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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > Canada > Steps to import a car from the USA.



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      10-29-2012, 11:05 PM   #177
Van G
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That throws a wrench in my plans -> to clarify, once the car is imported/registered in Canada I will no longer have warranty or free maintenance in the USA?

Even if I'm not dealing with BMW Canada in any aspect, just importing the vehicle through CBSA and registering with RIV?

Last edited by Van G; 10-29-2012 at 11:12 PM.
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      10-29-2012, 11:34 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by Van G View Post
That throws a wrench in my plans -> to clarify, once the car is imported/registered in Canada I will no longer have warranty or free maintenance in the USA?

Even if I'm not dealing with BMW Canada in any aspect, just importing the vehicle through CBSA and registering with RIV?
Well you don't loose your USA warranty, it gets transferred over to Canada so it will be covered by BMW dealerships up here. I specifically called BMW NA to ask them so I know this is accurate.
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      10-30-2012, 09:37 AM   #179
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Well you don't loose your USA warranty, it gets transferred over to Canada so it will be covered by BMW dealerships up here. I specifically called BMW NA to ask them so I know this is accurate.
I'm wondering if I can just keep the BMW USA warranty even though it is plated/registered in Ontario.

I've sent the following email to BMW USA:

Good Morning,

Iím interested in purchasing a pre-owned 12 335i Cabriolet from a dealer in NY state. I own a business in NY state but live in Ontario, Canada.

The vehicle in question has considerable warranty remaining and I drive considerable mileage in both countries.

I would have to import/plate the vehicle in Ontario for insurance reasons but would prefer to keep the warranty in the USA where I will have it serviced.

My questions:
- If I import the vehicle into Ontario and plate it in Ontario, am I still able to have it serviced/warrantied in NY state under the current BMWNA warranty?
- If the above answer is yes, what happens if the vehicle in not driveable and I have to get service done at an Ontario dealer? Is this covered by the BMWNA warranty?

Look forward to your reply and please feel free to call should you need further details.
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      10-30-2012, 10:11 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by Van G View Post
I'm wondering if I can just keep the BMW USA warranty even though it is plated/registered in Ontario.

I've sent the following email to BMW USA:

Good Morning,

Iím interested in purchasing a pre-owned 12 335i Cabriolet from a dealer in NY state. I own a business in NY state but live in Ontario, Canada.

The vehicle in question has considerable warranty remaining and I drive considerable mileage in both countries.

I would have to import/plate the vehicle in Ontario for insurance reasons but would prefer to keep the warranty in the USA where I will have it serviced.

My questions:
- If I import the vehicle into Ontario and plate it in Ontario, am I still able to have it serviced/warrantied in NY state under the current BMWNA warranty?
- If the above answer is yes, what happens if the vehicle in not driveable and I have to get service done at an Ontario dealer? Is this covered by the BMWNA warranty?

Look forward to your reply and please feel free to call should you need further details.
You are better off giving them a call, you will get an exact answer quicker.


BMW North America (1-800-831-1117)
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      10-31-2012, 11:00 AM   #181
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So I've confirmed that if you purchase a US BMW with warranty you can do the following and keep your warranty with BMWNA:
- vehicle can be imported/plated into Ontario via CBSA and RIV
- vehicle transfer for BMW warranty purposes occurs when your VIN is moved to BMW Canada, which would occur if you obtained a Clearance Letter from them.

The vehicle will be entitled to all aspects of the 4/50 warranty but will have to be serviced in the USA.

I realize that doesn't work for most but with the amount of miles and time I spend in the US it makes sense.
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      10-31-2012, 01:35 PM   #182
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Yeah I am thinking about importing a 335i from the states soon. Did you have to change anything in your car when you brought into Canada? Did you have to pay the state tax?
hey, how come my thread never got stickied but the other one did? i thought my guide was pretty good!

Anyway, when I bought my car in Ohio, I didn't have to pay the state tax because they knew it was being exported.

I did not have to change anything in my car. All I had to do was turn the daytime running lights on through the i-drive menu. If the car doesn't have i-drive, it can be done with the stalk.
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      10-31-2012, 01:41 PM   #183
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Originally Posted by Van G View Post
Also interested in US purchased 335i Cab (11 or 12) and wanted to know how warranty was handled if you aren't going to get warranty transferred to BMW Canada?

From what I understand BMW USA will reimburse warranty work done at a Canadian dealer but your SOL for the 4/50 free service unless you get it done in the US.

Appreciate anyone able to confirm or correct.

Van G
yeah you are SOL on the free service unless you take it to a Buffalo dealer or something.

With regards to the warranty, even though I was not experiencing any problems, my BMW service advisor looked at my car right before I hit 80,000km (before the warranty expired) and he noticed I did not get my HPFP changed which is a known issue on recall and a few other little things so he went ahead and did them and I didn't pay a cent. I didn't have to get my warranty "transferred" or anything...he just treated it like it was a Canadian car. If anyone gives you a hassle about that..it's BS.
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      10-31-2012, 01:43 PM   #184
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hey, how come my thread never got stickied but the other one did? i thought my guide was pretty good!

Anyway, when I bought my car in Ohio, I didn't have to pay the state tax because they knew it was being exported.

I did not have to change anything in my car. All I had to do was turn the daytime running lights on through the i-drive menu. If the car doesn't have i-drive, it can be done with the stalk.
Did you have warranty left on the car when you imported it? I had no warranty left so I didn't pursue when BMW told me to change the cluster I told them to get lost. Some of the other members were wondering if they would be required to change the cluster so BMW honors the warranty did you have any experience with this cause I am curious also for my next car.
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      10-31-2012, 02:56 PM   #185
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Did you have warranty left on the car when you imported it? I had no warranty left so I didn't pursue when BMW told me to change the cluster I told them to get lost. Some of the other members were wondering if they would be required to change the cluster so BMW honors the warranty did you have any experience with this cause I am curious also for my next car.
yes i did have warranty left. my car is a 2008 and had 40,000km when i imported it. I did the warranty work in 2011 when it had about 78,000km and there were absolutely zero issues getting it put under warranty. the guy said, "oh i see u have this HPFP recall that wasn't done to your car yet...why don't we just do that before you hit 80,000km and ur warranty expires?" and i was like "sure, thanks"

i did not have to change my cluster and not a single person told me i would have to when i imported the car. if anyone does, they are full of it and are just trying to make money off you because you're vulnerable without the knowledge.
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      10-31-2012, 02:59 PM   #186
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yes i did have warranty left. my car is a 2008 and had 40,000km when i imported it. I did the warranty work in 2011 when it had about 78,000km and there were absolutely zero issues getting it put under warranty. the guy said, "oh i see u have this HPFP recall that wasn't done to your car yet...why don't we just do that before you hit 80,000km and ur warranty expires?" and i was like "sure, thanks"

i did not have to change my cluster and not a single person told me i would have to when i imported the car. if anyone does, they are full of it and are just trying to make money off you because you're vulnerable without the knowledge.
That's awesome to know thanks for the info. I was told differently about the cluster by a certain oakville BMW dealership. What dealership did you end up going to to get the warranty work done for future reference?
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      10-31-2012, 03:03 PM   #187
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That's awesome to know thanks for the info. I was told differently about the cluster by a certain oakville BMW dealership. What dealership did you end up going to to get the warranty work done for future reference?
did you think that Budds will do anything but try to get your money? they're like the worst dealership.

i did my warranty work at BMW Mississauga. I guess it doesn't hurt that the service advisor is a buddy of mine
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      10-31-2012, 03:06 PM   #188
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did you think that Budds will do anything but try to get your money? they're like the worst dealership.

i did my warranty work at BMW Mississauga. I guess it doesn't hurt that the service advisor is a buddy of mine
haha I agree. They wanted to charge me $5000 for a 3'rd party warranty when mine expired. No thanks.

Good info you posted though, for my next car I know where to go to get the work done hassle free, and it helps the guys in this thread wondering if the cluster needs to be changed for them to honor the warranty work.
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      10-31-2012, 03:37 PM   #189
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haha I agree. They wanted to charge me $5000 for a 3'rd party warranty when mine expired. No thanks.

Good info you posted though, for my next car I know where to go to get the work done hassle free, and it helps the guys in this thread wondering if the cluster needs to be changed for them to honor the warranty work.
yes, well, the whole cluster changing thing.... i wrote about it in my original post almost 3 years ago!! not sure why people are wondering when they're getting the info straight from someone who went thru what they're going thru.
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      10-31-2012, 03:42 PM   #190
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yes, well, the whole cluster changing thing.... i wrote about it in my original post almost 3 years ago!! not sure why people are wondering when they're getting the info straight from someone who went thru what they're going thru.
Honestly I though I had to change it as well bc thats what BUDDS told me and I imported 2 months ago. They said if I didn't change it, they would consider the car unsafe and not provide any warranty work.

Its good that we know BMW Mississauga will honor the warranty. Isn't the dealership in Mississauga BUDDS as well though? I know they have one on Dixie just south of Eglinton.
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      10-31-2012, 04:39 PM   #191
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Honestly I though I had to change it as well bc thats what BUDDS told me and I imported 2 months ago. They said if I didn't change it, they would consider the car unsafe and not provide any warranty work.

Its good that we know BMW Mississauga will honor the warranty. Isn't the dealership in Mississauga BUDDS as well though? I know they have one on Dixie just south of Eglinton.
its on Dixie, north of eglinton and no, it's not Budds. It's Remo Ferri, who also owns the Maranello dealership in Woodbridge.
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      11-01-2012, 11:30 PM   #192
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Hey if its a private sale, where do I get the recall letter from BMW so I can transfer my warranty in Canada?
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      11-01-2012, 11:41 PM   #193
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Hey if its a private sale, where do I get the recall letter from BMW so I can transfer my warranty in Canada?
Call up a BMW dealership in your area, tell them your importing a car and need the Recall Letter. They will ask you to bring the car in. You pay the $500 for the Recall Letter and BMWNA will send it directly to the RIV (Registrar of Imported Vehicles).
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      11-02-2012, 08:23 PM   #194
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Thank you so much for your question. I am thinking about doing a private sale so I was wondering if anyone knows how to get a temp. plate so I can drive it to the border.

Once I pass the border, do I need another temp Canadian plate?

Thanks.
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      11-02-2012, 08:35 PM   #195
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Thank you so much for your question. I am thinking about doing a private sale so I was wondering if anyone knows how to get a temp. plate so I can drive it to the border.

Once I pass the border, do I need another temp Canadian plate?

Thanks.
The temporary plate has to be given from the state you buy the car in. I suggest you tell the person you are buying the car from to go to the DMV the day before you get there and get the temp plate for you so when you arrive, you can simply pay for the car, get the Bill of Sale notarized, collect the Title and head back to Canada.

Once in Canada, drive the car with the temp plate until it expires (they usually expire in 14 days) and I talked to the local Police station and they said they will honor the temp plate while still valid as long as you have insurance on the car. So the day before you go pick up the car, call your insurance company and tell them you need to place insurance on a vehcile you are importing.

With the US temp plate, that will give you enough time to get the FORM 1 stamped at Canadian Tire, and the Emissions and safety done (all three of those can be done in under an hour at Canadian Tire). When you have this done, just head over to the MTO, pay the HST, and you will get your new Canadian plates.
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      11-04-2012, 07:03 PM   #196
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Can the private seller get the vehicle clearance letter from their dealer instead of paying $500 to BMW Canada for the letter?

You mentioned getting the Bill of Sale notarized. When is this done and by who?
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      11-04-2012, 08:16 PM   #197
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isn't it cheaper to just do european delivery?
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      11-04-2012, 10:40 PM   #198
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Can the private seller get the vehicle clearance letter from their dealer instead of paying $500 to BMW Canada for the letter?

You mentioned getting the Bill of Sale notarized. When is this done and by who?
I have a contact that can get the Vehicle Warranty Inquiry. If anyone needs one, let me know and I'll see what he can do.

The Bill of Sale stipulates how much the car was sold for, who sold the car, who bought the car, what kind of car and the VIN.

Any lawyer can notarize a Bill of Sale, and each state on their DMV website has blank ones you can print up.

This is an example of a Bill of Sale:
http://www.google.ca/imgres?um=1&hl=...9&tx=91&ty=157
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