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Old 31 Aug 2011
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Buying/Importing US bike from Uraguay into Argentina

Hi Everyone,

I'm looking to start my South American trip by buying a bike from a fellow HU member who is riding down from Brazil to sell his bike (US Plates).
I am in Buenos Aires and we imagine the best idea is to meet in Uruguay to sign over the bike/papers into my name and part ways.

I'm young and new to this and just want to steer in the way of caution before handing over the cash that I won't be running into problems as soon as I meet a border officer.

Is there anything I should sort out regarding :
-import/export permits
-having the ownership papers verified/notarized (and how/where to do this on Uruguay side
-getting 3rd party insurance on the bike ahead of time (as I understand this is neccessary in Argentina??)

This is happening as early as this weekend (3 or 4 Sep 2011) so any information would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 31 Aug 2011
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Buy mine Buy mine
No seriously Ive seen a few blockes riding on nothing more then a peace of paper with two signitures on it .... though they spend a bit more time at ADUANA offices on the border crossings.
All I would do is go to Buenos Aries write up a document and get a JP to sing and stap it to look official .
You have to get 3 party insurance, but a lot of boys ride without, mine has run out now and i dont bother with it , in 7 months ive been asked once.
Hope this helps
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Old 5 Sep 2011
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 657
just a consıderatıon from an experıenced overlander

We are currently rıdıng through Turkey but we have lıved ın

Buenos Aıres 5 years and rıdden 6 South Amerıcan countrıes

please buy motorcycle ınsurance (you may not be asked for ıt

untıl you really need ıt) wıthout ıt you may go to jaıl untıl a judge

sorts out responsıbılıty for the accıdent and thıs may take months

and respect the temporary ımport laws of


Please behave as ıf you were ın your own country

thank you and be safe xfıltrate
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Old 16 Sep 2011
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I've done a little research on this because I hope to do the same thing with my bike (sell it in South America).

The ferry between Montevideo (or Colonia) and Buenos Aires seem to be the best spot to sell and sign over the Title. The bike will be stamped out of your passport and you won't have border guards wondering what the heck is going on when you ride through one border and the other guy rides through the secondary border.
West Virginia University 2006
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Old 18 Sep 2011
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You definitely have the right idea about buying a US bike down there and riding it back up.

I think the most important part of this kind of deal is making sure that the previous owner is there in person at the point of the sale and is willing to ride it across the border and back with you so you can insure that it works. The worst case scenario would be that you guys get a gestapo aduana agent and both get slaps on the wrist for trying to pull a fast one, but I think there is a .0001% chance of that happening.

The second important part of this deal is checking the title transfer regulations between your state and the seller's state. If your state requires an inspection of the bike before a title can be issued then you better come up with some kind of solution or you will not be able get the bike across the US border. You also want to check to see whether your state requires you to be there in person to do a title transfer or if you can do it by mail.


I know that Xfiltrate will not agree with this part because it it kind of illegal, but I am only providing this information for riders who plan on eventually legally importing there bikes back to the USA or Canada.

Once you have checked the title transfer regulations between your state and the sellers state and made sure that you can do it without an inspection then you can proceed with buying the bike.

The only problem is that when the seller and you go to cross the border you will not have the correct paperwork to be able to get the bike into your name. The solution for this is to make a good color copy photoshop of the sellers title, registration, and temporary import permit. The only change that you need to make is swapping out the seller's name for your name. Then you will be able to successfully get a temporary import permit in your name and get the bike stamped in your passport. Now you will be able to travel all the way until the US border with these documents. I drove from the U.S. to Argentina without the title of my bike, I only had a good color copy of it.

The next step is Fedex'ing the seller's original title to a friend back home who can take care of the paperwork for you. Hopefully, your state does not require that you be there in person to do a title transfer, but if it does you need to come up with a solution for that.

Once you have the real title and registration in your name then have the friend Fedex it to a contact who is a few countries North of you. That way, your documents will arrive before you arrive and you will not be waiting on them. I have to emphasize the importance of using FedEx even if it costs you $100 each way it is worth every penny of the price. If anything happened to your title then you would not be able to get into the US.


btw: My Australian friend sold his nice KLR to a Polish guy in Argentina and they crossed the Chilean border together to do the deal. The Polish guy made it all the way to Mexico with a photoshopped Canadian Visa, title, registration, and insurance. lol

I do not recommend doing what the Polish guy did though because it would be highly illegal to do something like that in Western society.
http://www.journeyrider.net Latin America blog (07-8)
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Old 18 Sep 2011
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Hi Max, wanted to send you some advice about buying the bike over there.

http://www.journeyrider.net Latin America blog (07-8)

Last edited by gatogato; 19 Sep 2011 at 13:58.
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Old 20 Sep 2011
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Many border crossings into Argentina are computerized and interconected.Last summer a friend did that described above and the agent on the other border into Argentina further north said " imposible" title could arrive so fast! He checked into computer and said to her "under that number plate I have a diferent person in my screen!
She argued a long time that it was posible and in the end they let her in!......
Good luck
America is a nice continent,not a country.All people who lives in this continent are americans.Discover it in peace!
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export, import, notarization, ownership, title

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