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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When scouring Craigslist or Kijiji.ca (more popular in Canada than Craigslist...), remember that G.M. vehicles are very easy to export from Canada to the United States.

The first step would be to contact GM Vintage Vehicle Services via email to verify with the VIN that the vehicle is acceptable to importation into the United States. I would guess that 95% of the G.M. vehicles in Canada are acceptable without significant modifications. If all is good, they will have you complete a form, fax it back with your credit card info (or call it in), then charge you about $50, then fax AND mail you an approval letter, "Letter of Conformity" to show US Customs upon arrival.

***Any vehicle that is less than 25 years that is imported into the United States must have EPA and DOT (FMVSS) approval***

Just because it was MADE IN THE USA does not mean that it meets either EPA or DOT standards. Vehicle manufacturers here do customize production runs for Canadian vehicles. There is not requirement to work with a registered importer.

Like I stated above, when you arrive at the US border, you must present the vehicle (i.e. make official entry with the vehicle) and the importation letter from GM Vintage Vehicle Services. They may also request a bill of sale (or may not care). They will have you complete a CBP Form 7501 Entry Manifest (free), a HS-7 (EPA form), and a 3520-1 (DOT form). This cannot be done without the vehicle onsite.

I've done this a few times and it is so easy with GM vehicles. It is nearly impossible with Chrysler and Volkswagen, among others. They only give this ability to Canadians immigrating into the USA. GM doesn't really care - they seem to respect cross-border trade of the used market.

Canadians sell their old junkers quite cheap. I just purchased a '08 LMM powered 4x4 for $7000. Anything 25 years or older is exempt the EPA/DOT (Letter of Conformity) requirement - just fill out the CBP Form 7501. So if you buy a 1990 or older hooptie of ANY make, you should be fine.
 

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My brother went through this and was very easy for him also. One question what's the difference between llm and the lmm or link :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, if you purchase from a private citizen and you will export immediately, then there is no need to pay any tax to the crown. You pay sales tax, converted to US Dollars, in the state where you will register the vehicle. This brings up a couple points:

1. If you purchase from a registered Dealer then it is up to them whether or not they will hit you with HST (Harmonized Sales Tax, 13% in Ontario). They are not required to collect sales tax if and only if they have proof that the vehicle will be exported from Canada. To cover their own a$$ they will need some sort of invoice and/or manifest from a Commercial shipper showing that it was taken out of the province.

2. Another option is to receive a credit from the province if you are a commercial entity that is exporting the vehicle from Canada. So if you are "Billybobs Well Company" and you purchase an old beater from Ontario AND from a dealer, obviously you'll be hit with the 13% HST. Apparently you can apply for a tax refund but ONLY because you are a commercial entity. You will have to supply adequate proof to the Ontario government such as the vehicle registration in the name of the company (Billybobs Well Company for example). Then they'll possibly refund you the Ontario portion of the HST.

3. When receiving bill of sale, have the seller put "CAD" at the end of the monetary amount to avoid confusion with the DMV "is that US or Canadian dollars?" They might be too dumb to realize that Canadians in Canada use Canadian dollars. My local DMV did the conversion automatically for me via Google LOL.

Putting it all together, it is easiest to purchase from a private citizen or if buying from a dealer, just pay the HST and be done with it.
 
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