Gary and Naomi had each accumulated long-service leaves, and planned to spend their four months traveling through the American South, (starting in Atlanta, working their way to Texas), Mexico - and Central America (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica).
Gary and Naomi knew they wanted to take in some American football, barbecue, and music in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. Their friends planned to fly from London and spend a week with them in Cancún, Mexico, and Gary and Naomi wanted to see the Guatemalan volcanoes and Costa Rican sea turtles.
Renting a vehicle wasn't an option - most rental companies have strict "no travel to Mexico" policies.
But buying a vehicle in Atlanta turned out to be impossible for Gary and Naomi. In order to register a vehicle in Georgia, you need a local address, proof of residency there, and a Georgia driver's license.
But then, Gary and Naomi found visitor.us.
visitor.us formed a Montana Limited Liability Company (LLC), owned 100% by Gary and Naomi.
This LLC counts as a resident of Montana, allowing a vehicle to be registered in Montana.
Montana is the most advantageous state for non-US residents to register a vehicle for two reasons:
Vehicles registered in Montana never have to physically enter the state, so Gary and Naomi didn't have to go out of their way, and
Vehicles are taxed where they're registered, not where they're purchased, so Montana's 0% sales tax rate let Gary and Naomi keep more of their herd-earned funds for their visit.
Gary and Naomi found a 2002 Nissan XTerra with 4-wheel-drive for sale just outside of Atlanta and wired $3,000 to the dealer, who sent the vehicle's title to visitor.us.
visitor.us registered Gary and Naomi's XTerra to their LLC, couriered their plates back to the dealer, and put an insurance policy in place.
Gary and Naomi flew into Atlanta, picked up their XTerra (which they christened "Bubba," after their salesman), and hit the road.
They took in live shows in Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, and Austin, went to a University of Texas football game, and stuffed themselves with barbecue.
When they hit the Mexican (and every subsequent) border, Gary and Naomi had to get two things:
A temporary vehicle import permit, and
Local insurance (US auto insurance is only valid within the US, Canada, and within 25 miles of the border into Mexico)
Temporary import permits allow vehicles to travel within a country for a certain period (usually 90 - 180 days) without going through the (lengthy and expensive) vehicle import process. They are available (and often required) at customs offices.
Local insurance agents are located at the borders, usually at (or within) customs offices.
Gary and Naomi met their friends in Mexico, and saw the Guatemalan volcanoes and Costa Rican sea turtles, all as planned.
Gary and Naomi went into their visit planning to donate their vehicle before they depart. Costa Rica, where import duties on vehicles can be quite high to prevent dumping from other countries, waives duties if the vehicle is donated to a non-profit recognized by the federal government.
So, Gary and Naomi donated Bubba to their favorite Costa Rican sea turtle conservation group, and headed back to the UK.