How to import a vehicle



           The team at Good Car Solutions is happy to assist you with importing a vehicle at any stage of the process.  We have extensive experience in ensuring that the vehicles we import are up to Canadian standards and that all of the critical paperwork is completed.   The process of importing a vehicle from the USA to Canada is outlined below for your reference and if you choose, your personal use:

           The primary source of information as to how the import process works can be found at the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) website: 


Before Purchasing:

1.      Ensure the car is on the list of vehicles importable from the US.  Please be aware that this list changes without notice, so be careful to purchase a vehicle that is admissible to Canada. The vehicle’s admissibility should be verified the day of the purchase. Below is a link to the RIV list:


2.      Verify that a recall clearance letter is available from the manufacturer. Some manufacturers will refuse to provide this document.


After Purchasing and Before Crossing the Border:


Once the vehicle has been purchased, the next step is to get the paperwork organized and ready for the border.

The forms required to cross the border include:

i)                    Bill Of Sale

ii)                    Title Certificate  (in the US, every car has a title, and ownership cannot be transferred without it)

iii)                 United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) worksheet


As of March 2014, you are required to get an ITN from a US broker and include it with your other information to be sent to USCBP.

From USCBP Website:

All exports in the future will need to  provide a Internal Tracking Number (ITN) that is now required by

You can obtain a ITN by contacting a freight forwarder or Customs Broker, Canadian Citizens CANNOT obtain an ITN in any other way.  The following is a link to Customs Brokers in the Montana and Idaho area for your use.

After organizing the paperwork, fax the Title (front and back), Bill of Sale, and the USCBP worksheet to the border crossing which the vehicle will be passing through. A list of border crossings can be found here.

The paperwork must be faxed to the border 72 hours prior to reaching the border. Failure to do so can result in a $500 fine.

At the Border:

Stop at US Customs before leaving the country and present the originals of the Title, Bill of Sale, USCBP worksheet, and your ID. USCBP will process the vehicle for export to Canada and stamp the title as EXPORTED.

Proceed to Canadian Customs. Declare your intent to Import the vehicle that you are driving and they will direct you to a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) agent. The following documents are required:

i)                    RIV Form 1

The  RIV form is to notify the Canadian government of what is being imported and to create a file for it. It is used to create Form 2 which is required for the Out of Country Inspection (see below)

ii)                   Canada Customs Coding Form B3

The B3 form calculates the importing fees (Duty, Excise tax, GST) that must be paid at that time.

If the vehicle is being imported privately for personal use, a Canada Customs agent will complete these forms.

When the  paperwork is processed and the applicable fees have been paid, the vehicle can enter into Canada.


 After the Border:
Obtain a recall clearance letter from the manufacturer (if not already received) and fax it to RIV (888-642-9899) so that they can generate Form 2 and mail it to you. Please note that some manufacturers may charge you for a recall clearance letter. See our Manufacturer Info page here for more information.

When Form 2 has arrived, the vehicle can then be taken with both forms for an Out of Country inspection at any authorized inspection facility.

As of Dec 1, 2011 Canadian Tire will also collect a Tire  Disposal Tax on behalf of  the Federal Goverment of $4/tire+ gst  (including the spare) .

 (Ensure that it is an Out of Country inspection and not an Out of Province inspection)

An Out of Province Inspection is also required. Most mechanic facilities offer this service as long as an Out of Province request form is provided. These forms can be obtained through any registry office.

Finally, when the Out of Country, and Out Of Province Inspections are complete the vehicle can be registered.  To register the vehicle, provide the registry office with proof of insurance; RIV form 1; the out of province inspection Certificate; and the Bill of Sale.

This process requires diligent attention to detail and if all of the necessary documentation is complete you should have no problem. 

Happy Car Shopping!