Fly and Buy process? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 10 Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 10:01 pm Thread Starter
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Fly and Buy process?

Okay... I hate to admit it but most of my vehicle purchases have been from a dealer... so the formalities were easy. Sign, pay, get a temp tag, drive away, register it before the temp tag expired.

Now I am looking into a fly and ride purchase on a motorcycle. What is the process? Do I just plate the new bike with my current motorcycle tag and ride off or do I ride with no tag (Could be a 1000 mile ride)? What if I were to get pulled over - registration please? What about the title? I WOULD put insurance on the bike before I rode it.


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post #2 of 10 Old Sep 22nd, 2008, 10:25 pm
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Re: Fly and Buy process?

Depending on the state you are buying it in, the plate may stay with the vehicle (California is one of those states). In Nevada the plates stay with the person not the vehicle.

You also need to ensure you notify your insurance company of the purchase as soon as you can so the bike is covered.

If you are buying it in one of those states you may need to get a movement permit from their DMV (usually a fee involved). The permit will have anywhere from 15-30 days use/time to enable you to get the bike home and registered. You have to have the title signed off by the seller and usually a bill of sale.

If I buy a vehicle here in Nevada, I just go to DMV and get a temporary permit which gives me 30 days to register it.

Long story short, check with DMV in the selling state and your home state. Usually not a big hassle and it will keep you square should you get stopped and the bike doesn't have plate.
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post #3 of 10 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 5:24 am
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Re: Fly and Buy process?

I am from Illinois and I purchased my GS in Colorado.
1. I put insurance on the bike proir to pickup. Have the card/proof of ins. with you.
2. Seller let me keep the plate for the ride home. I then sent it back to him.
3. I had the bill of sale, proof of insurance, signed over title with me.
4. No encounters with LEO's.
5. I didn't even go straight home. Had to have a little fun in Colorado and Utah.

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post #4 of 10 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 5:39 am
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Re: Fly and Buy process?

Same here - insurance beforehad, title and bill of sale in hand, original owner's plate on it til I got home, then mailed it back.

Bought my LT from a board member in Dallas. He rode to Memphis (midway between us) I rented a car one way, met at the airport and we both flew home - him a little higher in altitude than me.

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post #5 of 10 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 8:31 am
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Re: Fly and Buy process?

I cannot argue with any of the advice given above, but I can relate some personal experience.

I flew one way from Houston to Portland, OR to buy a bike. I examined the bike cosmetically and did a short test ride. We went over to the dealer and had the service manager look it over and he declared it ready for the trip and we closed the deal financially.

I called the insurance company on the cell phone, set that up, and had the seller sign a Bill of Sale which I had prepared. He left the tags on the bike and I also had the Title signed by the seller.

A great trip, bike rode perfectly and the paperwork was never a problem.

It is a great adventure and I wish you well.

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post #6 of 10 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 10:21 am
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Re: Fly and Buy process?

As others have noted, it varies from state to state. I'm in California and I bought my LT from a friend in New York. I'm not sure what the current practice is but at the time it required a little cheating as there wasn't an official Calif DMV procedure to handle it (according to the DMV employee I got anyway). New York required the plate stay in New York and Calif wouldn't start paperwork until the bike was in Calif. What the *#^*!!! The DMV gal let me fudge the entry date so I had Calif paperwork and my buddy let me keep the plate for the ride. Why do they make it so hard to try to follow the rules?
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post #7 of 10 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 10:40 am
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Re: Fly and Buy process?

I've flown and drove twice. The most important thing from my experience is to know what your home state rules are. For instance in AZ whether the title needs to be notarized depends on the rules in the state you are purchasing. So the bike I bought in New Mexico didn't have to, but the one in Ohio did.

I rode one back with the original owner's plate, and one with the plate off one of my other bikes. In both cases I had the title, bill of sale, and insurance card and registration from one of my other bikes. In AZ you can pay $1 for a 3 day temp tag to get you to the DVM for the paperwork and new plate.

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post #8 of 10 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 10:47 am
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Re: Fly and Buy process?

In my case, I am selling my bike on Friday morning and flying to Las Vegas that evening to pick up my new to me 05 LT.

The plate on my bike is personalized and has to stay with me so I can move it to the new bike when I get home.

It can be done within the bounds of the rules, just takes some planning.
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post #9 of 10 Old Sep 23rd, 2008, 11:31 am
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Re: Fly and Buy process?

In the successful fly & buy of several bikes over the years I have always been able to negotiate the use of seller's plate and registration for the return ride home as part of the terms of sale. If the bike was not currently inspected, registered and licensed, I would either require that it be done before the sale, or significantly reduce my offer in expectation of having to arrange temporary travel permits in the state where the sale was to be made, or pass on the purchase altogether.

In the one instance of buying from a long distance dealer, a temporary registration was furnished in my name, details confirmed in advance. I supplied my own insurance in advance, and promptly mailed the seller's license plate and registration back to them upon my return home.

A dated and signed bill of sale with a copy for both buyer and seller, gives some confidence to the seller that should an accident occur on buyer's trip home, the ownership of the bike resides with the buyer as of the date/time of sale, despite the old registration continuing for a few days.

I would advise not short-cutting, that is using a plate or registration that are not specifically and accurately representing the bike you are riding!
Fraudulent documents are sufficient cause for impoundment and fines should an LOE decide to do so. I had a friend left standing in the Nevada desert because he had attempted to ride a bike with license and registration from another bike. Observent LOE who stopped him for speeding, noted VIN # discrepancy, suspected possible theft, and impounded the bike. Friend got mad, said a thing or two he shouldn't have, and officer left him standing in the desert after tow company picked up the impounded bike! Officer wouldn't even give him a ride into town...said that wasn't his problem. Maybe karma on both sides probably will even up the score someday

In the event of an accident involving an unlicensed (un-inspected too?) and un-registered vehicle, it is very likely that the fraud would be exposed. Insurance would probably be voided too. Best not to take short-cuts in my opinion.

Generally following above, I have had no bad experiences in buying long distance. All but one were BMW's, and purchased from folks on one or another of the BMW forums. who I believe are above average in being straight and honorable.

Bob Allred
Riverton, Utah
'03 K1200LT
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post #10 of 10 Old Sep 24th, 2008, 12:03 am
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Re: Fly and Buy process?

Just did it. Bikepm was in Omaha and I was in Dallas. Caught a plane at 6:00am, at dealership by 8:30, deal done by 8:31, new tires and EWS ring installed and out by 3:00. Rode to Cedar Rapids, IA for the night. Left Cedar Rapids the next day at 8:30am and arrived in Dallas at 11:30pm.

Be sure and get it insured. If your agent is on his game, he can FAX the insurance card to you after $$$ has changed hands.

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