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Buying and Selling FAQs in New Hampshire

We've done our best to cover everything you need to know about buying and selling vehicles in New Hampshire. However, if you still can't find what you're looking for, check out the most commonly asked questions below.


I'm going to purchase a vehicle from an individual seller across town. Can I get temporary tags to get it home?

Stop by your town clerk's office and tell them you need to apply for temporary tags. These tags are valid for 20 days.

The fee is $10. They are nonrenewable, and you must register the vehicle within this period to get regular plates.


What kinds of fees and taxes am I looking at when I buy a vehicle in New Hampshire?

In addition to the registration and titling fees, you must pay the fees for your license plate.


How can I bring a vehicle to New Hampshire that I purchased in another country?

The process largely depends on whether the vehicle conforms to America's importation guidelines. Check with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and their vehicle importation regulations.


Can I import a vehicle into the state for the lone purpose of repair?

Yes you can, but you won't be allowed to operate it on U.S. soil under any circumstances. Upon entering the vehicle into the U.S., you will need to provide Customs with the EPA Declaration Form Importation of Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Engines Subject to Federal Air Pollution Regulations (Form 3520-1), making sure to declare code "G," and you will need to post a bond.


If I'm a temporary New Hampshire resident can I import a vehicle into the state?

Yes, provided you can prove your nonresident status to U.S. Customs. Upon entering the vehicle you will need to provide Customs with the EPA Declaration Form Importation of Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Engines Subject to Federal Air Pollution Regulations (Form 3520-1), making sure to declare code "O." No bond is required.


If a car I bought in Canada conforms to all Canadian motor vehicle safety standards (CMVSS) but not Federal motor vehicle safety standards (FMVSS) can I still bring it into New Hampshire?

Yes, but to do so the vehicle must:

  • Be brought into the U.S. for personal use only. It cannot be imported for the sole intent of selling.
  • NOT be a salvage vehicle, a repaired salvage vehicle, or a reconstructed vehicle.

Can a Canadian-imported vehicle under 25 years old be brought permanently into the state?

A vehicle under 25 years old that was made to comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) can be brought into the state but ONLY if it meets certain NHTSA requirements. It is important to understand the difference between conforming and non-conforming vehicles before you, or a registered importer, attempts to import a vehicle.


If I inherit a vehicle from Canada can I get an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exemption?

Yes. However, you must complete the EPA Declaration Form Importation of Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Engines Subject to Federal Air Pollution Regulations (Form 3520-1), making sure you declare code "M" on it, and hand this to U.S. Customs upon entry into New Hampshire. You will also need to provide proof that the vehicle was acquired via inheritance and that it was owned by a Canadian resident.


When it comes to importing a vehicle are there are any hardship exemptions for vehicles that don't conform to EPA standards?

Only in extreme cases, such as handicap needs or if a driver provides proof that the vehicle is essential for basic living purposes. But keep in mind that even these situations are subject to tight scrutiny.

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