Importing vehicles purchased in the United States

Did you know that there are some vehicles offered for sale or manufactured in the United States that you cannot import into Canada?

So, if you are thinking about buying a vehicle in the United States, please visit the Registrar of Imported Vehicles Web site and consult the Vehicle Import Compatibility (Admissibility) list.

Important Considerations

  • your vehicle is not officially imported until you have it inspected and certified by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) in Canada.
  • a vehicle that fails the RIV inspection cannot stay in Canada even though you paid taxes and/or duties when you brought it through Customs.
  • a vehicle modified from its original state, other than regular maintenance, may not qualify for importation into Canada. This also applies to Canadian vehicles modified in the U.S. and returning to Canada. For example, but not limited to;
    • a van transformed into a motorhome (often known as Class B motorhome),
    • a van equipped with raised roof and/or modified interior,
    • a pick-up or a passenger car equipped with lift kit,
    • a motorcycle converted to a motor tricycle (trike),
    • a vehicle stretched or lengthened, etc.
    • a vehicle built or assembled by more than one manufacturer must meet additional requirements (ex:, vocational truck, van conversions, motorhome, bus, limousine or other).

Before you buy a vehicle in the United States that you plan to import into Canada, contact the RIV and get the facts:

Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)
405 The West Mall, Suite 400
Toronto ON M9C 5K7
Within North America: 1-888-848-8240 (English and French)
E-mail Address:

Update, July 2016:

If you plan to import a vehicle from the United States with an open recall for which parts are not yet available, you will not be able to complete the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) import process until any defects identified are corrected. We suggest you obtain and validate recall clearance documentation with the RIV before you decide to import. Find out more.


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