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

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

  1. trixterNorCal

    trixterNorCal Adventurer

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    I have thought about this a bit and I can see a potential problem. If you primarily plate a bike in state A and primary residence and primary place you ride the bike is state B (and/or C) then I can see them freaking a bit. In addition your insurance company may dislike that because the actuary tables are based on you being where it was insured not the place you are mostly riding it, thus they want more money to cover the risks.
    #41
  2. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    I emailed the Utah DMV (division of motor vehicles) yesterday.

    My message:

    Greetings.

    I live and work in Ontario, Canada.

    If I were to rent accommodations, spend 2 or 3 months / year in Utah, returning to Canada for the balance of the year, would I be able to purchase a vehicle in UT, paying taxes if req'd, acquire a UT vehicle license plate, and insure it as a UT vehicle, while using my Ontario driver's license? I would not be able to give up my Ontario driver's license. I'd like to be able to fly in and out, and have a car and a motorcycle there when I arrive.

    I cannot afford to own a 2nd home, so the car & motorcycle would be in storage or possibly at a friend's house. Since my rentals would likely vary from year to year, I could get a PO box for mail relating to vehicle ownership and insurance.

    Thank you in advance for your assistance.
    ______________________________

    Reply:

    You can register a vehicle in Utah with a valid Utah address and a valid driver's license. For registration purposes the DMV doesn't care where the driver's license is from as long as it is valid. However, the DMV is a separate agency from the Driver's License Division, and you will need to check with them to see what their requirements are about obtaining a Utah Driver's License. Once you register a vehicle in Utah they may require you to obtain a Utah Driver's License. Their phone number is 1-888-353-4224 or 801-965-4437. Or you can check their website www.publicsafety.utah.gov/dld to see if they have an email contact.
    If you have any further questions please feel free to contact our Customer Service Department for further assistance from any of our phone representatives Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 801-297-7780 or 1-800-368-8824.
    Thank you,

    Division of Motor Vehicles
    Utah State Tax Commission
    ___________________________________________

    This morning, I emailed the Driver's License Division. Will post up the response.
    #42
  3. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    From the Driver's License Division:

    Thank you for contacting us regarding your license requirements.

    You are not required to obtain a Utah driver license when your stay is under 6 months.
    Utah law ( 53-2-102, 41-1a-202) defines a resident as: established a domicile in this state or regardless of domicile, remains in the state for an aggregate period of six months.

    If you would like, you can apply for a Utah driver license. It's not required that you surrender the out of country license, but you will be required to pass a knowledge and skills test.

    Our website provides a list of required documents you would need to provide.


    Looks like in Utah, owning a locally licensed bike isn't an issue, unless the insurance company is a roadblock.

    This is promising!
    #43
  4. HighwayChile

    HighwayChile greetings from Wa state

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    one thing I left out of my scenario (oregon/washington) is if I did that, it could be an issue if I was pulled over in washington ( wash resident, w/ oregon plate) as WA would look at it as avoiding tax, I might be able to prove bike is left in oregon blah blah but it might be a hassle. this is more a problem for the state on big ticket motorhomes, boats etc

    your on the right track, just a thought, some US states are easy on licensing, Washington state just re wrote plating bikes, so if you want to plate a CR500, a CZ 360 twin pipe, your in luck.
    #44
  5. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Keep in mind that in many states, in addition to the license plate renewal sticker, there's also an annual tax bill on the value of the bike, similar to paynig our property taxes here. (I'm surprised this tax grab idea hasn't captured the imagination of provincial tax and spend governments.) If the bike isn't worth much, the tax bill will be low and decreases every year as the vehicle devalues over time. So you need to factor that cost as well, not just the license sticker.

    Another gotcha to watch out for in the example below:

    You find the bike that you want in Oregon and you want to register it in Colorado. You have 30 days to transfer the title over to the state where you want to register it, or you will have to pay a monthly penalty for using their roads and bridges without a valid state license. I know that in Colorado, this penalty is $25 a month until you register it there. If you're buying privately, keep the date off the receipt, or have a post dated receipt for when you think you will be registering the bike.
    #45
  6. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

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    Thanks GB. For the sort of bikes I have in mind, I'm confident taxes would be very low. I'm thinking a couple used bikes like WR250R, KLX250S, Super Sherpa, XT225, CR250L, etc.

    Between the cost of bikes and insurance in ON, any relatively small costs like property tax would be tolerable.
    #46
  7. Rinty

    Rinty Been here awhile

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    Jon:

    It seems that Vermont is the go to state for out of state resident registrations. Also, there are titling service companies that will do the registration for a fee. Here is a recent thread:

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=655441

    And Vermont's fees are very reasonable.
    #47
  8. xcaret

    xcaret n00b

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    Location:
    Calgary Alberta,.. at the foot or the Rockies
    Arizona doesnt require safty inspections , and as my friend who was a manager there for less than a month (cause they wanted him to OK junk being put back on the road). told memost of those vehicles wont ever pass a saftey check.
    I once rented a uhaul trailer with a master cylinder on the tongue,the brakes didnt work and I almost ran into the lake coming down the long hill to the ferry at needles B.C. Instead I turned and drove up on the lawn there , my pickup brakes had faded out on the long hill with the weight of the trailer pushing me
    #48