can a Canadian resident own and insure a bike in the US?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by jon_l, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Can a Canadian resident own and insure a bike in the US?

    Wondering if one could buy and leave a bike at a relative's or friend's, or in a storage unit, with a local license plate & insurance. This would be while having a Canadian drivers license and permanent address. Bikes and insurance are so cheap there, I'm day-dreaming about leaving a cheap dual-sport someplace warm, to ride for a few weeks during the snowy season here.

    Anyone with experience on this?
    #1
  2. Brit711

    Brit711 Been here awhile

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    hmm would be a nice thing to know :wink:
    I am in QC and ride a 1200GSA. I pay about $300 full cover... PLUS the QC registration stuff etc. been thinking the same thing as I work during the summer here and ...well it isn't the most ideal place to ride in winter ! Saying that I used to ride every winter back in UK, and yes there is snow there....OR was ..:rofl
    #2
  3. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    Why not just ride your Canadian plated bike down in the fall & put it into a storage unit. In Ontario my insurance is pro-rated. This means bikes that are added to the policy from November to March incur no cost. I think the cost of the policy is 10% April 10% May 20% June 20% July 20% Aug 10%Sept and Oct. So if you insure one bike for the summer, and add two from Nov to March the cost will be the same. If I take the insurance off the bikes for the winter no savings are realized and actually I would loose my 5% loyalty discount and my 5 % multi bike discount. So it's easy insurance wise and registration wise.
    I can't help you with the remainder of your question, but you could still buy a USA bike, get a Canadian reg/plate and then keep it down south. If you figure you want to save money on the purchase. I would recommend a maintenance free type of bike that isn't finicky or require dealer support or updates for tech bulletins.
    The ultimate is to go on a nice relaxing ride in the fall time, store the bike, then visit it 3 times over the winter( fly&ride) then ride it back home in the spring. This frees up garage space for the skidoo/ snowblower and meets other objectives.
    This reply doesn't totally answer your question but I hope it gives you some ideas ..
    #3
  4. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    It's frequently done here. Many Vermont riders have family across the Quebec border, so they just have a family member keep something in the south of border garage for them. Compared to Canada, bikes are much cheaper here, both to purchase and to ride. I pay about $170 in insurance per year per bike, and registration is about $60. Inspection is $25.

    As long as you can come up with some sort of believable address, VT is very liberal for bike registration. I don't think I'd try to cross back into Canada on a US registered machine as a Canadian citizen (unless one held both passports, which is also fairly common), but VT registered bikes are riding all over the place.

    The Newport VT DMV is fairly easy to deal with, and has reasonable access to most of the southern portion of Quebec.
    #4
  5. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    I just titled and put regi on a bike in AZ. Used Alberta license. No problem.
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  6. Brunssd

    Brunssd Potemkin villager

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    Is it still the law that riding/ driving a US plated vehicle in Canada by a resident of Canada with a Canadian driver's licence can result in forfeiture of the vehicle? I'm fairly sure it used to be that way.
    #6
  7. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

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    This is what comes to my mind... ride down late nov- early dec ish. Take the winter trips and go back in april and ride home.

    You're only about 1500 kms from non frozen areas.
    #7
  8. damurph

    damurph Cold Adventurer

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    Would all those snowbirds in the southern states have to drive their cars down? Lots of Canadians have a home in FLA for the winter so i assume they just require an address for DMV to send the paperwork to..
    #8
  9. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    A 1200 GSA in Ontario costs $100 or more per month x 12 months. ON has the highest insurance rates in the country. Do you mean you pay $300 / year?
    #9
  10. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    They still have a Canadian driver's license, and their car presumably is req'd to get them down to FL or wherever. Perhaps some keep a local car and fly down. Would like to know.

    I'm wondering whether one can buy, register, insure an American car using an Ontario license.
    #10
  11. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Could work if I was retired, but riding a knobby-tired thumper to FL or AZ without using highways would be a very long trip. I wouldn't have any vacation left to ride.
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  12. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Do you own property there? Did you use an AB drivers license to get AZ insurance? Or does AZ not require insurance?
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  13. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    I hear you. I'thinking of a WR250 / KLX250 CRF250L sort of bike. I'd want to just sabilize the fuel, connect the Battery Tender, and walk away.

    This is it! I would love to trailer our bikes down in the Fall, return in the car, fly down to ride in winter, and then trailer them home in Spring. Life is too short for 4-day transits on thumpers on boring roads trying to make time, while I can do back-to-back 12 hour car drives with the trailer without problem.
    #13
  14. B.C.Biker

    B.C.Biker mighty fine

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    Bought a fairly cheapo street bike up here last summer. But for me what bike I ride is not to big a deal. Went through it, fork seals ect. Rode to Las Vegas in September. Took a week or so winding my way down. Left it in the garage of a friend of a friend. Flew to Vancouver for about $300 and wife picked me up. We both flew down after Christmas cost $600 aprox. Rode through Arizona, New Mexico and into Texas. Storage unit by the airport ended up $112 for three months. Was only about $475 for both of us to fly back from Austin.
    Traveling one way only on the bike gives way more time for exploring and weather. Also if flexable time wise you get to pick the best cities to fly home from for your time frame. In May a one way ticket from Bellingham WA to Austin is only $128 one way. With a little effort you could blow that on a barstool in a night or two.
    Not for everyone of course but gives a bit of an idea of prices. Depends also on what they charge you to cancel your insurance in Ontario.
    #14
  15. RVDan

    RVDan Long timer

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    If that were the case U-haul wouldn't have any trucks left. Every time I rent a moving truck it has Arizona plates on it.
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  16. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Good food for thought BCB. Thanks.

    I like the idea of leaving the bikes in storage where ever they end up. Like Doc Rock and LDF do for the epic Mobius ride. Except nothing so epic :wink:

    In 2011, Wifey & I flew to BC, rented two 250cc duals sports for a 4 day tour. Bikes rental was $1,300 with tax & insurance. Based on that, leaving a couple cheap thumpers down South sounds like a bargain. Thinking $4k to $5k to purchase and do initial service on 2 used bikes. US insurance is probably 1/10 what we would pay here.

    I don't want to be locked into a specific place. Did the cottage thing for a few years, and it was wonderful, but now that's done. I like the idea of going where ever the mood takes us. Coastal GA, panhandle of FL, Southwest USA. I'm (hopefully) 5-6 years from retirement, so looking forward to escaping Ontario in mid-winter for a month or so, to someplace warmer and different. Just accommodation cheap rentals, no home / condo ownership in the plans.

    I am enjoying this day-riding blog from RedRockRider: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=725976
    #16
  17. Brit711

    Brit711 Been here awhile

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    YES that's for the year... however in QC the registration every year is $650+ AND we have to renew the drivers licence every year ! :puke1 My old UK licence, expires when I am 70... a one-off payment... which I made back in about '84 ! (although they have since changed over to "card-type") but still free to renew I believe. Oh yes ... the cost in '84 was under $100 :clap
    #17
  18. Brunssd

    Brunssd Potemkin villager

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    . . . it ain't simple.

    From the CBSA - http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/dm-md/d2/d2-4-1-eng.pdf

    GUIDELINES AND GENERAL INFORMATION
    Residents of Canada
    1. Residents of Canada may operate conveyances on which duty and taxes have not been paid in Canada only in accordance with the terms and conditions of tariff item No. 9802.00.00 and the regulations made pursuant thereto.
    Note: Under certain conditions of tariff Item 9993.00.00, residents of Canada may temporarily import a United States (U.S.)-based rental vehicle for non-commercial purposes. Please see Paragraph 10 for complete details.


    Applicable tariff - http://www.canlii.org/en/ca/laws/regu/sor-82-840/latest/sor-82-840.html



    TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF IMPORTATION OF CONVEYANCES

    3. A conveyance may be imported if,

    (a) the conveyance, while in Canada is to be used solely for the transportation of a resident and accompanying persons from the point of arrival in Canada directly to a specified destination in Canada and from the specified destination to a destination outside Canada;

    (b) in the case of a commuter, the conveyance while in Canada is to be used for the personal transportation of the commuter and accompanying persons from the point of arrival in Canada to specified destinations in Canada and from a specified destination in Canada to a destination in the United States;

    (c) in the case of a resident other than a commuter, the conveyance is to be imported only for the purpose of transporting his household or personal effects into or out of Canada, or for personal transportation as a result of an emergency or unforeseen contingency;

    (d) in the case of a commuter, the conveyance is to be imported for the purpose of personal transportation of the commuter and accompanying persons between his place of residence in Canada and a point in the United States or for the purpose of visiting clients in Canada on behalf of his employer;

    (e) the conveyance is not to be used in Canada for the purpose of

    (i) touring or other leisure activity,

    (ii) carrying passengers or goods for hire or reward,

    (iii) transporting goods for sale, or

    (iv) soliciting sales or subscriptions on behalf of an employer who operates a business in Canada;

    (f) at the time of importation, the person importing the conveyance specifies to the customs officer the date on which the person intends to export the conveyance from Canada; and

    (g) the conveyance is exported from Canada within the time limit specified in section 5.
    #18
  19. ZZR_Ron

    ZZR_Ron Looking up

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    You might want to talk to people in Sask, Manitoba, and BC if you think you are paying high insurance now! :norton
    #19
  20. manybike

    manybike Omnipresent

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    I bought a bike in AZ several years ago. I got Arizona plates and phoned my insurance agent in Canada who insured it for me and emailed me the insurance card.
    Keep in mind I live in Alberta where we deal with private not government insurance companies.

    Ended up importing the bike to Canada.
    #20