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Old 08-25-2015, 02:30 PM   #1
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Temperary license after factory delivery

The delivery date for my new 21-ft trailer is May 12, 2016, and I am unsure about the licensing process. I live in Alabama and know that in order to register a motor vehicle brought into Alabama from another state you must have a law enforcement officer confirm the VIN number before a license will be issued. So I am sure that I cannot get either a regular or temperary license plate ahead of the delivery, based on the paper work from the escape factory.

Of course I would like to have at least a temporary license for the trailer while driving home to Alabema, but I would also like to be able to take my trailer back into Canada after delivery and I know that this must require at least a temporary license plate. I would appereciate information from anyone with expeience in this ares, espically anyone from Alabema.

Thanks, Cfoster
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Old 08-25-2015, 04:50 PM   #2
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Have you gone to the DMV and explained the situation. Perhaps a transfer of your current tag. The is no law that states you must buy a vehicle in Alabama, and that rule might apply to preowned vehicles. Best to get the answer straight from the horse'so mouth. Wait, the DVM is a branch of the Government; wrong end of the horse.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:19 PM   #3
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Talk to your DMV, it may take a few people; but buying a vehicle out of state isn't that unusual.

Colorado has much the same process. However, they will issue a temp plate without the VIN check. You just can't get real ones without it. That's what I used to get home.
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Old 08-25-2015, 06:51 PM   #4
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I'm going to be calling my DMV tomorrow for a somewhat similar situation. We currently live in TX, and although we'll be registering the trailer in TX, we won't be coming back once we pick up the trailer. Hopefully they won't need to see the trailer in person in order for us to get plates for it. I'll report back when I've called them!
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:28 PM   #5
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Temperary license after factory delivery

Casey,
If you want to register the trailer in Texas, it will have to be visually inspected by a member of the Texas Auto Theft Task Force, and they'll have to complete a form VTR68A - VIN Verification. No way around it according to Texas registration laws. Ask me how I know.

But, it's easy peezy to get a 30 day temp tag for the trailer from the Texas DMV. You just fill out an online form and print out the plate from home. It can be extended also, for an additional 30 days. You can also choose the start date for the 30 day period before you print it. That came in handy for us, as we made the start date the day of pickup - not the day we purchased the temp tag.

Oh, and welcome to the forum, from a fellow 19 owner and San Antonian!
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:32 PM   #6
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Man, that makes things difficult. We weren't planning on coming back to Texas, and that would add an extra 3,000+ miles of gas and wear and tear to the vehicle that we wouldn't have otherwise planned for. Hmmm, perhaps we'll have to think of an alternative.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:38 PM   #7
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Not sure what ur plans are, but if ur going on the road full-time in the Escape and not going to live in TX going forward you might want to look at what's involved in setting up a domicile in South Dakota which is the friendliest to Full - time Rv'ers.

Not as far a drive if you need to make an appearance to set everything up.
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Old 08-25-2015, 07:52 PM   #8
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That's a great idea Greg. We were planning to use TX as our state of residency, since it's another of the friendly states for full timers, but we'd enjoy the trip to SD better than the trip back to TX. We'll probably end up using SD and the Escapees club you mentioned.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:09 PM   #9
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Oh, and welcome to the forum, from a fellow 19 owner and San Antonian!
Thanks! We met you at the Bluebonnet rally and your Escape is the one that convinced us to go 19 instead of 21 or 5.0TA.

We're planning to travel the West Coast once we pick up our trailer, but we haven't finalized all our planning of state of residency, mail, etc. Working on all that now, as we won't be coming back to TX once we hitch up the trailer.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:23 PM   #10
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I talked to an old boy who had a very elaborate motor home when I was down in Kentucky. He stored the motor home, had a house and antique cars in Indiana, however, I noticed his motor home and the Honda pilot he was towing were both running Montana plates. I've noticed Montana plates on a number of big motor homes over the years. Did not ask him about his plates.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:24 PM   #11
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I talked to an old boy who had a very elaborate motor home when I was down in Kentucky. He stored the motor home, had a house and antique cars in Indiana, however, I noticed his motor home and the Honda pilot he was towing were both running Montana plates. I've noticed Montana plates on a number of big motor homes over the years. Did not ask him about his plates.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Greg A View Post
Not sure what ur plans are, but if ur going on the road full-time in the Escape and not going to live in TX going forward you might want to look at what's involved in setting up a domicile in South Dakota which is the friendliest to Full - time Rv'ers.

Not as far a drive if you need to make an appearance to set everything up.
It looks like I might not even have to have the trailer inspected in SD to get it registered.

Trailer

I'll keep doing research and find out if that's the case, and if it is, my wife and I will fly up to SD before picking up the trailer (free with SWRR points) and get that taken care of without having to go through the extra wear and tear on the vehicle.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:29 PM   #13
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Thanks! We met you at the Bluebonnet rally and your Escape is the one that convinced us to go 19 instead of 21 or 5.0TA.

We're planning to travel the West Coast once we pick up our trailer, but we haven't finalized all our planning of state of residency, mail, etc. Working on all that now, as we won't be coming back to TX once we hitch up the trailer.
Sorry I didn't remember we met. Sometimes my brain ain't what it used to be.

If you are thinking about the plan Greg suggests, Montana is another alternative. You don't need a domicile, just an LLC to register the trailer under. No sales tax, and the tags are cheap. No Vin verification, and they mail you the tags. Plenty of companies in MT that do it. And, since you won't be returning to TX with the trailer, you aren't skirting any laws.
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Old 08-25-2015, 08:58 PM   #14
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Montana

Robert, thanks for the information on Montana. That explains some things for sure.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:23 AM   #15
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When I was crossing the border from Canada back into the U.S., the officer told me he had never seen a temp license for an imported RV and said it was worthless. I was a bit puzzled, but he was right: it really didn't help us much.

Back in Texas, registering the trailer was a real pain. My first attempt to get plates at the Tax Office BEFORE picking up our trailer failed, and they sent me home to get more paperwork. Thats when I got the temp license. When I got home from our trip I had to tow the RV out to the County Sheriff's office 20 miles outside the city for a VIN inspection. When I returned to the Tax Office the second time the clerk shuffled through the paperwork and said I needed another inspection because the GVWR was over 4000 lbs. I convinced her to use the dry weight numbers and I got my plates.

Its easier to rob a bank.
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Old 08-26-2015, 12:25 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
You don't need a domicile, just an LLC to register the trailer under. No sales tax, and the tags are cheap. No Vin verification, and they mail you the tags. Plenty of companies in MT that do it. And, since you won't be returning to TX with the trailer, you aren't skirting any laws.
Im wondering if this can be done on Legal Zoom. $150 to file an LLC with the State.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:38 PM   #17
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When I returned to the Tax Office the second time the clerk shuffled through the paperwork and said I needed another inspection because the GVWR was over 4000 lbs. I convinced her to use the dry weight numbers and I got my plates.



Its easier to rob a bank.

You got that right Sean. I lucked out on the VIN inspection because the task force inspection station was only a couple miles from my house.

It's always amazing how different the experience at the DMV can be from one owner to another, when supposedly they are all following the same rules.

Sometimes they make it up as they go along.
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Old 08-26-2015, 07:42 PM   #18
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Im wondering if this can be done on Legal Zoom. $150 to file an LLC with the State.
I'm going to try that very thing. I already run my own business, and I've been wanting to set up an LLC anyway. I found this site that explains what they do to get you set up with a MT LLC, so I'm going to see if I can get it done myself for less than the $800 they charge, which they claim is quite competitive for setting this type of thing up.
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