Can a Canadian sell a car in the US?

Do you live in Canada and have a car you want to sell? Of course, you can always sell it right at home. But if you’re thinking of selling it overseas, the US would likely be your first option. So, can a Canadian sell a car in the US?

Canadians can sell their vehicles in the US. You’ll need to import the car. Steps for importing include ensuring the car meets environmental and safety standards, establishing ownership, passing customs, and paying duty if necessary. Once the car is in the US, it’s up to the buyer to register it.

While it’s possible to sell your car in the US, it might not be worth it. Most cars in the US come from the US, so selling your Canadian car across the border might not be so profitable. But if you find the right buyer in the US, you can go for it. Here, we discuss how to sell your car in the US as a Canadian.

How to Import your Car to the US for Sale

The process for selling your car in the US as a Canadian isn’t that complex. The tough part is importing the car after finding a buyer for it. But once you’ve been able to import the car, the rest is quite easy. Here are the steps for importing the car:

1.   Environmental Standards.

Each country has environmental requirements for cars on its road, and you need to make sure yours meets that standard. For example, the Clean Air Act in the US requires cars to meet air pollution standards. The Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for maintaining these standards. Before taking the car across the border, you must fill out the EPA form that proves your car meets the standards.

If the car is before 2001, You could compare it to the US version to see if it’s the same. In the case of vehicles made after 2001, the EPA has a list of similar US vehicles. Just check the list, and if your car is there, you can import it. You can also check the emissions label on your car to see if it meets the US EPA standards. This label is usually under the hood of the car.

If it doesn’t have a label and isn’t on the US-approved list, you’ll need to get a statement from the US representative of the manufacturer stating that it meets the standards. Such statements which must be in writing also need to include the vehicle identification number.

The environmental requirements only apply if your car is not older than 21 years. You can import any older car if it’s not been modified. Your Canadian registration is enough to meet EPA requirements. If the car modifications are for disabled person use, it’ll be exempt too.

2.   Safety Standards

The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has safety standards for imported cars. If your car is less than 25 years old, it must meet US safety standards. Before you can import a car into the US, the NHTSA requires the following:

Original manufacturer label stating that the car meets the US federal motor vehicle safety standards. This label is usually inside the driver’s side door.

You can also use a letter from the original manufacturer stating that the vehicle meets US safety standards. Such a letter must be on official letterhead and include the vehicle registration number. You also need to fill out the US Department of Transportation HS7 declaration form.

3.   Establish Ownership

You # need to be able to prove ownership of the car you’re bringing into the US. So, it’s important to bring along every document that proves you own the car. Documents such as the original title of the car, Bill of sale, certified copy of the title, foreign registration, etc. If you’ve added any new parts to the vehicle, you should also carry receipts with you.

4.   Clean the vehicle, especially the undercarriage

The US Department of Agriculture states that all imported cars must be free of foreign soil. So, the US Customs and Border Protection requires the undercarriage of your car to be clean before you pass through. If you’re driving your car into the US, you can find a car wash near the border to clean. If you’re shipping, you should wash it before shipment.

5.   Pass through Customs

Once you have all the necessary documents and your car is clean, it’s time to go through customs. First, you’ll need to clarify whether you’re going through the road or shipment. Next, you’ll have to fill out the Customs and Border Protection Form 750. You can fill it before getting to the border or have a customs official help you with it there as long as you have all your paperwork in order. You should ask for a copy of the approved form as you’ll need this when selling the car.

6.   Pay Duty on the Car

This doesn’t apply to all cars. You only need to pay duty on the car if you’ve not owned the car for up to one year. The duty is 2.5% of the Kelley Blue Book value of the car or the purchase price. It’s compulsory to report the Canadian value of your car accurately when filing the custom form.

How to Register a Canadian Car in the US

Once the car passes customs and gets to the US, what’s left is for the buyer to register the car. The Department of Motor Vehicles in each State has rules on what they need to register a vehicle. The buyer will need some documents such as proof of ownership, customs approved form, and more to register the car.

In Conclusion

A Canadian can sell their car in the US. While these are standard steps for importing your car so the buyer can get it, it’s also necessary to research before you start. Regulations change, and the process could be more complex than you thought. You can also use a dealer if the process is too tricky.

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