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  #1  
Old 20 Jun 2012
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HELP! getting US bike back into the US after Latin America trip

HU you have been an awesome resource for us on our motorcycle travel through South and Central America. We now are in such a perplexing situation, we feel posting here is the best way to some answers:

We bought our DR650 2009 from a US guy ending his motorcycle tour in Colombia, SA. We received the title, signed by him, and a notarized statement saying the bike now belongs to Alexander (my Australian boyfriend). We have had no trouble touring through South and Central America, and Mexico, but now we are heading to the US to get the bike title officially changed into Alexander's name, plus a valid registration and inspection (the current registration not being in his name, and both being a year out of date).

But getting into the US looks like an impossible circular process for us: we wouldn't be allowed in without insurance, but we can't buy insurance unless the vehicle has up-to-date inspection and registration in Alexander's name, which we would have to be in the US to do, and besides, we'd have to get all the way to Georgia, where the bike is from, to begin the title change-over---is this correct? And then, Alexander will have to go to Oregon or Washington state to register the bike there, as apparently foreigners can own a vehicle there (and he has friends with permanent addresses there)---is this still accurate?

It has been an awesome 9 month trip, but now we are faced with the possibility of the DR not being allowed back into the US and basically being illegal everywhere forever....please if anyone has any suggestions or has heard of this ever being done before, we are so appreciative of any help!

Also, if this changes anything: Alexander has a work visa for Canada, and presumably could get it registered in Vancouver once he's there? I just don't know how it would go crossing out of the US...

I guess worse case scenario we could get the bike trucked to GA, where the paperwork will be done; does anyone have any suggestions for cheap transport?

THANKS!
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  #2  
Old 20 Jun 2012
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Glad to hear that the HUBB was a great resource to you. If you can find the time, please post some of your experiences or answer some questions so as to pay it forward. Your experience is current which can be extremely useful to other riders and no doubt would of the same benefit to them as other answers have been to you.

There's a lot to consider and easy to get confused but first off, you can get into the US without insurance. You will be crossing the border which is customs and immigration, they usually don't care if you have insurance or not. Whether you want to ride in the US without insurance is another issue, certainly not recommended but you can get in if for example you wanted to truck the bike somewhere.

As for insurance requirements and rules regarding title changeover and registration requirements, it is a state by state issue so search the Georgia DMV site and you'll get a better idea of what you need to do and whether you and the bike would have to be there to do so.

There is no need to ride all the way to Washington state to register the bike there. Many states allow for foreigner registration (maybe even Georgia), do a bit of searching here or on the DMV sites and you'll have plenty of options.

The last point is that what's the final destination of the bike, Canada? If so, then you would only want to import the bike and register the bike in Canada and not do so in Georgia and Washington as well. The main reason is that it is a pain to do so and most states have purchase tax so you'll have to pay in each state you register the bike.

This of course doesn't help with your immediate problem which is to get the bike through the US legally to the Canadian border. You could truck it (uship), you could try to insure it in your name (progressive) and ride it and if that doesn't work you try to contact the former seller and see if the official state ownership records haven't been changed and if so would he be willing to update the rego and insure the bike on your behalf for a short period of time.
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Old 20 Jun 2012
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Take a look here and see if they can help, it is who I have my UK registered bike insured with for the US and Canada, I am a Brit so they do insure foreigners

Temporary US Motorcycle Insurance Programme
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  #4  
Old 20 Jun 2012
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Your situation does not sound that difficult.

As someone previously said, you can bring the bike back in the US without insurance. Same for the registration, customs should not matter if it's expired.

Once it's there, there are tons of different ways to go about it. As long as you have the title signed by him, you will be okay.
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