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Old 01-11-2012, 12:47 PM   #1
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Temporary Registration in California

Hi,

We're from Canada, but would like to come down to the States to buy a motor home. Our plan is to drive down in whatever vehicle we're going to tow and buy one in California...or a state nearby.

My question is: We want to drive down at the end of February...buy the motor home at the beginning of March and then spend until the end of June in the States before heading back up to Canada.

The Canadian Federal Govt and the Alberta Provincial Government both say it's up to the state where we buy our motor home to issue us a temporary license/plate etc.

Does anyone know how long you can get a temporary license/plate in California...or a nearby state...and if so...how do we go about it? And will they allow that for Canadians...and where would we have to get insurance?

A bunch of questions.

Thanks for any help.

Barbara
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Old 01-11-2012, 12:55 PM   #2
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Most temp tags are good for 30 days.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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register in WA. very cheap.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:00 PM   #4
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I bought mine in California a year ago last September and had my own dealer plates with me to use traveling while taking it home. I had to pay the company driver to drive the unit out of California so as not to have to pay California taxes on it.

I'd like to have did a little traveling in CA after I picked it up instead of paying someone else to drive it to the Nevada border

I bought it from a dealer not a private party and don't know how that would have worked.
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Old 01-11-2012, 06:25 PM   #5
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Quote:
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register in WA. very cheap.
How can a Canadian resident register a vehicle in WA?
Besides, they have to pay close to 10% use/sales tax on the purchase toregister it.
Not sure about a temporary plate though.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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Barb:

Good luck.... Maybe you can pull this one off...I could not figure-out how to do it! We bought our MH in Los Angeles last March from a private party. Your first challenge (private or dealer) is that it will take a week to ten days for Sacremento to issue you a Title Certificate (have fun explaining that your address is in Alberta, but you want the title sent to you in California)...which you must have in order to import the MH.

One way or the other pack a lunch cuz you are going go get to spend the better part of a day in a CA DMV office. These offices are a nightmare.... Strongly suggest you get a CAA membership before you leave Canada and have the AAA office help you sort-out the Title and a temp. Transportation permit... In leui of Resisteation & plates.

If you are planning to stay in the States for several months you are going to have to figure-out how to get a State drivers licence in a jurisdiction where you do not have a residence... good luck. You are then going to have to pay the
sales tax of the State (ie. 10% in CA) & then 5% GST to Canada when you
return.

We wanted to do what you are planning, but finally gave-up on all the headaches. Regardless, I wish you luck and perhaps there is someone who has done it and can explain "how" it can be done.

Cheers


If you can a CA drivers license, you are prepared to pay CA taxes... Getting registration and insurance should be easy!
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:48 PM   #7
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You may want to consider a state other than California for your purchase. Montana or Nevada comes to mind, no sales tax and a little easier vehicle registration process.
You didn't say if you intend to purchase new or used.

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Old 01-11-2012, 11:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by dieselclacker View Post
You may want to consider a state other than California for your purchase. Montana or Nevada comes to mind, no sales tax and a little easier vehicle registration process.
You didn't say if you intend to purchase new or used.

Dieselclacker
Oregon also has no sales/use tax.
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Old 01-12-2012, 09:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack1234 View Post
Barb:
If you are planning to stay in the States for several months you are going to have to figure-out how to get a State drivers licence in a jurisdiction where you do not have a residence... good luck. You are then going to have to pay the
sales tax of the State (ie. 10% in CA) & then 5% GST to Canada when you
return.
Why would a Canadian have to get a U.S. driver's license in order to drive a vehicle here? I can't imagine that all the Canadian Snowbirds who stay in the States during the winter get U.S. driver's licenses.

As for paying the state's sales tax where the vehicle is purchased, there are ways around that. In California, it requires taking possession out of state (as someone already mentioned).

The biggest problem will be getting the vehicle licensed in order for you to spend any time here in the U.S. Is there any way that you can get it licensed in Canada while still in the U.S., or does Canada require that the vehicle be physically in Canada? Maybe you could return briefly to Canada to get it registered and then come back to the States?

I'd have to agree with others who say that picking another state (other than California) for the purchase might be a good idea. Oregon and Montana don't have sales tax, so you wouldn't have to worry about possibly getting stuck paying those states' sales tax.
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:38 AM   #10
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Barbara,

I'm an Alaskan resident. Last spring I purchased a travel trailer in California that I wanted registered in Alaska. We are Alaska residents. A person from the sales lot and I drove to Nevada and signed the paper work in front of a notery. We didn't have to take the trailer. This was to avoid the California sales tax. I then printed out the Alaska DMV paper work from online, filled in the info and signed and mailed to my son in Alaska, along with a check. He took the paperwork to DMV, got my title and tags and mailed them back to me. The dealership provided a temporary tag for thirty days so we had plenty of time.

So, maybe a friend in Canada could do this for you if Canada allows. You might even talk to Canada DMV and get the correct paper work before leaving and get their advice on how to handle the situation.

I bet if you contact your insurance agent he will be able to insure you new MH with a phone call when you know the details on the MH.

Larry
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Old 01-12-2012, 11:38 AM   #11
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My recommendation would be to call a Calif dealer and speak with the person that handles their license and insurance, as they have probably handled situations like this before. I would try one of the follow:

DeMartini RV - (800) 576-1921 or (530) 272-1921
Mike Thompson RV - (888) 350-8832 or (909) 825-2433
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Old 01-12-2012, 04:06 PM   #12
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You are going to need a legal entity in order to register & insure the MH regardless of State. Legal entity = residence or corporation. Canada/Alberta won't do anything for you until the MH is legally imported & inspected.

I would also suggest you book an appointment with your bank manager before leave, since laws regarding international transfers of $$ to third parties is very tricky!

Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2012, 08:29 PM   #13
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Another hitch in the action would be IF you plan to take out a loan on the vehicle, then Ca requires you to pay the sales tax & register it in Ca. We just went through this and gave up because of Ca's requirements. Don't buy any major vehicle purchase in Ca if you don't live there, it's just too much hassle.
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Old 01-13-2012, 07:59 AM   #14
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Maybe you could agree on a "rent to own" plan with the dealer. Assume ownership of motorhome just before returning to Canada.

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