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Old 01-16-2013, 02:32 AM   #1
Max Kool OP
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Importing a bike to CA?

Hi all,

I have a question for those who know. Chances are I might move from Europe to California because of a job offer. Me and my wife prefer to take our bikes with us (2007 BMW G650 Xchallenge and a 2008 Yamaha 660 Teneré, both modern bikes with catalytic converters).

I am assuming we can ride our bikes for the first months on the Dutch registrations and insurance. However, after some time we'd want them registered in CA. What are the steps one should follow?

PS, and how about a Euro spec Mini Cooper Cabrio?

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Old 01-16-2013, 09:58 AM   #2
AngryShawn
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My experience with bringing out of state vehicles in to Ca is as follows:
You will have to take the vehicle to a CA DMV to do a 'VIN verification'.
As long as your vehicles have the emissions stickers that the DMV is looking for, you will be ok.
Not sure though how it works with EU spec vehicles.
Don't take my word for it though, I'd recommend you visit the DMV website for further information:
http://dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffvr29.htm
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/howto/htvr9.htm
http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/reg_hdbk/ch12/ch12_15.htm
Be warned though, CA has stringent emissions laws when compared to just about any other state...
Good luck!
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Old 01-16-2013, 10:12 AM   #3
itsatdm
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In the US and Ca. it is all about emission stickers. If you purchased the bike out of country you will not have one that meets the requirements. They cannot be retrofitted.

There are exceptions for Ca. http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/reg/reg256f.pdf

You look like you may fit one. Reading it makes me think you will still have to meet DOT requirements. That is about horns, turn signals, headlight dimming etc. I don't know the procedure for that. It sounds like it has to come from a Federal agency. The Department of Transportation is Federal.

A word of warning, as difficult as DMV makes it to import an out of state bike, an out of country bike will probably be a nightmare. Just because the law allows it, is not a guarantee that DMV will see it that way.
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Old 01-16-2013, 02:12 PM   #4
petzi-baer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Kool View Post
Hi all,

I have a question for those who know. Chances are I might move from Europe to California because of a job offer. Me and my wife prefer to take our bikes with us (2007 BMW G650 Xchallenge and a 2008 Yamaha 660 Teneré, both modern bikes with catalytic converters).

I am assuming we can ride our bikes for the first months on the Dutch registrations and insurance. However, after some time we'd want them registered in CA. What are the steps one should follow?

PS, and how about a Euro spec Mini Cooper Cabrio?
A good place to search for a more comprenisive answer is here (search before you ask :-)):
http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/

One number that is important in CA is 7500 miles. If I recall correctly, you don't need to worry about the emssion sticker if your bike has more miles than that. But you still need to go to CHP for approval. They are going to check the lights etc. Once the bike gets the seal of approvad from the CHP, you should be able to get the permission from the DMV or so ...


That;s it in a nutshell. But there are always details. BTW I was looking into that process for some time, but I haven't done it myself.

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Old 01-16-2013, 02:21 PM   #5
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With all the red tape involved... I'd sell them and buy bikes in CA. In most cases things cost more in Europe.
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Old 01-16-2013, 04:52 PM   #6
itsatdm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petzi-baer View Post
A good place to search for a more comprenisive answer is here (search before you ask :-)):
http://www.bayarearidersforum.com/forums/

One number that is important in CA is 7500 miles. If I recall correctly, you don't need to worry about the emssion sticker if your bike has more miles than that. But you still need to go to CHP for approval. They are going to check the lights etc. Once the bike gets the seal of approvad from the CHP, you should be able to get the permission from the DMV or so ...


That;s it in a nutshell. But there are always details. BTW I was looking into that process for some time, but I haven't done it myself.

petzi-baer
I understand this is an out of country purchase not an out of state purchase. It will not have any emission sticker, Ca. or Federal, so the 7,500 mile exception probably won't apply.

This may help:http://www.motionpro.com/motorcycle/partno/08-0049/
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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Importing a car from Europe can be complicated. Generally speaking, imports must meet the requirements of the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. Many foreign models don't and must be modified. Paying for these modifications on top of duties and taxes can become alarmingly expensive, so check the NHTSA's list of conforming cars.

Read more: How to Bring a Car in From Europe | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_107575_bring...#ixzz2ICAJzMbM
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:18 PM   #8
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Make sure your sales contract verifies that the car has been built to U.S. standards. The manufacturer's certification label is attached to the vehicle (near the driver's door).

Read more: How to Bring a Car in From Europe | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_107575_bring...#ixzz2ICAbGQpb
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:19 PM   #9
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Complete the EPA's Form 3520-1 and the DOT's Form HS-7. Vehicles meeting U.S. emission requirements carry a manufacturer's label (in English) certifying this, in the engine compartment.




Read more: How to Bring a Car in From Europe | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_107575_bring...#ixzz2ICAta1jX
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Old 01-16-2013, 06:20 PM   #10
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Get more information from the following sources: Environmental Protection Agency (epa.gov); Department of Transportation Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance NHTSA (nhtsa.gov); U.S. Customs Service (www.customs.ustreas.gov).

Read more: How to Bring a Car in From Europe | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_107575_bring...#ixzz2ICB46rPG
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:43 PM   #11
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Darn near impossible, sorry to say. The cost will likely be more than the bikes/cars cost, and is usually only done by wealthy collectors. That doesn't even take into account shipping costs.

I would recommend removing all your favorite farkles and bringing them with you. Sell the vehicles. California is about bureaucracy, not function. Sorry man.

Welcome to California, though! We have some great riding waiting here for you.
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:42 PM   #12
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Bringing into CA.

One of the challenges you will find is that your type of situation is probably pretty rare. Because of that the DMV employees likely have little or no experience in that area. All to often they just say it can't be done. Frankly they don't seem to care to work thru the difficult and or abnormal situation. Good luck if you bring them
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:39 AM   #13
Max Kool OP
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Sounds more and more a better idea to sell them over here, and get different bikes again from craigslist or something locally in LA.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:04 PM   #14
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Agreed. Plenty of bikes on CL up and down CA. Be patient, bikes come and go all the time
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:42 PM   #15
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sell the xchallenge but bring the tenere and sell it to me.
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