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-   -   INFO please: Changing US title in Argentina (http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/travel-bikes-for-sale-wanted/info-please-changing-us-title-60145)

MaxVolt 10 Nov 2011 22:23

INFO please: Changing US title in Argentina
Hi I´m looking at purchasing an Alaskan registered bike in Argentina. I am not a US citizen (New Zealand) so wondering how I go about title transfer??

I thought I could FedEx papers to a friend in California they submit them with their address and FedEx back. but looking on DMV website says the owner must do it in person???

Once the papers are in my name I can tackle the import issue - I imagine going to Uruguay for handover, wait for papers then go back into Argentina with the import papers matching the new title papers.

But what about this needing to do title transfer in person business??
Any other way??

Been trying to sort a bike for 2 months now, which is eating into my ´trip of a livetime´.

Any help greatly appreciated.


California DMV Motorcycle Registration Forms & Requirements at DMV.org: The Unofficial DMV Guide

MountainMan 10 Nov 2011 22:38

Can you transfer title within the state of Alaska (current state of registration) without you or the bike being there in person? If so, just find a friendly biker that will lend you their address. I assume that you are trying to register it in Cali as that is where you have a friend but that may complicating an already difficult task even more so.

If Alaska is out, then try to find a state within which transfer can be done without you or the bike needing to be on hand. I would imagine that this is fairly hard to do as you are in essence importing a bike from one state (Alaska) to another and it would seem to be logical that they would want to see the vehicle. If this isn't possible, then some of the more creative types have photoshopped their own ownership papers and then completed the transaction when they got back to the US.

bigalsmith101 11 Nov 2011 22:59

It is possible.
I have already done this twice. And once, from the road.

I live in Washington State, and before leaving for my current trip, I made sure to discover the easiest way to transfer a motorcycle title.

You can email me (you should have my email) for future questions.

(read this 5 times: WA State Licensing: Transfer ownership when buying from a private party)

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:

#1 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.

: 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.
(bill of sale form here: http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420065.pdf)

#3: Odometer Disclosure Statement — If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, both you and seller must state the mileage and sign, either on the title itself or on an Odometer Disclosure Statement.

There will be a place to list the mileage of the odometer on the title. DO NOT FORGET TO DO THIS.

#4: Fill out a Power of Attorney form. This will allow a trusted individual in the state of Washington, to act as power of attorney on your behalf, and go to a licensing office, and apply for the title in your name.

The power of attorney form can be found here: ( http://www.dol.wa.gov/forms/420050.pdf)

The power of attorney form needs to be notarized. GET IT NOTARIZED. You will see where it should be stamped. Also, it has three section, the last of which takes up half of the page and in bold is listed as Power of Attorney. ONLY fill out this part. Do not fill out the top parts.

The hardest part of this whole operation is simply finding someone in Washington state to do it for you. He/she will need to go to the office, and pay the fees involved. The person will list the mailing address as his own, so that he/she may recieve the title when it arrives in the mail. That person will then be responsible for sending the title to you when he/she recieves it. it takes 4-6 weeks (sometimes faster) to recieve the title in Washington State. Can you wait that long?


I looked to see if there was a Power of Attorney form for California, and I found one.

Call your friend in California, or any friend you have in the US if you have one there, and have them call their local department of motor vehicles, or licensing office, and ask if it is possible to title the motorcycle in your name without you or the bike being there, by using a power of attorney form. It should be not be a problem.

California Title transfer document: http://dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg343.pdf

California Power of Attorney Document: http://dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg260.pdf

Email me your questions, and I will answer them.

--Alex, still in Ecuador.

xfiltrate 12 Nov 2011 00:23

Buy and Sell locally
MaxVolt, while living in Buenos Aires I have investigated the legality of transferring the title of a foreign registered motorcycle from one foreign tourist to another.

In exchange for my many hours of research (which included visiting each Dept of Transportation web site for each of the 50 United States), I got a mild slap on the wrist from those of the HUBB that did not agree with my position that it is illegal (not legal) for a foreign tourist to transfer title of a foreign registered motorcycle in Argentina. I also discovered the same is true for Uruguay.

With all respect to those who hold a different opinion, the bottom line is that if you have a serious accident (personal injury and/or property damage) on a motorcycle for which you gained title illegally , the insurance company lawyers will discover this fact and because the insurance you purchased is only valid for legally registered motorcycles, will be able to escape any liability.

Yes, two years ago, I found that only two States of the United States , will permit title transfers via a third party, but new Homeland Security DOT regulations are quickly closing this possibility.

I suggest you buy an Argentine registered motorcycle in Argentina, tour Argentina, sell it before you leave Argentina and buy and sell a motorcycle in each country you plan on touring. You can upgrade each time you buy and sell, and walk away with more money than your initial investment, when you are ready to leave South America. You can use soft luggage and racks are easy and cheap to have fabricated throughout South America.

I do respect the opinion of others. But as a permanent foreign resident of Argentina I had only 6 months from the date of my permanent residence to legally nationalize one vehicle (took me 3 years of living in Argentina to get my permanent residence) and I have nationalized a foreign registered motorcycle , it cost me 78% of the Blue book value as import tax and another $1,000.00 U S in various fees (I did the whole operation myself) and the process took about 2 months, during which time I could not legally ride my bike..... I paid more money to customs than the bike was worth - no possibility to negotiate "their" Blue Book values. And, even though the bike now has an Argentine registration and plates I must wait one year from date of nationalization to sell the bike.

So, here I have presented the facts as I know them. Do as thou wilt!


markharf 12 Nov 2011 01:57

Read the last few lines of MountainMan's post above and decide whether it's worth it to you. Then proceed.

Of course, you might also do a long, frustrating search on the HUBB, wading through an endless swamp of contradictory guesses, opinions, beliefs, accusations, and (on rare occasions) actual verifiable facts. In the end, unless I miss my guess you'll find yourself back at the last few lines of MountainMan's post.

Assess your own risk profile and carry on.


PS: in conducting your search, you'll learn that there are easier countries than Argentina in which to buy a locally-registered bike. Colombia is one; Chile another; Paraguay a third; and I know a guy in Suriname who's got a barn full of Kawasaki sportbikes for sale. However you definitely need to do your homework in any of these places.

motoreiter 12 Nov 2011 04:32

As you've probably figured out by now, this is a complicated process. I don't have experience with Alaska, California, Washington, etc. but I know that some states require a physical inspection of the bike to register the bike. At least in Washington DC I was able to avoid this by getting "title only" (ie, title, but no registration), which I was able to do via the mail, but only because I have a DC mailing address (although I live overseas).

Then there is the question of how you will get the bike OUT of Argentina once you change the title; presumably it was brought into the country with the Alaskan title, so questions might arise if you try to bring it out with a different document.

Have you considered simply paying the bike, getting all of the docs necessary to transfer title from the seller, along with a power of attorney to ride the bike, etc., and then just ride the bike in South America with a power of attorney? You can change title later once you ship the bike out of SA. (Not sure if riding with a power of attorney is possible there, but it may be worth checking out?)

markharf 12 Nov 2011 05:49

Not possible on power of attorney (AFAIK).

Transfer of ownership takes place in no-man's-land between borders to avoid problems with temporary import documents.

All this has been written about plenty, and can be found with a search. Best not to clog up the works even further posting idle speculation.

Good luck.


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