Importing a vehicle

    If you are thinking about importing a vehicle from the United States, you should understand the following eight simple steps of the process:

1. Check Admissibility

    Determine if the vehicle you would like to purchase can be imported into Canada.

2. Recall clearance

    Recall clearance is a requirement for all vehicles being imported into Canada. Find out what documentation is required and how to obtain the recall clearance letter for your vehicle.

3. U.S. Customs export requirements

    Requires three business days (72 hours) notice of all self-propelled vehicles leaving the country.
    note: trailers are not self-propelled vehicles and therefore exempt from this requirement.

4. CBSA entry requirements

    CBSA confirms vehicle admissibility, assesses duties and taxes, and initiates the RIV registration process.

5. Modification and inspection requirements

6. Cost considerations

    Determine any possible duties, provincial and federal sales taxes, trip permits, temporary insurance and provincial licensing requirements before you import your vehicle.

7. RIV inspection

    The RIV inspection can only be completed by an authorized RIV inspection centre.

8. Provincial licensing

    When your vehicle has passed the RIV inspection, contact your provincial or territorial licensing authority to find out how to license your vehicle.

Use the Importer Checklist tool to help you build and print a checklist for reference throughout the importing process.

Important note: This web site relates solely to information regarding U.S. specifications vehicles sold at retail in the United States being permanently imported into Canada. Visit the Transport Canada web site for information regarding the importation of vehicles purchased in countries other than the U.S. and the Environment Canada web site for information regarding the Canadian emission legislation and regulations.

Download a printable RIV brochure in Adobe PDF format.*

* You must have Adobe Reader installed in order to open and view the PDF.  To download a free copy, visit

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