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Old 01-23-2015, 10:35 PM   #41
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A travel trailer is DEFINITELY considered a vehicle in the state of Texas, otherwise it would not require a registration or tags. BUT, the plot thickens. If you look at the form its purpose seems clear - to verify an EXISTING VIN or to assign one where none exists on a "homemade or shopmade" trailer -- NOT a trailer from a manufacturer that registers VINS in accordance with the internationally accepted numbering standard. I think the DMV is misinterpreting the requirement, but I'm not jumping through any hoops yet.
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:31 PM   #42
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Robert, those of us in the other 49 states have always know Texas is a separate "country."
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Old 01-23-2015, 11:51 PM   #43
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And indeed it was: The Republic of Texas existed from 1836 to 1846.
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Old 01-24-2015, 12:24 AM   #44
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Ten years & two presidents: Sam Houston & Anson Jones. Mr. Jones is relatively unknown especially outside of Texas.
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:06 AM   #45
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The deal is, it is an import. That is where we ran into all the paperwork. You may happen upon a clerk who does not know better, but few and far between. Hope you don't have to jump through hoops, but just get mentally prepared. I haven't heard one identical story from anyone yet when attempting to get tags.
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:17 AM   #46
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I agree about the clerks and Santacruzer's tip about using a small DMV. We did so in Alturas and fortunately a supervisor from Redding was subbing there. She did notice that the import document ETI had provided was a copy, yet from her experience she knew in all likelihood Sacramento would accept it. They did. Otherwise, we would have had to go to some US Customs office as Crystal suggested we could do. Problem is they are only in big cities. Would try to be sure that document is original. We didn't receive that paperwork until we got to Bob's Burgers in Sumas so we didn't see it beforehand.

Seems like the common theme here is don't take no for an answer the first time, or second, or third.....
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Old 01-24-2015, 11:46 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by sjnuss View Post
Unfortunately (at least for those of us in Bexar County, TX) we do need to have the VIN doc signed by SAPD before tags can be issued. It is somewhat of a PIA because the office is located in downtown San Antonio with almost no parking or much signage to indicate the office. But it is an easy enough process and only takes a few minutes. You can get a 30 day temp tag for your journey home.

Steve
Back in 2009, my experience in Travis County was similar to what Steve describes. We were able to get a 30 day temporary tag beforehand that got us back to TX. Since we didn't finance our trailer, we didn't have to deal with any added complications on that front.

The VIN check and visual inspection was performed by the appropriate Austin police officer and didn't take long at all. Unfortunately their offices are located in downtown Austin as well so I went at a time that would minimize traffic and parking headaches.

The paper work Tammy provided as well as an important signature obtained when crossing the US/Canada border was needed in addition to the locally obtained VIN inspection document to get our permanent plates.

There is an earlier thread (Getting tags) that highlights a couple of other TX owner experiences that might be of interest for comparison purposes too.

It may feel like a headache (and unnecessarily painful) now but I'm confident that you'll get it worked out. Once you've finally got the tags on your new trailer it'll all be water under the bridge and you'll be sporting a happy camper smile on your face. Good luck and congrats on the upcoming hatching of your trailer
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:36 PM   #48
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Actually, when I think about it, the RV tailer is no different than my boat trailer or junk hauling trailer. I register both of them.
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:52 PM   #49
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You could always register it in Montana. There are lots of ads in the back of Trailer Life magazine for lawyers that will set you up a company specifically to own and register your TT or RV. They're designed to beat the sales tax, but they do provide an alternative if your state is too crazy.

I was looking at them just in case Connecticut made it difficult to register thing before the pickup, DMV took the paperwork from Tammy, a big check from me, and I got the plates. Fortunately there was no VIN verification on a new trailer coming from a dealer.
Yes, we thought of creating an LLC in Montana and purchasing through that, which would avoid all sales taxes, and would only require an MCO to get it registered by mail. But, there's a bit more to it than that, and it doesn't fit our situation now that it's already financed and insured. You have to start that process as an LLC, not an individual. Had we financed and insured from the get go as an LLC, the Montana registration would make sense.
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Old 01-25-2015, 11:04 AM   #50
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Old 01-25-2015, 12:53 PM   #51
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Yes, we thought of creating an LLC in Montana and purchasing through that, which would avoid all sales taxes, and would only require an MCO to get it registered by mail. But, there's a bit more to it than that, and it doesn't fit our situation now that it's already financed and insured. You have to start that process as an LLC, not an individual. Had we financed and insured from the get go as an LLC, the Montana registration would make sense.
rbryan4, I reread the entire thread and I can't figure out what an LLC or MCO are. I am sure it will be obvious once you tell me. The reason why I am nosing into this is that our 2010 5.0 will be moving to Missouri and I am hoping the buyer doesn't encounter anything too bureaucratic. When I first started this process I spoke to Tammy and she told me that the buyer would need to present a completed form 7501 and the Bill of Sale to the US border agent for endorsement and then present the endorsed 7501 to his local DMV office for registration, payment of taxes and fees etc. She cautioned me, as normal private citizen, to not deliver the trailer into the US myself as the rules for me to deliver a trailer for the purpose of selling it could be quite different for me than for a commercial enterprise like ETI. I am curious about the Montana situation, as the buyer could very well travel through Montana on the way home to Missouri.
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:07 PM   #52
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Old 01-25-2015, 01:21 PM   #53
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rbryan4, I reread the entire thread and I can't figure out what an LLC or MCO are. I am sure it will be obvious once you tell me. The reason why I am nosing into this is that our 2010 5.0 will be moving to Missouri and I am hoping the buyer doesn't encounter anything too bureaucratic. When I first started this process I spoke to Tammy and she told me that the buyer would need to present a completed form 7501 and the Bill of Sale to the US border agent for endorsement and then present the endorsed 7501 to his local DMV office for registration, payment of taxes and fees etc. She cautioned me, as normal private citizen, to not deliver the trailer into the US myself as the rules for me to deliver a trailer for the purpose of selling it could be quite different for me than for a commercial enterprise like ETI. I am curious about the Montana situation, as the buyer could very well travel through Montana on the way home to Missouri.
Thanks.
Gerri, the way the Montana registration works is that you have to be a resident of Montana -- OR -- use a loophole in the law by having a firm create a Limited Liability Company (LLC - thanks Jim) in Montana for you. You are the owner of the LLC, and you purchase and insure the trailer in the name of the LLC -- not you as an individual. As the LLC owner, you designate who can use the vehicle because its now a company vehicle. This arrangement means that you pay no sales tax on the trailer and registration in Montana only requires an MCO (Manufacturer Certificate of Origin - thanks again Jim).

As for registering an imported vehicle in Missouri, there are no issues -- its simple. Here is a snip from the Missouri DMV FAQ:

What if I want to buy a vehicle from another country?
If you've got your eyes on that German sports car, you won't have too much trouble with the Missouri DMV. All you need is proof of ownership, which means a valid title signed over to you or a bill of sale. A combination typically works best for foreign imports.

The vehicle will have to pass federal regulations. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a helpful FAQs page on importation and certification laws.

Once you've brought the vehicle to Missouri, follow regular registration and titling procedures.
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:28 PM   #54
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Some states and counties do not look to kindly on this, legal or not. They call it tax evasion. A few years ago the county here went trolling through aircraft records looking for planes that were hangared in the local area but registered out of state. If I remember right, there were some big fines involved. The way Kansas is broke and starving for cash, for me it would not be worth the fight. Loren
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Old 01-25-2015, 02:33 PM   #55
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Some states and counties do not look to kindly on this, legal or not. They call it tax evasion. A few years ago the county here went trolling through aircraft records looking for planes that were hangared in the local area but registered out of state. If I remember right, there were some big fines involved. The way Kansas is broke and starving for cash, for me it would not be worth the fight. Loren
It's either legal or it isn't legal, whether the state looks kindly on it or not. I wouldn't go through the hassle for a number of reasons, but to be brutally honest I could care less what the tax man thinks - if it's legal.
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Old 01-25-2015, 04:07 PM   #56
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Thanks all. Glad to hear Missouri is fairly straight forward. rbryan4 I've made a copy of your findings re Missouri for my file to pass on to the new owner.

Mark
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Old 01-25-2015, 07:47 PM   #57
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Agree with Rob; it's illegal to evade taxes yet everyone's right to avoid them.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:06 PM   #58
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Registration

We live in Chambers County Texas, just East of Houston. I took all the paperwork that Tammy sent prior to our trip to Chilliwack, to our tax office. After a little discussion, they registered our Escape and we left with license plates in hand

Unfortunately a lot of times the easy answer is they can't, when it really means they don't know and don't want to find out for sure.....
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