Import U.S. Autos Into Canada To Save Cash 101

by : Terry Z. Voster

Here is the Canadian Reader's Digest version of buying a car in the United States for Canadians to save big money.

First do your research on the car. Next research the car on the site (Registrar of Foreign Motor Vehicles). By checking and verifying online Transport Canada's list of vehicles admissible from the United States you can check to see if the car is simply importable, that there are no restrictions on your vehicle of choice. If the car is easily importable you may find that are minimal modifications may be needed to certify the car for import into Canada. If major modifications are needed to import your vehicle or if the car is listed in the "inadmissible:" column of the column labeled " notes" indicates restrictions or modifications needed to import your chosen brand, model or year of vehicle take careful heed and note of these modifications, restrictions or concerns before proceeding in your quest. In order to export the vehicle to Canada (from the U.S. to Canada), fax the required U.S. Customs export documents to the U.S. Customs border office. Next in line at Canada Customs (correctly the Canadian Border Service Agency) you will about $ 300 in Riv fees and provide the proper paperwork and documentation to the Canadian Border Service Agency, Pay the now 5 % GST (General Sales Tax) on the U.S. converted purchase price of the vehicle again to Canada Customs and you are finished the first major hurdle of importing your bargain priced car from the United States into Canada You will also be asked to provide a "Recall Clearance Letter" which will certify that the vehicle has no outstanding vehicle
Recalls and that all the manufactures recall upgrades have been done. This document can be simply provided on request by either the car dealer or vehicle manufacturer and must
be on official company or dealer letterhead.

You will need some form of vehicle registration an insurance to transport the car from the sale (if driven on the road) and as well the car must be insured as well as plated if you are to drive the car from the Canadian border port of entry. If driven (and not hauled by truck vehicle transport), your car will need to be "plated" and insured. The dealer, who sold you your car, or the local highway department / sheriff, can assist you in obtaining these documents. As for insurance this can often be provided back home, as an extension of your current auto insurance plan or as a new purchase of car insurance.

If you are traveling away from home, the purchase can usually be done over the phone, with documents faxed.

You have now passed the first major hurdle of the steps of importing your new vehicle into Canada. Your vehicle will now have to be certified within Canada. Riv (The Registrar of Imported Motor Vehicles) will send you its "Vehicle Inspection Form" within two weeks. You will have 45 days from the time of submission of your documentation to the Canadian Border Service Agencies to complete the necessary modifications.

There are a number of straightforward steps in the process are taking your new vehicle for individual certification and inspection. The Registrar of Imported Vehicles of Canada ( ( has contracted with the well known and available the national auto parts and service center chain Canadian Tire to perform the federal Riv inspection. This fee is included as part of the Riv fee - so that you do not have to pay this fee yet again. The Canadian Tire Service Centers can also perform certain modification work as well, (at your cost), as well as perform many, if not most, of required standard provincial vehicle inspections. Once passed, you will next present the vehicle for the routine Canadian provincial or territorial licensing authority for its inspection and approval.

It cannot be stressed enough that although you should be saving money in the process of importing your new vehicle into Canada that the onus is on you to be both current and thorough in your research and documentation. Follow all steps. Do not take shortcuts or foolish chances. The rules can and may change from time to time. The onus is you to check with the relevant authorities - be it the Riv Canada site, the manufacturer of the car, truck or S.U.V., your Provincial highway and traffic authority and your auto insurance company among other authorities and department. The onus is you to check. If not sure phone or email to verify. Remember written documentation is always best. Enjoy your new vehicle- be it car, truck, motor home or S.U.V.