I have been given conflicting info on the process for registering my vehicle on St Croix. Can anybody give me the correct info?
The vehicle will be shipped with VI Cargo and I am paying the Tax through the same company to make things a little easier. I do not have the title as the vehicle is financed. Vehicle is also manufactured in the USA and is a 2012 model.
Is it also true that one has to get a permit from the DMV to drive from the port to the DMV on St Croix?
Thanks in advance!
No you don't have to get a permit to drive from pickup at the port to DMV. We did it in Jan 2007. I assume since the finance company has your title you do have a document that states the vehicle is registered in your name so the DMV can issue you VI license plates. BTW, recently I know for a fact a person drove their VI Cargo shipped vehicle from the port to their residence, passing several policeman on the way who did absolutely nothing about it. They plan to go to the DMV at their convience.
You are supposed to get a Moving Permit before you drive the vehicle anywhere. Even from the port directly to Motor Vehicles. But many people do not. As long as you drive so as not to draw attention to yourself the chances of being spotted and pulled over are slim to none. Moving Permits are only good for one point to point trip which must be specified. So if you drive from the port to BVM, and you fail to get the car registered, you can legally only drive it back to the port. How many people actually do that?
There is no grace period for driving with off island plates. The only people that are allowed to do this legally are military people who are here on temporary assignment. But you may get away with it for a while.
If there is a lien on the vehicle you will need a letter from the lien holder stating they have no object to the vehicle leaving the mainland. Or a third party from the states stating they will be legally and financially responsible for the loan should you default on it. The reason being the complications and costs involved in reposessing a vehicle and returning it to the states. Better check on this one before you load it onto the boat.
You will also need to have insurance. Check with BMV before using an off island company such as Geicko, BMV has a list of approved insurance companies.
Even if your vehicle is financed you still should have a title, but the title will show a lienholder. You will have to get a letter from the lienholder consenting to letting you remove the vehicle from the states, and you will have to produce the title AND the consent letter for the shipping company before they will accept the car (I believe it's a U.S. Customs requirement).
This past May, I shipped a car that had no lien on it to STX. I had the title, but it showed a lienholder. I couldn't find the lien release so I had to contact the bank that had held the loan to get a copy of the lien release before the shipping company would accept the car. Had to send both to the shipping company before they would give me an authorization to deliver the car to the port.
I'm not sure about stateside tags. We were told we could drive without tags to get our car registered and got pulled over immediately. Thankfully the cop was understanding and gave us a warning. I'd suggest getting the moving permit to be on the safe side. Its only $5. This was just last week. Good luck!