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Old 16 Aug 2012
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permanent importation into USA

Hi riders:
my name is Ignacio, I write you from Canary Islands, Spain.

After ride from Spain to South Korea last year I sent my motorcycle to Long Beach, CA, EEUU. (This year I was riding from NYC to Long Beach, CA, via Deadhorse, AK).

I had to import motorcycle temporary from South Korea into USA and the one-year-of-temporary-importation expires in 25 september 2012. The motorcycle has a spanish license plate.
I can not fly to California before than octobre 18th to take the motorcycle, because I have to work here in Spain. So, at that time, the one year of temporary importation will be expired!!!

I would like to keep the motorcycle in the USA for some years.
As a spanish citizen and not resident, I don´t know what can I do with this problem .

Could I have a license plate of USA for my motorcycle as a nonresident for my personal use only? ( I don´t want sell motorcycle, just for ride into NorthAmerica)
What can I do for use the motorcycle in the USA when I travel there?

Please, somebody can answer me? I go to be crazy.
(If you can answer in spanish is better, my english is not really good)

Topalante cuenta su historia - topalante.es
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Old 21 Aug 2012
DLbiten's Avatar
HU California Meeting Organiser
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Camano is. USA
Posts: 443
Can you? Yes, well maybe.

There are ways to extend that stay for 3 to 5 years. First a bit of back ground to read look at part 16 for the most help Importation and Certification FAQ's Directory--All Vehicles

forms and the like Vehicle Importation and Certification Requirements

Hope this helps.
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Old 25 Aug 2012
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Posts: 5
Thanks a lot your answer DLbiten. !!!
But I think my motorcycle is not in case number 16 on that link.

(...including research, investigations, demonstrations or training, or competitive racing events...)

I am a spanish motorbiker, no professional, nonresident, with spanish license plate, that would like to keep the motorcycle into the USA, just for my personal use and ride over the roads when I travel to the USA.

Could I matriculate it with a California License Plate ( I have the motorcycle in this State) paying taxes?
(Excuse me my no perfect english,pls)

I am lost about this item.

Regards from Canary Islands, Spain.

Topalante cuenta su historia - topalante.es
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Old 27 Aug 2012
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If you want to permanently import a motorbike into the USA, the first thing is to find out whether it's legally allowed to be there. If the motorcycle is less than 25 years old (From date of manufacture) then it will need to be a model type approved by the National Highways-Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (There's a list of approved cars and bikes which can be imported here.)

If your motorcycle doesn't appear on this list then you can petition the NHTSA to approve the bike for import, however, this is lengthy, costly, there are many forms to fill out and you will need to submit the bike to them for inspection (they will measure things like emissions and assess crash safety). If they decide the bike meets their guidelines they will allow it to be registered with the DMV, otherwise they will either suggest a list of modifications you need to make or outright deny it entry until it is over 25 years old.

If your bike is accepted, the next step is to register it in the state you intend to keep it in. The state will issue you a US licence plate and tag (which needs to be renewed yearly) For this, you may need a US address to register the bike at, and you may also need to provide your spanish licence or convert it to a US licence valid in the state you register it in, and prove you are insured to ride the vehicle. (I'm less sure on this as it varies from state to state).

If the bike is over 25 years old then this process is fairly painless, if it's not then it can be a real pain, but it is still doable.
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