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Old 02-18-2004, 07:00 AM   #1
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Unhappy A Vintage Airstream Bermuda Triangle

Several weeks ago I had asked this forum, what I thought would be a simple question, about licensing the trailer for our ride home. As the sale was private, out of Country and we would not have a permanent residence.

Although some tried to answer we needed a definite answer from the powers to be....and it went like this.....

On the Canadian side - I went to MTO first and they sent me to CT who in turn sent me to CC who yes you guessed it sent me right back to MTO - YIKES I was stuck in the Bermuda triangle.

After about the 3rd go around a nice gentleman at the CC broke the triangle and claimed I had to get an In-Transit - sticker from the United States (ANY STATE) and it is good for the trip home. Once you get to the border you will be given a receipt on the import vehicle which you can then go back to MTO to license her for Ontario (but be sure that the trailer meets all CT regulations as well). I called the US Customs and they confirmed that we needed an In Transit Sticker.

This was fine - I would then deal with it when we got to Louisiana. Everything else was set! We were ready - so we thought. Well at least we enjoyed a few sunny warm days in Florida before we had to think of our journey home!

Seven days later we arrived in Lafayette.... off we went to find out about the "In Transit" sticker....First we waited in a pretty short line at the DMV - nope, heard of it but we (meaning Louisiana) do not issue anything like that, you have to go to the SP, No Mamme we do not issue In Transit stickers, you have to go to the DMV (but we've already been there) well then it must be the DOT who issues them. (Just to be on the safe side we asked - what if we don't have anything? - Well Mamme in our State as long as you have your notarized Bill of Sale and Title you will be fine)

Off to the DOT who immediately recognized the words "In Transit" sticker - yes Mame there is such a sticker and it is issued by DMV - YIKES another Bermuda Triangle!!!! I asked her to confirm and she contacted the powers to be at the DMV as well as the SP and all were consistent with their answers. That was good enough for us - We Were not Getting a Plate of any Kind!!!! (Thus we were not going to have to pay any taxes!)

Just a tad nervous about driving with no plate on the back - but confident in the United States Honour system we headed over to GYMES to start our trip home. With hugs and big thank you's for all their help - there was one last item they took care of - just to put our minds at ease.

You see in Lafayette Louisiana if the "Bermuda Triangle" says there is an In Transit sticker but no one is prepared to issue one - YOU JUST MAKE YOUR OWN!

...and so we live through not just one but two Bermuda Triangles to tell our story.
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Old 02-18-2004, 07:16 AM   #2
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Newport , Washington
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great story

I'm so sorry to hear of your troubles. It is very true that the DMV will send you away several times before realizing the what needs to be done, actually CAN be done there at the DMV....No one here likes the DMV.

I hope this was the worst of your A/S experiences, as we have had a few surprises already.

Best of Luck, and thanks for the Bermuda Tale....


Ron ... now in Newport, Washington
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Old 02-18-2004, 08:10 AM   #3
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You know, I wish someone would smack these people at the DMV. this stuff has to be written down somewhere.

I remember calling ours about getting a temporary plate, or "whatever" would be necessary to buy a trailer out of state. They told me that there was just no way. They won't give you any sort of plate or registration w/o a bill of sale, and they won't do that through the mail, or fax or anything. so (according to them), if I were to buy a trailer out of state, I'd have to make 2 trips to get it home. (unless I bought it sight-unseen, waited for a bill of sale to arrive through the mail, then go to DMV to register and get plates...THEN drive half way across the country to get my new A/S, only to find that it wasn't anything at all like what the seller described, yadda yadda yadda....NO THANKS.

Lucky for me, I found my silver palace "locally". (well...less than 100 miles).
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:26 AM   #4
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1966 20' Globetrotter
Saginaw County , Michigan
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Here in good ol Michigan, the title holder can get a temporary tag for $10 at any Secretary of State office. This along with a bill of sale makes the trailer legal for the new owner to tow. I have done this several times when selling trailers.
When buying a TT or MH, you might want to ask the seller if he can supply you a temporary tag (It can only be issued to the person whose name is on the title).

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Old 02-18-2004, 10:49 AM   #5
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Smile The DMV is connected to the MTO which is connected to the DOT,CC & CT

Hey Rog;

That was part of the problem - you see the title had just been transferred into Peters Name and notarized - and Peter not having a Permenant Residence in Louisiana - or any State for that matter could not get a temp tag. In retrospect the seller could not stick a plate on it either as it was no longer in his name.

Thought of just running with borrowed plates (bringing our boat trailer plates down) - but if we were ever stopped it would be just our luck to get nailed. In the end we thought it would be better to run with no plates and just use our official documentation if stopped - which by the sounds of things is much more official than anything we would have ever received from the DMV.

Gregs solution was the best though - I'm sure there were lots of people questioning - "what kind of license tag/plate is that????"

We were so prepared with our papers from the US and Canadian side that we sailed right through customs - they did not even open the door! Tomorrow we will be heading to our MTO to finally get her Ontario Plate. (I missed out on 1969 plates for sale on E-bay - I did double check and we could have registered one and used it - it would have been kind of neat.)

We have the same here in Ontario - you can get temp paper plates for 15, 20, 45 days - but I did find out that although everyone travels out of province with them it is ilegle to do so. But to get a temp ontario plate you have to be a resident of Ontario.

Government - they just like to create paper work that no one has a clue how to administer or monitor for that matter
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Old 02-18-2004, 10:50 AM   #6
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Educate yourself what you need in your state to register an out of state vehicle. Carry your purchase papertrail and all the official docs from the state you're buying from. Make sure your insurance knows about it. Drive home. Go to DMV and register, without explanations. Usually, if you don't ask, they don't ask. Troopers don't want to hassle this, and if you do get pulled over, usually the ticket is much less pain than the hassle with the authorities. I helped friends do this a few times. VA/CA, GA/CA, NV/CA, never had a problem. And believe me, the CA DMV is usually quite a challenge.
Of course going to another country is another story.....

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