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Author Topic: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?  (Read 14020 times)

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Offline Daffers

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Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« on: March 09, 2015, 09:37:50 pm »
Me and husband are hoping to tour East Africa, later this year.  We have been considering riding our own bikes, but the ferry into Egypt no longer sails.  Could ship our bikes out, but expensive.  Carnets very expensive too. Thinking of flying out and buying when we arrive.  Anyone know if this is possible for non-residents?  We are thinking of Honda 250 CRF. Big bike riders might be surprised at our choice, but have ridden them in Vietnam and they are just what we need.  Also, when you drop it you have to pick it up again!!!
At home in sunny Scotland he rides Triumph Tiger 1050 and I have Suzuki 650 V-Strom.
Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions gratefully received.
 

Offline Davew

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2015, 11:49:09 pm »
As far as I know, you can, but it's not easy
Every person must have something called a Traffic Register Number. The registration of the car is then transferred to this number.

Getting this Traffic Register Number as a foreigner on a tourist permitt is hard. (It should not be). Most officials will try tell you that a foreigner on a Temp Visitor's Permit who is not working or studying in South Africa (and can show proof) cannot get a TRN.

Here's the Govt website that says you can buy a car in SA
http://www.services.gov.za/ServicesforForeignNationals/drivingforforeigners/trafficregisternumber.aspx?Language=en-ZA

I strongly suggest you take a printout of that with you. Despite what it says, you will have to show
* Certified copy of passport
* Proof of residence. A letter from a friend is not enough. It had to be an affidavit stamped and signed by the police.
* A copy of your friend's ID - preferably certified
* A utility or rates bill
* 2 passport photos
* Your visa/permit. They also made a fuss that the box describing purpose of trip hadn't been ticked by immigration)

It is a battle, enough to make you consider simply hiring.
 

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 05:44:16 am »
Above not completely true

I am a used vehicle dealer and sell vehicles to foreigners on a regular basis

Every SA citizen has an identity number which is on our national traffic database called NATIS - foreigners obviously don't have an ID number and therefore must apply for a TRN and be added to NATIS

No proof of residence is required - just fill out the address where you are staying on the traffic register number application form (TRN)

Application for TRN is free and can take anything from 3 days to 2 weeks to process and have the certificate issued.

You need to complete the attached form and take 2 passport photos and your passport to nearest vehicle registration and license office.

Once the TRN certificate is issued you can legally register any vehicle in your name.


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Offline Sharingroads

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2015, 06:28:28 am »
It is possible, but I found it depends where you go and their general feeling towards being able to do their job.

In October there was a American here. We put his bike through the test and there was a Chinese gent who got his ownership papers in 2 days. We went to the registration office direct. First they gave us a time line of 2 to 6 weeks, and then they said they cant do it because he has a tourist visa only.

Jagsding did give me correct info, but it was a powerplay type attitude from the asshole at the counter.

We ended up going to my lady who do these things at 15h00, and had all done the next day by 15h00. Only difference they wanted a bribe from her staff, so she just took the papers and gave them a new set in my name.

Granted he did not want to cross main borders so we were happy to do it that way.

So yes you cam, but like Jagsding said - it takes a couple of days.
And take all your documents with first time.
 

Offline Davew

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2015, 11:59:56 am »
Above not completely true

I am a used vehicle dealer and sell vehicles to foreigners on a regular basis

Every SA citizen has an identity number which is on our national traffic database called NATIS - foreigners obviously don't have an ID number and therefore must apply for a TRN and be added to NATIS

No proof of residence is required - just fill out the address where you are staying on the traffic register number application form (TRN)

Application for TRN is free and can take anything from 3 days to 2 weeks to process and have the certificate issued.

You need to complete the attached form and take 2 passport photos and your passport to nearest vehicle registration and license office.

Once the TRN certificate is issued you can legally register any vehicle in your name.




I know what I stated was not quite strictly true, the point I did want to make, though, and should have said was that it's best to remove all possible obstacles by having every conceivable piece of paper with you when going to register.
There are a lot of stories about long delays and bribery allegations in SA and elsewhere. My philosophy is simple, having worked all over Africa for 27 years - counter every possible argument for the run around or attempted intimidation with a good piece of paper along with a calm and insistent demeanor.

Good luck!
 

Offline Daffers

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2015, 04:27:11 pm »
Thanks for the advice everyone.  We will start looking into it.  We accept that we may have to stay in either Joburg or Cape Town while the paperwork goes through, but we can explore while we wait.  Next step will be finding a Honda bike dealer so we can sort out 2 CRF250s.  All seems straight forward when sitting at my desk writing this!!

Keep the advice and suggestions coming.
 

Offline Daffers

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2015, 12:05:31 pm »
Hi everyone

Plans progressing, paperwork being gathered,  tent ordered, soft panniers ordered, no idea of a route yet as there is so much to see.

Now looking for a Honda dealer in Joburg/Pretoria area.  Wanting two CRF250s.  Should I start a new thread about this?
 

Offline eberhard

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2015, 02:42:04 pm »
This is the web address for Honda motorcycles Menlyn, which is situated in the east of Pretoria.

http://www.hondaautomenlyn.co.za/MotorcyclesHondaMenlyn_6520.aspx
eberhard
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Offline Daffers

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2015, 12:16:02 pm »
Morning.  Thanks for  that.  Will drop them a line and let you know  how we get on.
 

Offline Eek07

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2015, 12:09:58 pm »
Hey Daffers,

I've been following this discussion with great interest since I'm planning to do a similar trip.
I'll be arriving in Cape Town in around three weeks time to buy a motorcycle there and register for a TRN. I'm planning to do a trip up the east coast to Tanzania in the coming months.
I got the tip to try to apply for a TRN in several places, and perhaps also try some smaller towns/cities since it might be easier to process a TRN there.
Good luck with your preparations and I'll keep you posted on how it goes!
 

Offline Daffers

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2015, 06:23:16 pm »
Hi
Will be really interested to hear how you get on with registering your bike.  I get the impression that if you accept the fact that it will not all happen in one day, and you are patient, then it will work out. How long will you be out there?  We will not set off until end Sept beginning October.

Have a fab trip and keep posting.  PM me with any tips on the TRN
 

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2015, 03:53:59 am »
Hey Daffers,

I've been following this discussion with great interest since I'm planning to do a similar trip.
I'll be arriving in Cape Town in around three weeks time to buy a motorcycle there and register for a TRN. I'm planning to do a trip up the east coast to Tanzania in the coming months.
I got the tip to try to apply for a TRN in several places, and perhaps also try some smaller towns/cities since it might be easier to process a TRN there.
Good luck with your preparations and I'll keep you posted on how it goes!

I am in Cape Town

Send me a PM when you get here and I will do all I can to help you get on your way asap

I use the NATIS lic and reg office in Fish Hoek for the most speedy TRN applications on the planet
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Offline Ouman

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2015, 07:44:49 am »
Above not completely true

I am a used vehicle dealer and sell vehicles to foreigners on a regular basis

Every SA citizen has an identity number which is on our national traffic database called NATIS - foreigners obviously don't have an ID number and therefore must apply for a TRN and be added to NATIS

No proof of residence is required - just fill out the address where you are staying on the traffic register number application form (TRN)

Application for TRN is free and can take anything from 3 days to 2 weeks to process and have the certificate issued.

You need to complete the attached form and take 2 passport photos and your passport to nearest vehicle registration and license office.

Once the TRN certificate is issued you can legally register any vehicle in your name.




This is accurate. However, if you do not want to wait out those few days you can take your forms to the department of transport in Cape Town central and they will do it on the spot. The same goes for personalised plates.
The more bugs in the  teeth....the happier I get!!!!!
 

Offline Daffers

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2015, 05:16:13 pm »
Hi Ouman

Will look into this.  Thanks
 

Offline Crab

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Offline Daffers

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2015, 04:37:06 pm »
 Hi Crab

Thanks for finding that info.  There is so much brilliant on the forum that I have not got round it all.  Will definitely get in touch with him.  We hope to do a similar trip but only have 4 or 5 months (depending how long the money lasts!!).
 

Offline Crab

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2015, 04:39:58 pm »
Its a pleasure Daffers.
Look for a shooting star and see Lynda's trail and remember all the great places you shared with her,she will never forget what she shared with you and will show you that in every starry night .
 

Offline Stanley from Oz

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2015, 09:49:37 pm »
Hi Daffers, I went through the process of buying a bike in South Africa last year and wrote about it . Your find the article at "Africa Info & other International Travels", under Register a motorbike in SA by Yannis. Hope it will be of use and good luck.
 

Offline Eek07

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2015, 05:04:52 pm »
I am in Cape Town

Send me a PM when you get here and I will do all I can to help you get on your way asap

I use the NATIS lic and reg office in Fish Hoek for the most speedy TRN applications on the planet

Cool jagsding! Tanks a lot. I just arrived this weekend. Will send you a message.

Daffers expect a report on how it went in a couple of days/weeks, depending on the ease and speed of the process. ;)


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Offline Daffers

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Re: Can non-residents buy and register bikes in South Africa?
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2015, 11:50:04 am »
We now have a date!  Flights booked Scotland to Joburg for November 10th.

Will take a few weeks to buy bikes and get organised.  Will have to hire a car so we can do some exploring.  If anyone around would be great to meet up to discuss routes, accommodation, what to pack etc.