Moving to the US from France

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Moving to the US from France
Moving to the US from France

Are you considering a move from France to the United States? Many people immigrate from France to the United States every year. Most Americans do not speak French, so learning to speak English will ease your transition considerably, allowing you to easily navigate your move and your new life in America. 

Let’s talk some more about what you need to know to move your vehicle and household goods from France to the United States. 

How do I import my household goods to the US?

For the most part, you can import your personal goods to the United States duty-free. This means that your furniture, clothing, household effects, jewelry, tools, appliances, and toys can all be imported into the United States for your personal use without the need to pay taxes or duties. 

Exceptions would include any items that you intend to use for commercial purposes or restricted items such as agricultural products, commercial assets such as equipment, firearms, drugs, alcohol, animals, and more. These items require additional paperwork and may require customs duty, if they are permitted at all. 

Anything that you import into the United States cannot be sold, rented, leased, or loaned to anyone else within 12 months of your arrival in the country. This is because you have declared these items as being for personal use rather than commercial use. Personal use items are duty-free, and commercial items are taxable based on their value.

Important Note: You don’t have to travel with your goods, but you will need the following documentation for any goods that are unaccompanied: 

  • Supplemental Declaration for Unaccompanied Personal and Household Effects
  • Power of Attorney
  • Declaration for Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles Form 3299
  • Stamped VISA in passport (For non-US Citizens)
  • I-94 Form (For non-US Citizens)
  • Valid Passport


How do I import a vehicle to the United States?

Vehicles imported into the United States are considered in one of two categories: Vehicles 25 years and younger, and vehicles over 25 years. Let’s talk about the specific requirements for both categories. 


25 Years and Younger

Vehicles manufactured to US specs

For vehicles that were already manufactured to US and Canadian specifications, you will not need to worry about further modifications. 

Vehicles not manufactured to US specs

Modifications for a non-US vehicle can be costly and complicated. European vehicles will need to be retrofitted with updated bumpers, headlights, and doors, among other things. In fact, it can cost between $10k and $20k to get all these modifications done sufficiently for import. What’s more, you must pay for these modifications to be completed by a DOT-registered importer before it ever leaves France. Even then, it is not guaranteed that your vehicle will pass muster. 

Show cars

The final category for cars 25 years and younger is the show car category. This category is nearly impossible to qualify for, as the vehicle would need to have an unusual, significant pedigree. Perhaps it was owned by someone famous or has some kind of historical significance. Either way, it is very unlikely that your vehicle would qualify for this rare program. If you did manage to qualify, you could drive the vehicle no more than 2,500 miles per year, so it may not even be worth it. 


25 Years and Older

Cars more than 25 years old are among the cheapest and easiest cars to export to the United States. Considered to be “classics”, these vehicles are often exempt to safety and emissions standards that make importing vehicles so complicated and expensive. Some states, such as Arizona, do have more onerous requirements, so check with your local customs officials for guidance about your specific situation. 

International Shipping Doesn’t Have to be a Headache

If you are moving from France to the United States, you don’t have to handle it alone. At A1 Auto Transport, our team of international shipping experts is here to help you navigate the paperwork, arrange for shipping, and guide you through every step of the process. Working with A1 Auto Transport, you don’t have to worry about making costly mistakes. Get there fast and easy with our help. 

Joe Webster
Written By:Joe Webster
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Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Business Marketing. 

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood. 

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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