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North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
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  #1  
Old 27 Apr 2009
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Buying in the US

We are British citizens and travelling to the US in September. We aim to buy bikes there for a trip, but have heard that there is a problem registering the bikes and insuring them if you are not a US citizen. The dealers I've spoken with so far have not been aware of this. Does anyone know how the system works and what we need to do?
Ifa
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Old 27 Apr 2009
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what state?

Hi it all depends on what state you're buying in.Also the dealers usually dont know about non usa citizens.You're uk driving license isn't worth anything here,florida is the easiest place as you dont need insurance to get tag.Look at requirements for each state at there gov offices.You will need an address in the state you buy.hope this helps.
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Old 28 Apr 2009
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Hi Ifa,
I purchased a KLR in Missouri in 2007.Needed a US address and North American insurance.Oz licence valid in all North Central and South America.
Also check out Simon Chegwyn experience in the Ride Tales section of this site.
America-Purchasing/Registering/Insuring

Regards Ben
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Old 28 Apr 2009
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many many posts on this topic at ADVRider, be sure to look there, no one seems to have any real problem, although obstacles vary by state.
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Old 28 Apr 2009
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You need to have an address in the USA and if you intend to ride it over there for any length of time and in more than one state you will need insurance as the dealer tag only covers for the state of purchase and, I believe, 21 days (but I could be wrong). if you have a contact name and address and you trust them, get them to buy the bike and insure it, then you can ride it on their insurance (it's different over there). If you intend to bring it back you will need proof of ownership and all sorts of other things, you will have to have it MSVA'd and you will also need to deal with the DVLA (not easy), you will also have to pay a duty (usually between 6% and 10%) and VAT on top of the whole cost of the vehicle and the shipping costs and the shipping insurance (a must have just in case the ship sinks) and the duty ! If you intend spending a long time in the USA check out our website, there are things in there that may be useful.
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Old 29 Apr 2009
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insurance

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These people will insure just about anybody from anywhere. There ar mailing companys that will rent you address and forward mail in almost every city. I would loan you an address here in montana but it is a bit off the beaten track for international arrivals. Stop by if you head to Yellowstone or Glacier park.
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Old 3 May 2009
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In 2005 I looked into buying for a 6-week-trip too, but then decided against it. It seemed too complicated and, potentially expensive, because after the trip you have to get rid of the bike again. You will have to sell it for whatever price they offer you and when they notice that you HAVE to sell it, the price will drop!
Eventually I decided to ship my own bike with a car ferry, which brings over European cars. You don't need to put it in a box or remove anything. For the round trip to L.A. (from Germany) I paid Euro 1300, and with the economy now, you might get a deal (they have plenty of space now on these ships).

Might be something to think about.
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Old 3 May 2009
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Quote:
Eventually I decided to ship my own bike with a car ferry, which brings over European cars. You don't need to put it in a box or remove anything. For the round trip to L.A. (from Germany) I paid Euro 1300, and with the economy now, you might get a deal (they have plenty of space now on these ships).
Indeed it is! Any info on the firm used, and was it recent?
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Old 7 May 2009
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Florida paperwork

I am a uk driving licence holder, came over to Miami a week ago, I was worried about not having had a bike by the time I got here. I kept looking at Craiglist for the bike I wanted, at last I found one 130 miles away from Miami and I arranged everything before getting there. As a result I bought a klr 650 last Sunday, I had the plates lent by the previous owner so I rode the bike back to Miami. The folowing day I registered the bike on my own and got the new title in my name. I didn' t need insurance or proof of residence in the usa at all, just my passport, previous owner's title with their signature and the money to pay the tax, registration and service.
I don't know about other states but in Florida you have a Fast Title Service in most Tax Collector's offices for an extra $ 7 dollars and you will walk away with everything on the spot. I would advise to call those offices before hand to make sure they can do it the same day. I would take about half hour if everything is ok.
As for insurance, I am still looking for a company that would offer a short term policy.
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