[urq] Importing a Car from Canada into the US

Eric Renneisen racingiron at comcast.net
Mon Jul 9 21:08:48 EDT 2007

BTDT.  I used a Registered Importer, and it was a good value at $250,
IMHO.  They handled all the paperwork.  I drove the car to the border,
walked across to their office to pick up the papers (for some reason the
office is required to be on the American side), then filed them with the
feds.  The feds never looked at the car, not even the typical border
crossing trunk search.  They just stamped the papers and sent me on my

I drove it through and they seemed unconcerned about tags or
registration.  I just brought along a current tag from my other car to
make it appear legit while on the road in the US.  I'm sure the recent
bill of sale would be adequate, too.  It was sufficient for the RCMP who
stopped me for having no tag.

I'm not sure how the speedo thing works when you DIY import, but for me
the Importer just had me send him a picture of the correct speedo after
I got home (a week later).  I _promise_ I didn't just send a shot of a
friend's 4KQ cluster, really!  The feds may require you to show it on
the spot.  My car also has Euro lights but no one seemed to care.  If
the feds are checking the car (rather than just trusting that the
Importer has done everything), they may look for the DOT lenses.

None of that is insurmountable--just bring a cluster, some headlights,
etc.  For me, being on the opposite end of the continent meant that
toting a bunch of parts or being delayed by a day or two by red tape
wouldn't be acceptable.  The Importer fee was a tiny percentage of the
overall cost, and well worth it.

If you're crossing at or near Vancouver/Seattle, I can give you the name
of the guy I used.

Eric R.
'86 urq
'93 urS

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