Importing a bike from the States to Canada

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

  1. kananaskis

    kananaskis Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Oddometer:
    41
    Location:
    Soul lives in Rockies. Body is in Sarnia Ontario.
    Motorcycles do NOT carry duty. There is no true manufacturer in the USA for motorcycles (Harleys are $hit, Buell is bankrupt $hit and polaris industries do not produce many bikes) so duty is not applied to bikes at all... Sorry Harley riders...
    You do not have to pay state sales tax if you show the DMV there that you are exporting the bike from their market permanently.
    You only pay the price, taxes at the border, RIV fee and whatever you have to pay normally in BC for reg and ins etc.
    #41
  2. LVGS

    LVGS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island BC CANADA
    Thanks everyone, that's very helpful. However, if I'm buying from a dealer or privately for that matter, do I have to pay the state sales tax and then seek reimbursement from the DMV?

    Based on what's been described, the process would appear to be quite straight forward. That, the present exchange rate and a depressed American economy would suggest looking to the US for good used bikes may be the way to go...any one disagree?
    #42
  3. drcool

    drcool R.I.P. Dave

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,071
    Location:
    Burlington, Canada
    No state taxes on export. Some have paid when purchasing from an inexperienced dealer and been reimbursed over a period of time but only short term from what I've read.

    As far as I'm concerned it's always a good time to go south for good used bikes. 10x the inventory, and always a good ride home.

    If you can't find a good route North, you haven't travelled East and West far enough
    drcool
    #43
  4. LVGS

    LVGS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island BC CANADA
    I've made a deal to pickup a bike early next week and bring it across the border.

    I will have the title, bill of sale and a US Customs 'worksheet' completed and emailed to the American border office well in advance of picking up the bike i.e. minimally 72 hrs.

    Now, once I've got it in Canada, I presume there is no way I can ride it until its passed the Canadian Tire Inspection and have final RIV approval. Is that right?

    I ask because I'm going to have to rent a van or trailer to get it home and then again to take it down to Canadian Tire...what a pain. Am I missing something? Is there another way to do this?

    Thanks again guys.
    #44
  5. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,523
    Location:
    Slip 35
    I rode home from the border, you need to get a special permit from ICBC
    #45
  6. LVGS

    LVGS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island BC CANADA
    Thanks very much for answering so quickly Bill. I'll give ICBC a call tomorrow to get more information about the special permit.
    #46
  7. LVGS

    LVGS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island BC CANADA
    Has anyone had any success importing a BMW from the US without having to pay the absurd $500 for the recall letter from BMW Canada i.e. for RIV purposes?

    I am in the process of importing a bike from Washington and have a letter from one of the BMW dealers declaring there aren't any outstanding recall campaigns on the specific bike and providing a detailed history of the recall work done to date. Will that suffice?

    Thanks for the help and advice received thus far...I'm almost there.
    #47
  8. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,625
    Location:
    Kitchener Ontario, Canada
    When I brought my bike over the border, the letter had to come from the manufacturer or a licensed dealer. If your letter is from one of those two and is current then you're good to go.
    #48
  9. LVGS

    LVGS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island BC CANADA
    Thanks timk, the letter is from an authorized BMW motorcycle dealer in Washington State. Did you use a letter from an american dealer?
    #49
  10. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,625
    Location:
    Kitchener Ontario, Canada
    Yes. In my case I was importing a Valkyrie Interstate from a dealer in IN. The dealer put a letter together stating there were no outstanding recalls, and faxed the title to the US Customs / Border office for me ahead of time.
    #50
  11. drcool

    drcool R.I.P. Dave

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,071
    Location:
    Burlington, Canada
    I'll second that. I used a letter from a US dealer without question.

    Good Luck with your import
    drcool
    #51
  12. LVGS

    LVGS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island BC CANADA
    Okay, I'm getting there...

    To insure the motorbike for transportation while in the States to the border, ICBC will sell you a "Binder for Owner's Interim Certificate of Insurance"

    However, ICBC tells me "The binder provides insurance coverage only to the vehicle. You will also have to check with each jurisdiction about obtaining an in-transit licensing permit for the vehicle."

    Does anyone know if this type of permit is required in Washington or will the ICBC insurance discussed above be sufficient.

    Thanks again and I promise to summarize each step i.e. based on the current 2009 policies when I'm done...also, promise to post some pics.
    #52
  13. BigChris

    BigChris Seasick and Loving It

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    260
    Location:
    Ontario,Canada
    Is there a definitive answer on whether it's legal to ride a bike you're importing home from the border? I know people have done it but is it legal? My understanding is that 1) It's illegal for a Canadian citizen to ride/drive a US registered vehicle in Canada 2) You can't register a vehicle in Ontario without a safety inspection or proof of previous registration as a "fit" vehicle in Ontario. I didn't think it was even possible to get a temp permit for this situation. Am I totally out to lunch on this? I've read through this type of thread on a couple of different forums and some say you have to trailer the bike home and others say its ok to ride it home. If anyone can give an authoritative answer it would be much appreciated! Thanks.
    #53
  14. timk519

    timk519 Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,625
    Location:
    Kitchener Ontario, Canada
    Contact the department of transportation and your insurance company to see what they say. They can issue temporary plates for a number of instances, or you can get temp plates from the state of sale and ride up on that.
    #54
  15. LVGS

    LVGS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    510
    Location:
    Nanoose Bay, Vancouver Island BC CANADA
    Big Chris, this certainly isn't an authoritative answer nor will it necessarily answer your question. However, I just brought a bike into BC from Washington on a trailer. The bike was insured by the Insur. Corp. of BC (ICBC) with a "Binder" for transportation and temporary storage purposes only i.e. as it was not registered in BC. I was specifically instructed by ICBC that their insurance would not cover me or the bike if I rode it in Canada or the US.

    Once in the Canada, I can obtain a special permit from ICBC to ride the bike to Canadian Tire for an inspection and then directly to an ICBC broker to register and insure it.

    In any event, I would not have been able to ride the bike in the US up to and past the border as the previous owner removed the plate and had it 'surrendered' to the state.

    In theory, had he left the plate on and maintained its registration, I could have ridden it. However, had anything happened, the fact the title was no longer with him or in his name, could have been an issue. Also, I hazard to guess that Canadian Customs would not have allowed it "ridden" across the border without it being fully registered and insured in Canada.

    Hope that helps.
    #55
  16. CGH

    CGH Polluting the ether

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2004
    Oddometer:
    25,211
    Location:
    Calgary
    Not a bike, but a Class 8 truck ... I purchased used in Iowa, drove it to the border crossing at Emerson, MB on an Iowa "in transit" permit, and then from Emerson to Calgary on insurance and an "in transit" permit arranged before I went down to IA.

    The truck was subject to all the same RIV regualtions and inspection requirements (Canadian Tire :lol3) as a personal vehicle, such as a mortorcycle.
    #56
  17. v4forever

    v4forever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    B C
    Here are a couple of quotes on how to drive you M/C back to Canada.

    Straight from ICBC

    The binder is valid throughout <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:smarttags" /><st1:country-region w:st="on">Canada</st1:country-region> and the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:country-region w:st="on">USA</st1:country-region></st1:place>, but it does not include a point-A-to-B permit. In order to license the vehicle, you will need to get licence plates or a permit from the state in which the vehicle is currently located. You should check the licensing requirements with each jurisdiction through which you travel on your way back to BC to find out whether you would need plates or a permit from them in order to license the vehicle while it is traveling through their jurisdiction.

    BC will honor a permit issued by another jurisdiction, unless the permit states restrictions that it is only valid in the jurisdiction where it was issued. If the out-of-province permit states such restrictions, you must obtain a BC Temporary Operation Permit (http://www.icbc.com/Glossary/def_top.asp), for inspection purposes, in order to operate the vehicle in BC. The restrictions on this Permit are outlined below.

    However, if the out-of-province permit does not state such restrictions, the permit may be used to bring the vehicle to its BC destination.

    An out-of-province permit is valid for either a period of time or a destination, depending on the conditions outlined on the permit by the issuing jurisdiction. Either the expiry date or location of the destination will be noted on the permit.

    If the out-of-province permit is not restricted to a destination, but has an expiry date, you may operate the vehicle licensed by the out-of-province permit with the insurance provided by the binder until one of the following occurs:
    the out-of-province permit expires, or the binder expires
    If the out-of-province permit is restricted to a destination, it is void once the destination is reached.

    Once the out-of-province permit has expired or is no longer valid, and you need to move the vehicle again for the purpose of registration and licensing it in BC, you may take out a one-day Temporary Operation Permit, for inspection purposes, in order to license the vehicle while it is in BC.

    This type of Permit can be issued in accordance with Section 14.04 of the BC Motor Vehicle Act Regulations (http://www.qp.gov.bc.ca/statreg/reg/...m#section14.04) to license and insure the vehicle before it is registered in BC. This Permit would allow the vehicle to be driven to:
    a federal inspection facility, if required a Designated Inspection Facility for:

    provincial pre&#8211;registration inspection, and repair, if required, and immediately to an Autoplan broker's office for inspection of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and registration

    This Permit would be effective for one calendar day only, but no licence fee would be charged. If the vehicle is kept for repairs for more than one day, another Permit would have to be issued, once the vehicle is repaired, to move the vehicle from the garage or repair facility to an inspection facility or an Autoplan broker's office.

    Provided that your binder is still valid, there would be no charge for such a Permit.

    Customer Contact
    ICBC


    Hope this helps on the question about driving on a state licence permit and provincial Insurance.
    The DMV lady in Illinois said that the 7 day Illinois licence permit is good for all of the states and also Canada.

    To drive the M/C to B.C. you will need an APV 38 "binder for owners interm certificate of insurance."

    You can buy the Binder for Owner's Interim Certificate of Insurance from any Autoplan broker.

    This will allow you to ride the bike back, but you&#8217;ll have get a licence permt in the <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">USA</st1:place></st1:country-region> first and get a (I think a cardboard temporary plate) on the bike. No <st1:country-region w:st="on"><st1:place w:st="on">US</st1:place></st1:country-region> plate, no insurance. To buy your insurance you&#8217;ll need a copy of your US original title/Bill of Sale, and the US temporary plate.
    #57
  18. BigChris

    BigChris Seasick and Loving It

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    260
    Location:
    Ontario,Canada
    Thanks for info guys. It sounds like it is possible to ride a bike from the border if you can arrange the right permits. I'm going to look into this and I'll try and post up the details for the Ontario permits required.
    #58
  19. v4forever

    v4forever Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Oddometer:
    10
    Location:
    B C

    Here is a picture of the temporary Illinois permit, it's a 7 day cardboard plate. ICBC will only insure the bike, you need to get extra medical insurance for yourself.
    BCAA or CAA can sell you that.

    Attached Files:

    #59
  20. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus Super Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2002
    Oddometer:
    5,523
    Location:
    Slip 35
    Yep that is what I did, rode to the border in BC from WA State with WA plate, then rode home with no plate (I had to carry the ICBC forms and permits) then got a permit to go to Can Tire for inspection.

    Easy Peasy


    #60