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Registering a bike with a US "Rebuilt" title

Discussion in 'Canada' started by AlfromNH, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. AlfromNH

    AlfromNH Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    NH, USA
    I'm in New Hampshire, US. I had/have a guy in Windsor, ONT interested in buying my BMW R100RS. It has a "rebuilt" title due to having been totalled in 1991 and having been, well, rebuilt.

    After calling around, he's been told:
    · Vehicles older than 15 years are exempt from the Federal Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) program – which is good (all I would pay is the applicable 13% provincial taxes on the value of the bike);
    · Vehicles with a “Rebuilt” status on their title can be licensed in Ontario if they undergo an inspection;
    · Motorcycles are not eligible for a status of “Rebuilt” for some reason.

    The last issue is the dealbreaker, obviously. Does anyone know if this is true and if there's any workaround?

    Thanks,
    Al
    #1
  2. eldog

    eldog Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    As a Canadian I once bought and tried to bring a US model car up into Canada. The dealer had failed to disclose that the car had a 'branded' title due to flood damage. US vehicles can get a 'branded' title from flood, fire and being a crash rebuild.

    Everything went fine at the border and through the RIV and they took my money which is all that agency really does. Where it hit the fan was when I went to insure the car here in Ontario. I gave my insurer all the info including the VIN and they came back saying they had no record of this VIN in their North American vehicle database. The car was sold to me as current year demo model / executive driven and I was buying it at an authorized dealer straight from manufacturer and the carfax said as much so it was weird since the car was basically new. I went back and forth with my insurer for a bit when they suggested I check and see if the title was branded because if it was then that would explain why the VIN wasn't in the industry database. Apparently cars with flood branded titles are removed from the Canadian insurance industry database so they can't be insured here. Sure enough, the car was branded due to flood damage when the manufacturer had a large number of them wrecked in a winter storm at the port when they arrived in the US and had sold them branded to their dealers to pass on. The better dealers disclosed this. The one I bought from didn't.

    Anyway, long story made shorter - take the VIN to an Ontario insurer and see if they will insure the bike or not. Ultimately if you can't insure it here the rest of the paper doesn't matter as you need to show the insurance to get the registration for road use. And it's much less painful to know the insurance company won't touch it before you jump through all the RIV and border export and import hoops.

    Here's a link to our RIV policy on US branded titles. It looks like salvage titles can be imported so long as they aren't flood branded but they caution, like I did, to check with provincial insurance first:
    https://www.riv.ca/PartsAndSalvageVehicles.aspx

    And here's a link to the Ontario MTO branding program. Unfortunately Q7 seems to confirm what you already know - that motorcycles can't be put on the road, at least in Ontario.

    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/vehicles/vehicle-branding-program-faq.shtml
    #2
  3. AlfromNH

    AlfromNH Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    619
    Location:
    NH, USA
    Thanks for the link. It confirms what the potential buyer was told, that there is no way to register this bike.
    #3
  4. Maggot12

    Maggot12 U'mmmm yeaah!!

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    20,029
    Location:
    Canada's ocean playground
    Yeah
    The importation will be a breeze. The registering will be the concern.

    #4
  5. 250senuf

    250senuf Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,986
    Location:
    Nelson area, Kootenai, BC, Canada
    Were you able to reverse the deal?
    #5
  6. eldog

    eldog Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2013
    Oddometer:
    82
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    It took a long time and some helpful persuasion from a NY DMV investigator who explained the potential penalties to the dealer of altering NY state vehicle titles. But eventually I was made whole for the cost of the car plus the cost of having to repatriate the car from Canada back to the States. The car had to be shipped back since it wasn't road legal here and then brokered back into the US since I had completed the export from the US and import into Canada which all had to be reversed. That was about a quarter of the cost of the car tacked on top of the original price.
    #6
    Maggot12 and 250senuf like this.
  7. jfman

    jfman Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    3,169
    Location:
    Montreal (traveling Americas June '17 to May '18)
    Even "importing" rebuilt vehicules between provinces is sometimes a challenge. I would steer clear.
    #7
  8. Vikingtazz

    Vikingtazz Will ride for food.

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,650
    Location:
    Prescott Ontario, Canada
    You cannot register a motorcycle in Ontario from out of province that has been branded.
    The dealers that are close to borders are diligent about this, as they often take motorbikes on trade from Quebec and Manitoba.
    #8