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View topic - Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Canadian Expats and travelers in the USA can communicate with each other here!
Chris111288New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:21 am

Re: Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Post Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:36 am

I live in WA state more specifically Snohomish County. My uncle in Canada visits every few months, and in the past he has let me borrow his nissan which is registered/insured in BC because of issues with my car/ money. He leaves the car here for me to borrow. I use the car only to commute to work and back as well as school. So sometimes i borrow the car up to a few months. I have written consent of my uncle to operate his car

I need a few questions answered......


How does the one year rule come in to play here?

Can anyone see any problems I might run in to here especially if i get pulled over in the states?

How is the one year rule tracked?

Under what circumstances does it start?

When the car is driven back to Canada for a few months does the one year rule reset?
Chris111288New Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:21 am

Re: Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Post Sun Jul 18, 2010 3:15 am

THANKS FOR your response.... will i run in to any issues with customs or any other authority figures? so are you saying that there is no chance of being covered in the us or only a small possibility?
lmacquistenNew Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:32 pm

Re: Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Post Sat Jul 24, 2010 6:50 pm

I am a Canadian and US citizen, but reside in Canada (BC). I will be attending university in the states (Alabama) in the fall. I am trying to weigh out what is the best thing to do with my car. Am I allowed to drive it down and sell down there (it's paid for and was actually imported from the states by the original owner)? If I drive it down to use while I am there, must I bring it across the border within the year (it's a three day drive back to BC)? The last option would be to sell it here and buy another car down there - I am unclear as to the hassles of registration/credit to purchase the vehicle, what do I do with it once I am done school....
Any advice?
Thanks!
paperbag4uNew Member
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:19 am

Re: Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Post Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:28 am

It is easy from canada to USA by car?

If so, I will have a try .
mattavetNew Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:10 am

Re: Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Post Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:19 am

HI Is there anyone who can help me? I live in Los Angeles and I want to import a car from Canada. It is Lada niva and I have seen very few of them in US, could you tell me how to register the car in Los Angeles? Is it possible ? will they allow me import that car?
Thank you in advance!
jkonzNew Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:00 pm

Re: Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Post Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:13 pm

Hey All,
I have a quick question. I drove to the states to work here in Seattle (with a TN Visa). I drove my car here but didn't realize that I had to submit forms at the border to import my car (I assumed I could do it once I got here). Is there any way to avoid driving back to the border again to get everything done to import my car?
Thanks!
beanerNew Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 1:54 am

Re: Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Post Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:44 pm

Hi everyone,
Thanks SO much for all the great information in this thread. I've read through it all and garnered valuable advice, but I'd still like to consult with an "expert" on bringing my 2000 Mazda MX5 Miata from Toronto to Los Angeles.
Can anyone recommend a company who would help? Of course there are the vehicle shipping companies such as L. Hansens Forwarding (who are *wonderful* by the way), but I intend on driving the vehicle down and therefore can't really pick their brains on how to do it if I'm not using their service.
Anyone know who I can call, either in Canada or the US?
Thanks!
cristospolyNew Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:05 pm

Re: Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Post Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:15 pm

Brought my 2004 BMW over in a quick move in 2008, been back and forth with it since, my owners choice financing is up in Canada, I have to buy the car out or refinance, I can't refinance in Canada because they require the vehicle be in Canada, since I have finally settled in the US and it's now 2010, I spoke to BMW USA to see if they could swing a deal to get the car traded in down here. no such luck...they don't want a messy deal with a nice Canadian car.

I am under 3 year TN visa here that was renewed a year ago...so I have a few yrs left...I basically crossed the Montana border with my BMW on a uhaul tow when I got my TN, they never gave me any documentation, but under NAFTA 1 get one duty free auto import, however now that my term is up..I need to know what I should do with the car...BMW USA told me to take it back to Canada, but it's costly, and I'm thinking about getting a loan from Bank of America to buy it out, and then get it registered here...not sure what will happen when I go tot register it here in texas, and I need some valuable info since BMW didn't help and I need to figure this out.
sakuraNew Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Post Wed Sep 01, 2010 12:13 pm

Just to clarify after reading 9 pages of posts:
Under NAFTA, you do not have to pay duty taxes when importing a Canadian-owned vehicle into the US if it meets this statement: "NONRESIDENTS may import a duty-free vehicle for personal use for up to (1) one year if it is imported in concurrence with the owner’s arrival". Also, most cars manufactured in a NAFTA country (Canada, USA, Mexico) are not subject to duty.

I'm a Canadian citizen working in the US under a 3-yr TN visa. I have the proper car import documentation from US customs for my car that was manufactured in Japan. I just wanted to clarify that I am required to pay 2.5% taxes (on what I originally paid for the car) when I register & title my vehicle in the States since I will be here for more than 1 year and since my car was not manufactured in a NAFTA country. Is this correct? Who and when do I pay this tax to?

Thanks!
sakuraNew Member
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: Bringing a Canadian Car over to the USA

Post Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:18 pm

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