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Old 03-28-2008, 06:36 PM   #1
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California DMV and export to Canada

I'm planning to pick up my recently purchased '61 late next month and have a few questions about getting transit plates in California? I had the vendor sign over the title and provide a bill of sale (she dropped them off to InlandRV along with the trailer). My goal is to get a transit plate on and be at the border within one week.

In a couple of days I'll be able to schedule a DMV appointment online for the day of pick up to conduct any paperwork but thought it couldn't hurt to ask for any tips here first. (also it's nice to see the Cali DMV number for Canadians is unavailable for use from my area. ie. Canada?)

Is the DMV going to want me to have it weighed, inspected etc just for temporary plates? Also I doubt if the bill of sale was notorized, I didn't think of it at the time; could this be a big hurdle?

Worst case I could just skip the plates I suppose. In November I bought a new truck in South Carolina and drove the last 2500kms home without any plate after the dealer paper plate gave up the ghost.
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Old 04-03-2008, 12:39 AM   #2
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California DMV has a good Internet site...

...go here: www.dmv.ca.gov and you should find the info you're looking for.

I believe Calif still has a one day permit to move vehicles, and should include trailers. It should only be a modest cost for this permit, as you are only transporting the trailer out of state.

Sales or use tax could be a problem, as DMV would probably ask some questions along these lines. I have no idea how they treat purchases that are going to another state/country...maybe their web site has that info as well, so you can be prepared with the proper documents, etc...

Of course you could always bring along your own out of state 'plate' and then be one of many visitors....

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Old 04-03-2008, 08:04 AM   #3
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Thanks Mexray, I've been looking on their site and it does have a lot of information, I guess my needs are too specific. I've managed to make an online appointment for the 29th April (none available on the 28th?) so I'll have to see if I can get what I need as a walk on the 28th when I pick up the trailer. I have looked into getting an Alberta temporary transit plate but it would only be valid in Canada and then only for 3 days; so it will be of use just not in the USA.
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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When we purchased our trailer in Delaware for export to Canada the dealer provided us with a temporary tag, somewhere in the $90 range I seem to remember. Could Inland RV help you in that respect?

And sales tax for us wasn't an issue as Delaware has no sales tax - but again, couldn't the dealer you're picking it up from give you some advice/information?

In case you need some info on importing into Canada, I detailed my experiences here. It's a step by step outline, and I've indicated a few glitches that happened that could have been avoided.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:28 PM   #5
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One thing to bear in mind when importing a vehicle. When crossing the border the customs people want to have all the paperwork 3 days in advance. You fax them the info and they have time to check it out, make sure the vehicle is not stolen etc.

If you wait till you get to the border they have to do the same work and it can take a few hours. So make it easy on yourself by being prepared ahead of time.
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:22 PM   #6
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CA. DMV will not require an inspection or a wieghing. They may need to verify the VIN so make sure Andy points out where it is if you don't know already.

I have to warn you that in CA. the DMV is a direct revenue source so I'd imagine they will soak you pretty good.

If the registration has expired on your trailer. Do not admit that the wheels have touched a public street in any way or you will have to pay back registration.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:46 PM   #7
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Hey thanks guys, guess I should have updated this thread! I brought it back no problems, the CA DMV issued a scrap of paper to keep in my TV for about $15 to cover transit and they didn't even want me to title it or anything. It wasn't even titled in CA, something the seller failed to mention to me! (it was some other state). Anyhow it all worked out and the border agents did the soaking...GST on the purchase price, repairs, replacement tires, the whole deal. I would sulk about that part but it was about $450 which is a small price to pay to get all 26' of dream trailer into Canada.
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Old 10-13-2008, 11:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckasaurus View Post
Hey thanks guys, guess I should have updated this thread! I brought it back no problems, the CA DMV issued a scrap of paper to keep in my TV for about $15 to cover transit and they didn't even want me to title it or anything. It wasn't even titled in CA, something the seller failed to mention to me! (it was some other state). Anyhow it all worked out and the border agents did the soaking...GST on the purchase price, repairs, replacement tires, the whole deal. I would sulk about that part but it was about $450 which is a small price to pay to get all 26' of dream trailer into Canada.
Glad you got home safe and sound

Must post pics of your new 61

By the way - your trailer repairs should have been exempt - on GST - not all border crossings no all the details of taxation.

For any others that may pick up on this thread - As Canadians with the intention of importing a "vehicle" - trailer specifically - you are not required to purchase any "transit" sticker. Also you cannot title the trailer as you must be a resident of the US in order to do so. All that is required in any state while "in transit" is your bill of sale and the valid title upon purchase. However if there is a valid "tag" or plate then you may travel with that until such time as you have entered Canada or completed the "vehicle import" process (if you have bought a newer trailer).

Also no Vehicle import Form 1 can be completed in advance of the border crossing - as for any trailers over 15 years old the Form 1 has to be stamped exempt at the time of crossing of any Vehicle import rules as per each Province.

Biggest issue we have found is to be sure that you have a valid title of the trailer itself from the person you are purchasing from. Depending on the Province you are from and individual licensing offices that is where you can run into the problems in not being able to plate your trailer without a valid title to transfer ownership of.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:25 PM   #9
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I am domiciled in CA, but ordered Airstream in Oregon due to the excellent dealership. From there we want to travel around Oregon for two weeks. DMV tells me I must travel back to CA to get license etc. within ten days. This turn around is not only expensive, but
ruins our travel plans, plus many DMV offices are not open on certain days. There must be
a better way to do this. I offered to pay the taxes before leaving to pick up the trailer, but DMV claims they need to verify VIN. Any ideas? This seems so unnecessary.
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Old 07-08-2011, 11:39 PM   #10
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Don't know if this helps. But we purchased a trailer in Louisiana and were headed home to Canada passing through numerous states - to the point where we would be licensing at home.

We were told by DOT and DMV that all we needed to do was to make up a paper plate for the back that said "Enroute" with the purchase date, place of Purchase and destination. As long as we had the bill of sale, and the signed over title in our possession, if stopped we would be fine with any state trooper.

We travelled through 8 states and were not stopped by anyone. Even crossing the border, we had our import papers as our the license/tag as we would not be issued a plate until we arrived at our home location MTO (equivalent to your DMV) As it was a vintage trailer it was exempt from the import program so we were not issued any sort of label that is attached to the tag - so our papers served that purpose. We were stopped on another occasion with those same papers and we were fine. The cop initially wanted to fine us for not having a license on the back of the trailer, but when presented the appropriate documentation (which of course he knew nothing about customs canada and their vehicle import and exempt program) but could not dispute the government stamped documents we had in our possession that matched the trailer registration number, our signatures and the bill of sale identifying the VIN number.

Hope that might help you a bit.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:21 PM   #11
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GT1963

You said
Biggest issue we have found is to be sure that you have a valid title of the trailer itself from the person you are purchasing from. Depending on the Province you are from and individual licensing offices that is where you can run into the problems in not being able to plate your trailer without a valid title to transfer ownership of.

How do you know you have a valid title? I am planning on buying a trailer in Cali and bring it back to Ontario. I would like to make the return trip a vacation as well. Taking a month for the return trip. Do I need to pay taxes in Cali? I am getting all sorts of conflicting advice from the DMV. I would like the purchase the trailer soon and pick it up at a later date. I would have the current owner take it to a storage facility until I can get down there.

Any advice would be great.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:39 PM   #12
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Hi. I sold a Airstream to a Canadian. It had current plates and registration, and valid Certificate of Title. All he did was go to the DMV the day of purchase and get a form, filled it out, said that was all he needed at the Canadian border. All other paperwork, plates etc keeps you legal in the USA.
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Old 06-11-2012, 05:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gator.bigfoo View Post
GT1963

You said
Biggest issue we have found is to be sure that you have a valid title of the trailer itself from the person you are purchasing from. Depending on the Province you are from and individual licensing offices that is where you can run into the problems in not being able to plate your trailer without a valid title to transfer ownership of.

How do you know you have a valid title? I am planning on buying a trailer in Cali and bring it back to Ontario. I would like to make the return trip a vacation as well. Taking a month for the return trip. Do I need to pay taxes in Cali? I am getting all sorts of conflicting advice from the DMV. I would like the purchase the trailer soon and pick it up at a later date. I would have the current owner take it to a storage facility until I can get down there.

Any advice would be great.
A valid title is a "State of California Certificate of Title". Anything else, IE Bill of Sale, won't work.
My suggestion, which I did when I sold mine, is get seller to fax (or scan and email)to you a copy of the Certificate of Title, and Registration, so you can verify all info BEFORE you buy it.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:38 PM   #14
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One thing to bear in mind when importing a vehicle. When crossing the border the customs people want to have all the paperwork 3 days in advance. You fax them the info and they have time to check it out, make sure the vehicle is not stolen etc.

If you wait till you get to the border they have to do the same work and it can take a few hours. So make it easy on yourself by being prepared ahead of time.
Nope. For trailers you can just show up. For things with motors you need 48 hour notice.
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