How do I Import a bike from the US?
Can anyone tell me what's involved with Importing a bike from the US? I'm looking to buy a late model BMW and there is much more selection in the US. I like the idea of flying to a city and riding back and might make it an annual adventure. Anyone know the steps I would need to take after buying the bike? How does insurance and plates work? What sort of things should I watch out for so I don't get burned? Is there a way to search history's of VINs from American Cities?
Any tips are welcome.
Geez, do we really have to have a post with tis same question every week? Searches are wonderfull tools, use them.
Go to: www.riv.ca
K, After researching at the www.riv.ca I've found most of the information I need.
I would really like to talk to someone who has done this before so I'm left with no surprises at the border or if I get into an accident while in the States.
The thing I haven't figured out yet is what kind of insurance and/or registration do I need in the State I buy the bike? ICBC said I will need temporary permits for each state I drive through and their permit will cover me when I enter Canada. I find this perplexing and don't know if it's true. Can anyone confirm? I would hate to have to stand in line at a DMV in every state I'm travelling through. It doesn't make sense to me.
Yes, I talked to someone who just bought a bike from California and rode it home.... she was able to get insurance from ICBC to cover her from there and back home to BC.
If you're importing a bike make sure that you do all of your paperwork up front (I recently posted up an email link for the U.S. Customs to get approval to import). They require 72 hours before you hit the U.S./Canada border to process their papers.
That's good news, I wonder why ICBC told me different. Oh well. Do you know if she purchased the bike first or went down there first, checked it out, then purchased it? Someone told me ICBC won't fax permits or insurance documents so I'm left to wonder how I could insure a bike, in LA for example, and get the permits by fax from ICBC. They must have a way of doing it remotely. One agent I talked to said I had to be there in person, I don't think that's correct.
When I bought 2 different Toyota MR-2's in the U.S. (one in Las Vegas, the other in Seattle) ICBC faxed the documents to me in the U.S. both times and even took payment via credit card over the phone.
You can get them before you leave though, you just need to have the info on the vehicle (or motorcycle in this case) like the VIN and stuff like that. You're not really buying a "permit" so-to-speak (those are for local driving), you are buying what is called a "binder of insurance" that protects you getting the vehicle back to B.C. and once it's in B.C. the binder of insurance is invalid.
You sound like you know something about this red tape. Do you recommend an ICBC agent to deal with? You know how it is... these people have their own limited experiences. A very few specialize.
Originally Posted by 68style
I never personally dealt with the Autoplan centres/agents at all until the cars were already back in Canada and even then I didn't talk to them except to get day permits or after I passed my federal + provincial inspections.
Originally Posted by TrueLies
As far as the binder of insurance goes, I just phoned ICBC directly through their 1-800# when I was in the U.S. and they took my payment over the phone and faxed the appropriate documents to me.
I know the process inside and out for cars, but I never really looked at importing motorcycles... I imagine it's fairly similar though save for the inspection side of things.
Sweet, thanks a lot! That eases my mind. The binder of insurance rings a bell. I remember the agent talking about that. It was a different agent who told me I'd have to get a permit in each state I was in. Silly agent, Trix are for kids...
Play by the rules or no insurance
Hey Hi, yeah, go to an ICBC agent first. You'll need the make, model, year, VIN #, & the total value of the bike you want to buy. You'll buy an APV38. The price is dependent on the value & number of days you want this for. This APV38 gives you INSURANCE ONLY. Because you'll be in the USA buy the 5 million liability!!!!!
Originally Posted by acidfloyd
Then....for every State you are in YES, YOU MUST STOP & buy a "permit" that gives you THE RIGHT TO BE ON THE ROAD. These are SOMETIMES available at a Truck weigh scale. This is totally different from INSURANCE. If you do not do this, even with the APV38 from ICBC in the case of an accident/or theft, you will have NO COVERAGE.
I know it's a drag but right now that's the way it is.
Make sure you get a Title, Registration and a proper Bill of Sale. Be prepared to pay the GST at the Border & the PST when you register the Bike at the ICBC Agents.
Drop by an ICBC office, they should have a brochure on Importing a Vehicle into Canada.
Also, go on line @ ICBC.com & look for the link about importing.
Hope this helps,
Have a good trip home with the new ride.