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  #31  
Old 22 Sep 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rightfttc View Post
I'm thinking of buying a bike in CA with a salvage title...
You sure you want to buy a salvage bike sight unseen? Kinda risky IMO.
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  #32  
Old 9 Oct 2009
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Red face Plus trailer

Hi There

I have been scouring all sorts of official sites for this info, should have know to go straight to a forum type thingee. So, just to confirm:
If we buy a new bike in California, then ride across to New York area, ship the bike to UK, we only have to pay one sales tax in California when we register it? I understand about having to pay the difference if we do other permutations, but I don't think we will be able to be bothered with that.

How much is sales tax/registration in general in the US for a new bike? It would be a 2010 Goldwing hopefully.
Can you buy sales tax for various number of months, like 3mths, 6mths or 12?

My other question is that we want to pull a trailer too. So, do we need sales tax, registration etc., for that too?
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  #33  
Old 9 Oct 2009
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You can't buy sales tax for limited times. There's a way of getting the tax back since you don't live here, but I'm not sure how that works. The tax is pretty expensive in California (somewhere around 9% of purchase price). For buying a new bike, I'd say get one in Oregon where there's no sales tax. If you buy a new trailer, there's sales tax for that too.

Registration is bought in 1 year blocks in all of the US (I think). It is in California. It's also gone up in California since we went belly up.

There's other states where it's cheaper (lower sales tax, lower registration). Hopefully someone will answer. I'd say for buying a brand new bike that's easy to find, don't buy it in California.
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  #34  
Old 2 Jan 2010
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I will agree with Mike Stone.

I made the mistake of registering the bike in my name just prior to entering Mexico. The rego papers were fine for that but the Title is needed especially for Honduras and it cost me money for having a bad copy. The original was sent to Panama, it has stillnot arrived, I now have a better double sided copy which has worked everywhere else.

Be aware, when you enter Bolivia, you MUST have an original registration paperwork or they will not let you in.

I bought my bike in California and had to pay $400 sales tax when I transffered the rego, so be aware

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  #35  
Old 2 Jan 2010
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As far as I know all Registration is year long on all things has been on all my bikes, cars, trailers and boat.

Getting your bike in California you will pay the tax and will good to go all over the world. I do think the UK will nick you some more but that is something you can take up with them save the tax slip form the bike you never know.

Well general tax in the US for a new bike from the US government is 0 it is the state that gets you for the tax and registration as far as I know people do not have a USA registration on there cars or bikes it is by the state. (Washington DC is different but we really do not want to get in to that) Gust like your bike in the UK is not a EU bike it is a UK bike.
Think US=EU UK=state like California.

Your trailer will have its tax, registration, plates, paper work and all that as well.
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  #36  
Old 6 Jan 2010
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In the U.S. there are only state and local taxes on a motorcycle when purchased new. The tax varies from state to state, and some have no sales tax at all. In some states the tax varies in different parts of the state. In general, sales tax ranges from about 5% to 9% of purchase price. You pay it once and never again, but some areas also have an annual property tax. There will always be some registration fee. In most states you will also have to show proof of state insurance to register the motorcycle, but not in all states. In general, you will need an address within the state to register it. Here's a link to various state sales taxes.
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  #37  
Old 5 May 2016
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Thanks to all for providing all this information which is extremely useful. Actually, I visit US very often regarding my work and was thinking of purchasing and keeping a bike in Virginia. I am also planning a bike ride in July this year and wanted to ensure that the bike is ready and available when I get there to avoid wasting my vacation.

I understand that I can title and register a bike in my name but that receiving the registration plates take time. Does the DMV provide any temporary plates in the meanwhile that would allow you ride? If not then is it possible for me to ride the bike on the previous owners plates while I apply for my own or do they immediately get cancelled.

Does the insurance go in the person's name? Does this imply that I can apply for insurance without having the bike registered in my name?

Will appreciate your help.
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  #38  
Old 6 May 2016
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Originally Posted by azkhan View Post
Thanks to all for providing all this information which is extremely useful. Actually, I visit US very often regarding my work and was thinking of purchasing and keeping a bike in Virginia. I am also planning a bike ride in July this year and wanted to ensure that the bike is ready and available when I get there to avoid wasting my vacation.

I understand that I can title and register a bike in my name but that receiving the registration plates take time. Does the DMV provide any temporary plates in the meanwhile that would allow you ride? If not then is it possible for me to ride the bike on the previous owners plates while I apply for my own or do they immediately get cancelled.

Does the insurance go in the person's name? Does this imply that I can apply for insurance without having the bike registered in my name?

Will appreciate your help.
Hi Azkhan - this is an old thread brought back to life!

As a UK citizen who owns and keeps a motorcycle in the USA, I hope I can offer some advice based on your questions above...

The most important thing is to have a US address where the bike can be registered and stored - be that your own property or that of a friend for example.

You are allowed to buy, register and insure a vehicle even if you are a non-resident, but you do need a permanent address for the paperwork.

With regard to receiving registration plates from the DMV, they typically take 2 weeks to arrive (for a new vehicle), although if you buy a secondhand vehicle, then the current licence/number plates stay with the bike (certainly in California at least), so you can continue to ride the machine until the annual registration is due for renewal (this is typically shown on a sticker on the licence plate itself), by which time the new Title and registration documents should have been issued to your new address, and you simply renew them by post.

However, if you buy a machine from outside the State you are going to register it in, you will need to re-register it in the state of your permanent address - ie. California won't send you a registration renewal to New York for example - you'd need to go to a DMV office in New York, and re-register the bike there - complete with a new licence plate, and forfeit the old California registration number.

(note. when you buy a secondhand bike, the seller and new owner send off the respective slips of paper to say the previous owner no longer owns the bike, and the new owner gets the Title (and subsequent registration renewal) reissued in their name and address).

Insurance is always based on the chassis/frame VIN number anyway, regardless of where it's registered - so you can insure a vehicle immediately, and usually over the phone in a few minutes.

With a new bike it's easier still - buy the bike, phone the insurance company with the VIN details, and ride away on a temporary plate (issued by the dealer), and wait a couple of weeks for your official licence plate to arrive from the DMV - the dealer takes care of all that paperwork.

Hope that helps...

Jenny x

ps. If you do have a friend in the US (who's address you are going to use for Title, registration and insurance paperwork), the alternative is always for them to actually buy/Title/register and insure a bike, and you can simply use it on their insurance when you visit.
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  #39  
Old 6 May 2016
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I get kind've tired of answering this question again and again. The well-intentioned advice in #38 is wrong. That's because some states will allow a non-local person to register a bike, while others won't. California, for example, is famously easy--so's Arizona, so's Florida. My state, Washington, takes pride in making it easy. New York is difficult, and maybe impossible. Other nearby states are similar.

I don't know about Virginia, but best bet is always to find out for yourself--don't trust me or anyone else to do the legwork on your behalf. Google Virginia DMV, or Virginia register motor vehicle and read the fine print regarding the need for proof of local residency.

There is a long thread here on the HUBB about registration in various states, last updated pretty recently. A search will turn it up within seconds. It's worth reading all the way through.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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  #40  
Old 7 May 2016
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The advice above is not 'wrong' - but as you point out, may not be applicable to every State in the USA.

As Mark suggests, it is best you contact the DMV in the particular State you wish to register the bike and check if they will allow a non-resident to Title and register a vehicle there.

If it is not possible in Virginia, then perhaps the simplest option would be my suggestion at the end, and effectively have a friend actually own the bike in question [even if you've paid for it], and you simply use it on their insurance when you are visiting.

Good luck with your trip.

Jx
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  #41  
Old 9 May 2016
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I have been in the used vehicle business on and off for the last 30 years. Much of the advice given in this thread is correct, but a whole lot of it is not. First, where you buy your bike is irrelevant with regards to taxes and registration. You can buy a bike where the market is cheaper (east coast) get a temporary transit tag and ride it to wherever it is free and easy to register. if you are coming from Europe, the east coast is cheaper to fly to and from Australia and Asia, the west coast is. Bikes in colder climates are ridden only during riding season and will have less miles.Many states do not require insurance to register, you can take your chances to save money.

All countries in the Americas will let you enter with a registration. Most titles don't show plate #s so a Reg is better anyway.

I am in NY and can help anyone who needs to buy a bike here and can get temp plates so you can ride out west to register.

You don't pay tax when you by a bike, only when you register it, unless you are buying from a dealer and registering in the same state as the dealer is located in. I bought my V-strom new in NY but since I was registering in TN, i paid no tax to the dealer.

I have been selling cars on Ebay to people all over the US and Canada since the dawn of the internet, I am happy do answer any questions regarding buying inthe U.S.
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  #42  
Old 1 Jun 2016
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Cool buying in the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by VicMitch View Post
I have been in the used vehicle business on and off for the last 30 years. Much of the advice given in this thread is correct, but a whole lot of it is not. First, where you buy your bike is irrelevant with regards to taxes and registration. You can buy a bike where the market is cheaper (east coast) get a temporary transit tag and ride it to wherever it is free and easy to register. if you are coming from Europe, the east coast is cheaper to fly to and from Australia and Asia, the west coast is. Bikes in colder climates are ridden only during riding season and will have less miles.Many states do not require insurance to register, you can take your chances to save money.

All countries in the Americas will let you enter with a registration. Most titles don't show plate #s so a Reg is better anyway.

I am in NY and can help anyone who needs to buy a bike here and can get temp plates so you can ride out west to register.

You don't pay tax when you by a bike, only when you register it, unless you are buying from a dealer and registering in the same state as the dealer is located in. I bought my V-strom new in NY but since I was registering in TN, i paid no tax to the dealer.

I have been selling cars on Ebay to people all over the US and Canada since the dawn of the internet, I am happy do answer any questions regarding buying inthe U.S.
Hi I would PM you but as I just joined I'm not allowed..
Am travelling to the states in august from the UK for two month riding vacation and want to buy a harley. I am flying into washington dc and have contacted a dealers there but having looked on the DMV website it seems I cannot register the bike there as I am not resident, (still waiting for the dealer to reply).
I could fly up to NY and get a bike from a dealer there but how would I go about buying it.. do you know if they would be able to sell to me?
Any help much appreciated
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