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Old 12-31-2005, 02:33 AM   #1
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Exclamation Importing Vehicle Information Canada/USA

Here's a link of interest for those of you that have questions in regards to importation of vehicles to Canada from the United States.

thanks Lomac for the link.
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Old 01-18-2006, 01:13 PM   #2
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There is also this site

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Old 01-19-2006, 12:33 AM   #3
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doh I should have checked here! Thanks for the links.
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Old 03-04-2006, 10:23 PM   #4
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Anything regarding tachometer readings from "miles" to kms"??
Like how to assure it's not fraud, what to look for, etc...
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Old 03-14-2006, 08:58 AM   #5
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Originally posted by superGT604
Anything regarding tachometer readings from "miles" to kms"??
Like how to assure it's not fraud, what to look for, etc...
Nothing other than you need to have km on the speedo.
RIV can supply decals that adhere to the stock cluster, or you can always check for a cdn or jdm/edm cluster.
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Old 03-14-2006, 09:42 AM   #6
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ive always wondered about bmw's.... i notice a lot of the models only have KM's or MPH on them...
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Old 03-24-2006, 10:37 PM   #7
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Here's a question for anyone; and if nobody answers it I'll put it in a separate thread.

If I have a friend driving up from the states with a car that he's gonna sell to me once he gets here, how much of the RIV stuff do I have to go through? According to RIV, you're supposed to have all this paperwork and send it to them in advance. I won't have any of it until my buddy gets here, so...what's the deal?
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:20 PM   #8
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I hope he doesn't do it that way, because he's going to get stopped at the border and it's going to be a big mess... you have to buy it as if you are pretending you don't know him in order to complete the entire process properly.

If he goes to the border and tells Canada Customs he's selling the car to you in Canada they'll be like "Okay, well, where is he? Did you tell U.S. customs a car is laving the country etc. etc."

Likewise, if he just drive through and sells it to you, if you go to register it U.S. Customs is going to be like WHOA there, we never heard this car left the country, uhm, bring it back because it was illegally exported!
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:49 PM   #9
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OK, well things have changed slightly, and here's the revised situation.

MR2 owner drove up to show me the car with the intent of it being purchased by me. That didn't end up working out, but we still have to make arrangements for purchase.

The following options present themselves:

She sends paperwork to the necessary parties, drives the car up, then sells it to me.

She sends paperwork to the necessary parties, I go down, buy it and drive it back up.

I would prefer the former as I would avoid Washington state taxes, but the car is REALLY nice and I'll take it pretty much regardless.

Thanks, Chris.
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Old 04-08-2006, 03:48 PM   #10
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Acura Integras. Are they subject to duty even though I buying a Japanese car being sold in NA?
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Old 05-08-2006, 04:38 PM   #11
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Post Buying and importing an out-of-province vehicle into BC

Hello All,

I don't post here much because my current car is not really worthy of RS, but I do lurk here just to get some vicarious satisfaction for my car-mod cravings.

While looking for yet another one of my many "that would be cool" cars to buy, I found a couple that were located outside of BC. There's already a sticky about importing a car from the US, but I didn't know much about cars from other provinces. So I started searching through RS to see what information I can dig up on how to go about bringing in an out-of-province car. Sure enough, I was able to find much of the info and references I was looking for. However, the information was scattered through a number of different posts. So I figured I would compile my findings into a single post so that if anyone else here needed the info later, it would be easier to find.

The first thing you should do after you find a car advertised in another province is to do a claims and lien check. You can not do this through ICBC because they would only have information about vehicles already registered in BC, or has a lien registered in BC. So get the VIN and contact CSRS, who can check registration and liens in all ten provinces and three territories. If the car doesn't check out, there's no point contacting the out-of-province seller or to arrange a trip there.

If the records check out, then you can try to work out some initial numbers with the seller. Again, if you can't come to a price you feel is worth the trouble, then there's no point continuing. However, if the numbers sound good, the condition of the car sounds and looks good, and the seller seems trustworthy, then arrange a flight there to see the car in person.

Once there, confirm that everything that has been said about the car is true, then, unless you already know a garage in that area very well, take the car to a dealer of the same make for an inspection. If everything is well, then congratulations, you're signing on the dotted line and is now the proud new owner of this car. note: Ask the seller to provide you with the vehicle registration from the vehicle's home jurisdiction, and sign it naming you as the new owner. If the seller has lost or misplaced the document, the seller must replace it from the vehicle's home jurisdiction. You might need this when you want to register the vehicle again in BC.(If the vehicle is from Nova Scotia, you'll need the Certificate of Title.)

From here you've got two options. You can either drive the car back home, or have the car shipped back to BC. If you are going to ship the car back, via rail or container, then all you need for now is to arrange some type of "cargo" insurance while your vehicle is in transit. If you are driving the vehicle back to BC, then you will need to get a Temporary Operation Permit from the jurisdiction where you bought the vehicle or a Binder for Owner's Interim Certificate of Insurance. It allows the vehicle to be driven back through Canada and provides insurance coverage for the vehicle only.

Once the vehicle has arrived at your destination in BC, you must immediately contact an Autoplan broker and purchase a Temporary Operation Permit and Owner's Certificate of Insurance to move the vehicle for inspection or registration and licensing purposes. When you've got the Temporary Permit, you need to take the car to a Designated Inspection Facilities for vehicle inspection. Once the vehicle gets a "pass", you can take the Inspection Report, the signed and dated bill of sale, and possibly the registration from the vehicle's previous jurisdiction, pay the PST, and register the car in BC. When that's done, you can just license and insure the car as usual.

Well, I think that's it... Oh, actually, I couldn't find if you needed to do AirCare as well. I doubt for registration, but like most other BC cars, you might need AirCare to insure it.

A final note, unless the vehicle is very rare, such as the one I was looking for, I would discourage you from purchasing from out-of-province. Keep in mind that even though you made sure you got a good car with no questionable history, to the next buyer, it will still be just some out-of-province car someone else imported. So even if you can get a real steal on a out-of-province car, when it comes time to sell, you're still have to sell cheaper. So you're not making more money, but you still had to do all this extra work.

I hope this will be helpful to some of you.
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Old 05-09-2006, 06:29 PM   #12
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You can tell very easily. If the VIN # starts with:


you do not pay duty.

Anything starting with anything else (for example, J-Japan, W-Germany) you will pay 6.1% duty on the purchase price at the border when you cross it.
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Old 05-09-2006, 06:56 PM   #13
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My Guide to Importing a Vehicle from the US to Canada:


Step 1 - Check your vehicle can be imported!
This is the RIV eligibility list to determine which models can and cannot be imported:

Step 2 - Purchase your car
Regardless of what the seller says, you do NOT pay tax to whatever state it was purchased in since you are not a resident of that state. (I have been advised that some states require you to pay tax. I have bought vehicles from 32 states now and never been required to pay tax, but inquire at the DMV or tax office for the specific state you are buying a vehicle in.) Make sure you have:
1) A title for your vehicle, fully signed over to you
2) A bill of sale for your vehicle, must clearly indicate VIN #, purchase price (and currency), kms, the seller's personal information, and the buyer's (your) personal information.

Step 3 - US Export Documentations
You MUST phone the Blaine US vehicle export office (assuming this is where you are bringing the vehicle across - Pacific Truck Crossing) and ask them to fax you a Vehicle Export Worksheet. The # to call is 360-332-2632, leave a message and they will fax it to you. Fill out this form and fax it, along with a copy of the title (front and rear) and a copy of the bill of sale to 360-332-2639.


Step 1 - Insurance
You must have a way of legally driving your vehicle on the US and Canadian sides of the border. You can call your local ICBC agent and have them issue you a temporary permit, call your agent for more information on this step.

Step 2 - Prepare Your Documents
For your day at the border you will need:
1) ORIGINAL title
2) ORIGINAL bill of sale
3) COPY of title (front and back)
4) COPY of bill of sale
5) Proof of insurance (may or may not be asked for, but make sure you have it just in case!)
6) Money. You may need a lot, or a little bit - you will need to be able to pay (they accept interac, credit card to a maximum of $500 on each card, and cash):
$100 Excise Tax (if your vehicle has a/c)
6.1% Duty (if your vehicle has not been produced in North America)
7% GST


Step 1 - US Customs to EXPORT
Drive your vehicle from wherever it is in the US to the Blaine border crossing (make sure to go to the commercial crossing. Park your vehicle at the examination pullout (pretend you are driving across normally, you will see a small pullout on the left side right next to the window booths to enter the US). Bring your keys and paperwork inside and find the "VEHICLE EXPORT OFFICE." Give them your title and keys and they will confirm they have received and processed the paperwork you have sent them 72 hours ago. They may or may not inspect your vehicle, but the final result will be a "VEHICLE EXPORTED" stamp that goes right on your original title.

Step 2 - Canadian Customs to IMPORT
Head over to the Canadian border. They will give you a yellow card at the booth and show you where to go inside - make sure you do not lose this!

Step 2A - Form 1
Ask the agent inside at the counter for a FORM 1. Go ahead and fill it out, asking the agent for help if you have any questions. Ensure you check "Credit Card" at the bottom and fill your credit card in to process the RIV payment.

Step 2B - B3
After filling out your Form 1, head to the two computers marked "B3 Entries" and use one. Follow the on-screen prompts as best as possible, asking for help when you need it.

Step 2C - Assemble and Hand In
Make sure to sign and date both copies of the B3 that print and stick the barcode to it. Also fill this barcode in on your Form 1.

The correct order for a complete package from top to bottom:
1) Yellow Card from the Booth
2) B3 copy 1 stapled to COPY of bill of sale and COPY of title
3) B3 copy 2 stapled to ORIGINAL bill of sale and ORIGINAL title
4) Form 1
Wrap this whole package in the yellow jacket that came with your barcode and hand it in.

Step 2D - Wait
It may take 5 minutes, it has taken me as long as 6 hours one day. Luck of the draw and by how many people are there ahead of you. They will call you to the cashier by name when you are finished.

Step 2E - Pay
With whatever combination of Interac, Credit Cards, and Cash - pay your bill. They will give you a gate pass to leave the compound. Make sure you leave with:
1) Original Title
2) Original Bill of Sale
3) 1 copy of B3
4) Form 1 (yellow and white sheets) *MARKED PAID

Step 2F - Leave
Thank god this day is over!


Step 1 - OOP Inspection
An "OUT OF PROVINCE" inspection is required. There are many shops in the lower mainland that are licensed to perform this (it should be approximately $75).

Step 2 - Compliance
Before your vehicle is federally inspected, you will need to make sure your vehicle has:
1) Daytime Running Lights
2) Speedometer labels in KMS (doesnt have to be the main display, an analog or digital readout is fine).
3) All lights (airbag, check engine, etc.) function properly and are out.
4) No open recalls (you will need written documenation of this)

Step 3 - Federal Inspection
By now you should have received in the mail your FORM 2 from the RIV. If not, give them a call at 1-888-848-8240 and ask them of the status of your case (your case # is printed on your form 1 and is a 6 digit number currently starting with H (H123456). Take this form, along with the white and yellow copies of your FORM 1, and recall documentation to any designated inspection centre (almost any canadian tire is one) and ask them to perform a federal inspection. This inspection is included in the RIV fee ($206.70 including GST as of the latest edit). They should stamp your documents and give you copies of the form 2 and recall letter and your original white and yellow copies of the form 1 back.

Step 4 - Register Your Car
Head over to your ICBC agent and bring with you:
1) WHITE copy of Form 1
2) ORIGINAL title
3) BLUE copy of provincial inspection

With these 3 documents, the agent should be able to register your vehicle into the province and then add insurance and license plates should you chose.

Step 5 - Keep for your records
1) YELLOW form 1 copy
2) B3
3) STAMPED form 2 copy
4) YELLOW provincial inspection copy
5) ORIGINAL bill of sale

Amended Mar 7, 2007
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Last edited by lowside67; 03-07-2007 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 07-13-2006, 05:16 PM   #14
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damn good post lowside67
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Old 07-27-2006, 08:12 PM   #15
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Is it possible to buy a car from a dealership, say Honda. I buy a "NEW" car from them and can I have the honda dealerships that are local in vancouver make sure that the car can pass the opp test?
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Old 08-01-2006, 12:24 PM   #16
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It is certainly possible.

However, one thing to keep in mind is Honda in Canada does not honour the warranty on US vehicles.
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:29 PM   #17
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lowside67 your post is the best i have ever seen, but there are some small errors.
1) regarding sales tax in the USA, different states have different laws regarding out of state purchasers and in some states you must pay sales tax, contacting a tax office or an attorney in that state is the easiest way to find out.
2) you said fax your info 72 business hours ahead of time, i think you meant to say 3 business days (since 72 business hours = 9 days)
3) you advise to go through the commercial side, that's only if you are a business if you are importing for yourself you can go through the regular crossing. Only businesses registered can fill out a B3 since you need your import number. Most of us just get the car for ourselves.
4) The federal inspection is NOT free, you have paid for it when you paid your RIV fee. (last time i bought a car in the US in july 06 the fee was $206)

oh yeah, go through aldergrove/lynden crossing you're in and out in 5-10 minutes.

so that's my four cents
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Old 10-21-2006, 10:10 PM   #18
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ICBC will also charge you 7% PST on the car won't they?
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Old 10-31-2006, 07:19 PM   #19
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ye u'll get taxes

anyone know the rules for importing from like Japan or the UK?

my cousin was looking at the Alfa Romeo's
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:39 AM   #20
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Does anyone know if modifications, such as a new removable steering wheel, are allowed? Or does it need to be changed back?
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Old 12-08-2006, 04:38 PM   #21
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I have a question about a US car that is all ready in Canada. The guy moved here never got the car imported and shortly after got into a single vehicle accident. He never claimed it on insurance and cancelled his us insurance.

The car is not really drivable as it needs airbags, windshield, bumper, hood, and a few other things. My question is whether or not I have to fix and drive the car into the states then back into Canada, and does ICBC provide binders insurance, or do I need to get that from the state that the car was last registered in. Thanks.
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Old 12-18-2006, 12:30 PM   #22
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Hey guys..

im planning on buying a car in seattle..Do i need to pay Washington Sales tax?

also..has anyone ever tried to create a 2nd bill of sale with a lowered purchase price ..? there is so much tax!..19.1% in taxes for the car i want to bring in..duty,gst and pst..damn tax
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Old 12-28-2006, 10:27 PM   #23 has a homepage?!
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pst will only be charged on the vehicle amount and paid when u register the vehicle
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:57 PM   #24
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Originally posted by EndLeSS8
Does anyone know if modifications, such as a new removable steering wheel, are allowed? Or does it need to be changed back?
The border wont care how a car is modified. However, whether it will pass a BC Out of Province inspection is another matter. A quick phone call to any shop certified to perform this inspection should be able to clarify this.
Originally posted by ScoobyREX
Hey guys..

im planning on buying a car in seattle..Do i need to pay Washington Sales tax?

also..has anyone ever tried to create a 2nd bill of sale with a lowered purchase price ..? there is so much tax!..19.1% in taxes for the car i want to bring in..duty,gst and pst..damn tax
I've never paid tax in Washington state. A phone call to the DMV will be final confirmation for you.

As for changing the amount on the bill of sale, it's up to you, but keep in mind the penalties are steep and you've now publicly admitted that you're considering it. You are paying 13% taxes whether you buy one at a Canadian dealership or a US dealership, and the 6.1% duty is often offset by the savings of buying the vehicle in the US.
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Old 04-12-2007, 09:44 PM   #25
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So you have to pay both gst and pst and duty on a japanese car? Where are you getting the 19.1% from? I thought it was just gst and duty?
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