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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
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  #1  
Old 21 Oct 2010
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Talking UK riders, USA bike, Long term trip, no return to US

Hi there. Just so as not to start on the wrong foot with my first post, I have looked for a match to our dilemma on the forum but haven't found one yet...if you know it exists, please don't shout at me but post a link

That said...

My wife an I are planning to travel the US before departing via Central and South America, ultimately shipping to NZ.

Our route from there is unclear but we will definitely be outside of the US for 12 months plus and quite possibly not returning.

The issue is this. We wish to take our US purchased motorcycle.

We are from the UK on visas linked to my employment. These terminate as soon as I leave the job. This in turn renders our US licenses obsolete...thus no insurance etc etc. All that remains is the title.

It seems our best option is to find a US based insurance co. that will insure us with a UK international license (do these exist?!) and to obtain a state inspection extension (I understand this part at least is possible).

Firstly, please could anyone confirm if this is the best option or if you have any other advice or experience in this issue.

Secondly...

There will of course come a time that this inspection is due for renewal - How do I ensure the motorcycle leaves the US legitimately without leaving a nasty paper trail? Does this count as 'export'? To whom should I inquire if so?

All answers or correct areas to direct my questioning much appreciated (so far the DMV are not exactly full of answers )

Many thanks and happy riding.
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  #2  
Old 22 Oct 2010
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let me see if I got this right. You have US bikes in the US now. You are on some employment visa and have both US and UK bike licenses to ride and US insurance?

I see no problems. Your US licenses and insurance may still be good, But the UK licenses will cover your licenses need any way. Your insurance will be good for as long as the policy shows (It will be void in Mexico down) progressive seems to one to go with.

The Title on the bike is yours shows you have paid for the bike and never is void.
The state inspection extension is something vary odd never been in a state that had them on bikes. In most states all you get is a registration form and sticker for the license plate, This is more or less a tax stamp given by the state that the bike is registered in. Yes you can (and must) get a new one every year. In most states there is a office you can get this done in, ask some people at work and you will get sorted. If your bike has a old one you will get stopped and end up trying to explain why your bike has outdated numbers on it. (you can peal off the stickers so no one knows or get new paper work and be legal). Export is when you take your bike from the US and make it part of the UK at the end of the trip.

A international license is your license translated. It is not legal and not asked for much in most places. It looks "real" and that is all that matters nice to show cops so they can read something about you but that is about it.

Do ask any one about exporting, importing, selling, your bike. Bad bad things will happen paper work, taxes, forms and more. It is like asking how Big of a gun can bring in to the UK?

links
International Drivers License translation. Order international driving licence translation online from WorldDriversClub.comhttp://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...a-canada-51491
http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...to-coast-41109
Progressive Auto Insurance - Car Insurance Quotes Plus Boat, RV and Motorcycle Insurance Quotes

Yes the topic comes up from time to time bout 3 times a year. People grab a US bike ride south or RTW Tell them the same as I tell you (more or less) You are for more sorted out then most. Get your paper work updated point the bike south and go, If you are legal in the US you will have little problem, some that have done what you are looking to do are not. One more plus for you? You need no Carnet for the Americas!
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  #3  
Old 22 Oct 2010
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See comments/ suggestions below

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braddan View Post
Hi there. Just so as not to start on the wrong foot with my first post, I have looked for a match to our dilemma on the forum but haven't found one yet...if you know it exists, please don't shout at me but post a link

Yeh, it's confusing; I'll take a crack at it.

That said...

My wife an I are planning to travel the US before departing via Central and South America, ultimately shipping to NZ.

Our route from there is unclear but we will definitely be outside of the US for 12 months plus and quite possibly not returning.

The issue is this. We wish to take our US purchased motorcycle.

We are from the UK on visas linked to my employment. These terminate as soon as I leave the job. This in turn renders our US licenses obsolete

Not necessarily. Every State is somewhat different, but a State (North Carolina?) drivers license is good for a minimum 12 month period, and usually much longer, sometimes several years. Why do you think the end of your UK visa will render the US (State) drivers license obsolete?

...thus no insurance etc etc.

Again, not (necessarily) so. Presumably you currently have at least whatever the minimum motorcycle insurance is for your US (State), from some domestic US motorcycle insurance underwriter/ agent. Most US motorcycle insurance policies premiums can be paid a full 12 months in advance, so long as when you apply/ renew the policy, your US drivers license and State vehicle registration are valid at time the premium is paid.

Even if your UK visa expires, if you time the insurance premium payment close to your departure from NC, that insurance policy should remain in effect for whatever period you've paid for, as long as you are still riding within the US/ Canada. Once you leave the US, eg. to Mexico/ Central America, your US vehicle insurance policy becomes moot/ is no longer valid anyway. You will need to obtain separate vehicle insurance for Mexico crossing the border into Mexico, and--if available--at every other border crossing heading south into Central/ South America

All that remains is the title.

The title is important, but equally important is the State vehicle registration. The title remains valid until you "dispose of"/ sell the bike--whenever.
The State registration is almost always issued and remains valid for a 12 month period going forward. See above timing suggestion.


It seems our best option is to find a US based insurance co. that will insure us with a UK international license (do these exist?!) and to obtain a state inspection extension (I understand this part at least is possible).

I think you're confusing two or three issues in the above.
Yes, you might find a US-based insurance co that will insure a US-registered vehicle on a UK license. Try Motorcycle Express - Ship Your Bike.
These folks may also be able to tell you more about the availability of vehicle insurance heading to Mexico/ Central/ South America.

There is no such thing as a "UK "international" license. Instead--have you retained/ kept valid your regular UK drivers license, even after you obtained a US/ State drivers license ? If you still have a valid UK drivers license, that's all you need to legally operate a vehicle in the US and almost anywhere (apart from the separate vehicle insurance question).
I don't know if you're in a position here in (from) the US to "renew" your UK license if you've allowed the UK license to expire; that's something you may want to check.
The "international" license you reference is called an "International Driving Permit (IDP)." It is issued by a national auto club, like the AA or RAC in the UK, and the AAA in the US, for a maximum period of 12 months. Get one from the nearest US/ AAA office based on your US/ State license, before you leave. A US AAA issued IDP may be helpful for driving with your US drivers license outside the US.
If your UK drivers license is still valid, you may also be able to get a UK (RAC or AA)-issued IDP, although national auto clubs normally require that you present yourself personally at an auto club office, which may not be practical in your situation--but maybe RAC or AA might issue a UK IDP by mail.

State "inspection". OK, get a State inspection "extension" if such a thing is available in NC. But "inspection" is not nearly as important as State vehicle registration. Outside any particular State (and certainly outside the US), no LEO is going to pay much attention to your vehicle "inspection," but the State vehicle registration card/ document (and separate title) will be critical for insurance and border crossing purposes.


Firstly, please could anyone confirm if this is the best option or if you have any other advice or experience in this issue.

Secondly...

There will of course come a time that this inspection is due for renewal - How do I ensure the motorcycle leaves the US legitimately without leaving a nasty paper trail? Does this count as 'export'? To whom should I inquire if so?

Assuming you leave the US on the bike by overland border crossing (to Canada?), and to Mexico, US Customs won't care about your vehicle "inspection;" US Customs may care that you have a current vehicle registration and title. Overland border exits from the US are not an "export" Likewise Canada Customs, Mexico Customs, etc. may ask to see a current US vehicle registration on entry into those countries.

All answers or correct areas to direct my questioning much appreciated (so far the DMV are not exactly full of answers )

There's actually an additional possible complication. It's your personal US Visa status on your UK passport, and how that might impact your ability to legally travel within the US, exit the US [into Canada, then re-enter (?) the US] into Mexico--after your US Work Visa has expired.
I would seriously consider trying to find out--from US State Dept or UK Consulate here in the US--if it's possible for you to obtain a new/ separate US Tourist Visa to cover any of the several months you may be traveling in and exit/ re-entry to US, after the expiration of your US Work Visa on your UK passport. Otherwise, regardless of how good your US vehicle paperwork is, you may not be allowed back into the US [from Canada if that's part of your itinerary] or even a simple exit from the US into Mexico. Even domestic travel solely within the US without a valid personal tourist visa on your UK passport could get you into additional hot water if you happen to get stopped for vehicle check or are involved in accident. It's at least worth checking.

Finally, assuming you have all your personal Visa and US vehicle paperwork in order, and are able to leave the US heading south, don't forget that, assuming you intend to seafreight or airfreight the bike from some S.Amer country to NZ, that NZ itself will have it's own vehicle import procedures and documentation requirements, depending on whether you intend to import the US-registered bike into NZ "temporarily" or "permanently". Those NZ vehicle import procedures are linked/ discussed, available separately here:
Importing cars into New Zealand: Temporary Importation - AA New Zealand
Tourist Vehicles
Guide to importing a vehicle | NZ Transport Agency

Many thanks and happy riding.
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  #4  
Old 22 Oct 2010
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Gentlemen - excellent feedback - thank you so much!

I have some further q's based on your comments but will re-search before pestering!

I'll be back at some point over the weekend

Again - thanks for the swift and solid advice.

B.
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  #5  
Old 22 Oct 2010
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My two penneth

We were in the States riding for 9 months or so, and we're British.

The only insurance company we could find that would insure us on UK licences was Progressive. Hope this helps.

We were stopped by the cops quite a few times, and never really had any problems.
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