How to Import a U.S. Car to Canada

Import a U.S. Car to Canada

If you are currently living in Canada, there is a common misconception that vehicles can be imported from the United States with the snap of a finger. Unfortunately, that is not the case – although it is a lot easier than importing from a country outside of North America, there are still roadblocks. It is not as easy as driving the vehicle through the border and registering it within Canada, there is paperwork that one needs to go through to make the import legal and official. Depending on the vehicle, the process will either be either extremely or moderately smooth. In this article, we will attract your attention to a few common pointers which will make the process a lot easier for you.


Looking at Laws Regarding Importing U.S. Cars

Within the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act, there is a subsection which dictates that vehicles purchased within the United States can be imported into Canada. While this may seem straightforward, it is not always true for vehicles which do not comply with Canada’s emissions and safety standards. For these outlying vehicles to be quickly imported into Canada, they must have been originally manufactured to comply with the American vehicle standards. These vehicles also have to readily accept modifications which will make them compatible with Canadian standards. Therefore, some modified vehicles where said modifications interfere with Canadian law and can’t be readily undone are unable to be imported as-is.


All Imported U.S. Vehicles Must Comply with Canadian Standards

All of the new vehicles that Canadians import from the United States are required to comply with the Canada Motor Vehicles Safety Act. While this is true, older vehicles which were manufactured at least 15 years ago as well as buses made before 1971 can be readily imported. The only prerequisites these vehicles have to meet are the Canada Border Services Agency requirements for border crossing.


Some Common Roadblocks

If your vehicle has been modified whatsoever, it has been deemed unsafe for entry by default, as the original status of the vehicle has been altered. In order to swiftly import these vehicles from the U.S., the technician who modified the vehicle has to establish that the modifications do not interfere with Canadian standards. Some examples of particularly troubling modifications – as stated by Government Canada – are as follows: changing body kits, making a vehicle longer, adding access for disabled individuals, lifting the vehicle, camper conversions, motorbike to trike conversions.

Please remember that all modifications must be proven to be harmless in order to be eligible for import, and this list just includes some prominent examples.


Although there are definitely some potential issues to overcome depending on the vehicle, importing a U.S. car to Canada is quite simple. We strive to make the process even more easy and swift by maintaining a very wide and strong net of contacts all throughout North America.

This helps us get the required documents much quicker than many other export companies.


We can guarantee quick wait times and a convenient experience when we export to Canada.

Want to import a vehicle from Canada? We also provide this service.

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