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      10-23-2020, 06:30 PM   #1
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Importing a 2011 328xi from Canada

Found a 2011 E91 MT wagon in Canada. It is my dream car.

The seller says it is legal to import into US with just $600 import fee and some paperwork. For everything I know, the 25-year import rule does not exempt Canadian cars, so it should still apply here.

Is it possible to import and register one here in the states?
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      10-26-2020, 11:11 AM   #2
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Because U.S and canada share many emissions/safety standards people do it all the time. The 25 year law is for cars with many different standards or steering wheel on the other side.

You just have to make sure that all the emissions laws are the same or better, and that all the safety stuff matches. Get the paper work, pay the taxes and duties and then get it safetied on your side of the border (in a nut shell).

For the inverse we have to make sure all cars have DRLS and that they do have a KPH reading on the cluster
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      10-28-2020, 06:29 AM   #3
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Love a 6MT E91. What did you end up finding? It doesn't seem like the process is too difficult, but with COVID and the borders being closed, I believe all non-essential travel is currently stopped. So unless you are paying a registered importer to handle EVERYTHING, a private sale may not happen for a little while. I may be off base there, but worth checking into.
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      10-28-2020, 11:55 AM   #4
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I imported my dream spec 335i from Canada. It's best to have a company do it for you as it's not as simple as just driving it through. Here's the steps I took and it was pretty hassle free:

1. Look up a list of all NHTSA importers. The list can be found here: https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.do...ust_2_2018.pdf

2. Decide which to go with. Most I talked to were rude, unwilling, didn't know what they were doing, or were no longer in business. I finally found one in New York which worked out great since my car was in Ontario. It was called Superior Auto. Highly recommend them if your car is on that side of Canada.

3. Contact BMWNA for a letter of compliance. They got back with me in about 24 hours with the signed letter containing the VIN of the vehicle.

4. Send that letter to the import company along with the VIN sticker from the door frame from the car. Seller of my car was cool and willing to get any pics I needed.

5. Buy the car and arrange pickup.

6. The import company will pick the car up and I just had mine shipped through them all the way home. Total cost was around $3,500 if I recall correctly but it was well worth it.

Hope this helps!
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      10-28-2020, 01:26 PM   #5
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yes, it's the same as the US market car except for the speedometer. and *no*, you don't need to swap the KM/H to MP/H gage face - although I did that myself later after bringing ours down.

When I did it, we just drove across the border, paid for the car, put on a temp WA state registration/license, and drove across the border (of course stopping in to pay the taxes and get the import paperwork). Now of course, that is not possible, so you will be paying an import company on top of that cost.

Normally you would not need an import company, the whole process is really easy, but with the border closed it's your only choice.
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      10-28-2020, 01:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whyzee125 View Post
I imported my dream spec 335i from Canada. It's best to have a company do it for you as it's not as simple as just driving it through.
yeah, it pretty much is as simple as driving through. you just need your ducks in a row. for a BMW it's easy, all you need is the NHTSA letter from the manufacturer and money to pay the import duty.
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      10-28-2020, 07:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hassmaschine View Post
yes, it's the same as the US market car except for the speedometer. and *no*, you don't need to swap the KM/H to MP/H gage face - although I did that myself later after bringing ours down.
How come you donít need to swap out the speedometer? Because the car is already in compliance?
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      10-29-2020, 11:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck360198 View Post
How come you donít need to swap out the speedometer? Because the car is already in compliance?
As long as it is coded to show digital speed in the center, there's no need to swap gauge faces. At least this is how it was explained to me when I imported mine.
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      10-29-2020, 12:06 PM   #9
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I hadn't even done that. I did change the odometer to miles (done through the radio on non-idrive, super easy), but it's not needed either. All they cared about was the NHTSA letter and the $600. They did take an odometer reading but didn't care about the kph speedo.

I had previous experience importing Canadian cars. My wife moved down from Canada 10 years ago, and brought her car with her. They literally didn't even look at it, lol. In that case she didn't have to pay any duty because she was moving here, all we needed was the NHTSA letter.
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      10-29-2020, 12:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whyzee125 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duck360198 View Post
How come you don’t need to swap out the speedometer? Because the car is already in compliance?
As long as it is coded to show digital speed in the center, there's no need to swap gauge faces. At least this is how it was explained to me when I imported mine.
So if you get a compliant car from Canada that doesn't have that digital readout to mph will they still make you swap before it can cross?
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      10-29-2020, 12:09 PM   #11
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Unless the guy you get is a dick or doesn't know the law, no. It doesn't matter. Neither car I imported before even had a MPH reading (like the US cars have a KPH reading).
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