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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > Canada > Looking for help to import Canadian car to US



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      09-24-2019, 07:37 PM   #1
wunderbar911
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Looking for help to import Canadian car to US

Hi,
I'm hoping that someone in this sub-forum may have gone through the experience of bringing a Canadian car into California or even better a Canadian who has moved to California and gone through the process.

Basically my situation is I'm currently a Canadian citizen planning to take a job in California and want to bring my 2010 E92 with me.

My understanding is I need the following:

Ownership papers (license/registration/insurance)...
No outstanding recalls on vehicle...
Letter from manufacturer stating vehicle complies to US safety standards, emissions, etc...

I'm also reading that TPMS are required for vehicles 2009 and newer and our E92 models in Canada do not have TPMS. They use the ABS to sense the tire pressure. Has anyone had to go through adding TPMS and is it even possible for a vehicle not designed with it?

The other question I have is there is no mph display on the speedometer, is this going to be an issue to import the vehicle and require a dash gauge replacement?

Now besides importing the vehicle, the idea of having to do a written/road test in California to get a new drivers license also raises questions that is not clear to me in terms of the transition period:
- can I continue to drive my car with a Canadian driver license/plate/insurance until I pass the exam.
- can I buy insurance in California for the vehicle if I don't have a California driver license yet?

Hope some members can shed some light and share their experience if possible.
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      09-25-2019, 03:18 PM   #2
neilvan
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Depends where in California. with most of Cali having strict emission laws, you will have to change your car to match. Which may be an expensive pain if at all possible.

You'll have to see if anything is difference for safety and crash requirements (bumpers or airbags etc).

As well as anything thats standard required for a safety (I dont believe TPMS to be required for Cert as some cars don't even have that system being new sold but maybe U.S is different)

You will need to have MPH on the cluster as a requirement somehow. That's a guarantee.

With cali emissions being so special I think it would be safe to say it would be more cost effective to sell yours and buy another cali spec E92
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      09-26-2019, 07:27 AM   #3
wunderbar911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvan View Post
Depends where in California. with most of Cali having strict emission laws, you will have to change your car to match. Which may be an expensive pain if at all possible.

You'll have to see if anything is difference for safety and crash requirements (bumpers or airbags etc).

As well as anything thats standard required for a safety (I dont believe TPMS to be required for Cert as some cars don't even have that system being new sold but maybe U.S is different)

You will need to have MPH on the cluster as a requirement somehow. That's a guarantee.

With cali emissions being so special I think it would be safe to say it would be more cost effective to sell yours and buy another cali spec E92
Thanks for the feedback. I found the following snippet from the NHTSA guide:

The importer obtains a letter from the vehicle’s original manufacturer, on the
manufacturer’s letterhead (and not that of a franchised dealer), identifying the vehicle by
vehicle identification number (VIN) and stating that the vehicle conforms to all
applicable FMVSS except for the labeling requirements of Standards Nos. 101 Controls
and Displays and 110 Tire Selection and Rims or 120 Tire Selection and Rims for Motor
Vehicles other than Passenger Cars, and/or the specifications of Standard No. 108
Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment, relating to daytime running
lamps.

I guess I will start will trying to obtain the compliance letter and recall letter and see how much a cluster change is going to cost. I'm guess $1k + labour although the video to replace the cluster seems dead simple.

This was my first BMW so it has some sentimental value and was hoping to keep it. Plus who doesn't love the steering and I6 engine
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      09-26-2019, 01:57 PM   #4
neilvan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wunderbar911 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I found the following snippet from the NHTSA guide:

The importer obtains a letter from the vehicle’s original manufacturer, on the
manufacturer’s letterhead (and not that of a franchised dealer), identifying the vehicle by
vehicle identification number (VIN) and stating that the vehicle conforms to all
applicable FMVSS except for the labeling requirements of Standards Nos. 101 Controls
and Displays and 110 Tire Selection and Rims or 120 Tire Selection and Rims for Motor
Vehicles other than Passenger Cars, and/or the specifications of Standard No. 108
Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment, relating to daytime running
lamps.

I guess I will start will trying to obtain the compliance letter and recall letter and see how much a cluster change is going to cost. I'm guess $1k + labour although the video to replace the cluster seems dead simple.

This was my first BMW so it has some sentimental value and was hoping to keep it. Plus who doesn't love the steering and I6 engine
Safety wise I think the cars should be the same. Cluster if you have some wrenching ability should be cheap used + a few hundred in coding.

Emissions wise California is different than the rest of the u.s and usually special. Youd need to email BMW to confirm that they are the same or ask them what needs to be changed to comply.

I do get keeping a sentimental car; It would be great
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