Are you thinking about making a big move to Canada? If so you need to know that the age of your vehicle is an important factor in determining your potential duties and taxes. Yes, when you move from the United States to Canada, you may have to pay taxes and fees for bringing your vehicle with you. This is important because your vehicle probably has great value and that is considered an “import.”
But the age of your vehicle matters in terms of import duties and fees. Fortunately, you only need to know if your car is 25 years old or younger.
If your car is LESS than 25 years old…
..Here is some good news. If your car was manufactured in the United States within the last 25 years you should have no import to Canada issues because it already follows the US Safety and US Environmental Protection Agency emission standards. Canada, of course, requires similar standards. In Canada, every vehicle that cross the US-Canada border must comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Vehicles which do comply have a certification permanently attached by the manufacturer.
This is important because cars made outside of North America—in Europe or Asia, for example—might not adhere to these standards. You may have to do a little investigation to figure this out because if your car does not satisfy these standards, you may need modifications before you cross the border to register your vehicle.
It is important to note, however, that even if your car is relatively new, you may have some difficulty bringing it across the border if you have certain modifications or have other issues that do not conform to all US Safety and Emissions guidelines and regulations. You may have to go through an independent Commercial or Registered Importer to help you bring your vehicle up to code.
If your car is MORE than 25 years old…
…here is some even better news: If your car is old enough—and still operating—you will not need to worry about the US Safety and Emissions guidelines because it was manufactured before these guidelines in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard was determined. However, you must also fill out the US Customs HS-7 form.