Expat guide for importing your own car

For importing your own car from another country into New York City, first has to clear US Customs and Border Protection. However the US is becoming increasingly concerned about Environmental protection and only vehicles that meet the NYS safety and emission standards will be allowed to be brought in the country.

Non-residents, i.e. foreign nationals, who are desirous of importing a vehicle into the country first have to make an oral declaration at the point of entry to the Customs and Border Protection agents that the vehicle that is being imported is to remain with them. They will then be allowed to file a CF 7501 form to document the entry of that vehicle. This form is available at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website at (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/forms/).

However the vehicles that are allowed into the country have to be declared as personal use vehicles that are being imported for their own use by non residents and are not meant for resale. They also have to conform to EPA (http://www.epa.gov/Region2/state/nylink.htm) and DOT (https://www.nysdot.gov/travel-info) standards.

After the vehicle has been admitted into New York State it will have to be registered in NYS and for this it needs to have a title certificate. In order to issue this title certificate the Department of Motor Vehicle needs to be provided with certain US Customs and Border Protection documents and proof of ownership documents.

For the DMV to register your vehicle you have to submit the appropriate US Customs and Border Protection entry form with your application. The NYS DMV can also require your vehicle to meet with the minimum NYS safety and emission standards even if your vehicle has already passed or is exempt from federal safety and emissions standards.

Proof of Ownership

In order to establish proof of ownership you need to have to submit one of the following documents to the DMV:-

1. A Manufacturers Certificate of Origin(MCO) for a new vehicle manufactured for export to the US

2. A New Vehicle Information Statement (NVIS) for a new vehicle manufactured in Canada which has never been registered

3. A copy of the Manufacturer’s Invoice for a new vehicle not manufactured for export to the US and never registered.

4. A Certificate of Title or equivalent document for a used vehicle or a new vehicle registered in another country. The DMV can also ask the motor vehicle authorities in the foreign country to attest that this document is equal to a title certificate.

5. Bills of Sale for any pending transfer of ownership that are not shown as completed on the ownership document.

You have to furnish a certified English translation of any document that is not in English.