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Why importing a car may not be worth the hassel!!

Discussion in 'Settlement Issues' started by Kess, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. So I sponsored my husband last year to come to Canada from California and he drove up to stay with me as a visitor last November. His PR was finally approved and he landed Sept 6 and just received his PR card today (he stayed in status the whole time but never returned to Cali). Everything has been sorted out (job, etc) with the exception of his car.

    He has a 98 Honda civic dx hatchback with about 60k miles on it. The registration/insurance ran out in August, just prior to his application being approved. He hasn't been able to import the car because he lost the title (or stolen years ago out of his glovebox). He submitted a change of address request to the California DMV a while ago and we sent a request in Sept for a replacement title, since it's needed for the import/export. We finally received the response (had it mailed to his dad's and it took forever to get here in the mail after) and they want the car smogged and the registration done before they will issue a new title...

    We can't drive the car to California to get it smogged and he has no intention of ever getting it registered/insured in California!! He can't call the DMV because the 1-800 number isn't available outside the US and we can't get storage insurance (strata at my apartment has already issued a warning) because it's not registered in BC. Why are government offices useless?

    I don't think at this point we could even junk the car :S
  2. (1) If you have SKYPE (SKYPE OUT in this case), it pretends that all calls originate from the USA, so USA 1-800 numbers work no matter where else you are calling from.

    (2) Don't know. Maybe they are too busy looking for the next promotion to actually provide public service. I remember that annual performance reviews never had service to the public as one of the criteria. In fact, there is no attempt to measure that -- only internal stuff like "teamwork" (i.e. do the bosses job without complaint), and "works well unsupervised" (meaning the boss need not do his/her job actually supervising, but rather can concentrate on networking for the next promotion).
  3. I'm trying to figure out what to do myself. I didn't realize that there we had to get it "exported" before we could "import" it. I'll have my PP back and be able to land sometime in the next week or so, and I want to do it asap since I'm already in QC and want to be able to start working as soon as humanly possible at this point.

    I called the closest U.S. border station today and asked what to do, and they told me that I had to come with my car, original title and 2 copies at least 72 business hours in advance. I think I am going to call back to confirm that, because that would be something like 9 business days. Plus, the guy told me that my car needs to stay in the U.S. for that entire time!

    Has anyone else gone through this? Is that what happened to you? I'm just trying to figure out how to do this in a way that makes sense. I'd love to hear from someone that has done the process and can explain how it went for them!
  4. Hi

    1. You fax the title @ least 72 hours in advance to the border crossing where you intend to export the car. You don't have to take them in advance to the Port. Note that you can only export Monday to Friday, 8-4. http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/trade/basic_trade/export_docs/motor_vehicle.xml
  5. Can my car stay with me in Canada then while I do that? The guy I spoke with on the phone really confused me. He made a big deal out of my car staying in the U.S. and emphasizing 72 business hours.

    If what you're saying is correct, then I could fax my title this weekend or Monday and then just make sure to wait 72 hrs total (so if I sent it Monday, I could go Friday) to go down to the border to flagpole, export, import and land during business hours M-F (once I have my passport and COPR back)?
  6. Hi
    Yes, you can probably get away with it having the car in Canada. Phone the office you fax to, to ensure they have the fax before hand though.
  7. Hi Americaninquebec, I just posted about this in the Buffalo folder...
    I did import/export at Queenston/Lewiston. There you can fax your documents 72 hours in advance, they did not require the car remain in the states for that period (nor did the ask where the car was prior to exportation).

    And, I can find no statement in the regulations that requires the vehicle to be in the US for 72 hours prior to export.

    See link to the regulations for export here http://customs.gov/xp/cgov/trade/basic_trade/export_docs/motor_vehicle.xml.

    I would call Queenston/Lewiston and ask them about the hold period (maybe a couple other export offices too) to get a sense of how this is enforced and whether it is required! Then I would call the border office you intend to use again, share the info you've acquired and ask (politely of course) to point specifically to the section of the regulation where this is required. It would help if you are very familiar with the wording of the regs as well!

    Read, in particular 192.2 part C, number 2 requires only the documentation to be presented 72 hours prior to export if the vehicle is under it's own power. The vehicle is only required to be present AT the time of exportation. If they can not point to it in the regs (and it is not followed at other export offices) I would then politely ask how they could hold you accountable for something that is not specifically required by the regulations.

    I'd love to know what you find out. Good luck. Allison
  8. My Brother forgot/did not export nor import his car when he landed. It was not in the goods to follow either.
    When he tried to register the car in Ontario, they asked him for the RIV paper(blue paper) and since he did not have it he had to get it before he was allowed to register the car.
    Fortunately he did not have to go back to the border, they had an office somewhere in the GTA. They told him that since the car was over 15 yrs old he did not have to pay duty on it, but he would've had to if it was newer since he never declared it.
    The tags and emissions test were expired at this point, but all he needed was the title to the vehicle. I'm not sure if the asked for the registration but still they were already expired then and he was still able to register the vehicle.
    Hope this helps. Have a great day!
  9. Thanks everyone for the info! I ended up trying to fax my title this morning, and when it didn't go through called the port of entry I'll be using again. This time the woman on the other end informed me that they don't accept the title via fax, but instead I have to present them the original title and two copies 72 hrs before the the car will be exported (not business hours either, and the clock keeps ticking even on the weekend). She confirmed that I could take the car back with me to Canada while I awaited the 72 hrs to pass.

    I talked it over with my husband, and we think we'll actually wait until after the holidays to export/import my car. When I land sometime in the next couple of weeks I'll declare that my car will be following, and then go ahead and do everything in January. I figure it'll be easier than trying to get inspection, reregistration, etc. done within the 45 day time limit right around the holidays.

    I feel better now knowing what I need to do to officially export/import my car though. :)

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