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Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
Photo by James Duncan, Universe Camp, Uyuni Salt Flats

I haven't been everywhere...
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Photo by James Duncan,
"Universe Camp"
Uyuni Salt Flats



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  #1  
Old 26 Sep 2017
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Specialized plate in CA

Hey, I'm doing all my paperwork, photocopies, etc and just realized I have a specialized plate on my bike. The title matches the frame #'S but the license plate is the old original number on the title.
Do they match the title and license plate? ( central/South America) to the title? My registration of course shows the correct license plate. Title does not.
Anybody have experience?
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  #2  
Old 26 Sep 2017
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I have been asked to point out my "numero de placa", license plate number, on the title at more than one border crossing in Central America. It matched, so not sure what would have happened if it didn't. If you have time, I would get an updated title. On the other hand it usually does't come up, depends if you feel lucky.
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Old 26 Sep 2017
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Thanks Andy,
Yep....California DMV doesn't send an updated title with a personalized plate and I just noticed this discrepancy. I'm at the DMV as we speak. The quoted time is 4-6 weeks to get a new title. The problem is that I need to surrender the title I have and put my faith in th CA DMV, then wait for them to perform.
Not a good spot to be in, but beats getting turned around and having a trip ended or other bureaucratic problems.
Learn from my experience!!
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  #4  
Old 27 Sep 2017
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Agree with Andy, I think having title updated is wise. Don't give local "officials" any excuse to screw with you at the border.
This is just the sort of thing they use to extort BRIBES.

You may be able to PAY MORE to CA DMV and get your title expedited to speed up handling?? Ask!

If you have a reliable stop over along your route and a reliable person to post your new title to you ... you could start off with the Temp title DMV will give you, then pick up new title at FedEx or DHL somewhere en route. Big towns usually best.

You may be able to send your "document" directly to a FedEx or DHL office for pick up. Send your Title as Priority Overnight shipment.

Just check ahead at local office where you are to make sure they do this and that they will HOLD your package for you.

If you pay enough, this usually works out OK.
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  #5  
Old 27 Sep 2017
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Just don't use the title - not compulsory to have it in the USA anyway and not all countries have a title system and they manage OK. We crossed all borders in North and South America using just the registration document for our Montana reg camper
BTW some titles show the expiry date of the initial registration and I've heard of two people getting pulled up on it and then having to produce the registration papers to prove that the registration is current.
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  #6  
Old 27 Sep 2017
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That's a good point and I'm sure in many countries the registration document would pass as your title no problem.

One country it may not work in is Mexico ... at least not all the time. In Mexico many border officials know the difference between a CA title and CA registration document.

One one trip years ago they actually REJECTED my registration and wanted original title (and would not accept my perfect color copy!) And they knew what they were looking at, knew about water marks and such and knew that the Pink Slip (Title) was two sided.

Luckily I had my title along but was keeping it packed safely away. Had to dig it out to get TVIP for my bike.

So, since then I bring my title, but in the meantime have heard of travelers getting their Mexican TVIP with just registration document and others using a Temp title document ... which seems very unofficial but it's a LEGAL document valid in CA and all 50 states.
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Old 27 Sep 2017
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I was at one border crossing, I believe it was from Guatemala into Honduras, where they had a 3 ring binder with what looked to be a sample title from every US state in a plastic slip case. When I presented my title they pulled out my states sample title (Wisconsin at the time) and held it up looking for watermarks and scrutinizing it very closely. Again, it was legit so I don't know what would have happened if it was not.

I'm not sure why so many people go on trips with half assed documentation. I say just get it right when you are at home and save the stress of wondering if you are going to get across the next border. Obviously it is different if you buy a bike in some foreign country where it might not be easy or even possible to get it legit.
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Old 28 Sep 2017
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Yes Mollydog, yet more proof that the only thing constant about crossings is inconstancy. I got my 10 year TVIP to Mexico using just my registration documents (because at that time I didn't have a title and didn't even know they existed) plus I used a DIY permission note, that the official did ask for, because it was registered to a montana LLC.

As Andy recommends, take all the documentation you have, but get perfect photocopies made and submit them first because they will rarely reject them and if they do you can just go and dig them out from your secret spot. Same with licenses and passports at roadside stops - hand over copies telling them they are copies and mostly that will be good enough.

What I did too was have a sheet of paper with all my details and all vehicle info written out but with Spanish headings for each item so they didn't have to hunt through unfamiliar documents in English - and that was was very gratefully received
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  #9  
Old 28 Sep 2017
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There was no way to expedite the title, and I had to surrender the old title yesterday at the DMV. Which means I have NO TITLE, and I wait for the new title and then verify it as being accurate before I depart. I reasoned that I'd rather take the delay here before I depart.
Californication.....
Now I wait.
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