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Old 25 Apr 2008
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HELP! new in USA (TX.) and want to buy a bike

First of all, as this is my first (and i hope not the last) message... hello to everybody!!

I'm new in the USA, specifically Houston TX, and I'm going to be here for 9 months.
I was looking forward to buy an used bike (CBR 600 or similar) for this months, and re sell it before living USA, so here comes the questions:

- Do I need to get a new title to my name or can I use it for the 9 months with the seller's named title and then re-sell it?

- If i have to change the title to my name, How is the process (and the price) to do it if I'm buying it from a private seller?

- Do I need insurance? more or less how is the cost for that?

well, if somebody can answer this to me I'll be very gratefull

Tks !!!!!
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Old 25 Apr 2008
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Yes you need a title, unless it is a family member you bought it from and live with them. You can theoretically try to get away with "borrowing" someone's bike for 9 months, but all it takes is one police officer to put a wrench into the proverbial cogs, and this plan will come tumbling down. Plus, as a seller, unless I really knew you, would not want the liability of a stranger riding my vehicle around.

Which leads to the next subject--insurance--I think that in most every state, it is mandatory to register, and remain registered (found through computer files, so difficult to get around). Texas, I am sure, is one of the mandatory states. Not worth having the bike confiscated if you happen to get pulled over without insurance (not sure what Texas does, but this does happen in some states, and most states have a nasty fine for those w/o insurance--turns to warrant if not taken care of, leaving you with the possibility to get thrown into County prison for a few days if you happen to get pulled over.

As far as having the ownership in your name, this will vary from state to state. Someone from Texas should be able to explain it, or you can look up their department of motor vehicle's site. I know that in California, one needs to have an address, but no real proof that you live there--you will find Californians offering their address for people for this purpose. Again, not sure if Texas follows this.

Hope it helps, and look through the insurance threads as there have been numerous numbers of people coming to the Sates just on vacation and obtaining insurance, so I am quite sure that you can find reasonable insurance as a 9-month resident.
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Old 25 Apr 2008
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I agree with everything yuma says, but thought I'd add a few things:

1) definitely put the title in your name; the slight hassle upfront will probably save lots of hassle down the road. Texas DMV probably has a website explaining the whole process, so I would start there. usually it's not that complicated.

2) Insurance--get it. You probably have to have it, but even if not, the US is very litigious (ie, everyone sues each other) and medical care is very expensive, and IMHO you should get it for your own protection. Insurance costs vary wildly depending on the state, the type of bike, age of the bike, where you keep it, how long you've been riding, etc.

3) There should be lots of good deals on used bikes anywhere in the US; check craigslist.org and other websites if you want some idea about the market before you arrive.

Have fun!
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Old 25 Apr 2008
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I bought (found on Craigslist) and registered a used bike in Texas a couple months ago. You do need proof of insurance. I can't remember if I had to show my drivers license, but probably did. The title charge is basically a sales tax on your purchase. I paid about $250 and bought the bike for $3,500, so about 7%. Good luck.
On the road at BikeandBoots.com - come along for the ride!
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Old 26 Apr 2008
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Thank you very much guys !! hopefully I will post again but to show photos of my new bike
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