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Author Topic: Brit's touring in the US  (Read 494 times)

didicoy

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Brit's touring in the US
« on: September 16, 2018, 12:51:17 PM »

Hi guys I'm a Brit Just purchased a Ford F250 (1996) and an Airstream Excella 31 (1985) and plan to tour the US for 3-4 months from now and perhaps longer next year. I have a B1/2 visa and have joined Escapees RV for US address. But could do with some help on a) insurance for both vehicles deducibles, what normal for these etc, b) getting Texas tags (registration) can I do it before I get there? (pickup's in Montana at present)  and c) anything else I should deal with. Arriving in US end of this month

Thanks
Kevin M

prfcdoc

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2018, 05:41:20 PM »
Can't help with all, but you'll definitely have to get the truck registration done once it's in Texas. It will have to have a Texas inspection and then registered with the state. You can get temporary paperwork as far as I know. Even though I've lived here most of my life I never had to deal with doing these things from a distance. If you will contact Escapees they can help you with some of your questions. I'm a member and have found them to be remarkably helpful. Welcome to the forum and to the US.
Bob
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jackiemac

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 08:11:05 PM »
Hi and welcome. The only place we could get insurance was with Good Sam (National General) because we don't have US driving licence/history....

Can't help with registration but the DMV are usually good at responding to emails.  Make sure it is the official website though....

Good luck.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in US until 30th October 2018

Tom

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2018, 11:08:37 AM »
Quote from: jackiemac
The only place we could get insurance was with Good Sam (National General) because we don't have US driving licence/history....


Aye Jackie, when we first came to the US, we were able to get vehicle insurance from one of the major companies but, due to no US driving history, we paid double the premium. One year later, they halved the premium.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2018, 11:09:00 AM »
A complication in the USA is that vehicle registration tags and title are done by the individual states, so it's a hassle if you buy in one state and need to get to another to do paperwork. A Montana dealer can probably get temporary tag to allow you to drive to Texas for the permanent tag & title, but a private seller doesn't have that capability. You have to go to the DMV in Montana and apply your self.  Check with the Montana Dept of Motor Vehicles (DMV) about the procedure for obtaining a temporary transport tag.

Any applicable sales or excise taxes are also handled at the state level. Montana has no sales tax, but Texas does and you may have to pay it when you get there if the truck is not already titled elsewhere. You might actually be better off getting it titled and registered in Montana and transferring it to Texas later.  You will need to research that to figure out.


Insurance deductibles are a personal choice about risk. There are no deductible for liability coverage, but the coverage for damage to your vehicles can be anywhere form zero on up.  If you feel confident you won't be making a claim, select a high deductible and save money on the premiums. If worries about the likely cost of an accident, select a low or no deductible. Many people compromise with a deductible of around $200, but $500 or $1000 can save you money. When getting insurance quotes, as for premium costs at various levels of deductible and make your choice.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2018, 11:10:39 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
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jackiemac

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2018, 03:34:32 PM »


Aye Jackie, when we first came to the US, we were able to get vehicle insurance from one of the major companies but, due to no US driving history, we paid double the premium. One year later, they halved the premium.
Our premium has remained constant!!
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in US until 30th October 2018

Tom

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2018, 03:41:40 PM »
You might want to question/challenge that Jackie. OTOH you've only been part time in the US, whereas we were full time.
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Isaac-1

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2018, 05:24:06 PM »
The problem answering your question is that the rules and rates for registration, insurance and taxation varies from state to state.     The big issue here is to try to avoid paying taxes twice, once in the state where you buy it, and once as "use tax" in the state where you register it.   Also expect Texas to be very slow about issuing  permanent Title paperwork, I live in Louisiana (Title is proof of ownership, registration is paying for your license plate), I live in Louisiana about 20 miles from Texas, my wife has bought her last 2 cars as used cars  in Texas, both times from dealerships and both times  the 60 (90?) day temporary paper plates were within a week of expiring, before the Texas paperwork arrived that would allow her to get permanent Louisiana plates.

I bought my current coach in Florida, and drove it home to Lousiaina, thankfully I was able to get a Louisiana temporary plate from my bank who financed the coach  to drive it home instead of  dealing with the Florida DMV, as the standard Florida procedure is to pay 8% tax to get a temporary plate, drive to the home state, pay tax again, then one has to file paperwork with Florida to refund the difference if the Florida, assuming they have a  receptacle tax agreement, which at the time they did have with more states, though I think North Carolina was an exception.     So buyers from NC buying in FL would be stuck paying tax twice.

As to the rest of it I have personally seen sales tax on vehicles range from 3%-9% depending on the state, my state charges 9% of the book value of a vehicle when it is brought into the state and registered here.  A number of  years ago I moved back to Louisiana after living in Alabama for 6 years, while in Alabama I bought a car, put 90,000 miles on it, and paid more in use taxes to Louisiana when I moved back than I had paid to Alabama when the car was brand new.   Note with my state the 9% is on book value, not actual sales price, so even if you get a great price buying out of  state you still pay on the higher book value.   Of course by contrast registration in Louisiana was $25 per year and it was over $250 in Alabama.     That reminds me I need to renew the registration on my motorhome next month ($50 for  2 years yay ) thanks to it being over 12 years old.  I renewed it for my 8 year old car last month at I think $65 per year.     I recently read on another site where some new expensive diesel pusher owners are paying $3,500+ per year for registration in California and New York.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2018, 05:28:54 PM by Isaac-1 »
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Arch Hoagland

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2018, 05:59:08 PM »
So did you buy both without seeing them?
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jackiemac

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2018, 02:42:05 PM »
You might want to question/challenge that Jackie. OTOH you've only been part time in the US, whereas we were full time.
I will. Premium has gone up a little but will maybe try some other companies too.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in US until 30th October 2018

didicoy

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2018, 11:16:00 AM »
thanks all currently stuffing a 40ft container heading back to the UK so email may be a bit hit and miss for a couple of weeks but I will read all replies.

Might get somewhere with Good Sam but think I will have to phone them.

Purchased both sight unseen but did check sellers on Social media and have exchanged emails since

Murray

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #11 on: September 26, 2018, 08:10:52 PM »
Hi Didicoy,
Can you please expand on the escapees rv club? How can you use them as an address for registration? (And insurance?)
Desperate to find out how to register an RV in the US without living there as we want to tour for a few months per year, but live on a boat doing the same thing elsewhere!
thank you
Murray

Murray

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #12 on: September 26, 2018, 08:13:39 PM »
Also, spoke to Good Sam this morning, (you do have to phone them - free on skype) they will take the storage address for insurance purposes, apparently. (didn't get a quote yet though)

Isaac-1

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #13 on: September 26, 2018, 08:25:29 PM »
Escapees RV club is a group that was founded several decades ago, they offer a variety of services aimed at full time RV travelers.  https://www.escapees.com/  Their headquarters is in Livingston Texas (about 200 miles from where I live), they also operate a few campgrounds, and have some sort of camping club system, along with mail forwarding services, hold member rallies, provide RV bootcamp education, ... even a retirement campground for full timers that can no longer travel.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Murray

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2018, 07:28:44 PM »
So can you just join escapees rv and sign up for their mailing service, then use that address to register the vehicle - sounds too simple??

didicoy

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2018, 02:17:02 AM »
Escapees will provide an address its the insurance that's causing the problem as soon as a I mention i'm not American its all seems to be too much trouble

jackiemac

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2018, 02:20:27 PM »
Escapees will provide an address its the insurance that's causing the problem as soon as a I mention i'm not American its all seems to be too much trouble
We had the same issue, called several and only three would insure us, Good Sam was the one we chose.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 12:50:24 PM by jackiemac »
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in US until 30th October 2018

Murray

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2018, 10:04:57 PM »
Good Sam can only find Foremost insurance for insuring visitors limited by the B2visa 6 month limit.

Tom

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2018, 12:56:38 AM »
Maybe I'm oversimplifying this, but ...

When we first came to the US we were on B1/B2 visas and lived temporarily in a hotel. We bought a new car from a dealership, and an insurance agent (found through Yellow Pages) met me in a restaurant at 10pm to write the insurance. I don't recall mentioning that we were not US citizens, nor that we were visiting on a visa, although we discussed the fact that we had 'just arrived' and compared the differences between UK and US insurance. The only negative was the fact that we didn't have 12 months of history driving in the US, so we had to buy a different policy from him at a higher premium; When the 12 months was up, our premium dropped 50%. This 12 months minimum driving record was independent of how long we'd lived in the US.

Several years later we bought our first RV (new from a dealer) and I merely called the insurance agent to arrange coverage. Somewhere in my later discussions with the agent I asked about the cost of 6 months vs 12 months insurance; He explained that they assumed an RV would be used only 6 months a year (excluding fulltimers), and that there wouldn't be any difference in the premium for 6 vs 12 months. This might be something you need to ask prospective insurers. If there's no difference in the premium, why not insure for 12 months? This would give you coverage for damage or fire loss for however long the RV is in storage.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 01:18:55 AM by Tom »
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jackiemac

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #19 on: October 13, 2018, 12:51:02 PM »
Good Sam can only find Foremost insurance for insuring visitors limited by the B2visa 6 month limit.
We are with National General via Good Sam so not sure what this means.  Maybe it has changed.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in US until 30th October 2018

jackiemac

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #20 on: October 13, 2018, 12:54:54 PM »
Maybe I'm oversimplifying this, but ...

When we first came to the US we were on B1/B2 visas and lived temporarily in a hotel. We bought a new car from a dealership, and an insurance agent (found through Yellow Pages) met me in a restaurant at 10pm to write the insurance. I don't recall mentioning that we were not US citizens, nor that we were visiting on a visa, although we discussed the fact that we had 'just arrived' and compared the differences between UK and US insurance. The only negative was the fact that we didn't have 12 months of history driving in the US, so we had to buy a different policy from him at a higher premium; When the 12 months was up, our premium dropped 50%. This 12 months minimum driving record was independent of how long we'd lived in the US.

Several years later we bought our first RV (new from a dealer) and I merely called the insurance agent to arrange coverage. Somewhere in my later discussions with the agent I asked about the cost of 6 months vs 12 months insurance; He explained that they assumed an RV would be used only 6 months a year (excluding fulltimers), and that there wouldn't be any difference in the premium for 6 vs 12 months. This might be something you need to ask prospective insurers. If there's no difference in the premium, why not insure for 12 months? This would give you coverage for damage or fire loss for however long the RV is in storage.
Maybe different States have different rules Tom.  I know that when we met Allen and Suzanne from Australia they use Californian insurance but they have a Montana LLC which might make a difference, although they pay a similar amount to us.

I think that finding an agent to source insurance might be a good way to go as they can do the legwork for you.

Our RV salesman even asked a couple of insurers for us and they wouldn't insure Brits.  I think, but cannot be definite as the old brain cells are getting old, that I was asked for information that I could not provide (driver's licence, or SS no. or something that only a US Citizen would have), which meant they would not insure us.

We have paid almost the same premium every year with no discount.  I really should be doing more research I guess or going to an agent.

One thing though is that the storage facility we use ask for proof of insurance as does the RV park we are in if we stay for a month.... 

I would not be happy leaving our stuff uninsured as you just never know what might happen.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in US until 30th October 2018

Tom

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #21 on: October 13, 2018, 01:52:10 PM »
Quote from: jackiemac
Maybe different States have different rules
Absolutely correct Jackie. Insurance companies have to meet the respective state insurance commission(er) requirements, in addition to any other legal requirements. FWIW we were in California when we got our first insurance coverage (while still living in a motel). A few weeks later we moved to a rented house, but that wasn't known at the time I bought the insurance.

Quote
I think that finding an agent to source insurance might be a good way to go as they can do the legwork for you.
A semantic issue. Insurance agents are typically independent agencies that represent one or more insurers. They typically won't shop around other insurers (from whom they receive no commission or other payment). Someone who'll shop around is what I think of as an insurance broker.

Quote
... information that I could not provide (driver's licence, or SS no. or something that only a US Citizen would have)...


Understand but, for clarification, there are millions of non-US citizens who have a SS number (e.g. all the folks on green cards and some work visas). The SS number is required for someone to legally work here. If a SSN was a 'must have' (to buy, register or insure a vehicle), there may an alternative for folks with an LLC; There's something called an EIN (employer identification number), which looks like a SSN. I haven't researched this for individuals or LLCs, but have experience securing an EIN for organizations such as non-profits and clubs. One likely downside of obtaining an EIN is that you'd probably need to file taxes, which is something you probably wouldn't want to do.

It used to be that visitors were able to get a California drivers license, but I believe they changed that. I'm not familiar with the residency requirements for other states' drivers licenses.

Quote
We have paid almost the same premium every year with no discount.


That might be because you're not here and driving for a continuous period of 12 months, or whatever the insurer's requirements are.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 06:44:28 PM by Tom »
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jackiemac

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Re: Brit's touring in the US
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2018, 01:01:02 AM »
Thanks for all that Tom.. Useful and helps me understand the insurance.  The difference in language confuses me a lot!!    ;)
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

2017 Heartland Sundance 288rls
2016 Dodge Ram 2500 6.4L Hemi

Travelling in US until 30th October 2018