Ship unregistered car? plus insurance question
I know these questions have come up and been answered in this forum previously but I can't find those posts now. And the official BMV site has not been super helpful. I apologize for re-asking questions that others have already asked!
1) I bought a new car that I am having shipped down in 3 or 4 weeks. Do I need to register it in Vermont or can I ship it down un-registered? I have a temporary registration and temp plates that will expire before the car reaches St. Croix.
2) If I were able to ship it down un-registered, will I be able to legally drive it before I get it registered in USVI?
3) How long do I have to register the car?
4) Do I need to arrange car insurance before my car reaches St. Croix?
Thanks in advance for your help!
The VI does not care if your car is registered or not when it comes off the boat. It does not need to be registered. Mine wasn't either. Regardless, you have to go through the whole process to get it registered in the VI before you can drive it. You need to get a moving permit to move it from port to the inspection station. The insurance doesn't kick in until it's off the boat. You'll need it for the moving permit and to get it registered. Best to arrange for the insurance in advance and make it effective the day it comes off the boat.
I’ve just finished shipping my 2nd car from MA to STX. Basically you need a clean title (or permission from the lender) and car insurance to register the car. I’ve used Blue Ocean and Ferrol Trucking to ship and move the vehicles through the importation, registration and inspection process. With COVID-19 it made sense and it was fast and efficient. I needed provide Ferrol Trucking with some basic information about myself, proof I was a resident and some basic contact information as well as the title and proof of insurance. Did everything by email and snail mail (post office), very easy.
You can’t get it registered before it arrives. But hiring a company to do the registration process for you will likely save you time and headache. It’s fairly inexpensive. They usually can get it done the first business day it arrives as long as they have the paperwork in advance.
I shipped my new 2020 truck in June in the middle of COVID and the BMV only taking registration paperwork by drop box. Inspections are normally not required for late model vehicle registration renewals and have been waived for all renewals during COVID. Nevertheless BMV still wanted to inspect it before proceeding with the first time registration paperwork.
I also used Ferrol to take care of the titling and registration so I could drive it out of the airport when I arrived.
They don't give you moving permits right now if you use the drop box. I had an unregistered vehicle shipped down, vi insurance and I used vicargo (a bit more expensive but they did the customs clearance) paid the bill, went to the port area, showed the customs clearance and away I went, no plates. I dropped off the information requested in the drop box, tried many times to find out what was going on, finally after 10 weeks of driving with no plates, went to bmv as they just reopened and everything was waiting for me. They didn't call or email me as they said they would, but took me about 30 minutes and had my car. It was a 2017 jeep and they didn't inspect it.
My second car was the same, except they inspected it before I could get it registered. I had just dropped off everything the week before and when I went to check on the jeep, they had the 2nd vehicle ready as well thankfully.
With COVID going on there are definitely a lot of times the physical inspection is waived. The St John office has a lot more availability for appointments than the St Thomas office has. I’ve shipped many cars down over the years. Never had any of them registered in the states. And the last 4 I’ve had Boynes Trucking handle the registration on St Thomas so I just pick it up from their office when it’s ready. They usually change about $100 to do the clearing and registration for me. Totally worth it.