyers ( Because we paid for the plates, when new) and the money ended just in someones pocket. and gives police a other reason to stop you for driving without plates.
Ronald Janssen
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Old 1 Sep 2011
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thanks for the reply. we ended up calling a dealership in Tegucigalpa and they told us the same thing. Perhaps we'll try it in Costa Rica or Columbia. Cheers!
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buy motorcycle, el salvador, honduras, plates

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