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I'm wondering if we can put together a list of states in which travelers can easily register bikes? There appear to be some states in which it is difficult / not possible at all, and others in which it is quite straight forward, and can be done with a PO Box address.
I think a thread like this would be really useful for a lot of people.
A rider needs:
1. Identification, 2 types - such as passport and driver's license from home country
2. A rent receipt , get this from one of our local riders or me with address and amount of rent written on it.
3. An insurance card with address printed on it, a fax or emailed print copy is ok -this you get from Fernet Insurance in Orlando, Fl., online.
Then you can register bike here...if bike is from another state it will require a VIN inspection at Motor Vehicle Dep't - done as same time as registering.
Tax is 3% of purchase price, and 2 years registration is about $45 with plate for 2 years.
New Mexico gives the option of registering moto for 2 years also.
and beware there are some riders that take grave offense at anyone putting things in italics -
such as "rent receipt", I've been warned dearly at adv about this, it is construed as attempting
to defraud someone....they are watching us evidently
I love the idea of this thread. We are debating selling our bikes and buying new ones in the States, or shipping the ones we have. Price wise at the moment it seems buying new ones makes more sense than shipping. Anyone else with advice or experience to add to this would be fantastic! As of right now New Mexico it is! :-)
Here's some information originally posted on the 1st June 2011 by Keith46 about New Jersey:
"Hey folks. I'm in New Jersey at the moment about to start a 6 week trip across the states. I bought a secondhand V Strom 650 but ran into major hassle at the DMV. Long story short i didn't get the bike transferred into my name but instead had to register it to my girlfriend who is a New Jersey citizen."
Here's some info by Road Hog about Washington State posted 22nd May 2011.
"some (like Washington State) all you need to do is pay the fees and have an address to send registration to, (best if you have a local address but not required)"
I contacted the DOL about registering bikes in Washington and was given the following information:
"You most likely would be able to purchase the vehicle but you would not be able to register the vehicle here. You would have to contact the dealership in which you would have purchasing the vehicle from to acquire the correct paperwork. Hope this helps. Have a great day."
Not sure if that is simply the stock response - I explained to them in my initial email that I was from the UK.
Transferring ownership when buying from a private party
If you buy from a private party or receive a vehicle as a gift, you’re responsible for transferring ownership of the vehicle into your name within 15 days. What you’ll need
When you buy a car, motorcycle, or other vehicle from a private party, make sure you receive all the documents required to transfer the title. These documents may include the following:
Vehicle Certificate of Ownership (title) — The seller must release ownership by signing in the appropriate place on the title. Everyone listed on the title must sign it.
Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest — If the title is lost, the seller must complete an Affidavit of Loss/Release of Interest and sign it in the presence of a notary public, county auditor, or licensing agent. Everyone listed on the vehicle record must sign it.
Bill of sale — Both you and the seller must provide information about the sale on a Vehicle/Vessel Bill of Sale. This information includes the sale price, which is used to calculate the use tax you must pay.
Emissions testing report — Emissions testing is required in urban areas of Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane counties.
Here is some info posted by Bill Ryder on 10th June 2011 about Montana State:
"Hi there, I live near Helena Montana. When you buy a bike in montana you go to the local county courthouse and pay your dollars for vehical transfer and a bunch of taxes and added on revenue enhancers. I just bought and licensed a 78 KZ1000 kawi and it cost $95.00. They then give you a shiny new "permanant" license plate and a piece of paper that has the bike info and your name on it that is called registration papers. So when you get stopped by the cops they can ask you for "license, registration and insurance". This registration paper proves you own the bike. I just got back from canada and this was all I took with me. Two to six weeks later your permanent title will arive in the mail at the address you gave them at the courthouse when you transfered the ownership of the bike to your name.
Once you have the "title" which is just a more offical looking document I would go to a notary and have it notorized and sign it. This is required in montana to resell the bike. They want a offical notary stamp verifiying that you signed the title to sell the bike. Almost any car lot or bank can do this for you. The law used to be that you had to have a buyers name on the title but at least here in the state capital of Helena Mt. the title can be signed by you and left open as far as a buyer. If you do sell the bike I would download from the internet this form and fill it out just to be on the safe side http://www.doj.mt.gov/driving/forms/mv24.pdf
If you have the permanent title you can sell the bike in any of the other states or if it breaks down and is unfixable you can leave the title with it and be on your way ;-)
Insurance is not required on bikes in montana. Canada and other states of course require it. Helena Handbasket: Helena Area ADV Riders' Union - Page 57 - ADVrider some local riders. "
Subsequent to the information above I was told the following by another member:
"You will only be able to register and get plates on a vehicle if you are a
RESIDENT of Montana. Simply "using" someone Montana address will not work. You have to prove residency and that means having a MT drivers license. If you show up to get a MT drivers license with a passport from outside the UK, they are not going to give you one unless you can prove you are working here and not just a tourist.
People who live in other states in the USA use to come to MT and set up a bogus entity because we dont pay sales tax here on vehicles. Imagine the
savings on a $500,000 motorhome. MT has fixed this loophole. It still may be possible for you to hire an attorney in MT and set up a corporation or an
LLC here legally and have that new entity register the motorcycle. People
still do that for expensive motorhomes, but a used motorcycle may not be
worth the trouble.
..."In MT, you will need a MT drivers license to register and plate the
motorcycle. To get a license you have to establish residency."
The DoL in Montana told me the following after I emailed explaining that I was from the UK:
"I cannot address whether or not it is legal for you to purchase a vehicle, however would be able to tell you that Montana does not have a provision to title and register a vehicle for an individual who is not a resident of Montana."
Here is some info posted by Dave_Smith 28th August 2009
"I only know about California.
California is an oddball state. It has the strictest smog laws in the world. You can buy a vehicle in another state but depending on the miles, you might not be able to register it in California. California also has the highest sales tax in the US. It's around 9% depending on the location of purchase (state taxes and local taxes) but sales tax really just applies if you buy from a dealer. A private person doesn't care and would think you were crazy if you tried to pay them sales tax.
California doesn't want people buying vehicles from other states to save on taxes. Other states don't require the same smog controls so California DMV might check your mileage if you register a new bike bought from another state.
Oregon is a good state to buy a vehicle from to avoid the taxes.
If you register at a CA DMV, they'll give you a printout to have while you wait for the official paperwork to show (2-6 weeks). That's fine to travel with. You can even cross the Mexican border with that.
When you buy a vehicle, you don't have to have insurance. You're supposed to, but they only check when you renew your registration. Insurance computers are tied into the CA DMV and they know when you have insurance.
When I was in California, I let a few HU folks use my address to register and insure their bike at. Having a US address is handy. Sorry, but I'm in Korea now. I'm guessing at this, but I think that if you asked a hotel if you could use their address to get mail, they'd say yes. Don't tell them it's DMV/insurance. You might need a fancy hotel for that. DMV and insurance companies aren't going to know that it's a hotel.
Also in California, most people won't register and insure your bike for you. It just sounds a bit dodgy, plus everyone hates sitting around the DMV. You might get lucky but it's not likely. I haven't bought a bike through a dealer, but I'm sure they'd be more accommodating for doing the paperwork.
There's a few sites that search craigslist.org which is a good site for buying vehicles in the US. It's worldwide but in some countries it's rarely used. jaxed.com is one but it's not working for me right now, but my school's internet is overloaded.
Thanks Cultural Adventurer! Some of these I had already found a read, but the idea of a Wiki would be brilliant. I find the search on the Hubb does not always play nice, even now although they have improved it!
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