Self Importing a Vehicle into Canada

Discovered a fantastic deal on a car in the US? Here’s a comprehensive guide to streamline your self-import process to Canada:

Preparation for Self-Import:

  1. Check Vehicle Admissibility: Confirm if your vehicle can be imported to Canada, including any modifications. Contact the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) at 1.888.848.8240 for confirmation.
  2. Register with RIV: Log in as a guest on the RIV website, fill out and print the E-form (or Form 1), ensuring all four pages are signed.
  3. Obtain an International Transaction Number (ITN): Contact BorderBuddy at [email protected] to set up your ITN. Remember, you cannot cross the border without this number and must wait 72 hours after obtaining it.


Step 1: Pre-Border Documentation:

  • ITN from BordeBuddy.
  • Original vehicle title, signed by the seller (or in your name if you’re the importer).
  • Original bill of sale or invoice, including the seller’s details.
  • Your driver’s license or a copy.


Step 2: Crossing the Border:

  • Visit the U.S. Customs office to have your title stamped as exported.
  • Proceed to Canadian Customs and inform them about your vehicle importation. Present the documents from Step 1.
  • You will need to cross at a specific location stated in your ITN paperwork.
  • A CFIA inspection might be required for vehicles potentially in contact with agricultural substances. A clean and dry vehicle is advisable for smoother inspection.
  • After inspection, CBS will stamp your documents and provide you with:
    • Stamped certificate of title.
    • Two stamped copies of your RIV registration form (Form 1), retaining two for their records.


Step 3: Registering Your Vehicle in Canada:

  • Send a stamped copy of Form 1 to RIV via fax (1-888-346-8235) or email ([email protected]).
  • RIV will send back a Form 2 required for vehicle registration. Track it at or call 1.888.848.8240.
  • Obtain a recall clearance document for your vehicle from the dealer’s website and submit it to RIV with your Form 1 case number included. The email address is [email protected].
  • Once you receive Form 2, take it with Form 1, Title, and your vehicle to an approved inspection facility within 45 days of import.
  • For insurance, provide:
    • Stamped RIV registration form (Form 1).
    • A BS715 document (proof of tax payment from your customs broker).
    • Original bill of sale or invoice.
    • Stamped certificate of title.
  • Pay applicable HST or PST.
  • Congratulations, you’re now ready to enjoy your imported vehicle in Canada!


How Can BorderBuddy Assist You in Vehicle Import?

Our experience and expertise make importing a vehicle into Canada a seamless, premium experience. Trust us to handle every detail, ensuring your import meets all regulations and standards. Start your journey with BorderBuddy today and experience the ease of premium vehicle import services.

Exploring? Get a free quote by visiting our online import quote calculator. 

Ready to import? Call us at 1.866.441.2161 or email us at [email protected] to get started!

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Jay Mohl, Sales & Marketing, Parksville Boathouse Parksville B.C.

Amanda Burr at BorderBuddy made our shipment seamless and her customer service was outstanding. Without question, we will work with Amanda and BorderBuddy again in the future. Thanks Amanda!

Don Mariutto

“I used BorderBuddy when were in a jam with a small tile shipment to Canada — just called them randomly after a Google search. Blair handled our case, and was in constant communication with updates, and got our shipment released within 24 hours, even though we were starting the process from scratch. Based on this experience, I can’t recommend Blair and the BorderBuddy team highly enough. Even though this was just a small shipment, they handled it like it was the most important on their agenda. We will definitely work with them again in the future – hopefully though, not on an emergency basis! THANK YOU!!”

Nathan Bird

company is always so very helpful in getting things across the border without any headaches. Tara was our agent this time around and she was prompt in answering any questions, super polite over the phone and coordinated everything for us. Highly recommend using their services.