Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > North America

North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 24 Jul 2006
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 2
Question UK Registration Plates in USA

Hello,
I'm looking to export a car temporarily to western states of the USA for a period of approx. 4 months.
What are the legalities of driving in the US with UK registration plates & road tax displayed?
I've heard that some of the local state troopers are likely to pull me over because they don't recognise UK plates. Is this true and if so what would you recommend?

All advice gratefully appreciated.

RM
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 24 Jul 2006
bobkat's Avatar
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 101
It shouldn't be a problem. I've lived and ridden in the western US for over 30 years. I have seen many European plates, mostly German and UK during that time. So the highway police have probably seen them before.

The problem may be with a small town local policeman. Just show him your license and registration (road tax). Be sure they're current and paid up and there should be no problem. As least we speak, somewhat, the same language.

I don't know the time frame of your registration documents but in the US most of them are annual starting in any month. And our system of writing dates is backwards from yours. This means that if your registration is ending on 1/12/06 you will need to explain to the officer that it means the 1st of December and not January 12th, as he will read it, and assume it is expired.

Come and have fun.
__________________

Bob & Kathy
The adventures of Lemonade
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 25 Jul 2006
yuma simon's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Yuma, Arizona, USA
Posts: 464
As I live next to the border with Mexico, I see many Mexican plated cars on the US side. The next time I make a run for cigarettes or medicine or cheap tequila, I will ask the customs agent how this process works. Have you asked one of the many auto shippers about the laws?

BTW, I was just in the L.A. region last week, and I saw a BMW Z4 with, what looked like British plates. (I do know the difference between GB and German plates, and these looked definitely British as I know they weren't US or Mexican)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 25 Jul 2006
Super Moderator
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Nagano, Japan
Posts: 751
information from customs

The US Customs website has the specific information you are looking for.

http://www.cbp.gov/linkhandler/cgov/...ortingacar.doc

-MOTORISTS VISITING THE UNITED STATES as tourists from countries that have ratified the Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949 may drive in the U.S. for one year with their own national license plates (registration tags) on their own national license plates (registration tags) on their cars and with their own personal drivers’ licenses.
__________________
Japan touring information
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 25 Jul 2006
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 2
Thanks for all your advice.

I'm being told that for my purposes I need a temporary registration plate. Fortunately, I have links with a manufacturer who can source temporary manufacturer plates for my visit. However, it seems crazy that I can drive around with a UK front plate and temporary US rear plate! Now that *must* be confusing to the police!

Thanks again,
RM
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 25 Jul 2006
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
Posts: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by rafterman
I'm being told that for my purposes I need a temporary registration plate.
You really don´t need a temp. manufacturer plate unless the car hasn´t been road registered yet in the UK. So unless you drive a pre production prototype you´ll be fine with the regular registration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rafterman
However, it seems crazy that I can drive around with a UK front plate and temporary US rear plate! Now that *must* be confusing to the police!
Actually it wont be all that confusing. Lots of States do not require a front license plate. You can put whatever you want instead of the front plate! Lot´s of people put a European plate on the front of their car (eg. a German plate on a Beemer).

Oh and don´t worry about State Troopers or local cops too much. If they pull you over, just be polite and explain the situation. Show them all your documents are in order and they will let you go in no time. I´ve found American cops to be friendly and cooperative. Never had any trouble no matter what plate was on my bike, car or truck. Just make sure you stay in the car until THE COP tells you to come out
__________________
Everytime people see me it´s a KODAK moment!

Last edited by Dirk Taalman; 25 Jul 2006 at 13:41.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 25 Jul 2006
mollydog's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: california
Posts: 2,191
You've missed something here.....

I don't believe entering the USA with UK plates will be any sort of problem
and local police won't care about them.

BUT.....what they DO care about is INSURANCE. My guess is any sort of
"international" insurance you can show will suffice. But you WILL NEED to show them something. Anything really. If its foriegn looking it should be OK.

There is a chance you may have to buy local, USA based auto/bike insurance
if you can't show proper insurance at the border. This will be BAD. As a NON
US resident the rates will be very high.

So even if you have to fabricate something, you will need proof of insurance.

Good luck. I'm sure others know more about this. Ask LoisontheLoose. She learned this lesson the hard way IIRC.

Patrick
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 25 Jul 2006
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Nantes, France
Posts: 397
Just to confirm the above based on my experience: I rode for months in the US on UK plates. No problem.

The US, being the world's top dog and generally setting the terms of international trade, has a very open vehicle import-export regime.

Personally, I would think long ad hard about cheating on insurance in a western country, and, well, decide against. It is a serious matter - unlike most of the the poor world where insurance is meaningless. I carried fake insurance documents in S America, but wouldn't dream of it north of Mexico.

There are some specialist insurers who will insure non-residents - links on the paperwork section of this website I believe - for not too much money. Compared to UK everywhere's insurance is cheap.

Simon
__________________
Simon Kennedy
Around the world 2000-2004, on a 1993 Honda Transalp
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 23 Aug 2006
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 188
Just returned from a 3 month 15,000 mile motorcycle trip around the US. UK registration plates? Absolutely no problems at all. Insurance? Fernet Insurance Brokers, 4407 Vineland Road, Suite D-6, Orlando, FL 32811 (email info@ferret.com)

What's the problem?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 24 Aug 2006
Contributing Member
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 40
A Police Officer's perspective (North Carolina). You're fine with UK plates and registration. Temp plates and the like are only needed if you set up permanent residence in a state. Each state has a different time allotment. As a tourist, no time limit. Please have current insurance. Failure can be a huge issue. In some states, your vehicle will be seized with heavy fines until the problem is corrected. Many areas, especially border states, have vehicle checkpoints from time to time. In the area I work, we have continuous checks at alternating checkpoints. You'll have to produce copies of operators’ license, registration and proof of current insurance. Your passport with entry stamp will validate your tourist status. Patience and a smile will get you through any checks.
__________________
I'm not lost, I'm right here.
'05 650GS
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 24 Aug 2006
Smellybiker's Avatar
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Missing, presumed fed
Posts: 302
Road tax & registration are somewhat different for a UK bike.

The registration is the V5 document, showing who is the 'registered keeper', or in other words the owner of the doormat that the speeding tickets land on.

Road tax is something you have to buy in order to 'use' the roads in the UK, but here's the catch, you can buy that after producing a MoT certificate (UK safety inspection) and proof of insurance.

So, would US insurance & the registration document be enough to ride there legally or is something else needed as well ?
__________________
GPS Maps & Motorcycle Shipping
http://www.smellybiker.com
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 24 Aug 2006
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 188
Thumbs up

In short, yes. I did get my old paper driving licence changed for a 'credit card' style one and this is really important. Checking in at motels required production of the credit car AND a photo I/D. My VEL (tax disc) did run out just as I was about to leave for the US in May so I contacted Swansea and was told that the bike must be fully road legal in ANY country. Well I didn't get the bike taxed as as I understand it road tax is intended to go some way towards maintaining UK roads and i would be on US roads. Also as a retired Police Officer I couldn't see any US Police Officer having a clue about a UK tax disc. Evene if he did, what offence would I be committing stateside?
I did have problems with a visa in that I was a bit casual about arranging my flights. I knew I wanted to be there for three months and it was much later that I discovered that my flights were 94 days apart and that anything over 90 days required a visa, and that required a personal visit to the US Embassy in London, a 5 1/2hr wait and about £60.
Other than that, getting a bike into and travelling around the US was an absolute delight. Wonderful roads, very cheap petrol by our standards, and the nicest of people.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Registration Of Imported Bike Austrlia chris Aus Trip Paperwork 0 7 Jul 2006 06:50
Insurance for an unregistered bike in U.S.+Canada / Import and registration to U.S. Gerald Bauer Trip Paperwork 3 1 May 2006 22:33
Car Registration jude Trip Paperwork 2 16 Nov 2005 19:23
German Export Plates beddhist Trip Paperwork 0 29 Jun 2005 13:55
Motorcycle registration nomad Trip Paperwork 2 26 Jan 2002 03:24

 
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:48.