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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  • 1 Post By mark manley
  • 1 Post By Alanymarce
  • 1 Post By markharf
  • 3 Post By Grant Johnson
  • 1 Post By Buzzlightyear
  • 1 Post By Jay_Benson

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  #1  
Old 16 Jan 2024
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Question for RTW riders crossing Continents and Borders

I’m seeking info regarding Carnets and border crossings in Canada and the US for a bike that is going to be shipped from the UK to Toronto. I’m reading very conflicting posts on Carnets. A post on this site says NO Carnet is necessary in the Americas at all (North, Central or South) - period. Yet I read other sites that say a Carnet is required. Here’s my short story:

I live in Southern California and have owned a bike in Scotland for 10+ years (2007 F650GS). I’ve only ridden it 13,000 miles (all within the EU), and it was purchased in the UK and has always been registered in my name with a UK (friends) address. (But I only have a US license with a California address.) I will be riding to Morocco in 2025. Then I’ll ride north to Paris where I intend to airfreight the bike to Toronto, Canada via BIKE’Air. Then I’ll ride it down the East Coast of the US and leave it there for a year. (I realize those 12 months will be problematic. ;-) Then return in 2026 and ride it across the US to California. My questions are simple:

Does anyone know what documents I’ll need at the Toronto airport and US border (aside from the usual UK registration and UK insurance docs)? If I don’t have a Carnet (clearly stated as not required on this site), will I have any problems in Toronto when I claim the bike, intending to ride it to the US border? Will the US border officials expect a Carnet or will they simply “wave me on” when I claim to be riding across the US to California? Finally, my UK insurance won’t be valid in Canada or the US. Does anyone know if it’s possible to secure Canadian insurance just for a few days to get to the border, and can I get similar temporary insurance for the US portion of the trip?

These types of situations must be very common to RTW riders who transit countries and continents continuously, sometimes over several years. But I can’t seem to get a definitive answer on whether or not I will need a Carnet for North America. (I’ve previously only had EU borders to deal with, but that will change with Morocco.)

If anyone has practical knowledge or has done this, I would appreciate any input on the required docs (or any other pitfalls I might encounter!). Many thanks!
Question for RTW riders crossing Continents and Borders-alps-small-01.jpg
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  #2  
Old 16 Jan 2024
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As the bike is registered in the UK I thought a UK government website may provide you with maximum comfort:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apply-for-a-cpd-carnet

That document essentially says that you don’t need a CDP for North America.

As for insurance - I haven’t got a clue. Sorry.
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  #3  
Old 17 Jan 2024
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You will not need a carnet for this trip and you will need to keep the bike legal in the UK you will also need US insurance which will I believe covers you in Canada, trying to get Canadian insurance can be expensive I am told.

I am not sure about what US customs will say about a US citizen on a UK bike but when I crossed the border into the the US from Canada and Mexico they just checked the bike was not stolen, I am a UK citizen on a UK bike, I was not issued with any temporary importation permit or anything else for the bike so keeping it there for a longer period was not a problem.

I had my insurance with Progressive who when I put the vin number in asked "is the Correct?" as it was not on their data base of US registered vehicles and I answered yes and I was issued an insurance certificate, it should be cheaper for you with a US licence.
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  #4  
Old 17 Jan 2024
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Many thanks Mark and Jay! Your answers are most appreciated and lead me to believe that my planned route will be easier than I thought. I will definitely visit the gov.UK website and check insurance with Progressive. I would be delighted if there were no CDP required and insurance should be easy. Thanks again for your valuable input. Happy Trails! -Buzz.
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  #5  
Old 17 Jan 2024
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It has been a loooooooonngg time since a CDP was required anywhere in North, Central or South America. I don't know why there are still so many authoritative claims to the contrary, but I'd edit any organization making those claims permanently out of my decision-making process.

There are occasionally people who claim a CDP makes border crossings easier, whether required or not. I don't know what that's about, since I've never had one.

There have been many threads on The HUBB over the years, including at least one rather long recent one, on the subject of North American insurance for non-nationals. You might search it out. Apparently it's not as simple as signing up and sending money to Progressive, but again as a US citizen I don't know the details. I will say that my own Progressive policy mysteriously doubled in price this year, so it might be worth having a backup plan.

Hope that's helpful.

Mark
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  #6  
Old 17 Jan 2024
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markharf View Post
It has been a loooooooonngg time since a CDP was required anywhere in North, Central or South America. I don't know why there are still so many authoritative claims to the contrary, but I'd edit any organization making those claims permanently out of my decision-making process.
Are you suggesting that I should edit out the British government? If only it were so easy for me…

I wasn’t 100% about Central and South America so I didn’t comment.
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  #7  
Old 17 Jan 2024
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You don't need a carnet in America (i.e. anywhere in America from Alaska to Argentina).

I agree that any site which says you do is conning you.

We always travel on a carnet, even though not it's required. This is our preference but it's not a requirement.
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  #8  
Old 17 Jan 2024
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Originally Posted by Jay_Benson View Post
Are you suggesting that I should edit out the British government? If only it were so easy for me…
Sounds like a plan! And if your government is still stating that a CDP is required for travel in the Americas, they've earned their erasure.
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  #9  
Old 17 Jan 2024
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Thanks Mark - All good information. I'm delighted to hear that a CDP isn't necessary and it will make my trip a whole lot easier. Luckily, residing in the US will make it a snap for me to research and secure insurance. I'm sure there are plenty of companies that will be most happy to relieve me of my money! Buzz
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  #10  
Old 17 Jan 2024
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Just for a little history - the LAST country in the Americas that required a carnet was Ecuador. In 2004, Ricardo Rocco and many others in Ecuador and elsewhere in South America and with our direct support, around the world, collected thousands of signatures on a petition and presented it to the Ecuadorian government to remove the requirement. It successfully passed, and Ecuador no longer requires a carnet.
So, since 2004, NO country in the Americas has required a carnet.
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  #11  
Old 18 Jan 2024
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Is there a reason nobody mentions [Overlanding Association][https://overlandingassociation.org/] as a source of information? I've been using it and wonder whether you recommend it.
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  #12  
Old 18 Jan 2024
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Originally Posted by pakohan View Post
Is there a reason nobody mentions [Overlanding Association][https://overlandingassociation.org/] as a source of information? I've been using it and wonder whether you recommend it.
Thanks for that - I didn’t know of the site.
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  #13  
Old 18 Jan 2024
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On the one hand I think this website fits the discussion. But since I'm using it myself I wanted to ask whether it might be outdated and this doesn't get recommended

Gesendet von meinem Pixel 7 mit Tapatalk
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  #14  
Old 24 Jan 2024
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Hi Mark - Thanks again for your reply; that's exactly what I was hoping to find out. But I do have another question regarding your trip. Did your travels exceed one year? If so, how did you keep your motorbike legal in the UK if you couldn't get it MOT'd while abroad? (RTW riders must have this same problem on extended trips.) I can't continue my registration & insurance without MOT, so eventually I won't be able to keep my bike legal. Did you run into this situation on your trip and if so, how did you deal with it? Many thanks - Cheers! Buzz
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  #15  
Old 1 Week Ago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzlightyear View Post
Hi Mark - Thanks again for your reply; that's exactly what I was hoping to find out. But I do have another question regarding your trip. Did your travels exceed one year? If so, how did you keep your motorbike legal in the UK if you couldn't get it MOT'd while abroad? (RTW riders must have this same problem on extended trips.) I can't continue my registration & insurance without MOT, so eventually I won't be able to keep my bike legal. Did you run into this situation on your trip and if so, how did you deal with it? Many thanks - Cheers! Buzz
Hi Buzz

The registration of a UK registered bike does not lapse once the MOT has expired but you will have to register it as SORN - Statutory Off Road Notification. As you won't be riding on the roads in the UK then you should be OK. I have never heard of anyone asking for an MOT for a UK registered bike, your insurance won't cover you for outside the UK / EU anyway so you don't need an MOT. Your bike won't be legal to ride in the UK - but you will be in the North, Central or South America so no need to worry. When you return to the UK you will need to get the bike MOT'd and insured to ride it on the road but to get round this you can insure the bike as normal (you don't need an MOT to buy insurance, just to tax the bike). To keep everything legal you need to book your bike in for its MOT before you ride it on the road but then you can ride the bike there (and home if it has failed). Once you have the bike insured and it has its MOT you can tax it as normal and away you go.

So to recap:

1 Sort out insurance for America - I understand that that will cover you for Canada
2 Fly the bike to Canada
3 Be given a wonderful reception by the nice Canadians
4 Register the bike as SORN (this can be done on-line) with the DVLA. Do this when you get to Canada, that way it is done and you won't forget and get the standard fine.
5 Enjoy yourself immensely on your travels
6 Make everyone jealous on the HUBB by telling us about your travels
7 Before flying the bike back to the UK arrange insurance for the UK so you have cover when you get back here
8 Arrange an MOT back in the UK for when you land - keep a note of the test station and the time / date that it is arranged for
9 Fly the bike back to the UK
10 Get the bike MOT'd
11 Tax the bike - you already have the insurance and MOT so this can be done online as well
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You will have to do without pocket handkerchiefs, and a great many other things, before we reach our journey's end, Bilbo Baggins. You were born to the rolling hills and little rivers of the Shire, but home is now behind you. The world is ahead.
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