Importing a Vehicle from the US

What to expect when importing a vehicle from the US to Canada...

Vehicles manufactured in the US may be imported into Canada provided they meet the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. However, not all vehicles are permitted. They must also meet the requirements set out by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV).

  • For a list of admissible vehicles that can be imported from the US: Click here
  • For details about how to import a vehicle from the US: Click here
  • Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
    : 405 The West Mall, Toronto, Ontario, M9C 5K7
    Tel: 1 888 848 8240 (toll free in Canada and the US) / 1 416-626-6812 (all other countries)
    Fax: 1 416 626 0366

RIV programme exemptions

The import of vehicles into Canada from the US, which are exempt from the RIV programme include:

  • Vehicles older than 15 years (not including buses)
  • Buses manufactured before Jan 1st 1971
  • Vehicles originally manufactured to meet Canadian safety standards
  • Vehicles entering Canada for a specific purpose, such as diplomatic purposes: conditions apply

Any vehicle deemed exempt from the RIV programme cannot be sold or disposed of in Canada and must not stay in the country for longer than the time permitted for temporary entry.

Vehicle inspection

After importing a vehicle into Canada from the US it must be inspected at an authorised Registrar of Imported Vehicles inspection centre.

  • To find the nearest inspection centre: Click here

To get the relevant RIV inspection form, the importer needs to:

  • Present a completed vehicle Import Form (form 1) obtained at the border by Canada Border Services Agency
  • Pay the RIV registration fee
  • Have confirmation that the vehicle does not have any outstanding recalls. This is to check that any defects that may have been identified by the manufacturer have been corrected. Recall clearance documents can be obtained from the manufacturer of the vehicle

Once an RIV inspection form has been issued and the vehicle has passed the inspection process, the vehicle can then be licensed at the relevant provincial/territorial jurisdiction

  • For links to provincial/territorial licensing jurisdictions: Click here