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Vehicle Import Requirements from the U.S. to Canada

If you plan to import a vehicle into Canada, you should be aware that it has to comply with all Canadian import laws and regulations. The vehicle must meet the requirements of the CBSA, Transport Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency before it can be imported.

Below is an overview of the laws and regulations you must comply with.

Note: This section does not deal with duties, taxes and fees. These issues are dealt with in the Vehicle Duties, Taxes & Fees section.

Certificate of Title, Registration, Sales Receipt & Statement of Compliance Label

You should obtain these documents from the dealer you purchase your vehicle from when you pick up your vehicle. You will need them when you are bringing your vehicle into Canada and afterwards for registration purposes.

RIV Fee Payment

You are required to pay an RIV registration fee when you import a vehicle into Canada. You can find more information about this fee in our Import Checklist section.

Modification Requirements

You may be required to modify a vehicle you purchase in the United States before it can be licensed in Canada. For a list of modification requirements, visit the modification requirements section of the RIV website.

Form 1 Requirements

You must fill out a Form 1 at the border when you import a vehicle into Canada.

Recall Clearance Letter Requirements

A recall clearance letter is a letter received from the manufacturer of your vehicle. It states whether or not there are any outstanding recalls/defects on your vehicle. Generally a defect is a problem that exists in a motor vehicle or item of motor vehicle equipment that will pose a risk to motor vehicle safety. You must have this document in order to pass your federal inspection.

Refer to the Recall Regulations Section of the RIV website for all documents that may be considered as acceptable for your vehicle.

Provincial Requirements – Registration, Licensing & Environmental

You may be responsible for certain registration, licensing and emissions test requirements within your province when you import a vehicle. You should contact your provincial licensing authority to find out what these requirements are. You can find your provincial or territorial licensing authority at the RIV website.

Federal Inspection Requirements

The Registrar of Imported Vehicles has contracted Canadian Tire to perform the required vehicle inspections. A list of Independent Inspection Centres, as authorized by RIV, can be located by selecting the following link. This list has been sorted by province for ease of reference. Independent Inspection Centres

Canadian Food Inspection Agency Requirements

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) requires that you wash any sand, soil, earth and plant residue from your passenger and recreational vehicles, including the undercarriage, before you import them. This requirement applies to all used vehicles, regardless of origin. For more information, call the CFIA at the telephone numbers listed in the Helpful Links section.

US Customs Requirements

The United States has requirements that you must meet before you can export a vehicle. Check with U.S. Customs to see what their current requirements are before importing your vehicle.