Shipping to/from Canada

How does shipping cars from Canada work?

Ship Cars from Canada to U.S.

With the impacts of the lockdown, now, more so than ever, people are making big moves. With the flexibility of remote work and the shuttering of hotels around the world, for many, getting a change of scenery has moved beyond a vacation. It seems the next best thing is packing up and trying on a whole new city, state, or even country on for size.

Each year, thousands of people move from Canada to the U.S., sometimes permanently, and sometimes for part of the year. So, if you’re considering a move from the Great White North, one of the things you’ll need to consider is how to ship cars from canada to us.

Step 1 | Make sure your vehicle is authorized. If your car is a model not sold in the U.S., it’s best to make sure it’s approved for transport. You can do this by cross-checking the Overview of EPA Import

Requirements for Vehicles and Engines.

The Overview of EPA primarily assesses if a vehicle and/or manufacturer:

  • is a U.S. version vehicle
  • meets conformity with federal emission requirements
  • conforms to all EPA regulations.

Typically, the manufacturer attaches a label in the engine compartment that states, in English, the intended use. A vehicle lacking the EPA emission compliance engine, vehicle, or equipment manufacturer, model and serial label is considered non-complying.

Pro-tip: If the VIN number begins between 1 and 5 , then it is built in North America. While this is a general rule (some antiques or custom-made vehicles may not have this) it is typically a good rule of thumb.

For car buffs, mechanics and tinkerers, it’s also important to note that if a vehicle originally manufactured as a U.S. version vehicle that has since been modified or altered, it will likely not meet U.S. emission requirements. For example, if the engine has been altered or outfitted with another type of engine, the vehicle will not be considered a usa version.

However, a modified or altered vehicle may be conditionally imported as a U.S. version pending

repair and restoration. As an importer, you must file an EPA Form 3520-1 with Customs on entry and

declare code “F” on the form. You will then be required to post a bond with Customs. The importer has 120 days to demonstrate to EPA that the vehicle has been repaired or restored to its original configuration.

If you’re uncertain that the engine or build meets requirements you may submit alternative proof, which is a written statement including the number, engine family name, and/or type of equipment and build date (if known).

The EPA does not accept:
  • Passing a state inspection test as proof. State inspection tests do not determine conformity with Federal emission standards.
  • Catalytic converter as proof. The presence of a catalytic converter does not mean the vehicle is a U.S. version, or that it meets Federal emission standards.
Here’s a helpful checklist to help make sure your vehicle is authorized for transport:
  • Manufacture date
  • Model year, make, and model of vehicle
  • Whether the vehicle conforms to U.S. emissions requirements
  • If a catalytic converter was present at time of manufacture
  • Type of fuel the vehicle uses
  • Vehicle weight for trucks

Although the Customs team will typically provide all the necessary paperwork to ship your vehicle, you may want to check out the following resources to help get a jumpstart on the process:

Canada’s Registrar of Imported Vehicles

Canada Border Services Agency Registrar of Imported Vehicles

Importing Canadian Vehicles – Emissions

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (U.S.)

HS-7 Form (this is required when a vehicle does not comply with NHTSA rules and an exemption is possible)

Step 2 | Contact a relocation specialist.  With a move from Canada to the US you could opt to transport yourself; however, the plus about hiring a specialist is that they are able to take care of all the paperwork for you. An auto transport specialist can also provide a wide variety of options, whether it be air, rail or water freight transportation while helping to arrange and/or support other specialized shipping needs including:

  1. Choosing between open or enclosed vehicle carriers
  2. Handling logistics
  3. Providing freight transportation support for atypical vehicle or shipment types (e.g. boats, motorcycles, RVs, trailers, etc)
  4. Door-to-door service
  5. Snowbird service

Step 3 | Complete paperwork. We’ll go into a bit more detail on what this entails in just a moment; however, it’s important to note that all customs paperwork must be completed and approved prior to transport.

Step 4 Prepare Your Vehicle. A transport specialist can help you do the heavy lifting, but there’s a number of things you can do on your end  to make sure the transport goes smoothly.

  • Wash your car.  This helps inspection go faster so your car can get to where it’s going more quickly as well!
  • Fill her up.  For international transportation, it’s recommended that you keep the gas level below a quarter tank, or it may be rejected.
  • Provide a  spare set of keys.  It is a requirement of The US Department of Transportation (DOT) requires the carrier that one set of keys for all entry points (including the ignition, trunk and glove box keys) is provided.  If the vehicle can be accessed without a remote, please remove any remote or key fob from the key chain that is provided to the carrier.
  • Shut off alarms.  All alarms should be shut off. If there are any special start or disarmament instructions make sure to notify your carrier. On occasion, failure to communicate these kinds of instructions can lead to a drained battery which is no picnic for any party involved.
  • Remove extra items.  Storing personal items may  result in non-compliance and ultimate removal of these items during inspection unless additional forms have been filed. Personal items can add to the overall weight of your vehicle which could cause damage or added fees.
  • Prep for climate change. To minimize any weather-related damage, make sure your vehicle is prepared for the elements. Prior to pick up, this includes adding coolants, transmission fluids, antifreeze, or additional fluids.

Step 5| Pickup & Inspection. Once your vehicle has been picked up by a car courier it will undergo inspection at the specified location for your region.

Step 6 | Transport & Delivery. Once your vehicle has passed inspection it will be on its way!

How much does it cost to transport a car?

Cost is dependent on several factors, which typically include:

  •  Mileage
  • Vehicle size
  • Delivery location

When bringing in a vehicle to the United States from Canada there may be additional fees or taxes there are associated with importing, but these often vary.

What type of paperwork is involved?

3299 Entry Form.  This is the form you’ll use if a vehicle from Canada that is going to be in the U.S. for equal to or less than 12 months, such as snowbirds or those with short-term Visas. Cars with this type of entry form are  not allowed to be traded or sold within the United States border; however they can still be either sold or traded while on Canadian land. This form also requires that the vehicle includes registration within the United States.

3299 Form Requirements:

  • Make sure to print your name as it appears on your passport.
  • Include your  date of birth as well as the date you personally will arrive in the United States.
  • Finally, add your US home address and contact phone number.
  • No PO Boxes are accepted. If you don’t have a home address, leave this portion blank.

For snowbirds: When you return to Canada make sure to bring a copy of a completed CBSA Form E-24 Personal Exemption CBSA Declaration. This should list all of the items being driven back in your car. You should also bring along a copy of the completed Form E-15 when your vehicle initially entered the U.S.

Pro-tip: Keep the original copy of Form E-15 to present at airport Customs which details items that will follow separately.

7501 Entry Form.  This is the form you’ll use for vehicles originating from Canada that are being brought across the United States border for over a year. These vehicles will be registered as a United States vehicle for the duration of their stay. (It’s important to note that you will not be allowed to register the car with the Department of Motor Vehicles until you are able to receive the formal import form)

You will also file for 7501 Form if:

  • A car from the United States was transported to Canada and the title from the United States was given up during the transport process and will now be returning to the U.S., the  car will then have to be re-titled and re-registered within the United States.
  •  A vehicle titled in the United States has switched owners in Canada and the new owner of the car is transporting the car back to the United States with proof of the original United States title.
  • E-15 Form. Be sure to complete a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Form E-15 Certificate of Destruction/Exportation. This should be a complete and  accurate list of all of your personal items. If you fail to complete this form you may have to pay duty and taxes on personal items when you return to Canada.
  • Official identification. You will need a copy of your passport or a copy of your driver’s license and birth certificate.
  • Proof of ownership. A copy of vehicle ownership

Car Courier letter.  An official letter will also be required proving that the courier you have chosen has permission to transport the automobile across the border.


Serving the US, Canada
& International locations

Reindeer Auto makes your vehicle relocation easy

Reindeer Auto offers a variety of guaranteed transport times, based on mileage, seasonal demands, and client requirements. Our employees are well-versed on our guaranteed transport times and work hand-in-hand with our customers and our carriers to ensure timely and efficient relocations. Our promise of real. personal. service. is more than just a motto—it is truly our way of doing business.

Reindeer Auto has the ability to transport your car on an open car hauler or in an enclosed carrier. The majority of our customers choose to have their vehicle transported on an open long haul carrier.  Most interstate car moves in the industry are handed in this manner.  However, if you are relocating an antique or collector car, or if it is a brand new vehicle, you may want to request a fully enclosed trailer to move your car.  We are able to provide you with a quote for both services and detail the differences between each kind of transit. This will allow you to make the best decision for your auto move. Both transport methods are safe and secure ways to relocate your car. We will help you move your specific vehicle at your requested method.

Same Day Pick up Same-day pick up is available when working with reindeer auto. We are here to accommodate your needs when your plans change suddenly or when your car will not fit on the moving van as planned. reindeer auto offers quick response times and thrives on providing the highest level of service, even during a rush pick up! Same Day Delivery reindeer auto can accommodate same-day deliveries for transferees under 300 miles.

Relocation can be a stressful process.  However, it is our prerogative to make your auto relocation a stress-free experience.  All our customers are assigned a relocation coordinator whose main objective is to anticipate and accommodate your every need.  Your coordinator will be dedicated to you from pick up to delivery, ensuring that your car is where you want it, when you want it.  Making the process easy for you is our goal!

Reindeer Auto will arrange for door-to-door service, eliminating any extra hassle or inconvenience to our customers. In the instances where our carrier cannot access a neighborhood or residence to pick up at the door, arrangements will be made in advance to best accommodate the customer and allow for an easy and hassle-free release or delivery of the vehicle. We can assign a local open flatbed if necessary to ensure we meet our door-to-door service promise.

Our employees provide a service that is genuine and innovative.  They are cross-trained in the various aspects of relocation, ensuring that you receive excellent service no matter who answers your call. With 24/7 on-call staff, we are here to serve you.

Simply click on the auto locator on our website or download the Reindeer Auto tracker app.  Your assigned relocation coordinator will also be communicating the progress of the transit with you throughout the move. Download the Reindeer Auto Tracker on Google Play or iOS

Every car shipping company operates in a different way.  That being said, every car shipping company will carry some sort of liability type insurance, but that coverage and timing can vary from company to company.  When you are seeking a car shipping quote, be sure to ask these questions early in the process before deciding which company you will use.  Having knowledge of things like when their liability begins and ends could save you trouble in the unexpected situation where a car is damaged during shipment. At Reindeer Auto Relocation we take this issue seriously and ensure that we are meticulous about our carriers. All carriers hired by Reindeer Auto Relocation have acknowledged and agree to the following:

  • Uphold compliance with all Federal Highway, Safety and DOT regulations.
  • Obtain and provide proof of reindeer required levels of insurance coverage:  minimum $1,000,000 liability / $100,000 cargo
  • Maintain a professional and polite demeanor with every vehicle owner at all times, and provide VIP service to all Reindeer  moves.
  • Complete and submit SIGNED inspection form(s) at pick up and delivery.
  • Do their absolute best to deliver every load on time—clean and of course, damage free (just as if it was their own)!
  • Constant communication/updates via phone, text, email, etc., from pick-up through delivery.

Corporate relocations are invoiced to the appropriate company. For individual relocations we accept credit card payments at time of pick-up.

Skip to content