kaiserkyh, I have no idea how much time, energy or investment you have regarding your recent suggestion of transferring the title of a foreign registered (USA, Australia, EU, Germany or any country for which the motorcycle was required to obtain a Temporary Vehicle Import Permit TVIP) "before he enters the next country" but, I am obligated to advise you that you might be misleading others who rely on the HUBB for accurate infomation.
I want to be as gentle as possible,
knowing you undoubtably are sincere, without malice or manipulation just trying to help your fellow adventure motorcyclists.
So, I will share the following 3 part story
I penned to explain why it is not a good idea for anyone to follow your advice regarding the transfer of title for any motorcycle that has been issued a TVIP.
Here are some clues you might want to consider before reading my story, staged in Chile, but applicable in all South American countries.
There are no buffer zones between countries, there are no "no man's land" there is a demarcation line somewhere between border posts and either you are in one country or another. Most countries issue an export document, with the name of the owner of any vehicle and the vin# that must be presented at the border of the next country. The new TVIP is not issued unless the vehicle/moto has been officially cleared from the previous country, and the name on the export document is checked on the title and on the passport of the owner.
I researched all 50 States of the United States and have determined that although the title may be transferred by the owner and the buyer signing in the appropriate places on the reverse of the title, the signing and the signitures (signiture is verified against a legal document, like drivers license or passport) (in all 50 States) must be verified by a notary public certified by the State holding title to the vehicle/bike.
Then all States have a time limit from 3 days to about a month in which the new owner must officially register the vehicle/motorcycle in the same state the vehicle/motorcycle was previously registered or in another State. if either of these conditions are not met the title transfer is null and void and the registered owner of the title remains liable for the motorcycle and all damages determined by law that have occurred no matter who is riding the motorcycle at the time of any accident.
In most of the United States, the plate is obligated to be immediately surrendered to the Dept of Motor Vehicles of the State, failure to do so incurs a very heavy fine and possible restriction of driving privileges in that State. The law is changing and very very soon each and every state will require the surrender of the license plate each time the title is transferred and a new plate will be issued.
It is made very clear the title and license plate issued by each State are the property of that State and can only be issued to a new owner by the State, along with a proper registration, sometimes requiring a safety check.
In the event of an accident with substantial property damage and/or personal injury in most South American countries all parties go to jail immediately. Those who have valid insurance might be bailed out by their insurance company, those who don't have insurance sit in jail for months until a judge can determine who was at fault.
If the new owner of the motorcycle has purchased insurance for the motorcycle it will be evident immediately to the insurance agent that the motorcycle was illegally transferred from a third party contrary to international agreements amoung all South American countries and the insurance will be decleared null and void and the new owner might well be prosecuted for fraudulently buying insurance for a motorcycle he did not legally own.
The injured parties will then seek restitution from the legal owner of the motorcycle - the seller. The new owner will also remain in jail for illegally importing a motorcycle and also may well be held accountable for damages as well as the legal owner of the motorcycle.
In the story below I have actually copied regulations from the dept of Transportation of the State of Arizona, which is a typical example of all the States. Many other States have just this year changed their title transfer requirements based on demands by Homeland Security.
Perhaps those visiting this thread might wonder about the possibilities of selling a foreign registered (USA/EU/etc.) motorcycle to another foreign tourist in Chile (South American)? This might be very interesting to foreign tourists considering buying a used foreign registered (USA, EU, Britain etc) motorcycle from another foreign tourist in Chile (South America).
I penned the following fictionalized story for another thread, and believe the information is valuable enough to be presented again here:
The topic here is, and I may be wrong, for I do have a propensity for staying off topic, IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A UNITED STATES registered motorcycle title to be legally transferred, if the motorcycle is in Chile or Argentina and the seller is a foreign tourist and the buyer is also a foreign tourist and both seller and buyer are in Chile or Argentina.
In the majority of States I researched, the "foreign" owner simply signs the back of the title or signs a specified title transfer form provided by the State where the motorcycle is registered, and here is the catch, in every State I researched....the seller's signature must be notarized by a certified notary of the State that issued the title, or be notarized by a certified notary of the State where the motorcycle is to be registered.
Whoa cowboys and cowgirls, not so fast!
Example: PART ONE Sam, Joe and Barbara
Foreign motor tourist Sam has a beautiful BMW, purchased and paid for in Arizona, that he rode to Panama, and then had it flown to Santiago, Chile. He had planned to continue his tour of South American countries, but the collapse of the US economy precluded him having expected profits from the gradual sale of his stock portfolio and he found himself destitute, until he could get back to California and earn some money.
Destitute foreign motor tourist Sam meets wealthy foreign tourist Joe at an Ex Pat bar in Santiago. Sam, over a few
s explains his troubles to his new friend Joe. Joe considers the matter and says "Sam, why don't you sell your BMW to me?"
Not wealthy by luck nor family fortune, but by his own intelligence and hard work, Joe begins considering the effort involved in transferring the BMW's Arizona title into his name, no, wait, he does not want an Arizona title, he wants to register the BMW in Colorado, where he lives most of the year.
"Ok, let's see the title , says Joe." He notices there are no liens (loans) on the bike and that indeed on reverse of the title are instructions for title transfer. Seems simple enough, Sam just needs to sign the BMW's Arizona title on the space provided and indicate the milage on the odometer, but wait, oh no, Sam's must sign in the presence of a State certified Notary Public.
Joe immediately considers the possibility of finding an Arizona certified Notary Public somewhere in Santiago, Chile, for he knows the State of Arizona will not release the Arizona title of the BMW unless Sam's signature was witnessed by a Notary Public.
Just by chance, slightly tipsy, but very attractive foreign tourist Barbara, had eyed handsome Joe through the front window of the bar as he backed in and dismounted his big BMW. She also noted that the BMW sported the familiar desert brown Arizona plate, and she was from Phoenix, Arizona.
Joe noticed Barbara eyeing Sam, before Joe even knew Barbara existed, and not one to miss an opportunity, even for a friend, Joe motioned the waiter to invite Barbara to his table for a drink. Barbara accepted the offer and immediately proclaimed to Joe and Sam, I am from Arizona too.
Joe, said "right, and I suppose you are a certified Notary Public as well." Barbara, a little taken back said, why yes, I work for a bank in Phoenix and I have my Notary stamp right here in my purse. To the astonishment of Joe and Sam, Barbara was a certified Notary Public of the State of Arizona.
The BMW is the last topic on Barbara's mind and Joe has an early business meeting, so Joe excuses himself, but not before inviting Sam and Barbara to dinner the following evening... and, now alone, Sam and Barbara begin by talking all things Arizona, then all about Joe's journey, the economy and about anything else that comes up, until the sun does come up.
When alone in his hotel room, Joe says to himself, "OK, I am in Chile. I am considering buying an expensive BMW that Sam had flown in from Panama. OK, customs here will have Sam listed on the temporary vehicle import permit, I will, have a notarized Arizona title with Sam's notarized signature indicating he has sold the BMW to me, and I suppose Sam will fly back to Arizona, maybe with Barbara and get back to work."
"I would like to ride the BMW immediately, but according to the temporary import permit issued by Chile, I am not authorized to ride it in Chile nor am I the owner of the BMW. What to do? What to do?"
"No, Sam would have to exit the bike from Chile. Of course I (Joe) would pay the air freight, to Colorado, but no, the bike will be registered in Sam's name when Denver customs clears the BMW from the airline, Sam would have to clear customs with the bike.
"This is becoming complicated! Perhaps I should reconsider my offer to buy Sam's BMW."
End PART ONE
Here are the original questions, found at the beginning of this thread that I am answering.
"How easy will it be to sell my bike down there? (South America)
What is the precedure for transfereing the tittle if it's US registered?
In the Central American countries there is such a high import tax you couldn't even give the bike away what about Argentina/Chile?"
PART TWO: SAM, JOE and BARBARA
Joe had selected a Chilean restaurant for the previous night's dinner invitation to the two Arizonans, Sam and Barbara . Joe was personal friends with the owner of the restaurant, who was also an attorney and worked as a criminal defense lawyer in Santiago.
When Joe arrived at the restaurant, Sam and Barbara were standing, helmets in hand, near the big BMW parked at the curb. Joe said, " I see you made it OK," looked at the bike and opened the restaurant door. All three were welcomed in and seated by Jose Luis, the owner of the restaurant.
Sam appeared a little stressed that the subject of Joe buying the BMW did not come up during dinner and finally asked, "were you serious when you offered to buy my bike?" Without losing a beat, Joe's auto response was, "guess it depends on how much it will cost me?"
Sam relaxed a little and honestly stated, the bike is equipped for touring and would sell easily in the States for $15,000 US, and here I have seen the same bike, not equipped for touring, for sale for $20,000 US.
"Wow, why the big difference?" Joe knew, but asked to find out how much Sam knew about selling a US registered bike in Chile. "Has something to do with an import tax imposed on foreign bikes, before they can be registered and then sold in Chile. I think" was Sam's honest answer.
"But!" Sam quickly added, "that has nothing to do with you buying my bike, because you don't intend on registering it in Chile, do you??? "No" if I buy it I plan to fly it to Colorado, that is if the price is right." "So?" "How much will she cost me?"
"Ok" we don't want to do anything illegal here, right?" "Right!" They both agree.
"How about $10,000 dollars, cash?" "And, you ride it to Colorado." Now, Joe was caught a bit off guard, he had not considered the possibility of riding from Chile to Colorado, and it sounded like a damn good idea. After all, his venture in Chile had been very profitable and for ten years he has wanted a real vacation....
"What a great idea. I buy your bike, then during the next 6 months I ride South and then Central America and on up to Colorado. I would love to do that. I had a Harley when I was younger."
"Is it possible?" asks Joe... "Of Course!" replies Sam, I have just finished a ride from Arizona to Panama, flew the bike here to Santiago, no problems." "I had planned to continue on to Argentina and several more South American Countries, but, you know the story." "Yeah, Yeah, tough luck, OK I'll give you $8,000.00 for the bike, if Barbara will notarize your signature on the back of the Arizona title, and she will confirm that with this title, once I reach Colorado, I will be able to register the bike in Colorado in my name."
Surprisingly quiet Barbara, now proclaims, "Yes Joe, with Sam's signature, and his Arizona drivers license number and US passport number as identification, I will notarize his signature, on the reverse of the Arizona title, as seller of the BMW to you." "This will, make the bike legally yours.... in Arizona, that is and you will be free to have this title transferred to a Colorado title in your name, according to the laws and regulations of Colorado." "I will also notarize your signature, on the back of the arizona title, as buyer, this is also required, so that Sam is released from any potential liability occurring in Arizona."
As an after thought, and looking directly at Joe, Babara adds.... "Sam gave me a ride, to the restaurant that is, and I can also attest that his bike runs great."
The following conversation goes like this.... "Wait, only $8,000.00?" I said $10,000.00." "Yes, I know but my offer is $8,000.00, take it or leave it."
After a moment of silence, Joe adds, look, I am at risk here... I have no idea how I am going to buy insurance, cross borders etc. etc. This is going to be a risky adventure for me, and I am offering, in part, to help you in a time of need." "Take it or leave it."
"OK, I'll take it, but you are getting a hell of a deal!"
END PART TWO
PART THREE: SAM, JOE AND BARBARA
Once Sam agreed to accept Joe's offer, they both relaxed ... and Joe began to feel the slow rush of adrenalin that mysteriously begins to course through his body and mind at the beginning of a every new business venture or a big trip, or before sex.
Barbara sensing the moment, wondered silently about the odds defying flow of events that brought the three of them together. Had she not noticed Joe and the Arizona plates on his bike as he parked in front of a bar in Santiago, Chile, this might not be happening. At the bank where she worked in Phoenix, Arizona she had often notarized vehicle title transfers and knew that she was needed. Well, anyway, a certified notary was needed, needed to identify Sam with two forms of signed picture ID, observe him sign as the seller on the back of the BMWs Arizona title, verify his signature against his signatures on the picture IDs and then affix her notary seal and signature. She knew little , and cared less about title transfers beyond notarizing the signature of the seller.
Barbara's attention returned to Joe as he was explaining to Sam the location of the Santiago American Express office where at 11 the next morning, he would give Sam the $8,000 dollars and then, with Barbara as Notary, Sam could sign the back of Arizona title of the BMW as seller.
Joe wanted a closer look at the BMW and needed some time to reflect upon his decision to buy, so he casually mentioned that it was late and he wanted to spend time with his good friend Jose Louis, attorney and owner of the restaurant. Once out of the restaurant Sam swung effortlessly onto the comfortable seat of the bike, and waited until Barbara had put on her helmet and carefully pinioned behind him. Only then did he don his own helmet and touch the starter button. As expected the big BMW purred to life and they were off.
As he headed back to his table, and his laptop, he caught Jose Luis off guard by asking if there was WI-FI.
"Amigo, you think this is some third world country?" "Absolutamente, we have WI FI" "Why?"
"Well, I just want to take a look at the State of Arizona Motor Vehicles web site."
"You going to Arizona?"
"No, no, tomorrow I am going to buy that BMW that those two kids just rode out a here."
"You are going to do WHAT!!!"
"Buy the bike, buy the bike, and then ride it back to Colorado." Haven't you been telling me for years I work too hard and should take a long vacation?"
"Amigo, No sé nada about the Arizona Motor Vehicle regulations but, you buy that Arizona bike in Chile and instead of a vacation you might end up in a very uncomfortable jail cell."
"You are on the right track, take a look at the Arizona Department of transportation web site while I close up the restaurant and then we will talk."
The following was copied from:
Arizona Department of Transportation
Soon after loading the ADOT web site, Joe knew he had made a very bad decision.
When a vehicle is sold (or otherwise transferred) you, the seller, should:
Sign off the back of the title and have your signature notarized.
Give the title to the buyer with any lien release, if applicable.
Complete a sold notice online, or on the back of the vehicle registration.
Remove and retain the license plate, instead of leaving the plate on the vehicle. The plate belongs to you, the vehicle owner not the vehicle. You can later transfer the plate to another vehicle that you register.
Request a refund (see Refunds below). –or–
Transfer the plate credit to another vehicle owned (see Credit For Fees below).
Upon sale or transfer of a vehicle, the registration for that vehicle is no longer valid. The buyer must visit any MVD or authorized Third Party office to transfer the plate and register the vehicle.
If it is necessary to drive the vehicle to complete this transaction, the buyer must obtain a Restricted Use 3-Day Permit, for private sales, or a Temporary Registration Plate, for vehicles purchased from a licensed dealer
"Amigo, you learn anything from the web site?"
"Yeah, looks like if I buy the bike, the license plate is not included, and the registration no longer legal until I visit the motor vehicles department and transfer the title."
"What does it say about "INSURANCE?" As your friend and an attorney, I am not going to allow you to ride that bike anywhere with out insurance."
"No problem José Luis, I'll buy insurance here."
"Es possible," " I am sure there are more than one insurance company in Santiago, that will sell you insurance, but the minute you have an accident, damage something, or kill someone with that bike, an attorney representing the insurance company, will look at the copy of the title you submitted and immediately declare that you fraudulently purchased insurance for a bike that you do not hold title to." "You, might be able to buy insurance, but you will have no coverage."
"José Luis, from what I just read.... I might have another "problema." "What license plate number will appear on the insurance card?" "Sam is required to remove the plate." "And, how will I ride from Chile to Colorado without a license plate."
"You won't." "Matter of fact you won't get out of Chile on that bike."
"Because... when your friend collected his bike from the "aduana" at the airport, he was issued what is called a Temporary Vehicle Import Permit" (TVIP) which clearly states that the "vehicle" or "motorcycle" is not to be sold in Chile, therefore TVIPs are non transferrable." "And, in order to exit Chile you must turn in the TVIP, show the title and possibly submit the bike to an inspection of the vin #, that hopefully, matches the vin # on the title."
"For each border between here and Colorado you cross, you will be required to show title to obtain a TVIP and you might have to prove you have insurance, you might not, but you might." "When you cannot ride further north, you will have to ship or fly the bike to Panama and without a proper title, I doubt any reputable shipper will carry a bike, with a questionable title, as cargo."
"Look Joe, you need to back out of this deal."
"I am to meet those kids at American Express in the morning." I like them both, they just met and this was not a set up. This I know for sure. Perhaps I could lend Sam a couple grand, if he had the money he would ride the bike back to Arizona himself."
"Joe I'll be there for you in the morning, now go get some sleep."
The next morning Joe withdrew $2,000.00 dollars on his American Express card and while he waited in the vip lounge of American Express, he penned an agreement to repay $2,000.00 to be signed by Sam. When José Louis arrived he looked confident, and as was customary he handed his friend Joe a Cuban cigar.
From the vip lounge both men saw Sam and Barbara arrive on the BMW. Barbara took Sam's arm as they approached the upscale building. They burst into the lounge and after Barbara kissed both men on the cheek, she proclaimed, "we have some good news." This obviously positive spin got Joe's attention.
"Tell them Sam." "Gentlemen, it seems as if Barbara was temporarily laid off from the bank in Phoenix, and has unemployment insurance for six months. She, has agreed to finance our trip back to Arizona! She will lend me the money for my share of the expenses, and of course, I provide a ride home for her." "And, she was wise enough to buy a refundable airline ticket."
"Wow, that's good news!" Joe winked at José Luis, and said, you know I like you kids, I am happy for you, a bit envious, but certain you will have a great ride home."
"All of this is so exciting." "I like Sam, and I believe this journey, through foreign lands, is just the way to get to know him better." Can you believe, he is a customer at the bank where I work!" "This was meant to be!"
"Well, you two have many kilometers to ride, be good to each other, and with that Joe began to unwrap the Cuban cigar." As the two friends watched the BMW disappear into traffic and the smoke of 2 Cuban cigars, they remembered why they liked each other.
END PART THREE
Multiple answer test soon...
Eat, Drink and Be Careful xfiltrate