found the internets easiest to use, concise information in a step by
step format describing how to import a car to Canada.
purchase your vehicle:
Step # 1 –
Find your vehicle (refer to section with web links)
Step #2 –
Check to ensure your vehicle is admissible into Canada.
You can check this at
Transport Canada's List of Vehicles Admissible from the United
The weblink is
weblink has a full listing of admissible and inadmisable vehicles.
Scroll through and find the vehicle you wish to import. This listing
lists North American and foreign made cars that have been
manufactured for the US market. Vehicles that have originally been
manufactured for markets other than the US or Canada are not
admissible under the current laws. So if you are hoping to import an
Aston Martin designed for the United Kingdom it might be time to
start thinking about another option!
Step #3 –
Indentify any additional expenses you may have to pay See our articles on
green levies and vehicle import duties for further details on these
Step #4 –
Obtain a recall clearance letter (required) In order to import your
vehicle you will require a recall clearance letter. Obtain a recall
clearance letter from the vehicle manufacturer or authorized dealer
by sending a letter or fax requesting the recall clearance letter.
Step #5 –
Purchase your vehicle Once you have the first
for steps in place, purchase your vehicle and have the dealer fax
the bill of sale and title to the border immediately. You need to
fax this information to the US customs officials at the border you
will cross a minimum of 72 hours in advance. Failure to do this may
impact your ability to bring your new vehicle across the border.
Step # 6 –
At the border Before departing the
US, you must notify US customs of your pending vehicle export. This
process is relatively quick, they will inspect your vehicle and hand
you a form to bring with you to Canadian Customs.
the Canadian border station and fill out the appropriate forms,
someone will be on hand to help you if needed. The form you will
need to fill out is known as form 1 and has an RIV logo on it. After
completing this form you will need to pay GST on the vehicle and
then you will be allowed to continue into Canada.
Step #7 –
After you import After you’ve imported
the vehicle you will need to notify the RIV office in Ottawa. You
can do this by phoning or faxing them. Once they have a record of
your vehicle import status they will then send you a new form which
you will need to use at your federal vehicle inspection.
Step # 8 –
Federal Vehicle inspection Once you receive your
RIV in the mail or by email you must bring both forms with you for
the federal vehicle inspection. You can generally do this for free
at any Canadian Tire location. You may have to modify a couple of
things on the vehicle in order for it to pass the test. The most
common thing is daytime running lights, a relatively inexpensive
Step #9 –
Register your Vehicle Once you have passed
the federal inspection you can proceed to complete the import
process and register your vehicle. At this point you will need to
pay the appropriate PST and possibly get a provincial vehicle
– Enjoy your new ride and the thousands you’ve save
Import Car to Canada Articles
Recall Clearance Letters A recall clearance letter is a document issued by the vehicle manufacturer that identifies if there are any outstanding recalls on the vehicle. Generally, the letter must...