How To Temporarily Import Cars to the US

Posted By Alex Naumov on November 30, 2015 at 7:20 AM

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Avoid a headache - import your vehicle correctly.

The US government is careful in what it allows into the country, especially when it comes to vehicles from overseas. Save yourself a headache at the border, and ensure your vehicle gets imported correctly.

1. Plan your arrival

First, you will want to figure out how quickly you would want your car to arrive in the states.

You will have two options to import your car.

  • Loaded in a container and shipped by sea: 14 to 60 days
  • Shipped via expedited air freight: 3 to 10 days from collecting the vehicle overseas to your door in US.

In order to avoid customs duties for your goods, it is best to have the vehicle arrive in the US around the same time you will be arriving.

2. Gather the documents

The required documentation for importing a car is as follows:

  • DOT HS-7
  • CPB Form 3299
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy of vehicle title
  • POA for the clearing agent
  • Bill of landing

If you are importing a car that’s under 25 years old, your vehicle must either fit US emissions standards or you must apply for a special use permit from the EPA. Without it, you will not be able to use your car on US roads.

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3. Receive the car

Upon the vehicles arrival to US, your agent will clear, unloaded, prep, and deliver the vehicle to you anywhere in the US.

4. Drive away!

Here are some basic requirements, rules and regulations for driving an imported car in the US.

You are allowed to temporary import a vehicle for a term of no longer than 1 year maximum.

Once the vehicle enters the country, you must now abide by each states local laws. In California for example, you have 14 days to register the vehicle. All states require insurance on your vehicle.

We can refer you to a short term insurance agency. 


We have extensive experience in temporarily importing classic cars, exotic cars and race cars. As always, we are ready to support your event and ensure that everything goes smoothly. 
Import Your Car

Topics: Car Shipping, Car Shipping Guide




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