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Importing vintage cars from Canada into the United States (part 1)

Posted by Vehicle Imports Dept. - Cole International on Oct 28, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Importing vintage cars can be tricky. Use the guide below to help you with importing from Canada to the U.S.

Next week, we’ll share how to import from the U.S. to Canada.

How to import vintage cars from Canada to the United StatesCar_68020882_s

A vintage vehicle will be more than 25 years old, in most cases. Vehicles are exempt from labeling requirements from:

  • Department of Transportation (DOT) if they are more than 25 years old; and
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if they are more than 21 years old.

This will help to make the process a bit easier.

If your car is newer than 25 years old, it's probably not vintage, and you might have to deal with additional regulations. Refer to our guide for importing cars from Canada to the United States.

Hiring an expert vs. DIY

The easiest way to import vintage cars from Canada to the United States is to hire a logistics partner to handle all the necessary paperwork and transportation to import your car to the U.S.

If you decide to take on the task yourself, you will want to learn about the proper paperwork. There are several documents you will need to get in order including the bill of sale, transferred title, original bill of lading, and a few other forms including:

  • DOT Form HS-7
  • EPA Form 3520-1
  • CBP Form 7501

Along with the paperwork, you will need to contact the port of entry at least 96 hours in advance. This contact will help to confirm the necessary paperwork for importing your vintage car from Canada to the United States.

It's also necessary to have the duty and fees ready to be paid. You will need to collect the necessary stamps on your forms to bring the vehicle across the border.

Cleaning your vehicle

The U.S. Department of Agriculture requires all vehicles coming from Canada to the United States to be properly cleaned. You need to have the undercarriage of your vehicle steam-sprayed to ensure it's free of foreign soil. This ensures no dangerous pests cross the border with your car.

You should also clear the car of personal belongings as many shipping companies won't accept a vehicle with personal items inside.

Driven vs. shipped

When you import a vehicle from Canada to the United States, you will have a few options to choose from:

  1. You can hire someone to drive it across the border or you can drive it yourself.
  2. You can also hire a company to ship the vehicle for you.

If you choose to have your vintage vehicle shipped, you will also have the option of enclosed shipping or exposed. With vintage vehicles, it's a good idea to choose enclosed shipping to ensure it's fully protected from the elements.

Enclosed shipping is more expensive, but it will provide better protection. You might want to speak with a customs broker with experience importing vintage cars from Canada to the United States. They can provide a recommendation for how to move your vehicle across the border smoothly and safely.

Fees for importing vintage cars from Canada to the United States

If you're moving the vehicle across the border yourself, you will need a passport and an enhanced driver's license. You will also need to pay the import duty.

If the vehicle was manufactured in Canada, it will likely be free. It's also possible to import a vehicle as a non-resident for up to one year duty-free if the vehicle is for personal use.

The form used to do this is a CBP Form 3299.

Consider state laws

Depending on which state you are importing into, you may need to pay additional fees for registration of the title and a license plate. It's possible you could need to prove emissions compliance or even add equipment to ensure the vehicle passes a road safety inspection.

With older vehicles, you may not have an issue, but you should still check the state laws before importing your vintage car into the United States.

If you're planning to move, you just purchased a vintage vehicle, or you're a dealer moving vehicles regularly, we're here to help. At Cole International, we know how to move vintage cars and all types of vehicles from the U.S. to Canada and from Canada to the U.S.

Let us help you move your vehicle today. Contact us to find out how we can make importing vintage cars easier.

Contact us today!

Importing vintage cars. it's what we do.