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Old 07-03-2017, 10:12 PM   #1
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1967 26' Overlander
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Register US vehicle to UK address?

Hi everyone,

I have a question about registering and insuring a motorhome

I am looking to buy a 1978 280 motorhome in a couple of weeks from NC but,
I am unsure of how the vehicle will be registered.

My home address is in the UK and I am just visiting the US to view, buy, tour and then ship it back to the UK. How does it work with registering and insuring if I do not have a residential address in the country?

Any help, tips and links would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:23 AM   #2
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I insured through Progressive.
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:27 AM   #3
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If you plan on using you have to insure so that you can register, (get plates) but also to register you will also need an address (which means proof of residence in most states) and probably a US license for that state (although that varies).

You simply won't have plates so that you can use it without the above, and the previous owner will remove their plates when they sell to you.
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:40 AM   #4
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Hi

How long are you here for? If the answer is "a couple of weeks" there may be temporary ways to do things. If you are here through Christmas, then they are unlikely to work long enough. Some states go up to 120 days on temporary registration / licensing. Others have much shorter durations.

Insurance is something you will need to get both for your use of the tow vehicle and for the trailer you now own. It is unlikely your UK policy will properly cover you for something like this.

Bob
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otherbez View Post
Hi everyone,

I have a question about registering and insuring a motorhome

I am looking to buy a 1978 280 motorhome in a couple of weeks from NC but,
I am unsure of how the vehicle will be registered.

My home address is in the UK and I am just visiting the US to view, buy, tour and then ship it back to the UK. How does it work with registering and insuring if I do not have a residential address in the country?

Any help, tips and links would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you
There is not one set of rules throughout the USA. The process might be slightly different in every state. Since you are purchasing in NC I assume you will be registering there, at least temporarily.

This is a good place to start:
https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/contact/

I think the longest time one can get a temporary license plate is 30 days.
I know you will have to arrange for liability insurance prior to purchasing a license plate of any kind. Your insurance agent will be contacted, or you will need to have with you a document showing a policy number, at the time you purchase a license plate.

The existing Vehicle Title/registration (a document/certificate of title created by the State of NC) is required to be executed in the presence of a licensed Notary Public.

Before you transfer funds, make sure the Vehicle Identification number on the vehicles matches (EXACTLY) the Vehicle Identification Number on the existing title. If it does not, DO NOT transfer funds. Transfer funds at the same time the title is executed. Ownership is not legally transferred until the title is transferred.

Ask the seller if there is a NC License Plate Agency nearby. I strongly suggest both you and the seller go there together to transfer funds and transfer the title. That is the place you can go to get everything done in one step. (transfer title, register the vehicle, and purchase a license plate) The seller should (or you can if it is easier) create a "bill of sale" that includes the names of all parties named on the title and/or involved in the transaction, a description of the transaction, the amount of funds transferred, and a complete description of the vehicle including the Vehicle Identification Number. The bill of sale is a legal document, make two (one for each person) copies. All parties sign and have them witnessed (notarized just like the title).
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:20 PM   #6
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Don't forget your UK driving license is not valid on it's own in the US anymore. You have to get a IDP to go with your license, and although IDP are available in the US that is just for folks that have a US license not for visitors.
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:11 PM   #7
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US does not issue and IDP you will have to get that through the UK. Check with them typically you are good to drive in the US with a full UK license and an IDP issued in the UK for up to one year. You will also need to have passport and SS number with you.
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:15 PM   #8
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Great, thank you all for your advice, it seems like it's a lot of hassle and stress, would it be easier to arrange for an importer to just pick it up and take it to the ship?
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:23 PM   #9
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Sounds like alot but really not for the experience you will get out of it. People do it every day. Contact the UK driving dept and you will be able to take care of getting you International Driving Permit. Contact your ins. company and ask them what you need to do for your insurance. That takes care of all your driving needs. Registering may be a little more work. I would contact NC DMV and they should be able to answer any questions you have about registering it.
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:34 PM   #10
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Excellent and thorough advice from Alan W. Warn in Post #5 IMO.
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Old 07-04-2017, 02:47 PM   #11
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Hi

A few subtle things to look into:

What "class" is the 280 MH? (I believe it is a class C, but I've been wrong before). In the US, a class C can be driven by just about anybody. A class B is a bit more hassle. A class A is a significant step license wise. I know absolutely nothing about how a UK issued IDP maps into that mess and if it gives you a class C the same way as a US license.

Next up - how sure are you of the roadworthiness of the vehicle? 1978 is a while ago. Consider that the current owners may not be professional mechanics. I've had a *lot* of vehicles over the years that were not in as good shape as I believed them to be. Dealing with repairs in rural nowhere USA can be "exciting".

Yes, this is sounding pretty negative. It's not really meant that way. A bit of research can indeed check all these boxes pretty well. You *might* have to buy some new tires or a set of brakes. I suspect they are not a lot more expensive here than "back home". Assuming it's not the dead of winter, you can have a very nice time chugging around the US in one of these beasts.

Bob
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otherbez View Post
Great, thank you all for your advice, it seems like it's a lot of hassle and stress, would it be easier to arrange for an importer to just pick it up and take it to the ship?
It does sound daunting, but the whole process takes less than 15 minutes if all of the documents are in order and you have proof of insurance. You can pay the fees and taxes using a credit card, bank draft (US$), or cash.

NC does not have a sales tax on vehicles transfers. But, if you register and license the vehicle you will pay 3% tax based on the vehicle value assigned by the state, not the sale price, as a road use tax at the time registration. The owner should have a personal property tax bill from last year that states this value, which will normally be substantially lower that the sale price.

If you ship directly and never register the vehicle in the US you can avoid sales taxes or road use taxes. (the old title completed, showing the owner transferring title to you, notarized properly, and a notarized bill of sale should be sufficient to export) But, shipping a motor home will cost more than the tax.

It would be a shame if you did not take time to see at least some parts of the US while you are here. Though, IMO, two months would not be sufficient for a leisurely drive to the west coast and back, seeing some of the sites along the way.
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Old 07-05-2017, 01:12 AM   #13
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US does not issue and IDP you will have to get that through the UK. Check with them typically you are good to drive in the US with a full UK license and an IDP issued in the UK for up to one year. You will also need to have passport and SS number with you.
I think that is exactly what I wrote....the US issues IDP through AAA for folks with a US driving license intending to drive overseas. The UK issues IDP for UK licenses via AA or the Post Office (I have one), for those with a UK license intending to drive overseas on that license. In the UK there are two types of IDP and you need to get the type for the country for are visiting.

This thread really shows how different the systems are in the two countries and how compliance in one does not equate to compliance in the other.

As someone who lived in the US for 9 of the last 15 years and registered and insured a motorhome in the US using UK credentials, I can honestly say those that are commenting on how easy it is, have not experienced it. Even now, when I have a US address (bank and credit cards registered at the address), a US SS number and permanent residence status (Green Card), a (now expired) US license, valid IDP, have an existing relationship with a US insurance company and agent (Liberty Mutual - I have had insurance with them from 2009-16, having previously insured through Progressive) and so approx 15 years of driving history recorded on the US drivers database, I am struggling to register, and so use, my second motorhome (Peanut) even though I have a (Massachusetts) Title in my name.... and I mean have stood in front of countless DMV officials and been denied, have gone to DMV offices with friends 'who know someone that works there' and been denied.

The question from the OP is not how to temporarily register and insurance a MH it is how to temporarily register and insure a MH with a UK license (and inferred no US address, no SS number, no residence status) - they are different questions.

My advice is, fly to the US, rent a MH (using your UK license/IDP), enjoy the country, inspect the motorhome you are thinking of buying, if you buy then get it shipped. The barriers to registering and using your own MH are significant, if you do not have a US address and a US license.

Also remember, as a permanent import you aren't allowed to drive it in the UK (a temporary import you can drive using the US plates, permanent import you can't) until it is MOT'ed and registered. If it is driveable then they can be driven using trade plates if you know anyone, to at least get you home. This sounds like it is tempting to do a temporary import but without the shipping company raising the import docs (and you paying the duty) you don't have permission to even ask for registration in the UK.
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:31 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin300662 View Post
I think that is exactly what I wrote....the US issues IDP through AAA for folks with a US driving license intending to drive overseas. The UK issues IDP for UK licenses via AA or the Post Office (I have one), for those with a UK license intending to drive overseas on that license. In the UK there are two types of IDP and you need to get the type for the country for are visiting.

This thread really shows how different the systems are in the two countries and how compliance in one does not equate to compliance in the other.

As someone who lived in the US for 9 of the last 15 years and registered and insured a motorhome in the US using UK credentials, I can honestly say those that are commenting on how easy it is, have not experienced it. Even now, when I have a US address (bank and credit cards registered at the address), a US SS number and permanent residence status (Green Card), a (now expired) US license, valid IDP, have an existing relationship with a US insurance company and agent (Liberty Mutual - I have had insurance with them from 2009-16, having previously insured through Progressive) and so approx 15 years of driving history recorded on the US drivers database, I am struggling to register, and so use, my second motorhome (Peanut) even though I have a (Massachusetts) Title in my name.... and I mean have stood in front of countless DMV officials and been denied, have gone to DMV offices with friends 'who know someone that works there' and been denied.

The question from the OP is not how to temporarily register and insurance a MH it is how to temporarily register and insure a MH with a UK license (and inferred no US address, no SS number, no residence status) - they are different questions.

My advice is, fly to the US, rent a MH (using your UK license/IDP), enjoy the country, inspect the motorhome you are thinking of buying, if you buy then get it shipped. The barriers to registering and using your own MH are significant, if you do not have a US address and a US license.

Also remember, as a permanent import you aren't allowed to drive it in the UK (a temporary import you can drive using the US plates, permanent import you can't) until it is MOT'ed and registered. If it is driveable then they can be driven using trade plates if you know anyone, to at least get you home. This sounds like it is tempting to do a temporary import but without the shipping company raising the import docs (and you paying the duty) you don't have permission to even ask for registration in the UK.
This is exactly my problem.
So sticking it on a trailer and taking it straight to the ship is really my only option with a motor home, I guess an AS trailer wouldn't have any problems at all.
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Old 07-05-2017, 07:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
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This is exactly my problem.
So sticking it on a trailer and taking it straight to the ship is really my only option with a motor home, I guess an AS trailer wouldn't have any problems at all.
.....unlike the UK, in the US the trailer is registered (has it's own title and plates, and needs insurance to be registered). I have never tried so can't really comment, but I am assuming it still isn't straight forward.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:18 AM   #16
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.....unlike the UK, in the US the trailer is registered (has it's own title and plates, and needs insurance to be registered). I have never tried so can't really comment, but I am assuming it still isn't straight forward.
Hi

At least in the state I live in, the process of getting a trailer on the road is not all that different than getting a MH on the road. They both even have to go through a mechanical inspection and certification (even when brand new ...).

Bob
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:37 AM   #17
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Inernational Drivers Permit

If you are still in the UK, contact the RAC, they should be able to advise on the permit, Etc.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:30 PM   #18
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No, I'm actually in Canada at the moment, I will be here until the end of Aug.

I'm thinking that getting it delivered straight to the port for shipping might be the best option and as others have said, hire something over here to save on the hassle.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:22 AM   #19
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Hi

Even if you are just shipping it, you may want to / need to replace the tires. It's not uncommon to see "for sale" trailers with pretty old tires on them. Sea transport isn't all that bad. It still shoves things around a bit more than static storage.

Bob
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:07 AM   #20
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Otherbez,
I suspect that your shipping/export company will be able to help get things sorted out to transport your vehicle back to Cornwall. However, if you want to tour some of North America in your new motor home, I'd bet that there's a legal way to do that too (will take some research & the shipping company may be of some assistance here too). Regardless, I wish you the very best with your newly acquired Airstream!

Steve
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