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Exporting a Vehicle from the U.S. and Importing into Canada: Complete Step-by-Step Guide

KBH

Champion Member
Sep 13, 2017
1,454
748
Toronto, ON
Category........
FAM
Visa Office......
Mississauga
App. Filed.......
August 2nd, 2017
AOR Received.
September 22nd, 2017
File Transfer...
October 7th, 2017
Passport Req..
December 29th, 2017
VISA ISSUED...
January 23rd, 2018
LANDED..........
Feb 1st, 2018
Do you know how long an ITN is valid for? Wondering if I could get one like a month before we move the car up
I feel like I remember it being 6 months or something but don't quote me on that. A month prior would be totally fine. Just keep in mind when you fill out the paperwork for it, you have to know the date you'll actually be exporting the car.
 
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jeff198901

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May 7, 2016
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I feel like I remember it being 6 months or something but don't quote me on that. A month prior would be totally fine. Just keep in mind when you fill out the paperwork for it, you have to know the date you'll actually be exporting the car.
Thanks!
 

jeff198901

Champion Member
May 7, 2016
1,564
209
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
29-03-2017
AOR Received.
18-04-2017
I feel like I remember it being 6 months or something but don't quote me on that. A month prior would be totally fine. Just keep in mind when you fill out the paperwork for it, you have to know the date you'll actually be exporting the car.
What is the form that you list your goods to follow on? Is there a different form for a car?

Thank you so much for the help
 

KBH

Champion Member
Sep 13, 2017
1,454
748
Toronto, ON
Category........
FAM
Visa Office......
Mississauga
App. Filed.......
August 2nd, 2017
AOR Received.
September 22nd, 2017
File Transfer...
October 7th, 2017
Passport Req..
December 29th, 2017
VISA ISSUED...
January 23rd, 2018
LANDED..........
Feb 1st, 2018
What is the form that you list your goods to follow on? Is there a different form for a car?

Thank you so much for the help
This is the form: https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publications/forms-formulaires/bsf186-eng.pdf

I mistakenly thought you filled out 2, one for your goods you were bringing and one for your goods to follow, but I was wrong and they shredded my other one. You put it all (goods with you, and goods to follow) on the same form. Car goes under the conveyances section
 
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jeff198901

Champion Member
May 7, 2016
1,564
209
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
29-03-2017
AOR Received.
18-04-2017

newcan1

Full Member
Jan 13, 2018
40
16
Hello everyone,

I'm a US Citizen who married a Canadian, we did the inland spousal sponsorship and I recently got my work permit. However, I've been here since December with my car and all my belong. We rent a place together. When i entered Canada, i told the border patrol officer what i was doing. But he didnt stop me. He let me in like any other day. So now I want to switch my WA plates to BC plates and get BC insurance. Do I have to go back and export my car now? Or is there a different step for inland spousal applicants? What should I do? I called the border and i was told i can go to CBSA in Vancouver. But from reading these other post's i feel like i'll be getting bad information.
 

KBH

Champion Member
Sep 13, 2017
1,454
748
Toronto, ON
Category........
FAM
Visa Office......
Mississauga
App. Filed.......
August 2nd, 2017
AOR Received.
September 22nd, 2017
File Transfer...
October 7th, 2017
Passport Req..
December 29th, 2017
VISA ISSUED...
January 23rd, 2018
LANDED..........
Feb 1st, 2018
Hello everyone,

I'm a US Citizen who married a Canadian, we did the inland spousal sponsorship and I recently got my work permit. However, I've been here since December with my car and all my belong. We rent a place together. When i entered Canada, i told the border patrol officer what i was doing. But he didnt stop me. He let me in like any other day. So now I want to switch my WA plates to BC plates and get BC insurance. Do I have to go back and export my car now? Or is there a different step for inland spousal applicants? What should I do? I called the border and i was told i can go to CBSA in Vancouver. But from reading these other post's i feel like i'll be getting bad information.
In your situation, you have two options. The easiest one is to just keep your WA plates and WA insurance until you land (as long as you are confident your WA insurance would cover you if you filed a claim in Canada). Then, permanently import your car after you land. If you need BC plates and BC insurance now for whatever reason, you will also need a BC drivers license, so the first step would be to do something called temporarily importing your car. You would not want to permanently import right now because then you would have to pay duty and tax on the vehicle. So you would indeed go to CBSA and ask to temporarily import the car. After that you would need to get a BC license, BC insurance on the car, and finally register the car in BC. Once you land, you would then need to permanently import the car, so you would need to take it through the RIV inspection process at that point. Temporary imports are exempt from the RIV bit.
 

newcan1

Full Member
Jan 13, 2018
40
16
In your situation, you have two options. The easiest one is to just keep your WA plates and WA insurance until you land (as long as you are confident your WA insurance would cover you if you filed a claim in Canada). Then, permanently import your car after you land. If you need BC plates and BC insurance now for whatever reason, you will also need a BC drivers license, so the first step would be to do something called temporarily importing your car. You would not want to permanently import right now because then you would have to pay duty and tax on the vehicle. So you would indeed go to CBSA and ask to temporarily import the car. After that you would need to get a BC license, BC insurance on the car, and finally register the car in BC. Once you land, you would then need to permanently import the car, so you would need to take it through the RIV inspection process at that point. Temporary imports are exempt from the RIV bit.
Thank you so much for the information!
 

newcan1

Full Member
Jan 13, 2018
40
16
In your situation, you have two options. The easiest one is to just keep your WA plates and WA insurance until you land (as long as you are confident your WA insurance would cover you if you filed a claim in Canada). Then, permanently import your car after you land. If you need BC plates and BC insurance now for whatever reason, you will also need a BC drivers license, so the first step would be to do something called temporarily importing your car. You would not want to permanently import right now because then you would have to pay duty and tax on the vehicle. So you would indeed go to CBSA and ask to temporarily import the car. After that you would need to get a BC license, BC insurance on the car, and finally register the car in BC. Once you land, you would then need to permanently import the car, so you would need to take it through the RIV inspection process at that point. Temporary imports are exempt from the RIV bit.
Would i be able to drive back into the US with temporary BC plates?
 

KBH

Champion Member
Sep 13, 2017
1,454
748
Toronto, ON
Category........
FAM
Visa Office......
Mississauga
App. Filed.......
August 2nd, 2017
AOR Received.
September 22nd, 2017
File Transfer...
October 7th, 2017
Passport Req..
December 29th, 2017
VISA ISSUED...
January 23rd, 2018
LANDED..........
Feb 1st, 2018
Would i be able to drive back into the US with temporary BC plates?
The plates wouldn't be temporary. You are temporarily importing the car, but the plates and everything will be legit.
You will have to export the vehicle from the US in order to temporarily import to Canada, so there is no issue with driving the vehicle back into the states once it's been properly plated in Canada. After the vehicle is exported from the US you will not want to bring it back to the US again until you have your BC plates.
 

Swanip

Newbie
Jan 19, 2018
9
2
Hey guys,

I am getting ready to import my car and I was really struggling to find comprehensive, up-to-date info on the complete process. It was really stressing me out, so I decided to put together a comprehensive, step-by-step guide that was up to date. There are some helpful posts on this forum, but it seems like the process has changed a little bit since those were published, so I figured something up-to-date might be helpful for everyone.

I will note that you can import your vehicle either at the time of landing, or AFTER your landing (if you mark your car as "goods to follow" on your B4 form), but you should not import your car BEFORE you land, as importing it as part of your landing ensures you are exempt from paying duty or taxes on the car.

Chapter 1 - Before You Export

STEP 1
The first thing you need to do is make sure your vehicle is admissible to Canada. You can check that here: http://www.tc.gc.ca/motorvehiclesafety/SafeVehicles/Importation/Usa/VAFUS/list2/Section3_0.htm

STEP 2
If you are currently financing your vehicle, you need to obtain a clearance letter from the lender stating that you have their permission to export the vehicle. Note that the majority of lenders are NOT likely to give this permission, so if that is the case, you will need to pay off your vehicle in order to obtain the title clear of liens so that you can export the car. If this is not an option, selling the car in the US and buying a new car in Canada will be the best option for you.

STEP 3
Research the port of entry where you plan to export your vehicle from the US. Note that not all border crossings process vehicle exports and you will need to confirm the location and hours of operation and general procedures for the port of your choice. For example, we were planning to do my landing at the Peace Bridge crossing, but discovered that the Queenston-Lewiston crossing is the only place you can export a vehicle in Western New York.

Reach out by phone or email so you can confirm the days/times they are open to process vehicle exports and the email or fax information you will need to submit your 72 hour export notice to.

STEP 4
You will need to enlist the services of a customs broker to complete an AES filing for you. This filing will result in the issuance of an ITN number, which is needed to export the car. The AES is basically an electronic system where everything exported out of the US gets "logged" into, and we as average everyday citizens do not have easy access to it, which is why a customs broker has to do it. You should be able to find a broker to do this for around $50-$75. Google "AES vehicle export customs broker" and you will find lots of options. They will have you fill out some mildly confusing forms and when the filing is complete, they will issue the ITN number. Note you need this process to be completed PRIOR to giving your 72 hours export notice.

STEP 5
72 hours prior to export, your vehicle needs to be INSIDE the United States (and needs to stay in the U.S. from that point on until you export it). At 72 hours prior to export, submit (via email or fax depending on the instructions you got from the port of entry) your notice of intent to export. This generally will just include your VIN, the ITN number, and a note stating the day and approximate time you plan to export your vehicle.

STEP 6
To save time, you should complete the "Vehicle Export Form" (this is used for the Canadian part of the process) online in advance, print and bring with you to your landing. http://www.riv.ca/OnlineForms/Home/Landing

CHAPTER 2 - AT THE BORDER

STEP 7
Immediately before you report to the Canadian border crossing to complete your landing and import your car, you need to complete the export at the U.S. side. (When you contact the export office in Step 3, ask them where you need to physically bring the car at the time of export).

You will need to bring the following items:
-Your ITN number
-Your VIN number
-Copy of the 72 hour notice you submitted
-Original vehicle title showing there are no liens/loans, OR a certified copy of the title along with a letter from the lender stating it is OK for you to export the car
-Your passport
-Bill of sale

Once they process the export you can report immediately to the Canadian border crossing to import your car and complete your landing.

STEP 8
At the Canadian border. You should have your vehicle and its VIN listed on your B4 form with all the goods you are importing, but you also need to have the Vehicle Import form mentioned in Step 6. You also need to have:

-Any documents/receipts given to you by the US export office
-Original vehicle title showing there are no liens/loans, OR a certified copy of the title along with a letter from the lender stating it is OK for you to export the car
-Bill of sale

CBSA will electronically submit your Vehicle Import form to RIV (the organization in Canada responsible for completing the process of importing your vehicle).

Chapter 3 - IN CANADA

STEP 9
You have 45 days to complete the RIV process once the vehicle is in Canada. To begin this process, you need to submit a few things to RIV in order for them to release your inspection letter. Check their website for the contact information/email addresses as to where to submit this information.

1. To speed things up you can re-submit a copy of your Vehicle Import form to RIV, even though CBSA does submit it to them also.
2. You also need to submit a manufacturer recall clearance letter (this can be done up to 30 days in advance). http://www.riv.ca/RecallClearance.aspx
3. Lastly, you need to pay the import fees: https://www.riv.ca/MakeAnRIVPayment.aspx

STEP 10
RIV will send you an inspection letter specific to your vehicle which you can use to get your vehicle inspected. The letter will list the specific modifications applicable to your vehicle that you need to make sure are completed PRIOR to your inspection. These are typically completed at the dealership. You also need to ensure your car has a US compliance label on it somewhere (it should already have this).

STEP 11

Once your modifications are completed, locate the RIV inspection location nearest you and bring in your car to be inspected. When the inspection is successfully complete, they will stamp your Vehicle Import Form indicating this, which is what you will bring to get your car registered and tagged. They will also send you a Canadian compliance label in the mail which you will affix to your vehicle to replace the US one.

STEP 12
Bring your stamped form to wherever vehicles are registered in your province (ex, Service Ontario) along with whatever other proof is required in your province (for example, drivers license, proof of insurance, bill of sale, and original title). Get your tags and you are done!

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A NOTE ON DRIVERS LICENSE AND CAR INSURANCE
Before you complete the final step of getting your car registered and tagged, you will need a provincial drivers license. You will need Canadian insurance policy on the car in order to get it tagged, and you will need a Canadian drivers license in order to obtain that policy, so the order should be as follows - 1) Get Canadian drivers license first (try to do this immediately after landing, for most US residents you should be able to do an instantaneous trade in of your existing US license); 2) Then get Canadian insurance policy on the car (try to set this up prior to landing so that all you have to do is submit your new Canadian drivers license info to them in order to finalize and activate the policy). Once you have the proof of insurance, you can proceed with Step 12 above.

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I really hope this is helpful and please let me know if there is anything I am missing or forgetting![/QUOTE

This is valuable info!!
 

rubyerker

Newbie
May 1, 2018
2
1
Thank you SO MUCH for this detailed post. We're moving to Halifax in July and I've been stressing out about this amongst other things!

Really appreciate it!!!
 
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rubyerker

Newbie
May 1, 2018
2
1
If you are importing it as part of your landing, you are exempt from duties and taxes, so the value of the car won't matter.
What does this mean... My husband and I are moving BACK to Canada after being in the United States for quite some time.. We are both Canadian. We have two vehicles. My Mazda 3 that was purchased in Canada and paid off before I initially moved to the US in 2012. Our family car is a 2017 Subaru Outback that we purchased last year. My understanding is that the Mazda won't cost anything because it was purchased in Canada. But our Subaru will be taxed 15%.

Help! Is the above accurate? Thanks in advance!

By the way.. new to the forum, so hello!