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Getting a title for a Canadian Bike

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Hi All, I purchased a bike from Zach at International Motorcycle Brokers and got some paperwork from him in the mail this week. I received the following:

An Invoice

A Owners Certificate of Insurance and Vehichle License

and a Transfer/Tax Form

I have not received a title. The forms I did receive are from a place called "Insurance Corporation or British Columbia"

Do I need more paperwork?

Thanks!

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I posted the following a while back when I got the title for my CRF through Zach at MBNA

There have been a lot of questions surrounding the ability to get a title for a bike bought from Motorcycle Brokers of North America (MBNA) in Canada. I just wanted to let everyone know, that today I received a Title for my 2003 CRF from the state of Pennsylvania and it wasn't difficult at all .

I bought the bike back in March 03, but didn't worry about the title immediately; I just wanted to ride the sucker. MBNA advertises that you don't have to pay tax on the bike, which isn't exactly true. About 4 months after I bought the bike I received a letter from the PA Dept. of Revenue advising me I owe them $328 in tax for a bike that was reported by customs to have been shipped into Philadelphia . Although you don't pay tax to MBNA, your state of residence will probably get you for it.

Shortly after paying the tax, I bought insurance for the CRF. Through Erie I paid $90 a year for comprehensive, but no liability with a $500 deductible. I figured I'm far more likely to crash or have it stolen, than to run into somebody since I only trail ride. A buddy of mine had a YZ426 stolen, and he had insurance for the bike. BUT, he never got the title from the guy he purchased it from. His insurance company allowed him to purchase insurance on the bike without a title, but when it came time to submit for a claim, they said nuh-uh, not until you produce the title .

So, this made me a little nervous and I went to the PA Dept. of Transportation to get a title. Here is what they told me I would need after I explained the kind of bike and where it came from:

MBNA provides all of this in the package they send to you a few weeks after the bike is delivered:

- ICBM Insurance Form (Insurance Corp of British Columbia. 3 page carbon copy. I guess it's the Canadian version of a title transfer form)

- ICBM Registration Card (single sheet 4x8 piece of paper)

- A rubbing of the VIN or a picture of the VIN.

- Pay the tax on the bike, or prove you've already paid the tax.

- Bill of Sale for the bike.

- Customs declaration (single sheet 8x11)

- Your states application for title form.

I presented this information to my State Dept. of Trans, paid $22.50 for the title fee and 5 days later I received my official title in the mail .

I hope this helps some of you guys who may have bought a bike from

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I am experiencing problems with getting an Arizona title due to what the DMV is calling a letter of compliance. They are also requiring Canadian export documentation as well as a tax invoice.

The problem I am having is with the Letter of Compliance. I am not really sure what it is going to take to aquire this??

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I am in Phoenix and will be going to the DMV tomorrow to try and figure it out. Ill let you know...

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Man what a pain. I took all the paperwork and went down to the DMV. They said they had to have a visual inspection and that I had to have a "Manafacturers Certificate of Origin". I called Zach and he said that they do not provide MCO's cause they sell the bikes as used. So I took my bike to the DMV and some lady made me unload it and took down the vin. Then she looked around for a serial number on the engine and couldnt find it. Either could I for that matter. Then she went in called and said I had to take it across town to a different DMV. So hopefully after I get the visual inspection they will not push the mco paperwork and I can get a title. Anyone else had to take thier bikes to the DMV?

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Andrew, let me know what DMV they sent you to, so I don't get the run around like you did.

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Mark, Ill let you know. I am going to try and get it worked out on Tues. I think if you talked to 5 different people at the DMV you would get 5 differnt answers on what needs to be done but I do think that you will have to bring the bike to the DMV regardless. I will try to get it completed on Tuesday and give you all the details on what to do..... BTW we are going out to ACP tomorrow. Maybe I will see you there.

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i did have crf450 ordered but it turns out Zach has no idea when he is getting the next shipment. i am picking up my bike for $300 more tomorrow. I got a refund and am beginning to think that it was a good idea to get one from my local Honda showroom. Good luck guys, i hope it all works out.

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I titled mine in Idaho witch required the paper work from the border. There was no hassle. They did try to charge a fee that I already paid in Canada, but I told her Hey I paid 5300 like the paper work shows so tax me on that. They also offered me lic plates too. I declined. I also did not have to pay Canadian taxes. I just faxed the dealership border paperwork proving I brought it to the USA.

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What the DMV wants, the Letter of Compliance, is the manufactures certification that the vehicle meets State emission and safety laws. Sure, OHV's (most of them anyway) do not, and do not have to conform to State requirements per say, and that is what the Letter of Compliance says, it's an agreement between the manufacture and each individual State. In California, there is even a sticker on the rear fender stating it doesn't meet requirements (that's one of the things a CHP will look for when verifying the VIN, and Canadian bikes don't have those stickers. You can order them through the parts catalog however). That doesn't matter, you still need the Letter, which is only available through the manufacture. Kawasaki Canada can only provide this for their country.

I purchased a 2003 KX 250 through the Canadian deal, it was a pain in the butt to get a sticker for it in California. I think that Arizona has adopted California Air Resource Board guidelines too. I called Kawasaki HQ in California, and was told that I would have to contact Kawasaki in Canada to obtain the letter (they provided a phone number). I called Canada, explained how I purchased the bike. The lady was confused, but looked up the VIN to determine which dealer had sold the machine. It turns out that my bike (the Canadian/Motorcycle Broker bikes ARE sold used) was registered with Kawasaki in Canada to someone else, a middleman between the dealer and Motorcycle Brokers. I ranted with the dealer about not getting an MSO and Letter of Compliance, but not before Kawasaki of Canada had called them first and raised hell. The guy was really hot about it, told me to never call the manufacture again. Anyway, I finally got an MSO, looked like someone had modified another with whiteout and put my VIN numbers on the Import papers. There is no Letter of Compliance for Canadian bikes that can be used in California (and I would suspect Arizona and other states). Some states don't require OHV's to be registered, so people bringing them into those states don't have a problem.

The Canadian bikes VIN's are serialized like U.S bikes, but the DMV (California anyway) can tell where the machine was "manufactured" by the MSO you have and need to register. What I had to do to get past the Letter of Compliance issue was to write a letter to the California Air Resource Board (CARB) and explain why this model should allowed to be registered. I wrote, explained how it was purchased, and provided documentation proving that the Canadian bike was the exact same machine as ones sold in California. We’re talking three pages here. One year later, I get a letter back from them stating that they will allow this one time, this motorcycle to be exempt from CARB provisions. While I was at it, I tried to get my girlfriends 2003 KDX 220 a green sticker instead of a red for the same reasons, it is identical to the green sticker 2002 model. That was futile. I won’t say this is exactly what you’re going to have to do in Arizona, but I would bet it’s going to be close to the same procedure. M/B says they will provide a Washington title for an extra $100.00, but what the DMV looks at here is the year model and VIN, so in California they’re going to get you. My paperwork all went through the local DMV office, and they even gave me a red sticker to start out with, but the VIN thing got caught in Sacramento, and that’s where everything got kicked back to me from.

FYI, I think how M/B gets away with it is private parties are allowed to carry over the border something like three machines at a time without an import license. Something like that anyway.

The Letter of Compliance can be downloaded off the net and forged easily, but the MSO would be more difficult to reproduce unless you’re the manufacture, or have access to those forms.

These guys (Motorcycle Brokers) could be in deep stuff if they get caught selling/shipping vehicles into California. Laws that took effect this past January provide for very high fines and jail time.

I’m sure there will be nay sayers to this, but just to what I did to find out for yourself, call Kawasaki (or Honda) in California, get the Canadian contact, call them and ask about the paperwork. You can also go to the California DMV website to check on import laws, fines and such.

I just picked up my 2005 CRF450R from the local dealer for $6989.00 out the door. That’s less than what it would have cost to get one out of Washington, and have a title and red sticker already:)

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Why go through all the bother of a title? Unless you want to make it street legal that is. Yeah yeah I know some states say its mandatory, but here in Texas nobody is checking.

Anyone have trouble selling their used non titled Canadian bikes?

I guess insurance wont pay up for the loss of a non titled bike, but the hassles and mutiple trips to DMV turned me off so much I'm going naked (no title).

Besides after 2-3 yrs the thing is only worth half what I paid for it new.

BlackBuzzard

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Why go through all the bother of a title? Unless you want to make it street legal that is. Yeah yeah I know some states say its mandatory, but here in Texas nobody is checking.

Anyone have trouble selling their used non titled Canadian bikes?

I guess insurance wont pay up for the loss of a non titled bike, but the hassles and mutiple trips to DMV turned me off so much I'm going naked (no title).

Besides after 2-3 yrs the thing is only worth half what I paid for it new.

BlackBuzzard

Yep - and it was a PITA... We purchased a Canadian bike from a Canada dealer while visiting the fine country..

In Oregon the title is optional so we blew it off, got our sticker and my son enjoyed his RM65 for a year or so and out grew it. Long story short, we put it in the local paper and cycle trader.. over half the calls asked if we had a title.. After I said no they pretty much hung up...

Local dealers shyed away from trade in since the paper work wasnt complete and one dealer commented that the manufactures franchise put negitive pressure on them for selling out of country bikes.

Maybe it was because the buyers wanted to finance the bike or because isurance reasons, but it was "preceived" as less valueable to the potiental buyers.

We titled it.. In Oregon we needed proof of purchase, MSO (which Canada dealers dont have the same forms as America so we had to conctact Suzuki of America and Canadia to get the correct one DMV would accept) and haul it down to DMV for Vin check. Lots of time and phone calls.. and thats without using a "Gray market" dealer..

FYI -

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I have to side w/Black Buzzard. If you're not riding on public land (or financing through the OEM/bank/credit union), "why get a title?"

There is no need to pay the title fee and/or sales tax for a non registered dirt bike! Regarding Canadian bikes, I had a cdn 2003 YZ250F and had no trouble selling it w/the Canadian MSO that came w/the bike. I've bought all my other bikes in the USA, out of state and had no trouble selling them w/the Cert of Origin. There will always be buyers who ask for a title. Either they accept the MSO/Cert of origin or I look to sell to someone else. Lastly, if you're trading in your old bike for a new one you're losing $$$ big time.

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A title does say in an instant "this bike isn't stolen." But I have a lot of documentation which proves I paid for a new Canadian machine, and I expect no problems in this area.

When comparing my used 03CRF to a Dealer used 03CRF, my price will be better.

I expect no problems selling based on conversation with others who have sold non titled machines.

I just HATE Government imposed paperwork and will do all I can to avoid it. Why not reap the full benefits of a Canadian machine - no sales tax, lower price, no visits to DMV, no dealer prep, etc. I put a lot of value on my time and would rather be washing mud off my CRF than standing in line at the DMV.

BB

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I agree 100%. I've never been so pissed at bureaucracy my whole life, and shouldn't have let it get to me. However I live in the Mojave desert and ride on public lands all the time. No problem if riding out the front door, just "run and hide", but if your parked at an event, the BLM will nail you. For closed course events on private land, forget the DMV.

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I agree with everyone but I am worried that if I dont have a title I would not be able to get my insurance to pay if the bike was stolen and I really think it would be hard to sell. I wouldnt buy a bike without a title..... Is there anyway to avoid paying sales tax if you do get a title? I am going tomorrow to try again...

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I agree 100%. I've never been so pissed at bureaucracy my whole life, and shouldn't have let it get to me. However I live in the Mojave desert and ride on public lands all the time. No problem if riding out the front door, just "run and hide", but if your parked at an event, the BLM will nail you. For closed course events on private land, forget the DMV.

I ride mostly private property in Texas, but some public lands in Colorado. And on public land in Colorado I have never seen or even heard of officials checking for titles in the back country. Spark arrestors yes, but titles? Who carries their title with them when they ride?

Maybe its a Kalifornia thing and something to do with the green/red sticker stuff - fortunately I dont have to worry about this in Texas.

BB

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I agree with everyone but I am worried that if I dont have a title I would not be able to get my insurance to pay if the bike was stolen and I really think it would be hard to sell. I wouldnt buy a bike without a title..... Is there anyway to avoid paying sales tax if you do get a title? I am going tomorrow to try again...

Yes - Register it in Oregon... No Sales tax!

If you would like I could register it for you and keep it at my house 😢

Someone that knows the tax laws might be able to help...

The times we lived in Washington and Cali.. we had to pay taxes on the value of anything we brought into the state.. new or used.. Naturally we only paid taxes on things we needed to title or register (cars, boats, motorcycles, house, RV, stocks, paycheck, marriage, death..)... I bet if you mentioned your riding mower.. they would tax you!

Sorry.. Maybe AZ is different..

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I agree 100%. I've never been so pissed at bureaucracy my whole life, and shouldn't have let it get to me. However I live in the Mojave desert and ride on public lands all the time. No problem if riding out the front door, just "run and hide", but if your parked at an event, the BLM will nail you. For closed course events on private land, forget the DMV.

I ride mostly private property in Texas, but some public lands in Colorado. And on public land in Colorado I have never seen or even heard of officials checking for titles in the back country. Spark arrestors yes, but titles? Who carries their title with them when they ride?

Maybe its a Kalifornia thing and something to do with the green/red sticker stuff - fortunately I dont have to worry about this in Texas.

BB

Never been asked for a title on the bike while riding on public land... Sticker yes (always), proof of age for my kids yes... Proof of completion of a safety course yes... Sparky.. yes.. and now sound checks (which we typically get asked everytime we ride), yes (which I'm gald to say we pass everytime)..

We used to have to have a title to get the sticker, but now that the title is optional and the dealers can sell the stickers without DMV involvement (yea!) it easier to get one.

I think someone mentioned home owner insurance etc... We did have an insurance challenge once, but we had enough pictures of the bikes (lucky the camera data stamp was on the photos) and proof of ownership that a few letters to the insurance company was all it took to get things straighted out..

FYI..

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Got my title today. It was a pain. Here are some steps to get it done as painless as possible at least in AZ anyways:

1. Take your bike with you for a level one inspection.

2. Bring all the paperwork that Zach sent you. Should include:

An Invoice

A Owners Certificate of Insurance and Vehichle License

and a Transfer/Tax Form

3. Take all the paperwork to a window and tell them that you bought a used bike from Canada and want to do a title transfer into your name. After the lady I went to got up and left for 15 minutes to talk to her boss she came back charged me $12 and gave me a clean title and a little license plate.

They did not ask about sales tax or anything like that so I am not sure if I will get a bill for that later or not.

Good luck guys.

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