- Comprehensive Guide To Importing Vehicles And Shipping A Car From Canada To The Usa
- Import A Vehicle Into Usa From Canada
- Cost & Time Examples To Import A Car From Canada
- Border Procedure To Ship A Car From Canada
- Duty To Import Vehicle Canada To Usa
- Emissions And Safety Compliance
- Department Of Transportation Safety Requirements
- Epa Emission Standards
- U.s Driver’s License
- Registering Your Automobile
Comprehensive Guide to Importing Vehicles and Shipping a Car from Canada to the USA
Import a vehicle into USA from Canada
Unless permanently imported, a Canadian-licensed vehicle can only be retained in the United States for a maximum of one year. The Motor Vehicle Safety Act allows for its seizure if it is kept in the United States for an extended period of time. The importing process must be completed by December 31 in order to keep it permanently in the United States. This document constitutes the bulk of the import documentation needed to transport car from Canada.
Cost & Time Examples to Import a Car from Canada
|Canada to (California port) to Dallas, TX||$900||$1,025||12+7 days|
|Canada to (California port) to San Jose, CA||$700||$200||12+5 days|
|Canada to (California port) to Los Angeles||$900||$350||12+5 days|
|Canada to (New York port) to Boston, MA||$700||$400||9+5 days|
|Canada to (California port) to Phoenix, AZ||$900||$550||12+6 days|
|Canada to (New York port) to Detroit, MI||$900||$575||9+6 days|
|Canada to (New York port) to Chicago, IL||$700||$675||9+6 days|
|Canada to (New York port) to Atlanta, GA||$900||$700||9+6 days|
|Canada to (California port) to Denver, CO||$700||$775||12+7 days|
|Canada to (New York port) to Miami, FL||$700||$925||9+7 days|
- *Prices and times for the vehicle import process are estimated. They can vary depending on the season and the type of imported cars.
- *Save the ground transport cost by delivering the vehicle to the nearest port.
- *Allow an additional 10 days to process the documents by the official government organization.
- *Prices are for 1 car in a dedicated 20ft container. This is the safest and most reliable way to transport a vehicle internationally by Canadians. Other items to be imported may be included in the container to help save you money when moving.
- *Using the RoRo (roll on, roll off) method is less expensive and shipments can be completed in fewer days. Contact us now for a free RoRo quote.
Border Procedure to Ship a Car From Canada
Shipping a vehicle into USA from Canada for more than a year requires you to first declare its U.S. registration at the border to the customs office.
You must give the registration of the vehicle to the officer along with a complete 3520-1 EPA Form, a H7 DOT Form, and any other paperwork necessary to confirm the vehicle meets emission requirements.
If you present the right documentation to the border protection office, you’ll get approval in writing from your customs officer stating you meet every requirement. This must be taken to your destination to convert and register your car into the U.S. Ensure your passport is stamped by the customs officer, so you may prove its validity later on.
Duty to Import Vehicle Canada to USA
In general, when shipping a vehicle from Canada into USA, you must pay a duty tax equivalent to 2.5% of imported vehicle's total value. However, vehicles manufactured in NAFTA countries (Mexico, U.S. and Canada) may be exempt from the regular duty rate.
For up-to-date information and guidelines, speak to the relevant agencies in the United States government. Regulations may be updated with no prior notice by the federal government. Depending on the State you live in, procedures and flat duty rate may change, so you should also verify your state’s requirements. You can consult the nearest CBP office to understand the requirements to get vehicles imported from foreign soil.
You can claim $800 CBP exemption for yourself and accompanying family members if you are a returning U.S resident. It applies if it:
- Go along on your return
- imported auto for personal use
- Got it during the returning journey.
For more information to import cars from Canada to United States, you can visit the gov websites and the official websites of Department of transportation.
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Emissions and Safety Compliance
When importing a vehicle into USA from Canada, it must comply with the safety standards for Federal motor vehicles determined by the DOT (United States’ Department of Transportation) and the emission standard determined by EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency). You must complete and provide a 3520-1 EPA Form and HS-7 DOT Form.
If your vehicle complies with the EPA regulations, you can pay fees and complete the import process. However, if the vehicle doesn't comply with the EPA requirements, then only a DOT registered importer can get the job done.
Department of Transportation Safety Requirements
All cars not older than 25 years must comply with FMVSS standards, before entering the U.S. You can see if your car complies by verifying the certificate label of the FMVSS (normally placed under your vehicle’s hood or inside its door). If you have this label, importing a vehicle into USA from Canada should not pose a problem from the standpoint of safety standards for personal use.
However, many times your automobile’s label may only certify its compliance with CMVSS (the Canadian motor vehicle safety standards). This is valid only for Canadian vehicles. Other times, it may not possess a US safety certificate label at all.
If your Canada vehicle meets only CMVSS standards, it can still be moved into the US if you get a written approval from its manufacturer stating on its letterhead the car conforms to every FMVSS standard. Please note certain manufacturers may refuse to give you a letter or other documents, so confirm whether they can provide it before moving a vehicle into USA from Canada. You can check it with their front desk staff.
If your vehicles does not meet CMVSS or FMVSS standards, it may be cheaper and less troublesome to ask a registered importer or independent commercial importer to make the required modifications and bring your vehicle into the U.S.
EPA Emission Standards
U.S. imported vehicles must meet EPA rating standards before entering the country. The EPA form 3520-1 must be submitted to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. To verify if your auto is certified to be permanently imported, see the engine compartment under the hood for a label containing a certification with “Vehicle Emission Control Information” written on it.
Oftentimes, Canadian cars won’t have labels stating they are certified by the Environmental protection agency (EPA). However, most often their emission control systems are identical to those certified inside the U.S.
You can proceed with importing a car from Canada in both cases, but you’ll require proof from the U.S. representative of its manufacturer, confirming it meets all EPA U.S. regulations for emission standards.
If an EPA certification label is not present on your auto and its emission control system is not the same as the EPA certified one, you may still be able to obtain from the EPA a letter of exemption prior to the move.
Without an exemption, you’ll need a commercial importer to post a bond, modify your vehicle and ship it into the country by paying state taxes to US customs and border protection.
U.S. Driver’s License
Regulations on the need/ability for a Canada resident with U.S. residences to obtain I.D. cards and U.S. driving licenses are constantly changing. Ask officials what the rules are for that state, and whether you can continue using a Canadian driving license.
If applying for an I.D. card and/or license is necessary, you will need to prepare your passport (for the I.D.), your current driver’s license and an utility bill, such as a property tax bill, with your United States address and name. You will have to pay a fee which you must renew on a yearly basis.
They may ask to take an eye scan and photo. They may also want proof of your arrival date in the United States to make sure you haven’t gone past the 180 day time limit. In such cases, it helps if your passport is stamped upon entering the country.
Before importing a vehicle into USA from Canada, you must procure an U.S. auto insurance. By doing this, Canadian insurance is forfeited for the remaining amount and the insurance card will no longer be valid.
After finding a United States auto insurance company or broker, they will ask for a copy of your Canadian driving record and ownership details. The auto insurance market in the U.S. is quite competitive, so do your research and you just might find a bargain. If you won’t drive immediately after moving a car, be sure to mention it.
Registering your Automobile
Make an appointment at the closest vehicle registration office in your new town. You must provide them with all your border approved documentation. They will also check the odometer reading, vehicle identification number, license plates, and serial number of your vehicle. Once all the emission standards are approved and are in compliance with individual state emission requirements, you can import a vehicle into the United States.