help needed German rider wants to ride US

Discussion in 'Americas' started by fredthebike, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. fredthebike

    fredthebike Adventurer

    Aug 17, 2006
    Hi,I,m currently riding a bicycle from San Francisco to Salt Lake City and I want to do my next trip on a motorcycle. I need advise and tips how I could register a bike here in the US either a used one or a new one.Ihave friends in Salt lake City,so informaion on Utah or Nevada would be most Helpful.I could help with tips for Europe.Thanks Fred
  2. Burtonridr

    Burtonridr Wanderlost

    May 24, 2006
    Im not sure on what non-citizens have to do but I will tell you what citizens have to do so you understand the process:thumb Since I dont know how familiar you are with our country i will try to be as descriptive and detailed as possible. First go buy the vehicle that you want to ride. When you buy the vehicle make sure you ask the seller to help write out a "Bill of Sale" that contains, the sellers name, your name, vehicle description, purchase price, Vehicle Identification Number or VIN number and the date you purchased it. Make sure the seller has the vehicle title and signs over the title to you, he will need to sign the title and fill out the information required on the title. You need the title, dont agree to purchase a vehicle unless they give you the title. You need to expect pay about a 6% sales tax(depends on what state you are in) of the purchase price. For example the motorcycle costs $1000 to buy, you will have to pay $60 in sales tax when you go to the DMV(Department of Motor Vehicles) to register it. You can look up the location of the Deparment of Motor Vehicles online or in a local phone book. When you go to the DMV you will need to take with you the

    -Title to the vehicle,
    -The bill of sale,
    -money to pay the sales tax/ registration fee/ licensing fee/ (OHV)Off Highway Vehicle sticker/etc(you could call the DMV before you go to see how much money you will need with you when you go),
    -Your drivers license,
    -Im sure you will probably need your passport,

    I would recommend calling the local DMV before you buy the motorcycle and tell them your situation and that you want to buy and register a motorcycle and they should tell you what you need to do.

    Hope this helps, I would be very interested in the registration process in europe :nod
  3. Mountain

    Mountain Adventurer

    Feb 14, 2007
    Hey Fred. Buying is pretty straightforward for foreigners, people do it all the time. Couple of additional things to be aware of is you will need a local address in state you buy (usually just ask somebody like a friend or fellow biker) and depending on the state it may take some time (can be 2-4 weeks) for the new title with your name on it to be forwarded to you. Doesn't really matter too much unless you want to cross international borders and you are still waiting for your title to show up.
  4. OlyVR

    OlyVR Been here awhile

    Apr 12, 2007
    Greer, SC
    I also don't know how familiar you are, but that is an important piece of advice. The title is like the Kfz-Brief and not the Kfz-Schein (that would be the registration).
    To get an idea of the total cost of vehicle ownership, don't forget to also talk to a couple of insurance agents first, as getting insurance for non-residents can be very difficult (expensive).

    English languange skills don't seem to be an issue, "aber falls ich dir mit Deutsch/Englisch helfen kann, lass es mich wissen."
  5. Skybus

    Skybus Adventurer

    Aug 14, 2007
    The couch
    I'm curious. Couldn't you just purchase the bike on-line and do what ever you need to do for a German Vehicle. Then slap the German tags on it when you get to the U.S. So long as the bike is insured that wouldn't seem to be a problem.
  6. MK96xj

    MK96xj 100% Seat Time

    May 6, 2007
    Asheville NC
    If you have a friend in SLC then you could provide them with the money to buy the bike in their name and register and insure as well. All you would need is an International drivers license and all is set. You could sell it when you are done with your trip.
  7. JMead11

    JMead11 Crazy Bastard

    Sep 7, 2005
    Tucson, Arizona
    Getting insurance should be the only time consuming problem I think. I sold a Soft-Tail to a French guy from Tahiti, and he wanted to ride it around a while before he shipped it back. It was no problem to get the title put in his name and the bike registered, but it was with some difficulty that we found an insurance agent willing to put insurance on it for a short time.
    Here in the USA, insurance is usually sold in terms 6 months in length. You can cancel at any time and get a refund of the unused balance of the money. To save lot of trouble, I would just shop for insurance in the 6 month length rather than try and find someone willing to insure it for one month. Use the address of a friend, and they can send a refund check to you at that address when you cancel. I just think it is easier to pay for the 6 months and cancel after one month, or whatever, rather than spend so much time looking of a willing agent. Having done this before...just my two cents.

    No need to put the bike in the name of a friend in the USA and make them liable for anything YOU might do, you can put it in your own name no problem. Also, much cheaper to register a bike in the USA with whatever states plates than to put German plates on for over here. Most bikes in the USA would most likely not qualify for German plates anyway. Can't get plates without a local inspection by German authorities, TUV?????, anyway, can you????
    Also, it is true I guess that some states make you pay sales tax on the bike when you transfer ownership. Here in Arizona you do not pay any sales tax on a private sale. If you buy from a dealership, you have to pay sales tax, but if you buy from a private party you pay nothing for the taxes when you transfer the title into your name. Other than the sales price of the bike, you would pay like $4.00 to transfer the title, pay for the license plates, which varies with the bike and it's age, and have insurance.

    Also, if you did happen to buy in Arizona, we don't use salt on the roads where I am and bikes, as well as cars, NEVER rust here.

    Best of Luck!!!
  8. DirtyHarry

    DirtyHarry n00b

    Nov 9, 2007
    Sorry I'm a little late, but I'm a new member.

    Important is that you have a street address in the US.
    DMV needs this.

    If needed I have somewhere the address of a Dutch Insurance ( per month) specialized in this.
  9. osii

    osii Disgruntled Time Traveler

    Jan 24, 2003
    Glendale, AZ
    Whoever you buy the bike from, make a condition of the sale that they register it in your name at their address for you. Some sellers may get a little queasy about this, but most will not if you explain why you are buying the bike. Especially if you sweeten the deal for them.

    If you need insurance (some states exempt motorcycles from mandatory insurance) check out They have very good rates, and deal with foreigners.

    A smile and a little cash solves most of life's problems.

    BTW, if you buy in Reno, or need a nevada address, I'll handle everything for you.
  10. Kieth

    Kieth Been here awhile

    Nov 14, 2005
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    We have no restrictions on who can buy a bike in the USA. I am a Used motor Vehicle dealer in Oklahoma, If you purchased a bike in Oklahoma you would recieve :

    1. Bill of Sale with your name address and how much you paid for the bike.

    2. A title filled out on the back in your name and notarized.

    3. The tag that is on the bike stays with the bike.(in Oklahoma)

    4. If there is no tag you would recieve a paper tag from the dealer which is good for 30 days.

    5. By Oklahoma law you have 30 days to register the vehicle with Oklahoma, if you are from another state or country then you register it with that entity.

    The law is different for each State: i.e. In Oklahoma you do not pay sales tax at the time of sale, you pay it when you register the vehicle in Oklahoma, If you bought a bike in another state then you would pay taxes there as the law requires (at the time of sale, or provide proof that you are taking the bike out of state and it would then be exempt) If you take it to Germany then you would pay the taxes that are due there, when you register it. I would be more than happy to help you purchase a bike in the US. As a dealer I can purchase a motor vehicle and am allowed to hold a open title, which we can then reassign upon resale of the vehicle. This means I could buy a used bike for you, you could pay me for it and then when you come to the US you could pick up the bike, ride it for the trip here, and then take it back to Germany or I could resell it for you. Kieth in Tulsa, Ok 918-446-2245 Tulsa Truck Center, Inc.:deal

    I Sell class 8 Trucks and ride motorcycles for fun, I presently own 9 bikes and would be happy to help you in any way possible.