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Up to 1 year to import vehicle?

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Another car question...

I know the CBP states that you have up to 1 year to import your vehicle when moving to the U.S. However, California law states that you have a mere 10 days after establishing residency to register your vehicle, and I would think I can't do that without importing the vehicle, can I? So I'm still really confused after all the reading I've done about whether I need to officially import my car at POE, or if I can wait I would go ahead and just import it, but I'll only be in America a total of 2.5 years before returning to Canada, and during that 2.5 years, I'll be spending several months per year back in Canada, so I don't want to pick the option that will ultimately cause more of a hassle (especially "importing" the car back into Canada in just a couple of years. So how does it work? If I have 1 year to import the car, what happens if I drive my car back up to Canada 6 months from now, spend a month or two here, and then go back down to California? Does the "clock" start over again at 1 year to import it? This is probably the most overwhelming step in the whole visa process thus far for me because it seems like there's so many grey areas with vehicle importation and state-specific laws.

Thanks for any advice!

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According to this link, you have to import it a POE to get it registered:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/425/~/registering-a-foreign-registered-vehicle,-car-or-motorcycle-in-the-u.s.-with

Before you can register a foreign registered vehicle, car or motorcycle in the U.S., you must be able to prove that you or someone else filed an entry with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not register a vehicle that has been imported into the U.S. without proof an entry was filed with CBP and proof the vehicle conforms to U.S. emissions and safety standards. If the vehicle does not conform to U.S. emissions or safety standards, you will not be able to register it in the U.S. You will either have to bring it up to U.S. standards or export the car.

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According to this link, you have to import it a POE to get it registered:

https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/425/~/registering-a-foreign-registered-vehicle,-car-or-motorcycle-in-the-u.s.-with

Before you can register a foreign registered vehicle, car or motorcycle in the U.S., you must be able to prove that you or someone else filed an entry with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not register a vehicle that has been imported into the U.S. without proof an entry was filed with CBP and proof the vehicle conforms to U.S. emissions and safety standards. If the vehicle does not conform to U.S. emissions or safety standards, you will not be able to register it in the U.S. You will either have to bring it up to U.S. standards or export the car.

That's what I thought, too. So does that mean that if you have a year to import it, you therefore also have a year to register it, and so can keep Canadian plates and registration for up to a year? Because if you can't register without importing, but are allowed to wait 12 months to import, then by default doesn't that mean it remains registered in Canada for that year till you import it?

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That's how it sounds to me. Trouble is keeping it insured. I think I've read some people faced higher premiums with their Canadian insurer after moving stateside. Don't take that for gospel, though,

Best to cover your bases by calling the California DMV, your provincial registrar and your insurer.

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That's how it sounds to me. Trouble is keeping it insured. I think I've read some people faced higher premiums with their Canadian insurer after moving stateside. Don't take that for gospel, though,

Best to cover your bases by calling the California DMV, your provincial registrar and your insurer.

Due to complications with Toyota in the past not providing a compliance letter, I didn't import my car until a few months after POE. (It's a long annoying story). Anyway, I did have to pay a higher premium insurance with my Canadian company - called category Z or something like that. I was supposedly supposed to register my car in Washington within 30 days but I was unable to because I couldn't import it yet. However, once I finally imported it I was able to register it without an issue and finally be added to my husband's insurance. I think the 30 day rule in WA is 30 days after residence - and I came on a K1 so I think my residence didn't officially start until I was granted my greencard. In between is some kind of weird murky phase that I totally don't understand. As for what to actually do to import it - bring your car title/insurance papers as well as the paper you get from importing it at the border (or at a port of entry in the states elsewhere) and at least in my experience you are good to go.


VeeNDee

April 23, 2013 - AOS interview - Approved!

January 26, 2015 - Mailed off ROC Application

June 30, 2015 - 10 year greencard in hand

January 25, 2016 - N400 Application Mailed

May 11, 2016 - Citizenship Interview + same-day Oath ceremony!

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