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CBP Informational Video
How to Import Personal Automobile

What we do


Expert Guidance

The process of importing a foreign vehicle can indeed be a daunting and bewildering journey.

Navigating customs, EPA, or NHTSA issues is seamless with our expert assistance. We offer proficient guidance through every step of the process to ensure a smooth experience and successful outcome.


Documentation Review

Completing and submitting accurate paperwork is vital for customs clearance, and we're here to guide you through it. We will assist you in preparing the required documentation and conduct thorough reviews to ensure the best possible outcome.


Customs Clearance

Allow us to assist you in navigating the customs clearance process with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). With our National Permit, we possess the capability to file entry across the entirety of the U.S. This ensures that no matter your location, we are fully equipped to provide the necessary assistance for your vehicle customs clearance.


1. What documents do I need to import an automobile?

Here are some of the forms and documents required for import:​

  1. Ownership Proof

  2. Bill of Sale

  3. Original/Foreign Vehicle Registration

  4. Shipping Documentation

  5. EPA Form 3520-1

  6. DOT Form HS-7

  7. Power of Attorney

  8. Customs forms

  9. Emissions and Safety Compliance Documents: Proving the vehicle meets the necessary standards.
    (This is not the complete list)


Please visit our DMV Links page to check each State's requirements for registration.

2. Do I have to pay import taxes and duties?

Yes, in most cases. Vehicles are subject to 2.5% customs duty and 2.4% for Motorcycles. 

Canadian vehicles may be eligible for duty free under USMCA agreement. Check for eligibility here

3. Does my vehicle need to meet specific standards?

All vehicles manufactured less than 25 years ago must meet EPA Emissions and NHTSA Safety Standards. To help you determine whether your vehicle is admissible, check out:

Vehicles at least 25 years old may be exempt from EPA and NHT standards. Please contact us to learn more. 

4. Will I need to modify my vehicle?

If your vehicle does not meet the EPA and NHTSA standards, you may need to modify the vehicle to comply. This could involve changes to the emissions system, lighting, tires, and more.

5. Do I need a Customs Broker?

Customs Brokers are federally licensed professionals who helps importers with international shipments. 

Hiring a Customs Broker is not mandatory, however, it is highly recommended due to the complexity of customs clearance processes. Learn more about Customs Brokers here. 

6. Can I clear customs myself?

Yes, vehicle owners and importers have the option to clear customs themselves.

However, the process can be complex and time-consuming, requiring a thorough understanding of customs regulations and documentation.

If your question wasn't addressed here or you have a particular question in mind, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can reach out via email, give us a call, or set up a time to chat, and we'll be more than happy to assist you or you can read more about Vehicle Imports here

Get in Touch

Car Import

a subdivision of Elleo Global Inc.

1670 S. Amphlett Blvd.

San Mateo, CA 94402

Call: (650) 315-2968

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