How can I buy and register a Motorcycle in USA?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by nsk11, Feb 6, 2008.

  1. nsk11

    nsk11 Adventurer

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    I am an Indian but live and work in Dubai. This summer I would like to ride out in USA ( Including Alaska), Canada and Mexico. Instead of spending money on shipping my Motorcycle from Dubai, I would like to buy a GS1200 Adv in USA and export to Dubai after my ride. Any ways I am buying a new bike this year and it is US$ 2000 over than USA prices.

    Please explain me the procedures for a non resident buying a motorcycle in USA and register in my name.

    Thanks :clap

    Nelson
    #1
  2. motoreiter

    motoreiter Long timer

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    Can't provide a specific response, but I've seen quite a few threads on this topic both on this forum and at horizons unlimited.

    If I recall correctly, to register a bike in most states in the US you need a permanent address in that state, or be able to use a friend's address for the purpose. Some people have apparently also used addresses from mailing services for this purpose, not sure how that works. Or you could try to not register it at all--in most states when you buy a new bike you get temporary tags/registration good for some limited period (30-90 days). Not sure how that would work if you tried to cross into Mexico or Canada, however.

    Good luck, and have a great trip!
    #2
  3. GhostriderADV

    GhostriderADV Adventurer

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    Have you thought about renting a bike? Or maybe just paying somebody to use theirs? Might be hard to find someone who will let you take their 1200 GSA for a transnational trip, but who knows. Good luck.
    #3
  4. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    It varies state by state. As already mentioned this question has been asked alot here before. Second the recommendation to check out Horizons Unlimited.
    #4
  5. crazybrit

    crazybrit Long timer

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    That sounds dicey to me. Most states, liability insurance follows the rider not the bike. Many insurers require a US licence.

    I'd love to be generous and lend someone my bike. It's all the ambulance chasers in this country who could come after my ass that bother me.
    #5
  6. GhostriderADV

    GhostriderADV Adventurer

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    Yeah, renting/borrowing a bike for a situation like this is highly unlikely. Hmm.

    Best suggestion: Call the Department of Motor Vehicles of whatever state you want to start from. Probably need to get a US motorcycle license?
    #6
  7. nsk11

    nsk11 Adventurer

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    Thank you for all info.

    Renting a bike for 40 - 50 days is expensive and most of the rental companies charge more if I need border crossing.

    I will check department of motor vehicles.

    Can I check with any BMW dealers for the procedures? Do they know about these things? Can you recoment a dealer?

    Nelson
    #7
  8. motoreiter

    motoreiter Long timer

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    The BMW dealers might be of some limited use, but I wouldn't count on them. We should be able to provide some recommendations, but where are you hoping to buy? East Coast? West Coast?

    When you're checking out answers with various DMVs, you should check this site: http://www.dmv.org/
    It's not an "official" site, but provides helpful summaries of the requirements at each state's DMV. Once you've selected a particular state, you should certainly also check their official DMV website as well.

    And I think most of your questions can be answered with a couple of searches here and on horizons unlimited. I think the main question you'll have is how to get a resident address in the state where you want to register it.
    #8
  9. petefromberkeley

    petefromberkeley -

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    I've seen Aussies without US licences register bikes here. I think they just had International ones. I don't have all the details, but I think that if you buy new, the BMW dealer will take care of it. You will need an address to mail the Reg. to (PM me if you want to use mine in California). It takes a couple of weeks to get it, so will have a temporary one for a while when you are in the US.

    It might be more straighforward to buy a used bike. Go to www.Craigslist.com for an idea of prices. Then you just go to an office and transfer the reg. from the previous owners name to yours (you still need an address and some time).

    www.progressive.com is one place you can go to for manditory insurance.
    #9
  10. RiverRat280

    RiverRat280 Been here awhile

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    Don't know the specifics but like others said you'll need an address. You can use mine or find someone in the state your buying your bike from so you can have the papers sent there.
    I'm guessing you plan on selling it when your done with your trip so you don't have to pay to ship it?
    #10
  11. motomut

    motomut Adventurer

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    You must carry insurance here in the US; no problem buying a bike but you will need a DR in order to get insurance. The problem you will find is that you will not be able to get the DR with a 90 day transit visa.

    Renting is the best option...
    #11