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Exporting/Importing Vehicle - US to Canada ONLY!

cantn

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harirajmohan said:
ASE filing: Can i submit the export filing with approximate date and then can i inform ahead to the borders on my vehicle incoming? Not sure if this export date needs to be followed strictly. Please suggest.

Recall clearance letter: Any other way (other than requesting from the address given in riv - asked them but dont know when they will respond)? Will they accept printout from nissanusa.com validation on recall?
1. I am also planning a US->Canada move in the next few months. I am operating under the assumption that CBP only requires > 72 hours notice. Exact date can change as long as we meet that criteria.
2. "A printout from an American or Canadian dealership’s vehicle service database" https://www.riv.ca/RecallClearance.aspx is an acceptable form of recall clearance.
 
 

asinght

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Hi all,

I'm planning to import my car to Canada from US this month. This thread is immensely helpful.

I'm okay with the export part of the process - have got the AES (ITN) done, and will be sending it to the border office via email (they oddly said they just need a copy of the title 72 hrs prior - will reconfirm).

On the import side - I will have the following :

Title (stamped for export)
Bill of sale/invoice
Form B4
Form 1 : How do I get form 1... I see an online filling option - but there are so many fields which are confusing.

Do you suggest that I go ahead and do the import - and at canadian border they will give me Form 1?

Or do I login to the RIV website, and follow the process
- I believe that would involve uploading the scans of documents and making the payment...

Suggestions would be most welcome. Thank you!!!

(Also, is it possible to get insurance in Ontario on a US license - I only have a few months more to go before my US license is valid for 2 years - I would prefer to trade it in for a full G license, as opposed to G2 + one more road test).
 

harirajmohan

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asinght said:
Hi all,

I'm planning to import my car to Canada from US this month. This thread is immensely helpful.

I'm okay with the export part of the process - have got the AES (ITN) done, and will be sending it to the border office via email (they oddly said they just need a copy of the title 72 hrs prior - will reconfirm).

On the import side - I will have the following :

Title (stamped for export)
Bill of sale/invoice
Form B4
Form 1 : How do I get form 1... I see an online filling option - but there are so many fields which are confusing.

Do you suggest that I go ahead and do the import - and at canadian border they will give me Form 1?

Or do I login to the RIV website, and follow the process
- I believe that would involve uploading the scans of documents and making the payment...

Suggestions would be most welcome. Thank you!!!

(Also, is it possible to get insurance in Ontario on a US license - I only have a few months more to go before my US license is valid for 2 years - I would prefer to trade it in for a full G license, as opposed to G2 + one more road test).
What i did:
Take the prefilled form (vehicle import form riv) which can be just stamped and filled by cbsa. This has the case id too which you can track it later. (i told that officer that i have the prefilled /printed form as he was trying to take some long yellow form (actually in inspection stores some of guys would ask for this colour form but tell them that this the same one) )
Send the copy of above form through email to RIV. (hope you have sent the recall clearance letter earlier or along with this form to riv).
All done and now waiting begins.
Track the above said case id (after some hours or next day depending on RIV processes your case) to download the form1 issued by RIV. This one is required before you can get the inspection done.

It is NOT possible to get an insurance with US license. It really sucks on insurance. Its very hard. its painful to get one as they need no claim letter from all damn previous insurance companies. So start calling them and get the letter, if not you would end up paying 2600-3000+ per year (like me). They dont really care if you had license and insurance for a decade or more. There is no competition in auto insurance which makes them so greedy to charge more. - this is what i could see.
You cant get insurance without Canadian license.

I missed doing import and transferring license on time and ended up having a rental car for a month to do it (as CBSA told me that i cannot use my car once i moved permanently (as i guess that they cant track the car being imported later) ). So plan to have the car imported and transfer the license to start shopping for insurance and inspection done to get process completed within 30 days of inspection.

You need at least 2 years (out of 3 years) of exchangeable license to get full G license. Also you need an official (stamped/signed) letter from the state where the license was issued with the date of issue. If not they wont exchange it. They just wont accept the license alone without the letter (even if it was issued 2 years ago). Another painful thing.

Good luck.
 

RNSS

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Mar 6, 2012
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Hi,

I have imported the car from my brother (Family gift). Paper work at US Customs and CBSA done. I am trying to do the RIV registration form but unsure about 'Foreign Vendor Information'. Can anyone please advise what does it mean.



Regards,
 

lets_try

Member
Aug 10, 2016
14
1
Hello guys,

I am still to do all this, but I guess should be good with the info provided. So thanks for that.

One concern I have that after the import process at the Canadian border, what is the correct order of the following and how soon these need to be done.

Canadian License
Canadian Insurance
Inspection
Modifications
Car Registration in Canada
Canadian Titles
(anything missing?)

Thanks.
 
 

mr00realist

Newbie
Apr 22, 2017
1
0
smtele said:
The steps posted by OP Baffled are excellent, and I followed them to export/import my car recently at Lewiston bridge/Niagara falls. It saved a lot of time & hassle.

Here are some points from my experience:

1) Have all the car documents ready

- title (the most important document!!!)
- sale receipts
- registration and insurance (these should be already in your car)
- recall clearance (car must be imported in Canada within 30 days from the date of issue)
- car value -- this might be needed when registering on RIV online, or filling the goods to follow list
- optional: -- among other things, this gives you the state of the car (clear/salvage/rebuilt, etc) needed by RIV


Hi Everyone,

Thank you for this awesome post, found it a little late but still before I start my export/import process.

My primary concern is, my NY state inspection that I had on my car expired in March (car and me both in Canada).
I want to know if the officers on USA side are interested in the same or not. From all the digging I've done, it seems like they just need the Title, Registration & Insurance (all in my name).

I did, as per the instructions on the dmv site, send them a(physical) letter explaining that I needed an extension for the inspection but did not receive any revert.
( dmv(dot)ny(dot)gov/inspection/inspection-requirements )

Any information would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

cantn

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Jul 20, 2015
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Has anybody exported/imported their vehicle from Ambassador Bridge? The instructions on the website and those given to me by an extremely rude officer on the phone do not match. According to the website the border office is open only on weekdays 8AM - 4:30PM, but the gentleman on the phone said its open 24/7.
 

CDNPR2014

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cantn said:
Has anybody exported/imported their vehicle from Ambassador Bridge? The instructions on the website and those given to me by an extremely rude officer on the phone do not match. According to the website the border office is open only on weekdays 8AM - 4:30PM, but the gentleman on the phone said its open 24/7.
the border office is probably open for 24 hours for land crossings/landings, as are most border offices. however, that doesn't mean ALL services are done all hours of the day. A car import certainly is NOT a service that is available 24 hours a day, and there would certainly be specific hours for car import processing, so you'll need to confirm that time with the border office. you can try calling back and asking them specifically what hours car imports are processed.
 

cantn

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CDNPR2014 said:
the border office is probably open for 24 hours for land crossings/landings, as are most border offices. however, that doesn't mean ALL services are done all hours of the day. A car import certainly is NOT a service that is available 24 hours a day, and there would certainly be specific hours for car import processing, so you'll need to confirm that time with the border office. you can try calling back and asking them specifically what hours car imports are processed.
Thanks for the reply. I called again and a different agent insisted that the vehicle export facility is indeed open 24/7. :eek: Only one way to tell what is true is to actually show up at the border at 3AM on a weekend...
 
 

CDNPR2014

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cantn said:
Thanks for the reply. I called again and a different agent insisted that the vehicle export facility is indeed open 24/7. :eek: Only one way to tell what is true is to actually show up at the border at 3AM on a weekend...
perhaps it is open 24/7 there. it depends on the border. yes, i agree, the only way to know for sure is to show up. good luck!
 

quercus

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Somewhat related:
I landed recently, but am finishing up a job in the US. My (Canadian sponsor) partner and I would like to spend a weekend in Canada soon. I don't expect I'll have my PR card by then, but my understanding is I just need my CoPR and passport if arriving via private vehicle. What this has to do with this thread:

You all seem knowledgeable about "personal conveyances." I see that I could not temporarily import my car "for touring purposes or for other leisure activities in Canada," but does that mean a weekend, or is "temporary import" a more formal process? In other words, can I drive my car in Canada without importing it, or commuting, or responding to an emergency?

Thank you!
 

CDNPR2014

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quercus said:
Somewhat related:
I landed recently, but am finishing up a job in the US. My (Canadian sponsor) partner and I would like to spend a weekend in Canada soon. I don't expect I'll have my PR card by then, but my understanding is I just need my CoPR and passport if arriving via private vehicle. What this has to do with this thread:

You all seem knowledgeable about "personal conveyances." I see that I could not temporarily import my car "for touring purposes or for other leisure activities in Canada," but does that mean a weekend, or is "temporary import" a more formal process? In other words, can I drive my car in Canada without importing it, or commuting, or responding to an emergency?

Thank you!
temporary import is for people who are living in canada temporarily (workers, students, etc.) and is a formal process.

you are free to drive your us plated car across the canadian border as a PR without importing it. assuming it's legally registered and insured, there is no issue. it is doubtful they will even ask about your importing intentions. it's really none of cbsa's concern where it's registered. as long as it's not smuggling contraband, they will not give it a second though.

and yes, all you need to cross the border is your COPR and passport. for US citizens a PR card is not required for travel - land or air.
 

quercus

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CDNPR2014 said:
you are free to drive your us plated car across the canadian border as a PR without importing it. assuming it's legally registered and insured, there is no issue. it is doubtful they will even ask about your importing intentions. it's really none of cbsa's concern where it's registered. as long as it's not smuggling contraband, they will not give it a second though.
CBSA has asked me a few times about my car, and two of them lectured me, one pretty intensely, about how I need to import my car and get new plates if I'm living in Canada, that it's kind of OK before PR, but once I land (which I have now), it's not. I can't find anything that says that; I was hoping it was just individual CBSA agents being cranky.

Thanks as always, you're so helpful!

As an aside, AFAIK Alberta doesn't do temporary importing. BC gave me a temp permit when we crossed through, moving up to AB, but when I renewed my visitor visa in AB, CBSA laughed, said they hadn't seen one of those in years & the woman who issued it was handing out useless paperwork, and threw it away.
 
 

CDNPR2014

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quercus said:
CBSA has asked me a few times about my car, and two of them lectured me, one pretty intensely, about how I need to import my car and get new plates if I'm living in Canada, that it's kind of OK before PR, but once I land (which I have now), it's not. I can't find anything that says that; I was hoping it was just individual CBSA agents being cranky.

Thanks as always, you're so helpful!

As an aside, AFAIK Alberta doesn't do temporary importing. BC gave me a temp permit when we crossed through, moving up to AB, but when I renewed my visitor visa in AB, CBSA laughed, said they hadn't seen one of those in years & the woman who issued it was handing out useless paperwork, and threw it away.
yes, it's more than likely a cranky officer. i've never been lectured. i drove my car across the border multiple times before and after landing, and i imported my car 3 months after landing.

there's really no point in temp importing. i really thinks it's for special circumstances because it's not very common. the issue that usually comes into play is us insurance. generally, if the insurance company finds out the car is in canada long term, they will drop insurance, so there are some who will just opt to keep that info to themselves.
 

quercus

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CDNPR2014 said:
i drove my car across the border multiple times before and after landing, and i imported my car 3 months after landing.
Good to know, thank you! We've been worried we'll get hung up at the border and mess up our hotel reservations etc. This makes me feel better.