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Old 07-19-2008, 02:35 AM   #10
2nd Gear Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Calgary, AB
Posts: 286
BMW Canada is making it VERY hard for us Canadians to import the new 08 models. Along with RIV... because the Canadian Government feels that its in the best interest of the country to make it difficult to import newer cars to even the market prices or adjust to the market prices of Canada. Regardless you still save atleast 1K.

Here's a tutorial:

Step 1. Make sure you can import the car.
Here is a Direct link for adobe on what cars are ADMISSABLE a.k.a cars you can import.

Documents to fill out.

Many cars that are in the US market do not meet Canadian safety standards (Yes even new cars) and are not importable at all.
So in order to get your car here from the states you need to understand a few things (Yes its a bit long to do , but I really think it is worth it!).

First off Canada has hired a private firm to allow cars to be imported and it is the company we know as RIV or Registar of Imported Vehicles , you can also reach them at 1-88-848-8240 you SHOULD call them just to double check if you can import the car you want.

US Gov't Border crossing numbers..

Whitlash Montana Contact:

Step 2. Things you need to do prior to importing.

You will need

- I think the new law is in , you need a Canadian Passport. If you have say a British passport , you will have more hassle and possible could need a Visa LOL.

-US Title to the vehicle

- Bill of sale/transfer of ownership (Basically like any normal car sale)

- You will also need a written notice from the manufacturer of the vehicle stating that any recalls that may be in effect have been done to the car .. This letter does not include dealerships , so it could be a little pain in the ass. ( The only place I showed this was at Canadian Tire for the Federal Inspection , just contact the US car branch ) ( You can also get the seller to do this for you , the form can be faxed to the seller or the buyer.)

- Orignal stickers stating that it meets the Federal safety standards in effect of the date of manufactoring. (The stickers in the door jams , no one checked these except for OOP inspection and Federal .)

- You need to contact the US customs at least 3 days in advance telling them that you are going to exporting a vehicle from there country.
You also might need to provide the original title or a certified copy , and 2 additional complete copies of the title at least 3 days , you should also Contact them to double check this ( I will be this week) this might change. (EDIT: You can just fax them this. For Alberta , you need to fax it to "WHITELAST MONTANA")
-Also when you call Whitelash station , they will fax you a peice of paper to fax back to them . It bascially just has your name , sellers name , car vin , ect... It is very easy to do.

-Get insurance and Canadian temp registration before.

Side note: Be very careful that the car does not have a lean on it , you will NOT be able to bring the car to Canada.


WHILE IN THE US - Go to a DMV (Road registry) Tell them you need an exporting pass , it costs $15 US and is simple to fill out. The only hassle is waiting in line at the DMV.


Step 3: Crossing the damn boarder.

---GET GAS IN THE US ITS CHEAPER , then cross.

You must cross the right boarder , do not make the mistake like alot of people do by trying to cross the wrong boarder (charged more) so like I said before call the Canadian customs a head of time , its simple and saves alot of hassle. (I crossed at Coutts AB)

Next when arriving at the CORRECT booth , explain to the Customs officer what you are doing . And you will have to go into a Customs office. They will scan your passports , ask your price , ask for bill of sale. ( Dont be scared about finding the right booth , you drive up to a toll booth , then they let you in and tell you to park and walk in a door)

You will need to fill out a bunch of papers . Like I said before you will need the title , bill of sale (duh) , mileage , and on the door jam , manufactor date. Once that is done , it is time to open up the wallet. Now when I went there , they got really snoopy and asked where I found the car , what internet site i found it on. So be prepared for these questions.

Step 4: Empty your wallet, 6 Percent (Tax change) and 6.1 percent on bill of sale price. (DONT LIE ON BILL OF SALE)

Everything is in CANADIAN $ .

- Paper work - $206 (Changed) - This can be mailed and payed for later.

- Duty Tax - Duty tax is 6.1 % but does not include Canadian or US built cars.. Its best to call a head of time to double check what your car falls under. - Here is a phone Ive pulled off another guide 1-800-461-9999.

- Excise Tax - AC tax aka a bunch of BS. $100

- Tax - Yup you have to pay 7%(6% now) on what the car is worth DO NOT LIE ABOUT THIS , THEY WILL INVESTIGATE IF THEY THINK YOU ARE LIEING.
You will be charged 25%+ on the portion you have lied about

Simple and easy. I will be doing this month , And I will be takeing pictures of areas to go to (Alberta) and pictures of all the forms and how to fill them out properly. I hope this helps people who plan to import , it can be intimidating but its defiantly worth it!

Also , I will be researching on towing companys.


I totally forgot to post this. Yes you have a Canadian Car , BUT YOUR NOT DONE YET!.

Things you need to do with in a months time of haveing the car in Canada

- Installing Day time running lights ( This can be done at alot of places and is fairly easy to do - Canadian tire can do this.

- You will need to get a car inspection (I believe the paper can be bought at a registry for $18) - They will check basic things like , lights , how it drives ect ect , this is pretty damn painless , and sometimes they might *cough* forget to do it and pass you.

- Get your damn insurance RIGHT AWAY

- Getting your plate - After all the necessary paper work is done ,you will need to go back to the registry and show them the paper work and importation papers - they will then hand you a plate.

- Provincal Inspection to completed , you have 10 - 15 days to complete this once you have applied for the inspection (This is how you can register the car.

-Federal Inspection sheet , 10 days after you import your car , you will get form 2 in the mail , this inspection you have to do at Canadian tire. You have 45 days to complete this.

-Getting insured before hand-My insurance company was very easy on this , they didnt look at my car ..nothing , they just asked the make and model and it was done .


If you are buying a new car. - You do not have to pay sales tax in California .. Bring alot of proof that you are Canadian.

If you are flying to the US , you should get a round trip , you COULD be told to turn around and not enter the US.

This is based here in Calgary. So you must check with your local border crossing or the nearest US border crossing station.

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