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Discussion Starter #1
I'm visiting Michigan for five weeks this summer, from Australia. I have decided to buy a scooter while I'm there for easy transport. I have never owned or registered a scooter in the US. It's my first visit. What is the procedure?

I have an Australian riders license and an international riders license.

In Australia when you go the the relevant authority to pay the registration fee, license plates are handed over on the spot. In the US, the plates are mailed to you - is that correct?

I won't have a permanent US address and I won't have any ID with a US home address on it - just the usual travel documents like my Aussie passport and my riders licenses.

Can a non-local, passing through, register a bike in the US?
 

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Hi Night-Timer,

Let us know when you'll be coming and where you plan to buy your Burgman. Someone in the area, I'm sure, will be able to give you details about the procedure.

The place to contact is the Secretary of State office. Most towns of any size will have an office. My experience has been the smaller the office the better, and quicker, the service. I just bought my Burgman and received the plates immediately, at the Secretary of State's office. That being said, there may be a different procedure for non-citizens.

Again, let us know when you're coming and where you plan to visit. I can go to our local Secretary of State office in Northern Michigan and get the information first hand for you. http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1585_15248-175971--,00.html would be a good webpage to find more information. I couldn't find anything about non-citizens, but it will give you general information.

John
 

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John, thanks for the advice. I plan on buying in Wyoming, Michigan, and then doing the ride to Detroit... I'll check out that link you provided.
 

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According to the web-link provided by John, "you do not need a license plate to drive a newly purchased vehicle directly home within Michigan within three days of purchase. Carry the assigned title with you." That's handy If I can't receive plates on the spot.

That website also says:

Proof of Michigan no-fault insurance. You must have Michigan no-fault insurance to register a vehicle in Michigan. Out-of-state policies are not accepted. (Motorcycles must also be insured, but do not require no-fault insurance.)

So, can someone explain the various types of Michigan bike insurance? I assume it's quite different to car insurance policies? What is "no-fault"?
 

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John, thanks for the advice. I plan on buying in Wyoming, Michigan, and then doing the ride to Detroit... I'll check out that link you provided.
If you plan on buying from a dealer, the dealer will take care of a lot of the registration for you. I would contact the dealer and they'll be helpful.

Remember that most dealers can be talked down in price. Right now is a great time to be a buyer.

No-Fault insurance simply means, if you have a claim, you don't have to prove who's at fault for the insurance company to pay the claim. Other's may have a more informed explanation. In Michigan, for cars, it's the only way to buy insurance. I'm not sure about motorcycles.

John
 

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I live in Michigan and have quite a bit of experience with the Secretary Of State . If you are buying used you can pay an extra $5 and get the new title on the spot , where normally they would mail it to you in a couple of weeks . You can also get the license plates on the spot as long as you have a certificate of insurance . I'm guessing that would be better for you since you live in another country .

TheReaper!
 

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i live in NY so may not matter in Mich... but how can u register a vehicle if u don't live there? don't u need to prove an actual Mich address to where its being registered??
 

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Night-Timer, I live in Michigan, about an hour north of Wyoming. You are planning on buying a scooter to use while here for 5 weeks, then what? Reselling scooter or shipping back down under? How new of a scooter are you looking for? Here is an ad from craigslist that is at a dealer about and hour southwest of Wyoming. The scoot is a 2012 with just over 1200 miles on it with an asking price of just under $6,600 US. I would love to trade in my 2003 650 on it, but as it only has 15K on it, I really can't justify spending the $4k+ I would have to lay out in addition to the trade in. There are a few scoots for sale around that area, just not a lot of used ones at the dealers. FWIW.
Rick

http://grandrapids.craigslist.org/mcd/4586587581.html
 
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