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  1. Default aussies trying to sort out legalities purchase vehicle East Coast

    Hi my husband & I have 3 months travelling the East coast arriving Boston May 24th and having such a long stay would like to look at buying a small campervan but have not been able to sort out the legalities. We can find a van to purchase but how do we go about getting the insurance and covering the other legalities involved without having to spend too many days involved in paper work and waiting for plates, would it be easier to purchase van through dealer or privately?
    Is one State easier to arrange this than others, ie Mass compared to RI?
    We plan to go to Nova Scotia then the Appalachians for music festivals and then to Florida, this is our fifth visit to your country. but previously have hired cars for shorter visists. Boston as a start point can be changed.
    We do not have a social security number or green card, but have a residential address.
    Very pleased to have found your website as need help to decipher the pages of legal requirements to register vehicle etc.
    Would appreciate any advice. Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Buy Back

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    There is usually no really good way to go about buying a car as a foreign citizen. There are plenty of hurdles and red tape, and the process is usually a bit time consuming.

    Having a residential address will be a big help though. That can serve as a home base where you can use to get the car registered and insured. I'd recommend buying the car and dealing with the paperwork in whatever state that is. From there, you're best bet will be to contact the DMV of that state and find out what the requirements are.

    Another option that might be better for you is to investigate a buy back program. Adventures on Wheels, based in New Jersey, is one of those companies that will sell you a car with a promise to buy it back when you are done. It would probably be much faster and easier to go that route than to try and buy a car on your own.

  3. #3

    Default

    i feel your pain...

    i'm doing exactly the same thing, coming over to American and buying an RV. It isn't easy.

    Basically.. most states will allow you to use an American residence for registration purposes, IF you get some piece of official mail sent to that address. Now i assume you will be purchasing Motor insurance for your campervan in the USA? If this is the case, then those documents will count as your 'official mail'.
    When you go to the DMV... take the documents, and some kinda of foreign identification (passport)... explain... and it should be OK.
    However, this won't work in Oregon... you actually have to be a resident, a full-blown, home-owning resident.

    When you go to the DMV, you will have to pay sales tax on the vehicle.... look at this Wiki for a state-by-state guide on how much you will also have to pay a registration fee.....usually around $200 depending on size/price... varies state to state...

    [Editor's Note: Do not Rely on Wikipedia for correct information, it is a good place to begin further research, but the information is not always accurate -- although, in this case, the information looks valid to me...]

    best bet, is to go to this site. pick the state you are going to use.... find a telephone #... ring them and explain, and they should be able to help you out in more detail.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-19-2007 at 01:44 PM. Reason: Preferred URL format

  4. #4

    Default

    You could also try this.

    if you have a freind who is American. Have Him/her buy the vehicle for you. You give them the money, they take care of purchasing it, getting insurance, etc. Then when you are done with the vehicle, you could have them sell it for you, or buy it from you.

    Just a thought!

    I'm not entirely sure, but if you went to a state that bordered Canada, You might also be able to work something out there as well.

  5. Default A point to add..

    I would note that non-US citizens buy cars in the US all the time. The primarily issues are safety and liability -- that is, who ensures the car will be kept in a safe condition to be on the road, and who makes sure there is some type of insurance coverage for that hope-to-never-happen-but-plan-if-it-does case of an accident. It's not at all unusual for a non-citizen college student to buy a car, or a long-term visitor to buy a car.

    The DMVs (Department of Motor Vehicles) are the folks in each state to handle the regulations for that state, and through an exchange program over the country. (So you can buy a vehicle in one state, and sell it in another). They typically want to make sure there's someone who is a resident in that state who they can contact, and from whom they get their regulatory fee. (Note that resident does not necessarily mean citizen...) That's why having a local mailing address is important -- which can be a friend/ cousin's house, a college dorm, or the like. But they do want an address to mail you information or contact you at. They may also require a basic safety or smog inspection of the car before they'll register it (particularly if the car is from out of state).

    The Liability coverage is that you need some basic car insurance. Check with your UK insurer to see if that policy covers the US. And if it does, have them provide a statement of coverage -- which will probably be asked for by the DMV. You can also get basic insurance in the US for the US , but if you've already got coverage from an insurer, why pay twice?

    Some big car dealers in cities with high immigrant populations or near the border have standard paperwork to go through this with a buyer. (For example, its not uncommon for a car to be sold in California to a Mexican citizen, and in some cases, the car to be taken back to be used in the Mexico.) Also some universities and large companies with people cycling in and back from overseas will have "how to" procedures for thiis. Check the web and go a quick search, and you might find some helpful hints.

  6. #6

    Default

    i am doing EXACTLY the same thing as you.... it is not easy... in the slightest

    my trip starts next week, and while i currently have a friend in CA who's address i'm using... i'm trying to find a cheaper way of doing it.

    Here's my website... i'll probably be posting on it after i've completed the whole process
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 04-19-2007 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Preferred URL Format

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Cool and innovative design thingy!

    Quote Originally Posted by dbulmer View Post
    my trip starts next week,
    David, I enjoyed looking at your site. That is a very nice use of Flash for the mapping application! That is a seriously whacking route you are attempting to do as well!

    Mark

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Facilitators

    Recently, I have been put in touch with some Los Angeles-based "facilitators" who work with non-resident visitors and serve as a proxy-address similar to Agent of Record (for non-resident Corporation service) but the practice seems dubious in terms of legal requirements. We'll be learning more about the legal standing of these companies before posting information about them -- but for those who are looking for alternative solutions -- such companies do exist.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dbulmer View Post
    Here's my website... i'll probably be posting on it after i've completed the whole process
    David, your site asks for verification to send a message. Where does one find that??

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by roadkill View Post
    You could also try this.

    if you have a freind who is American. Have Him/her buy the vehicle for you. You give them the money, they take care of purchasing it, getting insurance, etc. Then when you are done with the vehicle, you could have them sell it for you, or buy it from you.

    Just a thought!

    I'm not entirely sure, but if you went to a state that bordered Canada, You might also be able to work something out there as well.
    Caution: Buying a car for someone else can lead to liability problems. For instance, my dad co-signed a loan for a friend's kid, never even saw the car. But when the driver got into an accident and injured someone else, my dad got sued, too. Took years to unravel, and luckily (sort of) my dad had next to no property or money to worry about losing. Still had to get dragged through court for years, though. Would've been terrible if he had something of value to protect. Given his experience, I would never buy a vehicle for someone else, nor would I ask such of a friend.

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