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Can Canadian e30 pass US import regulations?

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  • ryanM42
    replied
    with the canadian dollar so low, it's definitely worth looking into. I just brought a '91 318i over to the US from Toronto. showed up at the border, flashed the ownership, they filled out a couple forms and i was on my way. Whole process took about 40 minutes. now that its over 25 years old (july '90 build date) didn't have to worry about conformity for safety like i did with my B6 passat i brought over last year

    Leave a comment:


  • BlackbirdM3
    replied
    Originally posted by ksjdan View Post
    Wow looks fantastic Will. Looks better than many e46 m3s ive seen recently. It mustve been a long, yet fun drive all the way back to Napa. I used to live 20 minutes from Napa county. Beautiful place to live. :)
    It took me two days, I crossed the boarder about 0930 or so, was back on the road about 1000. Stopped at Boeing field to visit the SR71 (Actually the one remaining M21) got out of there about 4:30Pm, cracked the whip south some more. I topped of the fuel tank at the boarder (hello 94 octane at the pump) and made it to Vancouver Wash on about 3/4 of a tank. I continued to McMinnville Or to go see the Spruce goose and SR71 #971. I got out of the Evergreen Air and Space Museum about 1230 and flew low to Medford where I stopped for fuel again. It was about dusk, and then I went big for the final push home. I stopped for fuel again in Williams (just off I5 not too far from Thunderhill raceway, about 1.5 hrs north of here.) I didn't want to risk pushing it to Vacaville. I was back home by a little after 10 pm. It was the easiest 10 hr drive I've ever done. People say the M3 is a lousy freeway car, but I have to disagree, it was fantastic.

    Will

    Leave a comment:


  • ksjdan
    replied
    Originally posted by BlackbirdM3 View Post
    Here are a couple more teaser pics. Yes, you can find good cars in Canada. These were all shot before I crossed the boarder back into the US.

    Will
    Wow looks fantastic Will. Looks better than many e46 m3s ive seen recently. It mustve been a long, yet fun drive all the way back to Napa. I used to live 20 minutes from Napa county. Beautiful place to live. :)

    Leave a comment:


  • mr ilia
    replied
    Originally posted by BlackbirdM3 View Post

    I understand the need for a car no one else has. There is just something about walking into a parking lot and knowing there won't be another car like yours in the whole thing.

    Will
    It is pretty much like this with any e30 now. :)

    Leave a comment:


  • BlackbirdM3
    replied
    Here are a couple more teaser pics. Yes, you can find good cars in Canada. These were all shot before I crossed the boarder back into the US.




    I understand the need for a car no one else has. There is just something about walking into a parking lot and knowing there won't be another car like yours in the whole thing.

    Will

    Leave a comment:


  • ksjdan
    replied
    Originally posted by BlackbirdM3 View Post


    I still have a speedo in Km. They didn't seem to care. I can't say that you will have the same luck, but you never know. Again, a small boarder crossing might be the way to go, still, a large one they may just want to get you out as soon as possible. I don't want to say don't worry about it, but at the same time, you might not have to. I know in California you can register the car with the miles in km (they will screw it up and post the mileage in miles despite telling them multiple times that its in Km requiring another visit to get that cleared up on the title as well.)

    What is so special about a 325is? (I honestly don't know the significance of it.) Is that the one with the S14b20?


    Will
    Thats interesting... Nando also told me km to mi conversion is unnecessary, but willz.ca told me it has to be converted... Even if the replacement speedo is not working. Like you said, maybe it all depends on the border your crossing. Id rather not remove the speedo since I can't do the work myself..

    I'll be contacting willz.ca with the vin sticker the seller is going to send me today. I'll post more updated as I hear from him. Great guy with a lot of information by the way. Thanks for recommending him.

    Also that's a clean looking m3 you got there blackbird. Something is love to own one day.
    Last edited by ksjdan; 07-13-2012, 08:43 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • BlackbirdM3
    replied


    I still have a speedo in Km. They didn't seem to care. I can't say that you will have the same luck, but you never know. Again, a small boarder crossing might be the way to go, still, a large one they may just want to get you out as soon as possible. I don't want to say don't worry about it, but at the same time, you might not have to. I know in California you can register the car with the miles in km (they will screw it up and post the mileage in miles despite telling them multiple times that its in Km requiring another visit to get that cleared up on the title as well.)

    What is so special about a 325is? (I honestly don't know the significance of it.) Is that the one with the S14b20?


    Will

    Leave a comment:


  • ksjdan
    replied
    Originally posted by SFGadgetGuy View Post
    Got a few PM's on the process of importing from Canada to US so for anyone wanting to do it. You can find all the info you need on the US Customs website they have a list of which cars can be imported and what years as well as all the forms you'll need for customs.

    I only can describe my experience trying to import to California. I think they have the stricts import rules vs other states.

    Any car brought into Cali newer then 1975 has to be able to pass SMOG and a referee inspection to get registered legally.

    Gray markets can be brought in as long as you're willing to spend the money to have it done through a registered importer list of them are on the US customs website as well. they will inspect it and tell you what needs to be replaced or installed (Euro bumpers to US/Canada bumpers, Speedometer, lighting, and whatever else) You will also need to get a bond while it's going through the process.

    Cali no longer does the rolling years its been fixed at 75 and older for years now so you can no longer wait for it to hit the 25 mark and import it.

    Easiest for Cali is import gray markets older then 1975 such as mini's and bypass all the red tape.

    I wish I still had my Mercedes se280 sedan 4 door with manual transmission.
    As much as I miss living in California, DMV and their strict vehicle regulations are a pain.
    Also this car Im getting was made for the Canadian market and only driven in Canada for the past 22 yrs.

    I found the list of cars they allow. I see one of them is a 1990 325ix and a few other e30s. Dont see a 1990 325is though...

    Heres the complete list.


    Originally posted by BlackbirdM3 View Post
    Yes, I did fill the EPA form out as well. I crossed the boarder with no plates. I did however have a one way trip permit for the car that I obtained before heading north. I filled it out, stuck it in the rear window and headed south. The permit states you must take the shortest route with no detours, well, I got "lost" twice and had to conveniently stop at a couple key places to ask for directions ;). I did 1000 miles in two days with no plates across 3 states and didn't have a single highway patrol look twice.

    All the info you need for importing from Canada can be found here:
    http://www.willz.ca/importcanadatousa.htm
    The guy is very helpful and is willing to answer any questions you might have. I talked to him quite a bit when I imported mine. You might have a little more trouble since your car is a Canadian car and mine was US to start with, but its hard to say. Good luck,

    Will
    Thanks for the contact. I called Willz.ca a while ago and received some more information. Apparently you do need a MPH speedometer.

    I also went to the local court house (DMV here) and got the information needed to register the car. Its not overly complicated in Alabama..like everything else. :) Just need the Bill of Sale, title and the car for VIN inspection.
    Last edited by ksjdan; 07-12-2012, 03:48 PM.

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  • BlackbirdM3
    replied
    Originally posted by ksjdan View Post
    Thanks Will! This was the exact information Ive been searching for! I have the HS-7 form sitting next to me right now. Also have the EPA 3502-1. Haven't filled them out yet, but I have to wait 10 days for BMW to send me the letter so I have some time. The car is almost perfect except for the slight damage on the front fender. Only difference is that I cannot leave the country to pick up this car because my non-traveler visa status. :hitler: Best I can do is send all the documentation to the seller, and have the car meet me at the Canada/US border. My question is did you not need a EPA emissions form? Also how were you able to obtain the plate without having the car? Did you just put a random one on? Was the customs people very picky or required anything else?
    Yes, I did fill the EPA form out as well. I crossed the boarder with no plates. I did however have a one way trip permit for the car that I obtained before heading north. I filled it out, stuck it in the rear window and headed south. The permit states you must take the shortest route with no detours, well, I got "lost" twice and had to conveniently stop at a couple key places to ask for directions ;). I did 1000 miles in two days with no plates across 3 states and didn't have a single highway patrol look twice.

    All the info you need for importing from Canada can be found here:
    http://www.willz.ca/importcanadatousa.htm
    The guy is very helpful and is willing to answer any questions you might have. I talked to him quite a bit when I imported mine. You might have a little more trouble since your car is a Canadian car and mine was US to start with, but its hard to say. Good luck,

    Will

    Leave a comment:


  • BlackbirdM3
    replied
    Originally posted by flyboyx View Post
    yes, but your car came from vancuver where they really don't use salt. this car is in torronto where they dump it on the streets like water. it that part of the country, cars will rust. ask me how i know.

    op, i was totally shocked/floored when you posted that you live in the south but bought a car sight unseen from the north!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????!!! to me, this is pretty ludicrous. i was thinking that you lived in a state that bordered our northern neighbors. i hope it works out well for you and the car is in good shape.


    i don't exactly live in your area, but over the course of the last 6 months, i have seen perhaps 15 cars on local craigslist ads that held promise that they were in good condition. all for less than 4 grand. generally ranging 1200 to 3000.

    are you going up there to drive it down or pay to have it shipped? either way, your cost to get the car to your door step is going to be well over 1000.00

    i am not trying to be a downer or discourage you in any way, but.....

    if you drive up there to pick it up, you will have around 2000 miles of gas to pay for, plus 1000 miles for the car in question, plus food for two people and hotels plus your time and someone else's.

    if you fly up there, a one way ticket to torronto will be at least 600+ dollars per person, plus hotels, food and 1000 miles of gas. soutwest doesn't fly to canada, so there won't be cheap rates.

    if you have the car shipped, the shipper will have to transit two countries and cover all the customs documents and that will honestly be expensive. my guess would be around 1500.00.

    well if there is a silver lining to all of this, at least you will get to see niagra falls. check it out from the canadian side. the view is better. might as well make a vacation out of it and spend a weekend night on university street in downtown torronto. i recommend "the rex" if you like live jazz. while you are in new york state, eat bbq at the dinosaur. they have one in buffalo.


    here is an account of my experience driving a random just purchased car across the country. http://www.e30tech.com/forum/showthr...hlight=driving

    it worked out well for me, but i work for the airlines so my son and i were able to fly over there with a box of tools for free. speaking of free, the car was/is rust free. i put a lot of work into this car but i still drive it today.
    To be honest, my car has been all over the world. No joke, Germany, California, Japan, in 2004 it was imported to Toronto by the previous owner, and driven to Vancouver when he moved out in 2010. Thats right, 3 continents, and 4 different countries.

    I think your biggest headache will be the DMV. Those guys can't tell their head from a hole in the ground. I had all the correct paperwork, it was all filled out correctly, they could see the car was first sold and registered in California (on their records), yet they kept trying to tell me it was a Canadian spec car and they needed paperwork from BMW Canada to register it. I sent them pictures of all the important stickers showing that it was indeed a US car, and was California emissions compliant (says so on the sticker.) They continued to insist that it was not a US car. This went on for 3.5 months. Eventually I got pulled over for not having a license plate, the CHP couldn't see the temp sticker in the rear window (it was dark and raining.) Following that I called the DMV head office (for the 25th time) and said that if they didn't with the program I was going to park the car in their lobby till they did pull their heads out and issue me plates. Two days later the plates showed up.

    The people at the DMV are idiots. (The local office was fine, the State office was the issue.)

    Will

    Leave a comment:


  • SFGadgetGuy
    replied
    Got a few PM's on the process of importing from Canada to US so for anyone wanting to do it. You can find all the info you need on the US Customs website they have a list of which cars can be imported and what years as well as all the forms you'll need for customs.

    I only can describe my experience trying to import to California. I think they have the stricts import rules vs other states.

    Any car brought into Cali newer then 1975 has to be able to pass SMOG and a referee inspection to get registered legally.

    Gray markets can be brought in as long as you're willing to spend the money to have it done through a registered importer list of them are on the US customs website as well. they will inspect it and tell you what needs to be replaced or installed (Euro bumpers to US/Canada bumpers, Speedometer, lighting, and whatever else) You will also need to get a bond while it's going through the process.

    Cali no longer does the rolling years its been fixed at 75 and older for years now so you can no longer wait for it to hit the 25 mark and import it.

    Easiest for Cali is import gray markets older then 1975 such as mini's and bypass all the red tape.

    I wish I still had my Mercedes se280 sedan 4 door with manual transmission.

    Leave a comment:


  • SFGadgetGuy
    replied
    Importing Canadian origin cars to US is not to hard did it with a couple of my cars when I moved to Cali from Vancouver BC. Issues only surface if they're gray markets imported to Canada then brought into the US. Ended up driving my gray market Mercedes se280 back and selling it in Vancouver and junking my other e300 after it sat in my garage in the Cali.

    If anyone has a line on how to get a gray market to Cali from Canada PM I'd like to bring over a e30 touring from Canada.

    Leave a comment:


  • tcheb
    replied
    Originally posted by ksjdan View Post
    but I have to wait 10 days for BMW to send me the letter so I have some time.
    I wouldn't count on that if I were you. I waited for mine a month and a half.

    Leave a comment:


  • tcheb
    replied
    If the car is exactly what you were looking for, you did the right thing. All the hassle will be worth it in the long run.

    Finding E30s in good condition is getting harder every day. Sure there's about 10 of them on Craigslist in any big city at any time but 90% are beat up or riced out.

    Leave a comment:


  • ksjdan
    replied
    Originally posted by mr ilia View Post
    I think OP has found some special e30, like Alpina or similar.
    Eh... Lets just say its special to me :)
    I don't have the dough for Alpina.

    Leave a comment:

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