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Old 12-27-2019, 09:16 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Marquette, Michigan
Trailer: None
Posts: 9
Temporary Travel Permit

We are leaving the Upper Peninsula of Michigan end of January beginning to February to pick up our new 5.0! The trip is just over 2000 miles. We do not want to come back to Michigan to license our trailer. Instead we want to go down the coast and spend two months camping in the southwest, south and southeast. Does anyone know how long the temporary travel permit from Escape is good for? We visited our local state Department of Motor Vehicle and they said we need to get the from from customs completed in order to get our Michigan plate. In Michigan the form is the CBP 7501 Entry Summary Form.

Any thoughts and or ideas on how we can license our trailer without returning to Michigan??

Thank you.

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Old 12-27-2019, 10:18 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Southwick, Massachusetts
Trailer: None, sold my 2014 5.0TA
Posts: 7,116
Never heard of a temporary travel permit from Escape, you may be able to get temp tags from the state of MI, each state being different. For me to get plates without the trailer in CT I needed the paperwork from Escape, which meant I had to pay it off. Again, all staes seem to be different so you'll need to check with MI.

Some do not bother with plates till they get home if the state makes it too difficult.

Happy Motoring
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:41 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Northern California, California
Trailer: 2019 Escape 21
Posts: 522
temporary trip permit from Oregon

Hello iamcmv,

Here is our experience with a temporary trip permit. Like many US citizens, we took possession of our new Escape trailer in Sumas, WA. However, we noticed an issue with the fridge, so a couple days later we traveled back across the border to have ETI take a look at it.

When returning back to the US with the trailer, we had an interesting conversation with the US Border guard. He asked us for the license plate number, and we said the trailer was new and did not have one yet. He then asked us for the temporary trip permit number, at which point we said “What’s that?”. Fortunately, he chuckled at that response. He went on to tell us that most places in the US want a license plate or temporary permit number visible from the back of the trailer, and that we would be at the risk of being pulled over and given a ticket without a visible license or permit. I guess the various jurisdictions increasingly rely upon cameras for enforcing various laws, and hence they want a way to identify the trailer with an owner. The border guard liked that we had written proof of insurance, the bill of sale, and all the other paperwork ETI gives you.

We were on our way to the Oregon coast, so we skipped going to a Washington DMV (their permits are only last for a few days), and drove carefully to an Oregon DMV. Oregon’s permits last for up to 10 days. The $32 cost was annoying, but it gave us some peace of mind as we went from place to place down the Oregon coast. If I had to do it all over again, I would have applied for the Oregon temporary permit via the internet (Oregon allows this if you have the VIN number), but it takes a couple weeks for the DMV to process this and send the permit to your permanent address via regular US mail. (I had checked with the California DMV prior to picking up the trailer, but California does not issue temporary permits and simply requires you to come to a DMV with your trailer within ~20 days or so of entering California). As for going to the Oregon DMV in person, the good news is that one can use the “Express Line” at the DMV to get a temporary trailer permit, rather than taking a number and waiting an hour plus. For our trip to the DMV, the entire process only took around 20 minutes, rather than the 90 minutes the other customers were being forced to wait for their various needs.

From your post, it sounds like you may need more than 10 days, so I don't know if this will be helpful. Best wishes for your upcoming travels with a new Escape Trailer.

- Bea
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Old 12-27-2019, 10:49 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Marquette, Michigan
Trailer: None
Posts: 9
Thank you for your very thorough reply. It does give us options and things to think about!
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Old 12-27-2019, 11:28 AM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Oswego, New York
Trailer: 2017 Escape 21C, 2018 Ford F150
Posts: 4,387
While it may not be possible in MI, it is worth trying to get your plate before you leave to pick up the trailer.

NY doesn't allow that, but I've been able to do it with both my Escapes. I took the paperwork sent by ETI to our DMV and asked for a plate. The first attempt on the first trailer said no, so I went back a different day to a different clerk & she put it through. While the copy of the import form that ETI sent was not signed at either registration, the DMV used it, along with the rest of the paperwork to transfer the plate from the 17 to the 21, even though the 17 had been "unregistered" when I sold it the month before.

I know some states require a visual check of the VIN # to register - if that is a MI requirement, early registration probably won't work, but if not, it is worth trying, using the ETI paperwork. A small DMV office may help. I know our county office gets a cut of the $ from registering, so smaller ones might be more accommodating.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:48 PM   #6
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FWIW I'm not aware of any Escape owner who had any issues traveling without plates after factory pick up. Some have taken many months to return. The problems arise when you go to register and apply for tags for your new Escape in your state. This issue has been discussed in many past threads.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:56 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Spring Lake, Michigan
Trailer: Escape 5.0TA 2019
Posts: 9
I’m from MI picked up my 5.0TA from Escape in Aug. Since MI SOS offices are not Customer Centric nor easy to do business with after several attempts to get plates ahead of my travel were unsuccessful I just took a plate from my utility trailer and used that plate. No problems at Customs or anywhere else. I figured it was better to beg for forgiveness than loose my mind dealing with bureaucrats. When I got home I made an appointment With the SOS took in all the paperwork from Customs paid the sales tax and everything was fine. A whole lot easier and much less stress. Happy Travels
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Old 12-27-2019, 02:19 PM   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Trailer: 2018 21'
Posts: 134
I'm from MI and we also were traveling before and after picking up our trailer. I successfully took all the paperwork Escape sent me and with my checkbook and got a license plate before I went to pick up my trailer. We have all heard horror stories, but I went to an office where I had good luck before. It took a little while, but they were courteous and helpful and got the job done.
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Old 12-27-2019, 08:38 PM   #9
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Fenton, Michigan
Trailer: 2018 Escape 21, 2014 Northern Lite slide in, 2014 2500 Duramax
Posts: 153
Been through all of those hoops trying to get our plate before we left.
If you find a SOS office that is willing to accept the form sent from Escape without the customs import form with the actual date of entry into the US it can work out.

If not, as was our case, after 4 different SOS stops. We chose to take our still valid plate from our previous trailer and had it installed on the trailer by Escape. We had already got valid insurance before we left.

We crossed back into BC to have Escape address an issue 2 days after pickup, no questions asked.

We traveled for over 30 days with no issues.
Crossed the Golden Gate bridge, which does photo tolls only on southbound vehicles, when we got home we had a toll charge waiting for us, with a photo of the plate on the charge sheet.

I would just go on your adventure, keep all of the paperwork handy, and enjoy the trip.
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Old 12-28-2019, 02:07 PM   #10
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Kent, Ohio
Trailer: 2017 21
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Ohio will issue a 60 day temporary tag with the paperwork Escape issues in advance
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Old 12-29-2019, 02:22 PM   #11
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Ceresco, Michigan
Trailer: 2015 escape 19
Posts: 131
We were able to obtain our plates prior to picking up our trailer by taking the paperwork ETI provided and our checkbook for taxes.

As with most government offices it depends on the clerk who helps you.
Good Luck
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Old 12-29-2019, 06:12 PM   #12
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Marquette, Michigan
Trailer: None
Posts: 9
Thank you. We got our Escape paperwork in the mail this weekend and will take it to our local office.
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Old 12-29-2019, 06:13 PM   #13
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Location: Marquette, Michigan
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Posts: 9
Thank you!
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Old 01-02-2020, 04:40 PM   #14
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Littleton, Colorado
Trailer: 2020 19'
Posts: 21
I'll share my experience...

My Jefferson County, Colorado DMV would not issue me a temporary plate to use while towing our Escape from Washington back to Colorado. I have read that some of the DMV offices might issue a temporary plate if you are lucky enough to speak to the correct person. (I wasn't lucky.)

I discovered that a 3-day Washington Trip Permit can be self-issued online for $25 at:

You will have to setup an account, add the trailer (vehicle) to a list in your account, and then select that vehicle and 'Trip' permit to issue your permit.

We are looking forward to picking up our 19' this month.

Happy travels!
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Old 01-03-2020, 11:07 AM   #15
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Location: ..., New Mexico
Trailer: 2013 Esc19/'14 Silvrado
Posts: 3,620
When I went to my local DMV with Escapes' paperwork seeking plates to bring to Chiliwack they refused me and insisted on first seeing the trailer. I found a different DMV office that had better informed supervisors (always ask to speak with one) and walked out carrying my trailer plates.
"A billion here, a billion there...add it all up and before you know it you're talking real money." Everett Dirkson
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:37 AM   #16
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Granby, Colorado
Trailer: 2011 Casita SD
Posts: 4
Travel after picking up Escape 21

I picked up my Escape 21 in February of this year. I had all the paperwork but no tag on the back. I thought that was all that was needed and spent the better part of a month traveling across the north Us on Hwy 2 to Michigan, Visited there and traveled to Colorado then on to Texas where I live. I then registered the trailer in Texas and got my plates. Maybe I was just lucky...
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:00 PM   #17
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Bozeman, Montana
Trailer: 2019 Escape 19
Posts: 33
It is interesting to read all of the different experiences that folks have had. While I grew up in Michigan, I now live in Montana, and their regulations have changed over the years. When we bought our first Escape trailer (E15 in 2011), I talked to the folks at the DMV and they were essentially "whatever" in terms of documentation prior to bringing it back into the State.
That had changed by this past summer, when we brought home our second Escape (E19). And we had "heard" that Washington State was getting "stickier" about making sure people had legal temporary plates. So I went to our local DMV with all the paperwork that Escape provided ahead of our picking it up (thank YOU, ETI). We had long since paid for the trailer to take advantage of Currency Exchange rates. So our local DMV was cool and very happy to issue us the same kind of temporary tag that you get when you purchase a new car in Montana, because we HAD the VIN. In Sumas, we duct-taped a plastic-covered temporary tag from Montana, and went camping near the North Cascades Nat'l Park for several days.

Of course, when we returned to Montana, we had to take it to the County public safety dept where they inspect the trailer to verify the VIN before they actually hand you the actual permanent plate.

It seems surprising that Michigan would not have a similar system for new "vehicles."
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:49 PM   #18
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin
Trailer: 2019 Escape 21', Maple Interior, previous 2015 Escape 19'
Posts: 44
When we picked up our trailer last year, there was no temp. travel permit, and we traveled for about 2 months with no plates. We made certain we had the bill of sale and our insurance papers, and even after we went to the DMV it took about 40 days to get the plates, so we just kept the paperwork, receipts etc in the event we were stopped. NOTHING HAPPENED. I suspect law enforcement is pretty relaxed about this.

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