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Importing Canadian Vehicles to the U.S.

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  • toddsulltoddsull Posts: 1
    I have the same question. Looking to buy a used car from a Canadian friend but dont know if I can drive it home or if titling it in the US will be a problem. If you find out please email me at toddsull@umich.edu. If i hear of how this works I will post it here.
    Best,
    Todd
  • bjnkbjnk Posts: 1
    Hi, I read through this thread with the hopes of finding my answer, but no luck so far, so hopefully you guys can help.

    I own a 1996 Thunderbird that I drove from Canada to Boston for college 3 years ago. It was not imported or anything, I simply drove down and have had it here for the last 3 years. I am now moving to Phoenix and now that I am out of university I am responsible for my own car insurance etc.

    So now my question is how do I go about registering it in AZ? Do I need to cross the border again with this car in order to properly import it, or can I just go the Arizona DMV and get things squared away? Will there be fee's I have to pay? Any help would be appreciated as anyone I have talked to don't really know what the protocal is.

    OR should I just keep it registered in Canada and have Canadian insurance? I have heard that my driving record (which is flawless lol) will not transfer anyways and I will basically be treated as a new driver by US insurance companies. Any truth to this?

    Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.

    Thank you.
  • Importing a GM car into the US from Canada. The US requires EPA/DOT compliances. I recently tried to sell my vehicle to a friend in pennsylvania and after two days of trying to locate the proper authorities here is the needed information. I figured that i would post it so no one else would have the troubles that i had trying to locate this info

    Call with your Vehicle Identification (Serial) Number toll-free (in Canada) 1-888-467-6853, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EASTERN Time. (Outside Canada 1-905-440-7689).

    A nominal fee applies for the research service.

    We can also help you with the documentation required to export your used GM vehicle to the USA or overseas, and to import a GM vehicle to Canada.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    Here's a link: GMCanada

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • Ok not sure how this fits in but......

    I live in Western New York (Rochester), and we see a LOT of Chrysler "Intrepids" and Pontiac "Parisians". how does this work ? Are the delaers bringing them down or the manufactuer ?
  • I live in Canada and traded in my Canadian car to a New York Broker and I signed over the title to them. The broker is calling me telling me he is trying to register the car at the DMV in New York so he can put into one of his auctions and they are asking for some customs border paperwork???

    The car I traded it in for was American and I did all the legal paperwork on my new US vehicle that I brought into Canada. As far as any paperwork that I did when I drove my canadian vehicel over into the US I did none?? I just drove it over because I wan't planning on selling my car at the time I crossed.

    Does anyone know what the broker is requiring from me? I did this transaction in January 2008.
  • I have found a Canada 04 Hyundai at a dealer in New Hampshire. I live in North Carolina. It could be a great price and the vehicle seems to be in good shape. I have done some reading and am still unsure as to whether this is all worth the risk of owning a Canadian vehicle so I'm hoping for some advice. There's probably not much factory warranty left, so that's not much of an issue as long as I can have this vehicle serviced, get parts, etc. in the U.S. I'm more concerned about needing special customs paperwork to register it in NC and have the emissions inspection done. It still has an odometer that reads in KM, not miles. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
  • janalapeljanalapel Posts: 5
    I am a U.S. citizen but have lived as a permanent resident in Canada for many years. I decided to drive my 8 yr. old dodge caravan to Arizona as a snowbird for the winter. I later decided to stay in Arizona longer term...but when I went to the motor vehicle dept. to register and license the van in Az. I was given a slip of paper with a private auto works business (owned by a Canadian) and was told "he can help you!" HUH? he offered to "impound" my van for 8 weeks (told me to rent a car) while he does all the mechanical changes required to "make this canadian van into U.S. equivalent" AND he handles the forms, paper work which was not done at the border. Since I didn't know I was going to remain in the u.s. Now I am either forced to drive the van back to Canada to sell it there....or pay this guy $2500. (Or he'll buy the van for $1800 and ship it back to Cn. for me)
    This doesn't sound right ...that the government is hooking me up with a private business to make my car into a "legal import"? I called customs at the border...and they said it is impossible to import your car unless you bring it through the border yourself?
    I am confused...and since I am a senior I cannot drive alone from Az. to the Cn. border. I'd like to get the truth about how people do this?
  • joeyfmxjoeyfmx Posts: 7
    did you ever figure it out? I am a us citizen but bought a car in canada, and I need to register it here in phoenix, az
  • janalapeljanalapel Posts: 5
    I was ready to drive back to Cn. and re-enter the U.S. from Alberta to import my van...when a friend from the military offered to simply drive me to Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix...to U.S. customs where the whole process took ten minutes. They had all the necessary forms I was told I couldn't get except at the border. I downloaded them from the internet...but they had them ready and highlighted for easy work. The ONLY required document I had to provide was the letter of compliance (one sentence!!) from Chrysler Canada (actually came from Chrylser in Michigan and that took a few days of begging and faxing different numbers to get to the right department) plus the registration from Alberta.
    Same thing at motor vehicle dept. took no time at all...with documents from customs and the Chrysler letter of compliance and registration from Alberta. And to think of all the hoops I was going thru to do this. No inspection was necessary on my 8 yr. old van...other than emissions test I volunteered and paid for before I knew all this. It is definitely possible if you get the right information.
  • joeyfmxjoeyfmx Posts: 7
    Ok, I have a honda but it should be the same I hope, I gotta get to new westminster and drive it here soon, uh what a long drive, thanks for the reply!
  • joeyfmxjoeyfmx Posts: 7
    Oh what form did you download? hs-7? And what did that one scentence compliance letter from chrysler canada say on it exactly? thanks again!
  • janalapeljanalapel Posts: 5
    Yes, it was the hs-7 document I downloaded...but didn't need since the airport customs people had that document ready for me to fill out. And the Chrylser "letter" (which ended up coming from the Michigan customer service dept. and not Canada after all) simply stated: The vehicle model, year and vin number and that it was compliant with U.S. safety standards. One sentence and one document that had one box to check off...was all I needed. No expensive changes to the speedometer or odometer were required...even thought the local former Canadian importer I talked to told me it would take him 8 weeks to do all the mechanical work and paper work required to import my van. Watch out for wrong information and people looking to take your money everywhere.
  • joeyfmxjoeyfmx Posts: 7
    Thank you for the info! I am wondering if you have to be there in person or not because I may just fax them the info so when I cross into usa from canada they will just look at the car and Im guessing they give you a piece of paper so you can register/title/get plates at az mvd?
  • janalapeljanalapel Posts: 5
    As I understand it....if you are entering the U.S. as a legal resident...with either citizenship or resident status...you can fill out the import documents at the time you cross the border and then you have what you need to get your Az. license plate. I had crossed the border as a snowbird with my van...since I wasn't sure if I was going to stay longer than 6 mos. at the time. I am a U.S. citizen but lived in Alberta for more than 30 years. Finding out about the airport customs saved me a trip back to Alberta...but if your vehicle is in B.C. and you have to go get it...you should be able to accomplish the importing at the border.
    I do know they require a letter of compliance with U.S. safety standards from the manufacturer and likely they will require an inspection of some kind. Talk to the customs officers at the border crossing you will go through. hope this helps!
  • gmiddgmidd Posts: 4
    Janalapel, earlier you wrote:
    The ONLY required document I had to provide was the letter of compliance (one sentence!!) from Chrysler Canada (actually came from Chrylser in Michigan and that took a few days of begging and faxing different numbers to get to the right department) plus the registration from Alberta.
    I am in the process of "importing" a car also. I have been denied this "Letter of Compliance" from Chrysler 3 times now. I even tried to get it through Dodge since the vehicle is a Dodge Van and a "Roadtrek" model. They say they will not supply the letter to a US citizen. Can you tell me what phone numbers you called or faxed? I already paid the Ca. citizen for the Roadtrek before I found out about the customs issue and the seller will not reverse the transaction. I'm stuck. Any other help or advice you or anyone else can give me would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
  • I wonder if it is because I am also a permanent resident of Cn. but am a U.S. citizen...who was living in Alberta when I bought the Caravan there in 2002 (am the original owner of the van)...drove it here as a snowbird and decided to stay. .

    I first contact Chrysler of Cn. but they forwarded my request for the letter of compliance to Michigan...customer service: Phone 800-992-1997 the bottom of the so-called letter contained this information:
    Chrysler Group LLC CIMS 484-04-04 P.O. Box 21-8004 Auburn Hills, Mi. 48321
    Letter signature "J.W.K." Senior Staff
    The only information given was the vin number and that the vehicle met all U.S. federal safety and emission requirements...except labeling, in effect at the time it was manufactured.
    It didn't even require an inspection.
    I am not sure why this letter is so difficult to obtain. I called alot of numbers and faxed several times...finally got somebody to provide this simple statement. Went to customs at the airport and filled out the forms...same thing at Motor Vehicles.
    It took weeks...but in the end took minutes! All because of that letter...and bad information from the Cn./U.S. border in Montana saying I had to re-enter the U.S. to get the right documents when they can be downloaded from the internet!!!
    Hopefully being persistent will bring similar results.
  • gmiddgmidd Posts: 4
    Just trying to be clear. You said you called several numbers and faxed several places before you got someone to provide the "letter". Is the number you gave me in the last reply the one that finally provided the letter?
    Thanks again for any help.
  • Hi
    I am trying to do the same as you did.
    You have now idea hope this has eased my anxiety.
    Can you tell me wher to go exactly at Sky Harbour ?
    Really appreciate what you have done here.

    Thanks
    Alan
  • Hi
    I am trying to do the same as you did.
    You have now idea hope this has eased my anxiety.
    Can you tell me wher to go exactly at Sky Harbour ?
    Really appreciate what you have done here.
     
    Thanks
    Alan
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