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Old 10-03-2007, 09:11 AM   #2
Studly Adventurer
blitzkreig's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Calgary, Canada
Oddometer: 719
Good explanation. Just a couple of additional notes ...

1) The bike needs to have the Manufacturer declare that all safety recalls have been done on your particular bike. So you need to get in touch with BMW for example ... give them your VIN and they need to fax you back a letter on their letterhead stating the bike is clear of recalls. You need this to cross into Canada.

2) I contacted the actual border crossing folks on BOTH sides of the border and just asked them as they must see all kinds of mistakes ... what do I need to do to make this as painless as possible? They were very helpful.

The US folks said that they would accept a fax copy of the Title signed over to me ... and when I asked just how in the world I would convince the seller to do that when I hadn't paid for the whole thing yet ... and they wanted CASH money ... ?

The helpful border persn said ... well just get a photocopy of the Title ... have the party selling the bike SIGN OFF ON THE PHOTOCOPY and keep the original in their hands until I picked up the bike and paid the $$$.

They told me that a photocopy was all I needed !!! So I noted the persons name on the paperwork just in case I found this was a piece of bad advice.

That little hint was a HUGE help. The photocopy was accepted.

They also said although the websites hinted that the seller should fax the Title over ... that in real practical application they far rather the purchaser get hold of it and then fax it ALL AT THE SAME TIME. They said any other way and paper gets lost and there is where the hold up often occurs.

The US folks want AT LEAST 72 hours and early is even better. The websites suggest the paperwork be sent to some central place that does it all ... but the actual Border folks said to fax it the actual crossing location AS WELL.

More is better.

Note that I phoned the actual border crossing to ask advice. I phoned to ask if they got the fax. And I phoned a couple days later and asked if there was anything at all that I lacked.

3) If you are going to take any newer riding stuff with you ... say for test driving the bike when you are picking it up ... make sure you have sales receipts for them ... as the silly Canadian border guards wanted me to pay GST on my 3 year old helmet and a brand new wheel chock I had installed in Canada before I left on my pick up trip because they thought I must have bought them in the States. Like they were all anxious about $36.00 GST.

I thought it was cute that on the US side the border was so organized and each and every staff person was in full uniform complete with Glock and sundry holster tools of the trade.

The Canadian border staff had exactly the very same holster ... but in place of the Glock they had a big rubber stamp which they drew upon frequently to date stamp the paperwork

I went through a tiny border crossing which had limited hours ... so a very busy crossing might be a very different experience.

4) The last point is when you get it home it isn't likely you can register and insure until AFTER the inspectionS are done.

Yes plural.

The Canadian Tire inspection is a bit of a joke as all the Canadian Tire guy knew about motorcycles was to check to see if the VIN was the same as the paperwork said. Well that and verify that the bike was currently on fire ...

But then when I went to register I was told that I needed a PROVINCAL inspection done by an approved dealer. That took a few days to get the appointment and cost another couple hundred dollars.

All in all the process went rather smoothly and I would most certainly do it again.
My theory is ... in the future everything will double as an iPod Dock.

blitzkreig screwed with this post 10-03-2007 at 09:21 AM
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