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Exporting/Importing Vehicle - US to Canada ONLY!

Discussion in 'Settlement Issues' started by Baffled, May 21, 2016.


    STEP 2: RIV it up!
    STEP 3: Obtain an EIN Number
    (NOTE: If you are unable to obtain an EIN Number you will need to contact a broker to do the export for you. Below is a list of brokers who are able to obtain an ITN for you.)
    Simplified Trade Solutions - $35.00
    AutoExports.US - $75.00
    I have no preference on which broker to use because I did not use one. I will leave that choice up to you. Once you have chosen a broker, paid, and obtained your ITN number you can skip to STEP x: At the border, ready to export!
    STEP 4: Create ACE account and Submit Filing on AESDirect
    STEP 5: Once the wait is over, be prepared!
    STEP 6: At the US border, ready to export!
    STEP 7: Not over yet, on to the Canadian Border!
    STEP 8: Exported and Imported, now what?

    Hello everyone!
    I and many like myself, have a hard time trying to Export/Import vehicles from the US into Canada without the use of a broker. I have researched and read many forums about this subject to only find tid-bits of information spread out. My hope in posting my experiences exporting/importing my own vehicle will help those with any frustrations and confusions they may have with their vehicles.

    But first the following...

    DISCLAIMER: These are my experiences, so therefore meaning I am NOT a professional exporter, professional legal advisor, nor have I ever done this before. Everyone has a different vehicle and situation. What I hope to accomplish here is to help those in need of assistance to, well, Export/Import their Vehicles. Be free to add to or suggest changes to what I share so others can benefit from this. Thanks and good luck to you all.

    References and Research:

    Importing a Vehicle into Canada videos:
    The below videos are dated 2007, but majority of the information is valid when deciding if importing your vehicle is worth the effort.

    Importing a Vehicle into Canada - Driving TV Episode 1 of 3
    Importing a Vehicle into Canada - Driving TV Episode 2 of 3
    Importing a Vehicle into Canada - Driving TV Episode 3 of 3

    Websites to visit concerning Exporting and Importing vehicles:
    The below websites will provide you information needed to make sure your Export/Import of your vehicle goes smoothly, IF you choose to do this yourself.

    Registrar of Imported Vehicles
    "The Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) was created by Transport Canada to administer the RIV program. This web site provides access to information regarding the permanent importation of vehicles originally manufactured for distribution in the U.S. market into Canada."

    US Customs and Border Protection: Exporting Motor Vehicle
    Exporting Vehicles to Canada
    (NOTE: Please be aware that AES registration is done through ACE now. More to come about that later.)
    Exporting Used Vehicles
    (NOTE: If you have questions about what ACE is and other things related to Exporting Vehicles, this document answers most of those questions.)
    Online Application for EIN (Employer Identification Number)
    This is the page to apply for an EIN Number. Please note the eligibility to apply for an EIN. Once you have an EIN you will need to go to the ACE
    and Automated Systems to Apply for Exporter Account, link below.
    ACE and Automated Systems
    This page is where you start your exporting process. You will first need to register and obtain your EIN (Employer Identification Number) before
    filing export information on your vehicle, link above.

    Before you go buying or financing a car there are a few things you need to know. It is a GREAT idea to do your research. Below is a straight forward list of things I found out when trying to bring my car into Canada permanently:


    2. You are REQUIRED to own the title of the vehicle.
    A letter from the lien holder and/or copy of the title of the vehicle will not allow you to export or import your vehicle from the US into Canada. I have read forums about this and some say you can and some say you can't. I asked both the US and Canadian border officers and customs, both have stated you MUST have the official title of the vehicle.

    3. Your vehicle MUST BE in the US and filed into the AES for no less than 72 hours prior to export. As stated: "U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also requires under CBP regulations 19 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 192 that all used self-propelled vehicles be presented to CBP for inspection prior to export along with the presentation of the title and/or any other documentation showing ownership 72 hours prior to export along with the Internal Transaction Number from AES." - https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1736/~/exporting-self-propelled-vehicles

    4. Have documents/information required at the ready. This includes but not limited to:
    1. Passport
    2. ITN (I provided a print out of the ITN form and E-mail that was sent to me which contained my ITN.
    3. They will ask you questions in regards to the export. Do not be specific and do not give them more than what they are asking for.

    Additionally, I made phone calls to both the US Customs, US Border Patrol, and Canadian Border Patrol to find hours of operation and document requirements to export/import my vehicle. I suggest you do the same for whichever port of entry you are going through. Do not assume you can show up at the port of entry at 3AM to beat the rush and get it all done, otherwise you will be sitting around for possibly 5 hours waiting for the offices to open. Which brings us to...

    5. Call the port of entry, both US and Canada to confirm hours of operations.
    jatt-going-canada likes this.
  4. STEP 2: RIV it up!

    Visiting the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) is part of doing your research, but created a separate section because there is a decent amount of information in regards to RIV's own requirements.

    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you visit RIV as it has all of the information you need to concern yourself with importing your vehicle into Canada. RIV also provides a checklist, step by step instructions, to importing your vehicle into Canada. But only so much information is provided, hence this long post. *smile*

    So, lets RIV it up! And get started!

    1. Go to https://www.riv.ca. Once you are there choose a language, either English or French.
    The website is simple in design and contains everything you need to help you out with importing your vehicle. If for some reason you have a question or concern and can't find answers, click on contact us < here or on their website top right corner.

    2. On the website you will find 6 tabs:
    Online Portal | Importing a Vehicle | Payment and Fees | Parts and Salvage | Important Notices | About Us
    I suggest you visit each tab and familiarize yourself with their website. I am sorry, but I am not going to give you a RIV 101 to their website *smile*.

    3. Once you have take the time to familiarize yourself with the website, click on the Importing a Vehicle tab. You will see a section on the left titled Before you Import. Here you will find the information you need in regards to the admissibility of your vehicle into Canada. Again, I STRONGLY SUGGEST you visit each link as each one contains important information about importing vehicles and others into Canada.

    First, start at the Importer checklist. You will fill out an online form, doesn't get sent anywhere, that provides you with information guiding you through the process of making sure you have everything to import your vehicle. Basically gives you the shorten version of each link in the "Before you Import" section. But for the detailed individual in me, I briefly covered/provided information/links to each below:

    Is my vehicle admissible into Canada?

    a. Click on Vehicle admissibility

    b. Once the page has loaded, click on:
    List of Vehicles Admissible from the United States - HTML format

    c. Once the page has loaded, click on:
    Vehicle Import Compatibility (Admissibility) List for vehicles purchased in the United States

    d. Scroll down until you get to Section (x) and click on:
    For my example, Passenger Cars (Your choice may be different. Please choose the correct Section (x) that pertains to your vehicle.)

    e. Click on the Make of your vehicle. You will be presented a table of information. Usually stating what is Admissible, Inadmissible, and Notes.

    What brand does my vehicle fit?
    Clear/Normal, Salvage, Rebuilt, or Non-repairable

    Click on Vehicle branding history to find out!

    What modifications and inspection requirements are needed for my type of vehicle?

    Click on Modification and inspection requirements to find out!

    Where do I and/or how do I obtain a Recall Clearance?
    What type of Recall Clearance is accepted?

    Click on Recall clearance to find out!
    For my situation it was a simple visit to my manufacture's website and filling out a Recall Clearance Form for Canada. Once I sent it to them they sent me an email 2 to 3 business days later not only notifying myself that there are no outstanding recalls, but what did NOT meet the CMVSS (Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards). They also assured me that a Canadian dealership can make the modifications required. I was lucky, I only needed to install DRL's (Driving Running Lights). Like I said before, everyone's situation/vehicle is different.

    Does my vehicle meet the RIV exepmtions?

    Click on RIV exemptions to find out!

    What are the Cost Considerations?

    Click on Cost considerations to find out!
    Also, visit Payment and Fees tab!

    If you are landing for the first time as a Permanent Resident some fees and taxes are waived. Please contact the CBSA or port of entry for more information. You can also contact RIV. Regardless, you are REQUIERD TO PAY the 195.00 to RIV plus GST HST.

    Most definitely though, use the Importer Checklist. Using this tool will greatly reduce the frustrations and confusions you may have on importing your vehicle.

  5. Here I will try and cover the steps and information required to obtaining your own EIN number. The process is easy. Remember you will have to be a US Citizen with an SSN, ITIN, or EIN to apply for an EIN, as stated under step one, Determine Your Eligibility...

    1. Click on the link in the title or visit https://www.irs.gov and type in their search engine, Apply for EIN. Then click on Apply for an Employwer Identification Number (EIN) Online. Should be the first link listed, NOT under Top Recommendation.

    2. Once you have been determined eligible to obtain an EIN, click on the Apply Online Now button found in step 3 of their website. You will be brought to another website which will explain to you that using their system, you have no rights. Basically, "Use of this system constitutes consent to monitoring, interception, recording, reading, copying or capturing by authorized personnel of all activities." If you wish to continue click "OK" otherwise leave the website and visit one of the brokers above to do the Exportation for you.

    3. Click on Begin Application >>

    4. Choose Sole Proprietor. Click Continue >>

    5. Choose Sole Proprietor. Click Continue >>

    6. Read and understand what Sole Proprietor is, then click Continue >>

    7. Choose Started a new business. This is assuming you do not have an EIN already. Or wish to start a new entity, EIN, for the sole purpose of exporting your vehicle. Click Continue >>

    8. Under Authenticate, you will provide your information, self explanatory. This is why you need to have SSN/ITIN, they ask for one and it is REQUIRED. Once done, click on I am the sole proprietor. Click Continue >>

    9. From this point you will be asked more information, like addresses and such. I won't be able to cover this part of the section because I already created an EIN, but it is easy from here. But mostly just make sure you say you are the Sole Proprietor.

    Once you have provided everything and submitted it, you will be given an EIN pretty immediately. You will need this to file for export into the ACE system then through AESDirect to obtain your ITN. But like I said before, if you don't want to go through this you still have the chance of just choosing a Broker. I am one of those problem solvers that like to figure things out and get it done. When you have determination and patience you can accomplish anything.

  6. Now on to the more complicated parts of exporting a vehicle. The AES system was transferred to the new (I think) ACE system. In order to create an account through ACE just watch the following video and follow it to the letter:

    Once you have created an ACE Portal Account you will need to get to the AESDirect Filings to submit for export on your vehicle. Refer to the following link for information on how to do that, specifically pages 7 through 23: AESDirect User Guide


    Shipment Reference Number
    Exactly as it is described in the guide. Just make a unique ID number to identify shipment. Example, 2942691-05

    Filing Option
    Predeparture is default and made sense to leave at such since you are exporting the vehicle before departing the US.

    Mode of Transport
    How is it getting to destination? I chose road, other because I drove my car.

    Port of Export

    Click into the field and start typing in the port of export, Example start typing Vancouver and it will show the Port of Export code and city name.

    Departure Date, Origin State, Country of Destination
    These fields are self explanatory.

    Inbond Code
    I chose 70 - Merchandise Not Shipped Inbond because I drove it to Canada. If you are shipping it across you may need to choose a different category. There are only four other categories. Speak to whoever is shipping it across to find out what should be placed here. Sorry best I can help with.

    Routed Transaction
    As I understood it from the guide and website, if someone is shipping my car for me. So, no. Correct me if I am wrong. But to me it seemed easy. I am the one driving the car across and no one else is handling the transport of my vehicle.

    Are USPPI and Ultimate Consignee related?

    As it is described. Since the USPPI and Ultimate Consignee (UC) is me I selected "Yes". Basically USPPI, who is sending the vehicle and UC who is receiving it.

    Does shipment contain hazardous material?
    Are you? If you are, "Yes" if you aren't "No."


    This is you. So wherever you are sending it from, and your information. Each field is self explanatory, so I will not cover this section.

    Ultimate Consignee
    This is once again you, unless of course you are sending it to someone else, which I am sure border patrol will question is it a sell? Which will beg the question why, etc. As for Sold En Route?, I chose No because I am not selling it as I am traveling with it to Canada.

    All other consignee's are left blank and I moved on. The destination as to where the vehicle is headed, which is the address you will be living at in Canada.

    (Your vehicle)

    Click the Add Line button and start filling in the form.

    Export Information Code
    For me specifically, I chose HV. Personally Owned Vehicle. The car is for me and is for personal use.

    Schedule B or HTS Number
    Click on the Schedule B Search Engine link, next to the field description. Describe your vehicle as much as you can to obtain the correct number. But to share, here is what I did to figure out what to fill out in this section.

    1. Visit the broker page https://www.autoexports.us.
    2. Click on "Start My Export Now"
    3. Scroll to the bottom, "Vehicle Information" and click on the drop down arrow next to Vehicle Type.
    4. Select the first type, which in my case was Passenger Vehicles (including golf carts).
    5. Select the second type, again for myself it was Passenger Vehicles.
    6. Select the third type, for myself it was "Non-diesel engine greater than 1.5 liter and not more than 3.0 liter" You can find this information from your manufacture website or google search it. Or look at your car information book etc. You should find this somewhere.

    Now if you look in the Tariff#: you will see a series of numbers, everyone's number will be different. Highlight that number and copy it.

    6. Go back to the AES Direct page and past that number into the Schedule B field. Viola! The window expands to plug in your vehicles information.

    Commodity Description
    I just plugged in my cars make, model.

    1st Quantity
    1 - unless you are exporting more than 1 of that car make, model

    Origin of Goods
    D-Domestic is what I put in since it is from the US, may be different for others.

    License Type Code/License Exemption Code
    Basically, how I understood it...Does it require some sort of special license to operate the vehicle. Once you look at the list you will understand that C33 is the only option, at least for myself it was because it's a personal mode of transportation and nothing else.. Everyone's situation is different.

    Agriculture and Marketing Services (AMS) Permit Required
    Is it? Yes or No

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Permit Required
    Does it? Yes or No

    Does the filing include used vehicles?
    This will be defaulted as Yes. You can't change it.

    7. Finally, fill out the information of the car. And click Save once done.


    Unless you declared your vehicle is being shipped in some way shape or form, this will be grayed out and you can just ignore this part.

    Once you are done filling out all of the required information, review it all once and twice then submit the filing. Once it is all said and done, you will receive an ITN pretty quick via email and you will get a confirmation on the webpage. Print the page and the email and bring both with you to the port of export, just to be sure.
  7. STEP 5: Once the wait is over, be prepared!

    REMEMBER you need to FILE for export 72 hours prior to exporting your vehicle. In addition your vehicle is required to be in the states for 72 hours also before export. You can't have the vehicle imported or in Canada at time of export. They will inspect the car, so without a car no export. They will frown on this and there could be consequences.

    Now, assuming you did as told from above. Drive/transport your vehicle to the port of export, which you chose, and within the hours of operation that you confirmed. Walk into the building and get your car exported.

    STEP 6: At the US border, ready to export!

    Park your car in the visitor parking. Make sure you have your ITN number preferably on the document that has all of your information from AESDirect, you know the form I said to print out after confirming the submission of your filing. You can print the email you received, that should contain the ITN also. I did both to be safe. The officer I had loved the document that had the information on it. Was faster to confirm things. It took approximately 15 minutes. Time differs place to place and time of date.

    STEP 7: Not over yet, on to the Canadian Border!

    Now once you have exported your vehicle it is time to get it imported into Canada. This process is pretty simple and requires less paper/electronic work. You know that export sheet I said to print, this will help you fill out the Form 1 document. If you already did the Form 1 online then don't worry about filling it out at the border. You can pay your fee online or in person or by snail mail. That is pretty much it. I am not going to cover the Form 1 because the officer will help you with that. Now depending on your landing situation, you will be done. ONWARD TO CANADA!!!

    STEP 8: Exported and Imported, now what?

    ERRRRRR!!!?? Wait, you aren't done there. There are things to cover and do before you can register and insure it. Every province is different so visit RIV's website for the requirements. Take care of any modifications that need to be done first before taking it in for inspection. Get it inspected, don't forget Form 2 if you need it. Take both Form 1 and 2 to the choice of office to register and insure it. DONE! Woot!

    I hope you got your driver license before doing all of this. I heard it was a hassle if you didn't. Not sure if it is true, but I had my provinces driver license prior to all of this.

    Good Luck to all of you!

    DISCLAIMER: These are my experiences, so therefore meaning I am NOT a professional exporter, professional legal advisor, nor have I ever done this before. Everyone has a different vehicle and situation. What I hope to accomplish here is to help those in need of assistance to, well, Export/Import their Vehicles. Be free to add to or suggest changes to what I share so others can benefit from this. Thanks and good luck to you all.

    Best of Luck!
    kirribilliCN and ronamaria15 like this.
  8. Thank you for all the info! I started to research this process this morning and was starting to have a stress melt-down. Your breakdown is so very helpful!
  9. There is one more crucial step! You must send an email to the CBP office where you will be exporting with the VIN AND the ITN number at least 72 hours before export. Instructions on their website.
    Staunts2015 likes this.
  10. Have some questions:

    1) Do I need a Canadian driver's license before I can export car out of US and import car into Canada (ON province), or will a US driver's license do?

    2) Do I need to have a permanent Canadian address for the import/export?

    3) Can one drive back into the US after importing the car in Canada?

  11. 1. no
    2. no i don't think so. the RIV site will confirm this.
    3. of course. it would be like driving a us plated car in canada for short term trips. just because it's plated in canada doesn't mean you can't drive it in the us.
  12. Thanks.

    I'm a bit confused about this:

    >> 3) Can one drive back into the US after importing the car in Canada?
    >> 3. of course. it would be like driving a us plated car in canada for short term trips. just because it's plated in canada doesn't mean you can't drive it in the us.

    Does this mean that importing a car in ON would give me an ON number plate? Or will the number plate stay as US?

    I thought getting a number plate would be a through a separate process later on which will include getting a Canadian driver's license and insurance, and can only be done when one has a permanent address in the province.

    I won't have a permanent address in ON when I import the car, and I plan on returning to the US for a couple of weeks after the import, before I permanently go reside in ON.
  13. when you import the car to canada, it is under the assumption you will be registering the car once the import is finalized. there is a time frame that the entire process must be completed. the process does not end at the border. you must then take it to get inspected and send the inspection report to RIV to complete the import within a specific amount of time (i think it's 30 days). you will then have a certain time to get insurance and register the car (i believe the provincial inspection gives you 45 days to register) you can't register the car without canadian insurance, and you can't get canadian insurance without a canadian driver's license). So essentially, to sucessfully REGISTER the car in ON, you need a canadian address.

    if you're intending to drive the car back immediately upon import, then it doesn't make sense to initiate the import at that time. you may want to consider initiating the import when you return permanently in ontario, since it will make the process a bit less stressful and confusing. there is no problem doing this. if you are landing as a PR (or resettling as a canadian citizen), you can list the car as a "conveyance" on your goods to follow form and import it at a later date. I landed 3 months before i imported my car.

    the issue will be your us insurance. once they figure out you imported the car and plan to keep it in canada, they will start the process of cancelling your insurance. generally, a us insurance company will not insure a car more than 6 months if it's in canada long term.
    dsinghd likes this.
  14. I will be living in Windsor and working in Detroit. If I import my car, will I be able to do my daily work commute? I was told by an Officer that a Canadian PR cannot drive a US plated car in Canada. So will there be any issues?
  15. if your residency is in canada, you will not be able to drive a us plated car in canada long term. first of all, it is assumed when a person imports a car to canada, it will be then plated in canada. second of all, if your US insurance company finds out you are no longer living in the us and the car is in canada more than 6 mo, they WILL drop you.

    yes, you'll be able to drive a canadian plated car to the us for work. there are many people who do this daily. the plates should be from where the car owner is a resident. if the person is a resident of the us, the plates should be plated in the us. if the person is a resident of canada, they should be plated in canada. it is not possible to be a resident of 2 countries at the same time. it's really not that complicated.

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