Returning to Canada (almost) right after Sumas delivery - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 09-18-2014, 02:05 PM   #1
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Location: Gig Harbor, Washington
Trailer: Escape 21 'Toto'
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Returning to Canada (almost) right after Sumas delivery

We're looking forward to getting our 21 this November... and we're trying to work out how to get some of that vaunted Valley Driving School training right away before we tow home to Gig Harbor, WA (a 3-4 hour drive).

Understandably, the Valley folk can only teach in Canada, not the U.S., so we have to go back to Chilliwack (or Abbotsford) for the training. And we've read about the delays involved when heading straight back into Canada without permanent registration, plates, etc. It's understandable that the customs officials want to be sure everything's on the up-and-up, but that doesn't mean we want to take hours to cross back into Canada.

So we had the idea to get the trailer at Bob's Burger & Brew, then tow it directly to the Department of Licensing office (inside a grocery store!) in nearby Lynden, WA. There, according to theory, we could get our WA plates, slap them onto the trailer, then head back over the border for some training (probably after an overnight at a nearby campground).

Does this sound to anyone like it will work? Or like it won't work?

doug, sooz & the furfoots
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:31 PM   #2
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Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
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Did you check with a DMV office as to whether or not they will issue plates without the trailer? Oregon does since it's a brand new trailer and ETI sends all the needed documents. They would not do that on a used trailer - but it let us carry our Oregon plate to ETI; they put it on in Sumas after the trailer had been officially "exported" from Canada.

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Old 09-18-2014, 02:35 PM   #3
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Hi: drpaddle... You should be able to get tags for Toto anywhere in Wash. St. I'd bet!!! Be prepared for the tax grab though. As Canadians we had 5% Goods/Services Tax in BC. and 7% Provincial Sales Tax in Ontario. There goes our "Free Health Care". The fee for transfer of plates was $10.00 WOHOO!!! Alf
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:39 PM   #4
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Location: Marysville, Washington
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 & Chevy Silverado 5.3L EcoTec
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I took the packet of papers ETI sent us to the local License Agency here in Marysville and got my plates before we went to Chilliwack. We installed the plates at Bob's and could have headed straight back to B.C..
Now - I was prepared for the agent to say "you need this or that form stamped.." but they were content to take my giant check for the taxes and give me the registration and plate. The title came 2 weeks later so nothing else was needed.
Its worth a try .

edit: BTW -The agent made copies of all the forms for me, but you might do that before you go in.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:42 PM   #5
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Location: Gig Harbor, Washington
Trailer: Escape 21 'Toto'
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The WA dept. of licensing SAYS they won't issue plates until we present the proper customs form, stamped at the border. But I have read stories that a a lucky trip to the right licensing office at the right moment can sometimes result in getting plates ahead of time. We are going to try this approach, but we can't count on it working.

On the other hand, if we have to get the plates in the Lynden grocery store... we can get donuts.
doug, sooz & the furfoots
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:44 PM   #6
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Rather than making an additional trip to Chilliwack after taking delivery of your Escape on the US side of the border, why not see if you can book time at a driving school that is located closer to your home.

Alternatively, go to Chilliwack, "borrow" your trailer for the afternoon to take the driver training, and then have Escape deliver your trailer for you across the border.
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Old 09-18-2014, 02:44 PM   #7
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Trailer: Escape 21 'Toto'
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Paul, that's what I was hoping to hear - thanks! We are definitely going to try that. Hmmmm, maybe stop in Marysville on the way up if it doesn't work somewhere else first. :-)

... good idea, Dave! We figured the ETI folk might look askance at newbies taking the trailer to school before it's officially ours. But maybe it WILL be officially ours. We'll ask 'em!
doug, sooz & the furfoots
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:15 PM   #8
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We were hoping to go back into Canada after picking up our trailer next summer but I don't know. Kansas will not issue a plate for anything brought in from out of state until the serial number on the unit is matched to the paperwork. Plus an extra charge for this "service". And only 2000 miles to bring it home minus plates. Yuk Loren
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Old 09-19-2014, 12:35 AM   #9
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Just curious, which License Agency in Marysville?

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Old 09-19-2014, 10:36 AM   #10
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Our problem going back into Canada was not with the temporary plate -- the inspector didn't even see that from her vantage point. She was more interested in trying to understand why we'd just been in Canada and were now turning around and coming right back. I think we gave her too much information -- we didn't need to tell her that we'd just been to Canada -- she only asked what we'd be doing in Canada. The other thing that was a problem was that Terry had a New York driver's license and the Highlander is registered in New Jersey. (from now on he's not using his enhanced NY license at customs -- he's using his passport) She was not interested in our explanation about customs and the Escape -- she really seemed to think we were up to some criminal activity because we were entering Canada after just leaving it and no explanation would have pleased her.

When I'm charitable I say the above. When I dwell on the situation I think that probably the inspector wanted to be able to catch a criminal and look good to her superiors. Either that or she'd had a fight with her husband that morning. So she told us we needed to park the trailer and go inside. Within half an hour we were on our way when the next inspector recognized that we were two seniors on a camping trip.

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