Importing a bike from the States to Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Duster929, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    And, if the vehicle you are importing is 15 yrs old or older, you can omit confirming if it's on the RIV inclusion list, and don't have to worry about paying RIV payment or subsequent vehicle inspection.

    Steve
    #21
  2. crunchiespg

    crunchiespg Long timer

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    ive read RIV and the AB registries info web sites.

    however there is one thing i cant work out. if i did a fly and ride of a bike from the USA, what would i do for registration to ride it back?

    the way i see it is the previous USA owner would take their plate off. but obviously i cant get an Alberta plate until the bike is in Canada, done it's RIV test and got AB insurance. so what do i use to ride it back from the USA and into Canada? or is this just not possible.


    another scenario is, what happens if the current US owner rides the bike into Canada for me? normally i would declare at the border crossing that i was importing a bike and pay the fees and taxes and get the import forms. but the current owner wouldnt be faced with that, they could just ride across the border. so could i get the bike in Canada and then just goto the local CBSA office and do the paperwork there?

    thanks for any pointers.
    #22
  3. xrayboy

    xrayboy Adventurer

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    get a temp trip permit from the state you buy the bike in. I have bought a few temp permits for cars at the local DMV where I picked up the car. And for fun you get to see how american civil servants love their jobs.

    Call your insurance company and tell them what you are buying and they should cover you.
    #23
  4. crunchiespg

    crunchiespg Long timer

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    Thanks for that. Would that cover me for the drive from the border to home once back in Canada? The insurance is fine. My broker says she can email me the pink slip and I could print it there and then.
    #24
  5. Country Doc

    Country Doc Wanderer

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    My insurance company gave me temporary travel insurance, I carried that form with me and rode it home on the previous owner's North Carolina plate, holding the signed-over title and papers. I never did get ticketed so I'm not sure what the cops would have said. I don't think it was an issue, though, as the bike was clearly mine based on the documents I was carrying (original title, etc.) and I had proof of valid insurance in my name.

    No questions at the border either.

    I mailed the plate back to the owner when I transferred it into my name in Canada.

    dc
    #25
  6. 2StrokeBloke

    2StrokeBloke Been here awhile

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    Technically you need a provincial 'in transit' permit from the registry office wherever you live. In my case it was from the border station to my house.

    I was never asked for it from the border guards (4 bikes imported to date) but wouldn't have liked to NOT have it.

    IF you had the American ride the bike to your house, in order to have it 'imported', you'd have to turn around and ride it back to the border (of course, giving them three days notice with paperwork) when you wanted to 'import it'. There doesn't seem to be any way around that.

    Some states may tell you that their 'in transit' permit isn't valid outside their state...most states have reciprocal agreements with neighboring states...that being said, I've only ever gotten one transit permit..and I make it a point not to speed so as not to encounter the law..who knows where that would go if the officer was not very kind.

    Good luck and if you need more help, send a pm.
    #26
  7. drcool

    drcool R.I.P. Dave

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    Sellers plate worked fine for me from DC to Toronto. No one looked at it at the border. They were all concerned with the ownership.

    I now have a souvenir Virginia moto tag.

    I would do this again in a heartbeat.
    drcool
    #27
  8. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Not cool. :nono Didn't we have a thread on here where someone did this, he was stopped by a LEO somewhere in the US.. and he got into a heap of trouble and the bike was impounded and it cost him lots of money to get it out etc.. you are after all riding a bike without a valid license plate, even if you have the ownership to it.

    Moral of the story: spend the few bucks it takes to get a temporary tag in your name and ride it home, why take a chance with the law.
    #28
  9. drcool

    drcool R.I.P. Dave

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    I'd like more info if you can dig it up. It would have been nice to have 9 months ago. With all of my reading here the Ont. tag was not valid out of country and you can only attain it once the vehicle is registered in your name.

    Quoted from our MOT site:

    Temporary Vehicle Registration allows vehicles to be driven to licensing offices, garages (eg. to satisfy Safety Standards Certificate and/or Drive Clean requirements) and for other necessary short-term transportation purposes. Temporary Vehicle Registration is a "T" validation sticker that must be affixed to the upper right hand corner of your licence plate and will be valid for ten days starting with the date issue. A vehicle that has been sold must be registered in the new owner's name, prior to Temporary Vehicle Registration being issued for the vehicle.

    You can't register until you get the okidoki from RIV so forgetaboutit.

    The problem I found with some states is the permits don't allow you to spend any time on the way home(sometimes one of the main reasons to Fly and Ride).

    Quote from Virginia DMV,

    A trip permit allows the owner of any motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer to move the vehicle from one location to another without registering the vehicle. These permits are valid for three consecutive days. Motorized vehicles must be properly insured or the owner must pay 1/12 of the $500 uninsured motor vehicle fee. If the vehicle is designed as a property carrying vehicle, such as a van, property cannot be carried in the vehicle while it is operated under the permit.

    This alone would have added a day to the trip so be prepared to allow 4-5 days for a trip like DC.

    As it was I drove home with a fresh tag and ownership, along with signed title and bill of sale from the PO I felt as I had done my due diligence. Sometimes these searches are more like endless circles.

    enlightened not disuaded, this isn't my last import
    drcool

    #29
  10. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    I can't remember if I read this in RF: Canada or it may have been in Road Warriors.. but his bike was impounded and he ended up spending a lot of money getting it out and on the paper work and fine.. It was definitely an eye opener. :eek1
    #30
  11. NORTH RIDER

    NORTH RIDER Long timer

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    i think that guy went to the usa to get a bike BUT HE TOOK HIS OLD CANADIAN PLATE FROM A DIFFERENT BIKE AND JUST STUCK IT ON THE US BIKE. when he got stopped the plate did not match the bike. you should have no problem if you use the original us plate for that bike. with the signed over ownership and insurance in your name. you can not take a plate from canada ,even if it is your plate for another bike ,and use it to bring your new us bike home.it's illegal .

    north rider
    #31
  12. drcool

    drcool R.I.P. Dave

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    That is a real no no. Essentially an unplated vehicle and I could imagine getting impounded.

    I'm still unsure as an Alien whether we could buy a US trip plate but who knows.

    Read all you can,
    drcool
    #32
  13. NORTH RIDER

    NORTH RIDER Long timer

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    don't know about motorcycles but CAA WILL ISSUE A TRIP PLATE FOR A CAR.

    north rider
    #33
  14. GB

    GB . Administrator Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    yes, a friend bought a bike in PA and bought a temp trip plate to the border, I think it cost something around $20 or $25 tops.
    #34
  15. kananaskis

    kananaskis Adventurer

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    Just buy a state Temporary Permit/Tag from the DMV where you are picking up the bike. The one guy (not a bright bloke) I know that brought in vehicles with a "borrowed" Canadian plate (he had a plate for his truck registered in Alberta placed on his new California Ford Mustang he was bringing up) told me his horror story about having the police run the plate while behind him (showed up as a Canadian truck) and then pulled him over and recognized the dealership print on the vehicle as a Cali dealer and proceeded to remove him from the vehicle rather harshly (dragged him out) and arrest him.
    After an hour or so he was released but they made him pay $260 for running on an "Illegal Plate" as the plate is for a Canadian vehicle and the vehicle IS AMERICAN until it is exported and then imported into Canada...
    He was LUCKY they did not impound the vehicle...
    Just a heads up... The county mounties down south have little respect for what you think is legal IN CANADA and what is not there... :lol3
    #35
  16. LVGS

    LVGS Been here awhile

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    I've read through all the information I can find; many thanks for this very informative sticky.

    Question: Is it true that to import a BMW into BC from Washington, all you have to pay is:

    1. Price of the Bike
    2. Washington State Sales Tax
    3. RIV Fee
    4. GST
    5. ICBC new plate and insurance fees

    AND, there is no duty to pay?

    Again, many thanks.
    #36
  17. drcool

    drcool R.I.P. Dave

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    I wouldn't think you have to pay any state sales tax(assuming you buy a used bike). Do yourself a favour and ask the seller to provide the BMW clearence letter. Much better if it comes from their dealer. You wll also need to pay for your safety. Canadian tire will usually do it along side the RIV inspection for a small fee.

    Good Luck
    drcool
    #37
  18. kirbike

    kirbike Been here awhile

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    A buddy of mine bought an 08 KTM in PA and found out at the boarder that it wasn't an allowable bike. He ended up registering the bike in NY State and getting US insurance at a tenth of the cost. I'm not sure of all the details, but it's all legal....now, mind you this is on a 450 exc mostly riddin off road, and trailered back and forth across the border.
    #38
  19. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    The Crappy Tire "Safety" is part of the RIV fee. Not another fee. You just give them a copy of the RIV form and they do your safety.

    If you buy it privately you do not have to pay any Wash. State sales tax.
    #39
  20. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus Super Supporter

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    I bought my KTM new and avoided WA state tax because I was exporting it. (it was in 2007 so I can't remember the details.

    KTM only allowed the importation of their bikes fora few years before the CDN dealers squealed. I bought a new 07 990 for 10,998 US, the best deal I could get in Canada was a little over 20 K Cdn for a new 950

    The best how to import a bike thread is on BC Sportbikes

    http://www.bcsportbikes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=85230
    #40