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Old 1 Oct 2009
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Steps to Buying a Used Bike in Santiago Chile

To buy a bike in Chile can be a relatively simple process, once you have found and bought the bike you will be able to leave Chile into Argentina and some crossings into Bolivia and then travel in S. America
You get a RUT
You find a bike.
Pay for it and do some paperwork.
Wait a week or so for your official ownership paper.
Go anywhere you want.
I believe the hardest part is actually finding a bike.

Getting a RUT

You will need a RUT, this number is very important and without it you can do nothing, luckily it is very easy to get. Go to an office of Servicio de Impuestos Internos with your passport and tell them you want a RUT to buy a bike. You will be given a form to fill out, name, D.O.B. that sort of stuff. you will need an address, you can use wherever you are staying. You have to go to the office corresponding to the address you give, check the office in Servicio de Impuestos Internos - Chile, there are 3 or 4 is Santiago. You will be issued a RUT on the spot and be given a slip of paper with your new RUT on it. Keep this piece of paper safe, you will need it to buy the bike, This piece of paper is valid for 3 months. When you get your RUT the office of Servicio de Impuestos Internos will make you a plastic card with your RUT on it. To collect this card take the piece of paper with your RUT on it to the exact same office where you got your RUT and they will swap your piece of paper for the plastic card. THEY WILL ONLY HOLD THE CARD FOR 6 MONTHS, after this they will throw it away, so make sure you collect it, or get someone to collect it for you. The peice is paper is valid for 3 months only, but the card does not have an expiration date. you will need the card to sell the bike, so collect it and take care of it

Finding a bike

online sources for bikes are as follows
Chileautos.cl: miles de vehiculos nuevos y usados this is the main classifieds site for used vehicles, this is your best chance. if you can´t find what you want here it probably won´t be easy to find!!
Portal de Motos - Ventas de Motos - Foro - Clubes - Actualidad y Noticias not as good as chileautos, ads remain for a long time so many of the bikes here have been sold.
El Mercurio.com - El periódico lder de noticias en Chile El Mercurio is a large newspaper in Santiago, look in the classifieds section.
MercadoLibre Chile - Donde comprar y vender de todo. the ebay of S. America. (you will see mention of Deremate.cl in other Hubb pages, but it is now part of Mercadolibre)
Rastro.Com :: Autos - Casas - Trabajo - etc... I did not use this site but i know of it.

there are other web pages, but by far the best is chileautos.

there are two areas in Santiago where there are groups of stores. One area is on Calle Lira. If you go to the corner of Calle Lira and Ave 10 De Julio Huamachuco you will be in the middle of the shops. There is a strip of shops for about 400m. There are many very cheap Chinese bikes and not much else, however Lira is a good place to know as there are lots of cheap spares, tyres, tools, clothes etc. The other area is on Calle Vitacura. there are shops with Japanese bikes, the area is at the end of Vitacura as you go away from central Santiago, near to where Vitacura becomes Calle Tabancura, these shops are much more spread out than in Lira, over a couple of ks. You can easily walk the area, but you will need to take a bus or taxi from central Santiago. There obviously are other stores in Santiago but not grouped together as much as in Lira and Vitacura. Calle Los Condes is a place to look if you need to find more bikes.

When searching for used bikes look for bikes advertised with ¨papels al dia¨ this means the papers are up to date. It is possible to buy a bike without papers up to date (i did) but this will cause headaches and i would recommend against it unless you have some good help from locals.

A bike with up to date papers will have the following;

- Seguro Obligatorio
- Certificado de Revision Tecnica Clase B
- Certificado de Emisiones Contaminantes
- Permiso de Circulacion

Once you have found a bike

Hopefully the bike you want will have all the papers up to date, papels al dia. the other document that the owner will need to have is the Padron.

Check that the person on the Padron is the same person who is trying to sell you the bike. It is perfectly possible for someone to sell you a bike using a power of attorney from the owner, hence the person selling you the bike would not be the same as the person on the Padron, however be wary of this and get some help from knowledgeable locals if you are going to take this route.

if the bike has papels al dia and the owner has their Padron there is one more piece of paper you need to check, the Certificado de Anotaciones Vigentes this will confirm that their is no finance owing on the bike and who is the current owner of the bike, it will also tell you how many owners the bike has had. If there is no finance and the owner matches you are ready to proceed.

Now at this stage, if not before, i would highly recommend to contact the Santiago Community through HUBB. There are members who speak English, but obviously you can reach more if you speak a little Spanish. These people understand the system well and you are likely to find someone who can answer any questions and even hold you hand through the purchase, they can tell you what look out for and where to go to get something done. Once you have found a bike, or not, but have a feel for what you are doing, get in touch with these people. Tell them what you have done, what you want to do and any specific questions.

If you have agreed on a price, and the papers are OK you are ready to proceed. i bought my bike from a dealer so am not very familiar with the Notaria, I signed the Contrato de Compra-Venta de Vehiculo and picked up all my papers later that day. However i understand the following is the correct sequence.
- Go to a Notaria (basically a quasi lawyer) with the vendor, the Notaria will charge around 22,000 pesos for their services and you will have to pay this
- Pay the vendor, receive your copy of the Contrato de Compra-Venta de Vehiculo, you will have to pay the Notaria, and the Impuesto, the Impuesto is 1.5% of the amount the bike is sold for, and is a tax. You should also get all the old copies of seguros, permisos, revison tecnicas if the owner has them.
- Go to the Registro Civil with the Vendor and the Contrato de Compra-Venta de Vehiculo, pay the inscription (just another tax, i paid 21,000 pesos) and receive the Solicitud de Transferencia, this is you new but temporary ownership document, the bike is now yours, all you have to do is wait for your Padron...

From what i have read on the HUBB it may be possible to obtain a Power of Attorney at this stage from the previous owner and then to leave Chile immediately using this document. As far as the Registro Civil is concerned the change in ownership is being processed at this stage and it takes a minimum of 5 days for the bike to be officially transferred into your name. When this transfer is complete you can obtain a Padron from the Registro Civil. Your copy of the Padron is posted to you in something like 15 days, however you can get one much sooner, i had to wait 7 working days, but was reliably informed anytime after 5 you should start asking. You simply present yourself at any Registro Civil with the Solicitud de Transferencia and ask if the bike is in your name yet. When the transfer is complete any Registro Civil will print you a copy of your Padron on the spot for around 800 pesos. Therefore if you can afford to wait in Chile for a week or so you will have that small piece of yellow paper with will let you leave Chile (please see post below about problem areas leaving Chile)

good luck,

I arrived in Chile with no idea except i wanted to maybe buy a motorbike, i started reading the HUBB and left one month later with a bike and my Padron. A realistic time-frame from paying for you bike to obtaining a Padron is 1.5 weeks, but this could be less depending on how much you push people to go fast. It is possible to buy the bike faster and more cheaply by going directly with the owner to Registro Civil. However this won´t be normally possible if the you buy from a dealer

Government Departments

Servicio de Impuestos Internos: (SII), Servicio de Impuestos Internos - Chile
office (there are others): DIRECCION REGIONAL SANTIAGO CENTRO (this is the office to go to if your address is in central Santiago, but don´t stress, if this isn´t the correct one for your address they will tell you where to go)
The Servicio de Impuestos Internos will issue you your RUT (Rol unico tributario). This is a tax number and is the first step and the key to buy your bike.

Servicio de Registro Civil: www.registrocivil.cl
offices: Servicio de Registro Civil e Identificación
The Servicio de Registro Civil is the register of who owns the bikes, it does the vehicle transfers, issues the Padron,

Municipalidad :
The Municipalidad is where you present your paperwork in order to pay for the Permiso de Circulacion if you have to renew papers. The quickest are Providencia, Vitacura y Las Condes. I went to the Municipalidad in Vitacura, there is a Registro Civil in the same building and was very fast.

Papers and Certificates

Seguro Obligatorio: (seguro is the word for insurance in Spanish) The seguro is attached to the bike, not to an individual, is valid for a year and must be bought to obtain the Permiso de Circulacion. it costs around 35,000 pesos. It can be bought from many places but at the Municipalidad it is easy and the cheapest. This does not have to be in the name of the current owner (but obviously the bike details must match), it all depends on when it last expired and when the bike was sold last.

Certificado de Revision Tecnica Clase B & Certificado de Emisiones Contaminantes - these two pieces of paper are obtained at the same time from any shop authorised to give Revision Tecnicas. The Revision Tecninca is a roadworthy certificate, things like lights, brakes, suspension, number plates, reflectors, tyres are checked. The Certificado de Emisiones Contaminantes is an emissions test. New bikes do not need a Revision Tecnica until they reach a certain age (not sure how old) These two certificates cost around 8,000 pesos and must be got to obtain the Permiso de Circulacion.

Permiso de Circulacion - this is the final certificate to be obtained in the annual process of renewing paperwork. A bike with the Permiso de Circulacion must have the Certificado de Revision Tecnica Clase B, Certificado de Emisiones Contaminantes and Seguro Obligatorio. To obtain a Permiso de Circulacion you have to present the Certificado de Revision Tecnica Clase B, Certificado de Emisiones Contaminantes, Seguro Obligatorio and your Padron to the Municipalidad. You have to pay to receive the Permiso de Circulacion, the amount is a percentage of the value of your bike the more expensive your bike the more you have to pay. I had to pay 23,000 pesos for a 2001 Honda Falcon, but my friend had to pay 80,000 pesos for a 2008 Yamaha. Once the Permiso de Circulacion has been obtained all the paperwork for the bike is up to date.

Contrato de Compra-Venta de Vehiculo - This is signed by both the vendor and you and you receive a copy when you have paid for the bike,
it says who the buyer and vendor are, confirms that the impuesto is paid, this piece of paper is done by the Notario. If you complete the sale with the vendor by going directly to the Registro Civil, is not necessary to have a signed contract in notaria, you do it verbally in front of an officer and then they give you the solicitud de transferencia

Solicitud de Transferencia - This is issued by the Registro Civil at the time you present the Contrato de Compra-Venta de Vehiculo and pay the inscripcion, this says who the old owner was, who the new owner is and confirms you have paid the inscription, it is your ownership document up until you receive the Padron.

Certificado de Anotaciones Vigentes - This confirms who is the owner of the bike, and lets you check to see if there is finance owing on the bike, it will also give you a list of previous owners of the bike, it can be purchased over the internet from the Registro Civil, or from their offices for around 800 pesos and should be provided by the owner. Always read it before signing and paying.

Padron (also called Certificado de Inscription) - This small piece of yellow paper is from the Registro Civil. It does not confirm or deny that the bike has all the necessary paperwork. The Padron confirms who is the owner of the bike and that alone. The Padron is the piece of paper that will let you leave Chile free from troubles and the piece of paper that you will have to present when you cross borders. All the other papers may be requested by the police in Chile, but the Padron is the only thing you will need to show when you are out of Chile.

Seguro Obligatorio for Argentina, Peru, Bolivia - This is not a requirment in Chile or to leave Chile, but it is a requirement in Argentina, Peru and Bolivia and other countries and it can be purchased easily in Chile from Magallanes Aseguradora Magallanes It can be bought for a number of days, 6 months or longer. I paid 25,000 pesos for 1 month, I recieved an A4 page printed in colour with all my bike details and 2 dates, the date it is valid from and the date it is valid until. It can be bought over the phone or from an office, you will need the details from your Padron or Transferencia to purchase it. It is valid for Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Paraguay, Peru and Uraguay.

Renewing Papers

- Seguro Obligatorio
- Certificado de Revision Tecnica Clase B
- Certificado de Emisiones Contaminantes
- Permiso de Circulacion

When these papers expire it will be your responsibility to to renew them. This is not difficult, the only potential problem is with the Revision Tecnica. It requires side reflectors front and back, both the front and rear number plates. However if your bike fails you have about 3 weeks to correct the problems and represent the bike, the second time you will not have to pay again as long as you represent the bike within the time limit indicated on the papers. If the bike you are going to buy does not have a front number plate (placa patente) and you are going to have to renew the papers, make sure you ask the owner for it. Another one can be obtained from the Registro Civil without too much trouble or too much cost, but it is easier not to have to do this.

If the papers for your bike are going to expire while you are going to be travelling in another country i would not worry too much, they can be renewed when you return to Chile, no one will ask to see the above papers except possibly the police in Chile and if you explain that you are on your way to renew them you should be OK.

A few other things

- For tyres and equipment you can look in Calle Lira,
- For cheap tools go to the corner of 10 de Julio and Vicuña Mackenna and walk down 10 de Julio towards Lira.
- There are limits per day on ATM withdrawals in Chile and fees are charged by the ATMs, you can obtain Cash from Citibank and Banco de Chile using Visa, but with a limit of $500USD per bank per day.
- I wrote this with the help of members of the Santiago Hubb Community and a lawyer who i stayed with in Sanitiago.

Selling the Bike

This is an easy part. Put and add in Chileautos.cl: miles de veh�*culos nuevos y usados and Portal de Motos - Ventas de Motos - Foro - Clubes - Actualidad y Noticias . Buy a local SIM card so you have a local phone number, they are not expensive. Make sure to advertise the bike with Papeles al Dia, also point out to everyone that you are the owner, this is a definite selling point (many people sell bikes on behalf of the owner, more complicated for the buyer). I also had luck with parking my bike during the day on the sidewalk of Calle Lira (Saturday is the best day) with a sign with the price, phone number etc.
When you find a buyer, agree on a price and you are ready. it does not matter to you if the buyer wants to use a Notaria or go directly to the Registro Civil, because the buyer will be paying all the fees. (because you are a gringo they will probably try to negotiate that you pay some of the fees, but just firmly decline).
One thing you will probably have to pay for is the Certificado de Anotaciones Vigentes. but the cost is less than 3000 pesos.
The paperwork you will need is all the bike papers (or at the very least the Permiso de Circulacion) and your plastic card with your RUT, you NEED this now so this is why it is so important to collect it within the 6 months)
You meet the buyer, sign a few papers, collect your cash and you`re done

For the record, I bought a 2001 Honda Falcon for 1,950,000 it did not have papeles al dia and i had to pay 80,000 more to do these. It had 8,000ks when i bought it, but very obviously someone had fiddled with the odometer. I sold it 6 months later with 29,000ks. I advertised it for 1,900,000 and sold it to the first person who saw it for 1,870,000.

Other Hubb threads to read

One of the same guys from the Santiago Community who helped helped Pill Wycks helped me three years later!

another article on buying in Chile

A post on not being able to leave Chile and cross into Peru and Bolivia, please also read my post below.

Last edited by Grant Johnson; 8 Dec 2010 at 16:45. Reason: Broken post - Accented Spanish characters can be a problem!
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Old 2 Oct 2009
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Fantastic!! A printed copy now sits with my passport. Many thanks for all your effort.
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Old 2 Oct 2009
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Great Post.....

lachy, Welcome to the HUBB.... you have presented a carefullly researched and documented post, regarding buying a new or used motorcycle in Chile, in a clear and duplicatable fashion. Thank you.

Several of us in the Buenos Aires HUBB community are currently attempting to convince the Argentine legislature to review the practically unintelligible law restricting foreign tourists from exporting (crossing a border to another country) on their legally purchased and Argentine registered (in their name) motorcycle.

It would be extremely helpful if you could provide (in the original Spanish) the law that permits a foreign tourist to exit Chile with their legally purchased and legally registered (in Chile) motorcycle.

I could find no particular law/regulation for "Foreign Tourists,"

Your Quote: "you will have no problems at the borders, you are then the rightful CHILEAN owner and entitled to leave with the bike."

Strange that buying a motorcycle in Chile makes one Chilean???

It seems to me a Foreign Tourist will still be a Foreign Tourist even if he/she buys and registers a motorcycle in Chile.

Perhaps....If it exists.....We could use this Chilean law as an example for a revision of the current law in Argentina. Considering the past border conflicts between Argentina and Chile, I will have to tread very lightly. Years ago , prior to obtaining my permanent resident status in Argentina, Elisa and I were permitted to ride our Argentine registered motorcycles into Chile.... we were given "temporary export permits" with obligatory return dates..... other foreign tourists who post on the HUBB have been denied permission to cross between Argentina and Chile with their Argentine registered motorcyles.

I have done a little searching and could find no specific law that permits a "foreign tourist" to exit Chile with a motorcycle registered and legally purchased in Chile.

Have you addressed the issue of time restrictions placed on foreign tourists to return their Chilean registered motorcycles to Chile?

This may be because, as has been explained to me by a politician here, due to current trade agreements, only permanent residents of Argentina (with DNI) and Citizens of Argentina have the right to secure "temporary export permits" that enables them to exit Argentina with their Argentine motorcycle or vehicle. The reality is that some border posts actually fill out "temporary export permits" for permanent residents and Argentine citizens and others do not. Border with Uruguay, generally does not, but the borders with Bolivia and Brazil generally do. Although some borders with Brazil are pretty much wide open to anyone.

It was explained to me that this Argentine law was to prevent the sale of Argentine motorcycles or vehicles in another country without paying Argentine export taxes or import taxes to the country of destination.

You might want to review my thread: in forum.....South and Central America and Mexico

Buy new or used in Argentina and legally tour all of South America ( 1 2 3 ... Last Page)

for additional details.

Thanks for the information, I will direct anyone with appropriate questions to this thread.

Eat, Drink and Be Careful xfiltrate

Last edited by xfiltrate; 3 Oct 2009 at 16:52.
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Old 3 Oct 2009
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OK, so i have just come into Chile from Peru (Arica - Tacna) and it seems that i was wrong about being able to leave Chile as a tourist into Peru and Bolivia.....
I did some asking and found a man who runs a hostel, a New Zealander who is also a Chilean Resident, and this is what he told me...
You can not leave Chile into Peru with a vehicle unless you have a Chilean Residency Card. He was sure of this, and had a car in his hostel that tourists had bought, they had a Padron as i have decribed above, but they were not allowed to leave Chile. He told me that this has been happening to all tourists with Chilean vehicles for a little while. The reason he gave is that there is trafficing of stolen vehicles from Northern Chile into Peru and this was an attempt to stop this. He also said a law was brought in about 5 years ago to enable this but it was only being enforced in recent times. Apparently the border police have a copy of this law photocopied to prove to people that this is the case (i have not seen what is says)
There are 2 other border crossings near Arica (but both are into Bolivia) these are Paso Tambo and Visviri. He was confident that the Paso Tambo crossing is also being vigilantly policed but he was telling tourists with vehicles to try the Visviri crossing and that 2 people he sent that way had had not returned a week later, so he assumed they were through.
This is certainly different from what i said in my original post, obviously me and my friends in Santiago were wrong... it is worrying that there seems to be a law preventing exit from Chile, but i do not know what it says. The good news is that border crossings into Argentina, and some into Bolivia allow you to leave on a Chilean bike as a tourist, whether this is deliberate oversight or allowed or laziness i do not know.
Apologies to Zappalives for my original critique of your thread....
i have edited my original thread to remove the staments saying you can travel anyhere and leave Chile wherever you want.
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Old 4 Oct 2009
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A Story about foreign title transfer in Chile... Sam, Joe and Barbara

Lachy, thank you for being so forthcoming regarding misinformation in your original post. I have deep and abiding respect for you.

You have provided an excellent guide for foreign tourists wanting to purchase a motorcycle in Chile.

You have cleared up any possible misunderstandings regarding a foreign tourist being permitted to leave Chile with his/her Chilean registered motorcycle.

Hope we can meet someday, somewhere.

We have approximately the same restrictive situation in Argentina. We are working diligently to have the regulations/laws pertaining to foreign tourists exiting Argentine with their legally purchased and Argentine registered motorcycle reviewed, as explained in my original post this thread.

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?

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.

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."


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?"


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!"



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."

"Why not?"

"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.


Multiple choice test soon.

Eat, Drink and Be Careful xfiltrate
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Old 12 Jan 2010
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Google Maps

This is where I crossed into Bolivia, a small crossing called 'Ollague'. It was a beautiful ride but I wouldn't have wanted them to turn me around and they originally said that I could not get through but then I showed them that I had power of attorney and she said if I return to Chile later than the Power of attorney document allowed they would confiscate my bike.

It's very strict, I don't recommend it. I met a guy in Colombia who had Bolivian plates, I think it's not a bad idea to catch a bus into Bolivia and buy a bike there...
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Old 15 Jan 2010
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All this information is awesome. I just have one question.....do the same rules apply to purchasing a bike / vehicle in Peru? I cannot seem to find any info on this. After reading many threads on the HUBB, I am confident in all laws involving Argentina and Chile, but there seems to be little info on Peru....

Can anyone help?
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Old 22 Jan 2010
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Hey Sorry if im missing things here,

My plan is to buy a motorbike in chile, ride south and cross into argentina. Ride north and into Bolivia and then enter Peru. from peru if money is still in my bank im thinking of Ecuador and Columbia. So with the paperwork explained above ie the RUT and the Padron is this possible? i know that people have struggled getting into peru from chile but what about my route? What are the Central americas like for border crossings on a Chilean motorbike?

Any help would be brilliant. If its not possible i may have to buy a bike in each country, tour it then sell it before crossing the borders (not much fun)!


Me and my suzuki EN125 will be travelling 20'000km through South America - who said life was dull!!!!!
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Old 26 Jan 2010
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Hi Eddie, yes the route you propose is fine. I have done it, other people on the HUBB have done it, i know people who are currently doing it.
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Old 28 Jan 2010
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Hi there, I'm going to be in Chile later this year with hopes of buying a motorcycle and seeing where I end up so all this information has been great. Just wondering if anyone is aware of any issues with getting into Brazil on a Chile registered bike owned by a non Chilean? Look forward to hearing more. Cheers
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Old 2 Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by SA Dreaming View Post
All this information is awesome. I just have one question.....do the same rules apply to purchasing a bike / vehicle in Peru? I cannot seem to find any info on this. After reading many threads on the HUBB, I am confident in all laws involving Argentina and Chile, but there seems to be little info on Peru....

Can anyone help?
For the most part, no. In my understanding, it is (nearly) impossible for a non resident (or at least short-term tourist), to buy a vehicle in Peru and legally leave the country with it.

OTH, to buy a vehicle in Peru and not cross borders seems relatively straight forward.
India Himal, 3mo,2x; Kazak/Krygyz/Tajik, 3 mo; Kashi-Lhasa, China 219! 6 wk; Nepal, 4 days/trekked 55; Santiago-Ushuia-Cusco, 7 mo; Peru, 3 mo; Chile-Medellin 3 mo; Medillin-Arica, 3 mo

Last edited by glasswave; 2 Feb 2010 at 07:41. Reason: typos
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Old 2 Feb 2010
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Buy a used Bike in Chile

You have to be carefully in same Free Zones; Iquique and Punta Arenas are Citys free of taxes and you can´t leave this places in "buy in" used bike

Soo you deserve buy in Santiago, Chile.

Good luck.
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Is buying a bike in South America as reliable as buying a bike in Australia or the states for example? Is insurance by the manufacturer available if you buy it brand new if you are a foreigner etc. Does anybody have this information? Would be greatly appreciated. I'm planning on buying a bike there and travelling and eventually importing it back into Australia to keep as my own.
'10 Suzuki DR650. 2011+ RTW trip. Currently Coen, Cape York Peninsula. www.followtheakubra.blogspot.com
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by brianrossy View Post
Is buying a bike in South America as reliable as buying a bike in Australia or the states for example? Is insurance by the manufacturer available if you buy it brand new if you are a foreigner etc. Does anybody have this information? Would be greatly appreciated. I'm planning on buying a bike there and travelling and eventually importing it back into Australia to keep as my own.
The bikes come with a warranty and I believe in Chile the warranty can be extended. Insurance would be thru a third party company. You will pay loads more for a decent bike in Chile than in Austalia. You will ahve to pay massive import taxes in Australia when you bring the bike home. You will also need to pay a massive export tax to take the bike permanetly out of Chile.

It would be way cheaper to buy the bike in Oz, ship it to Santiago and then ship it back to OZ.
India Himal, 3mo,2x; Kazak/Krygyz/Tajik, 3 mo; Kashi-Lhasa, China 219! 6 wk; Nepal, 4 days/trekked 55; Santiago-Ushuia-Cusco, 7 mo; Peru, 3 mo; Chile-Medellin 3 mo; Medillin-Arica, 3 mo
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by glasswave View Post
The bikes come with a warranty and I believe in Chile the warranty can be extended. Insurance would be thru a third party company. You will pay loads more for a decent bike in Chile than in Austalia. You will ahve to pay massive import taxes in Australia when you bring the bike home. You will also need to pay a massive export tax to take the bike permanetly out of Chile.

It would be way cheaper to buy the bike in Oz, ship it to Santiago and then ship it back to OZ.

Very helpful opinion mate. Cheers! I thought of that before and checked it out for shipping to SA from Aus and most cost about 1500-2500 AU. I guess that if import costs for a bike and the price difference over there (plus peace of mind) would make up for the loss. Plus I could learn the bike and modify it here in Aus before i go as well. That would also bypass the problem of bying and needing a padron in Chile to take a Chilean bought bike out of Chile right, and all i would need then is rego, insurance and a carnet...
'10 Suzuki DR650. 2011+ RTW trip. Currently Coen, Cape York Peninsula. www.followtheakubra.blogspot.com
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