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  #1  
Old 1 Mar 2008
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Buying a Motorcycle in Texas

Hi I live in northern Mexico, where Motorcycles are about double the price they are in the USA. However, I'm not Mexican I'm British so I'm allowed to buy a bike in the US and ride it into Mexico provided I go through the correct procedure and pay the appropriate taxes ($400) this is know as temporary importation. In order to do that I need certain documents showing ownership of the vehicle. These are either the vehicle title, Invoice or something called the current license plate registration (translated from spanish) and the document must be in my name. My question is if I buy a motorcycle in Texas how do I go about registering it in my name and getting one of those documents (I only need one in my name). Is it a long process, I could get an address in the US, but I don't want to have to wait weeks or even days for the docs. I would like to just go up to Texas, buy the bike and ride it back with some document saying it is legally mine in the same day. Is that possible? I'm talking about a used machine here not a new one so the Invoice wouldn't be in my name.
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Old 2 Mar 2008
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Buying a Motorcycle in Texas

Quote:
Originally Posted by engmex View Post
Hi I live in northern Mexico, where Motorcycles are about double the price they are in the USA. However, I'm not Mexican I'm British so I'm allowed to buy a bike in the US and ride it into Mexico provided I go through the correct procedure and pay the appropriate taxes ($400) this is know as temporary importation. In order to do that I need certain documents showing ownership of the vehicle. These are either the vehicle title, Invoice or something called the current license plate registration (translated from spanish) and the document must be in my name. My question is if I buy a motorcycle in Texas how do I go about registering it in my name and getting one of those documents (I only need one in my name). Is it a long process, I could get an address in the US, but I don't want to have to wait weeks or even days for the docs. I would like to just go up to Texas, buy the bike and ride it back with some document saying it is legally mine in the same day. Is that possible? I'm talking about a used machine here not a new one so the Invoice wouldn't be in my name.
Engmex,
When you buy a used bike in Texas, from a dealer, without financing it the Texas dept. of transportation sends the title in something like 30 days. The registration is with the county you reside in...it's the document that goes with the license plate...you pay taxes annually, they give you the paper and a sticker for your plate. If you buy from a dealer they take care of the registration and taxes for you. If you purchase it from an individual you have to go to the county office and register it and pay the taxes. You need a title to do this I believe.

So, maybe you need an Texas address. If you're going to rent a box you probably want one that has a physical address, not just a P.O. Box.

I'm not sure of all the exact details because it's been over a year since I bought a bike. But, it goes something like what I just stated. If you buy a bike from an individual, they should sign the title over to you (on the back). Then you apply for a new title in your name with the state. I don't know if the Mexican's will let you in past the 15 km point with a "signed over" title...even temporarily. I always have to have my title with me when I ride to Mexico in order to get the "tourist" temporary import papers/sticker.

Here's a rather overwhelming list of forms for the state.
Vehicle Titles and Registration Forms

Though you stated you want to buy and ride, you may have to rent a storage space for a couple of months to park the bike in while you wait for the paperwork.

Keep asking around though. There may be a better way to do all of this.
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Old 3 Mar 2008
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Hi Thanks for the reply, getting an address to register the bike is no problem. The problem is I don't want to have to wait a month to get the registration document or the bike for that matter. Looks like buying and riding back the same day is not going to be possible. Maybe I'll investigate the possibility of an invoice. The documentations says an invoice in my name is acceptable, I presume this is the original invoice on a new machine, however it may be possible to use an invoice on a used machine from a dealer.
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Old 3 Mar 2008
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You will probably need to talk to the county tax assessor office in whatever county you show as your residence in Texas...be prepared for a lot of bad info...it seems that almost none of the tax assessors' offices have a firm grip on the rules they are supposed to be enforcing...and once you get to Mexico, the rules are never the same....good luck...
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Old 8 Mar 2008
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Hi thanks for replies. It all seemed like too much hassle so I ended up buying one of these:
Honda NX4 Falcon 2005: technical specifications
It's made in Brazil so the price is more competiitive. Brazilian imports pay zero duties as opposed to Japanese which pay 30%.
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Old 8 Mar 2008
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You could also import the bike into Mexico permanently for about 100% tax,
based on value of bike.

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 08:34.
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Old 11 Mar 2008
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Mexico import

Engmex, I think you are confusing two things .
The $400 you speak of is, most likely ,NOT the temporary import fee you think it is. This sounds to me more like the surety bond you have to post for any recent model vehicle you take across the border when for whatever reason you can not pay the fee by credit card as rquired . It is a refundable payment in addition to the actual temorary import tax you must pay. Note: paying such a bond does not constitute legal importation of the bike, only permission to use it in the country for your stay and it is required that you take the bike out again, at which time you will complete an exit process and the $400 will be returned to you. If you intend to permanently stay in Mexico there is another process to permanenly import the bike. If you stay beyond the duration of the $400 surety bond you forfeit that money AND you are still liable for fines for illegal importing of the bike.
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Old 17 Mar 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjoerd Bakker View Post
Engmex, I think you are confusing two things .
The $400 you speak of is, most likely ,NOT the temporary import fee you think it is. This sounds to me more like the surety bond you have to post for any recent model vehicle you take across the border when for whatever reason you can not pay the fee by credit card .
Yes of course you're correct the $400 is a refundable bond and yes can you can leave your credit card details. If you don't return the bike to the US then you will be charged the $400. The credit card needs to be a issued by a non-Mexican bank and I only have credit cards issued by Mexican Banks so in my case is it necessary to leave the the $400 in cash and yes it will be refunded when the bike is returned to the US. However, I would not be returning the bike to the US I would continue using it in Mexico so I can kiss the $400 goodbye. I can do this because any temporary importation lasts for as long as the importers visa plus any visa extensions. In the case of tourists this is 3 months, but in my case I have an FM3, which is a work visa that lasts one year and is renewable. Basically I've been on this visa for the last 6 years so in theory I could keep the bike here for that length of time. It may be necessary to renew the permit every 6 or 12 months, but that is no problem as I'm only a couple of hours from Laredo, Texas.
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