Buying and Selling FAQs in North Dakota
If I can't find a certification label with my imported vehicle, how do I know if it complies with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards?
You must directly contact the vehicle's manufacturer. If you need assistance gathering contact information call the NHTSA's Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance at (202) 366-5291.
Can I import a car that's over 25 years old?
Even if the vehicle does not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) you can still legally drive it in North Dakota. However, you must provide documentation that the vehicle is at least 25 years old. A registration form or an invoice documenting when the vehicle was first sold will suffice as proof.
If you can't uncover proper documentation the NHTSA will accept a statement from a certified vehicle historical society. Be sure to check box number one when completing form HS-7.
What kind of documentation do I need to retrieve my vehicle from U.S. Customs?
You will need:
- The shipper's or carrier's original bill of lading (OBL).
- The bill of sale.
- Foreign registration.
- Either an approval letter from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or a manufacturer's label, in English, claiming that the car complies with U.S. emission standards.
If I buy a car in Canada can I, personally, bring it into North Dakota?
No. A registered importer (RI), someone who has a contract with an RI, must bring the car into ND.
When I'm importing a vehicle can I use it as an ad hoc container to ship other personal belongings?
Packing your car is strongly discouraged. Many shippers will not accept vehicles crammed with personal items. Even if you find a shipper who will, your vehicle is highly susceptible to theft while on the loading docks.
Plus, when your vehicle enters the United States you must declare everything stored inside it. Failure to do so, even if it's an unintentional oversight, can lead to your vehicle being seized by customs.
Is it true that before I ship my car to the United States that the undercarriage must be cleaned?
True. To protect against the importation of lethal pests, the U.S. Department of Agriculture mandates that the undercarriage of imported cars be thoroughly cleaned. Having it steam-sprayed works best.
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