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Old 12.10.2010, 03:20
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Do I need my car title to import my car.

All,

I have searched and cannot find the answer. Specifically, I want to import my car that I purchased 13 months ago. I have done the homework on the shipping company and understand there may be technical hurdles ahead.

What I can't find is if I need to have a title (car paid for) to import. I have called my bank and shipping agency and the bank will provide a transportation letter authorizing me to transport my car overseas, and this is sufficient for the shipping company as well. So what happens when I go to pick up my car Antwerp? How do I clear customs and eventually obtain plates in switzerlnd without the title in hand?

If I missed a post, please let me know but I appreciate the help.

Erik
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Old 12.10.2010, 09:32
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Re: Do I need my carbtitle to import my car.

Who holds the title?

From what you have said it sounds like the bank - and that makes it surprising they are allowing you to ship it abroad.

I am yet to be convinced that shipping and importing a car from the US is cheap enough to warrant the hassles involved - as opposed to sourcing something locally.
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Old 12.10.2010, 09:34
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Re: Do I need my carbtitle to import my car.

Yes, you do need something to prove its yours!

Why don't you have it?
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Old 12.10.2010, 10:45
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Re: Do I need my carbtitle to import my car.

In the US when you buy a car on credit the title is in your name, but it has a "lien" listed on it by the bank and the bank holds the title. Once you have paid off the loan, they stamp "lien canceled" on it and mail you the title. This so much of a convention that the individual states are prepared to compensate for this when you relocate and have to retitle the car. (special forms to request the title from the lienholder, reissuing the title with lien attached and so on)

Now whether the Swiss authorities will have any appreciation for this system, well, that is another question.

You asked the bank if they would let you move it, but have you asked if they are willing to let you retitle it in a foreign jurisdiction? If not you may only be able to drive it for the year or so that you are permitted to on your US plates.
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Old 18.10.2010, 09:57
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Re: Do I need my car title to import my car.

If I purchase ca car in the USA as a non resident, non American and pay in full so do have the title.
Will the vehicle I buy in the US come with a number plate when I purchase the vehicle?
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Old 18.10.2010, 10:20
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Re: Do I need my car title to import my car.

I don't know if this will help you but when we imported our car this past summer it seemed to be most important that we had the vehicle Registration papers. Where I come from we are supposed to keep those in the glove box which was where I left them before handing it over to my shippers. I assumed incorrectly that they would copy the necessary documents (not). Thankfully I had copies of my past years registration along with the original bill of sale so customs accepted that and the car was cleared through. It was also very important that we kept the plates on the car despite the fact that the insurance was null and void once it left North American shores. On this end it helped to prove that the car was legitimately ours and not stollen.

It will be much easier for you if you make sure that your shipper includes the vehicle registration number, the VIN number and the license number on the waybill.
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Old 18.10.2010, 10:22
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Re: Do I need my car title to import my car.

You will need to get the car registered in a specific state to get number plates. To do this, you will have to provide proof of insurance. Some states MAY allow you to keep the existing plates after registering but others require that the plates be turned in upon transfer of ownership.

Last edited by Patxi; 18.10.2010 at 10:24. Reason: This is in response to Cashboy...
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Old 18.10.2010, 10:38
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Re: Do I need my car title to import my car.

Quote:
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If I purchase ca car in the USA as a non resident, non American and pay in full so do have the title.
Will the vehicle I buy in the US come with a number plate when I purchase the vehicle?
Remember: Importing a new vehicle into Switzerland gets hit for a lot more charges then importing one you've owned for 6 (12?) months+

And as discussed endlessly before, it won't have the same spec (suspension, maybe emission standards) as the nominally equivalent European car. I worked with a guy who imported a US VW Jetta that took 7 months at the STVA to test and approve. But you know better of course.
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Old 18.10.2010, 12:10
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Re: Do I need my car title to import my car.

BigE
You need original title in order to export the car from the US (customs requirement).
I'm in a very similar position - I also received letter from bank authorizing myself to take car from the US.
Also, I think it shouldn't be a problem to get GE plates - as this isn't exactly re-titling.
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Old 09.12.2012, 14:42
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Re: Do I need my car title to import my car.

How did this resolve? I have the same question.

My bank still has the title but I've already exported my car to another country. I wonder if I could use that new registration (as the new country didn't ask for the title) in order to register it in Switzerland. Hmmmm?>??!!?

Let me know how it worked out and any other insight. Thanks!
-Nick
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