Transferring bike ownership in Colombia

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by brecchi, May 1, 2013.

  1. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    OK, so I did a search but didn't come up with much. I'm a US citizen who will be in Colombia on May 14th. I am looking to buy a bike from a European couple who bought a bike in Bolivia, with a Bolivian plate. They have a TVIP which expires on July 14th. I was hoping one of you guys could walk me through the process of legally buying the bike, as well as costs. Neither party has too much experience with this kind of thing, and we are trying to figure out as much as possible before we meet up in Cartagena in a couple of weeks to make the transcation.

    Thanks in advance for any help :D
    #1
  2. The Motorcycle Thing

    The Motorcycle Thing TMT

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    I actually bought a bike in Colombia from an American guy and in order to do a trip down to Argentina. Unfortunately I didn't take any detailed notes at the time, and most of the work was actually done by my then girlfriend, who is from Colombia.

    We were in Cartagena also, and the bike we were buying had been ridden down from the US (registered there). I remember going to an office along the seafront (main road out of town toward some nice beachfront apartments/hotels), and there was an office there with guys outside helping you with the paperwork.

    We went with the guy we were buying the bike from, showed our passports, filled out some paperwork etc, and transferred the bike into my girlfriends name. From what I can remember I don't think it took more than a day. From then on we didn't have any problems with Police, and only one border crossing issue into Argentina (but that was because my girlfriend was a resident there, as opposed to problems with the paperwork).

    I'm sorry I can't give you more information, but on the positive side, we did it very easily, and it didn't cost much from what I can remember. It might have been slightly easier as my girlfriend was Colombian, but I'm sure foreigners can do it as well, even if it costs slightly more ;)

    Good luck!
    #2
  3. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Cool, thanks. I have heard that things are easy if the bike is registered in the US. My main concern is that things will be difficult because of the bike being registered in Bolivia, with me being from the US and the sellers being from Europe. What are your thoughts on this?
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  4. The Motorcycle Thing

    The Motorcycle Thing TMT

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    Sorry for the late reply. I would have thought it would be the same (if not easier) for a bike registered in South America.

    Let us know how it goes though. Im sure it will be a useful thread for others wishing to buy bikes.

    Good luck!
    #4
  5. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Yeah, this could work out to be the case. I know that as a US citizen, buying a US registered bike would be pretty simple, which is my only reference point. I'll be sure to post any new info. :D
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  6. creaghcreagh

    creaghcreagh n00b

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    Hi, I am at the end of my trip now but bought a Californian registered and plated bike in Cali, Colombia. If the bike is imported and foreign registered then the best way is the seller goes to the notary, (theres lots of them everywhere) They arent a government department or anything, they are just an official person/office that can issue legally binding documents such as transfer of ownership. I dont know if it costs anything. They issue the seller a notary letter which basically says i blah..blah..blah... sell the bike blah...blah...blah... to (and the buyers side will be blank with the bikes vin numbers and details etc. The buyer (You) fills out his side and thats the proof (In colombia anyway) that you are now the owner. When you go to get your SOAT (compulsory insurance) they will need that notary letter, your passport, and the title or proof of old ownership (whoever the seller is on the other side of the notary letter). Its this notary letter that you will need to prove ownership everywhere you go except the home country from where the bike came from. (DO NOT THROW THIS LETTER AWAY, MAKE COPIES OF IT AND EMAIL IT TO YOURSELF ETC.) Its this letter among other documents you will need at the country borders to get your Temporary import permits and in turn you required insurances.

    Hope this is help and swing us any other questions if need be!!

    Happy motoring!!!
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  7. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    Cool, that sounds a lot simpler than I thought it would be! I was initially worried that because I'm a US citizen and the bike is registered in Bolivia (not the US) it would be more difficult, but it seems as though it is the same for any foreign registered bike, if I understand you correctly. Thanks for the advice, its much appreciated!
    #7
  8. brecchi

    brecchi Been here awhile

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    I actually had one more question which the sellers brought up. As far as this quote goes:

    " "Its this notary letter that you will need to prove ownership everywhere you go except the home country from where the bike came from".

    The sellers then went on to write:

    " Reading this, for us, raised the question of how to prove ownership in the home country, then. Does this indicate that registration changes are required in Bolivia?"

    What are your thoughts on this?

    Thanks, Ben
    #8