Imported Vehicles

Many vehicles are manufactured in another country for use in the U.S. and are imported by manufacturers. Any vehicle imported into the U.S. must meet requirements established by the federal government. There are three U.S. federal agencies that oversee the U.S. importation process: Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Each agency has a role in the vehicle importation process and have requirements that must be met before a vehicle can be lawfully imported into the U.S.

It is the role and responsibility of each state to ensure that vehicles are appropriately titled and/or registered after being imported into the U.S. This includes ensuring valid documents with correct information are submitted to the titling and/or registration issuing jurisdiction. The CBP Form 7501 must be stamped and signed by CBP to show evidence of proper import. CBP stamps may vary slightly between different ports of entry. If there are concerns on the authenticity of the CBP Form 7501 jurisdictions are authorized to contact the port of entry where the CBP Form 7501 was originally filed and stamped.

It is recommended for the jurisdiction to refer questionable transactions involving an imported vehicle to NHTSA. Please refer to AAMVA's guidance document, Imported Vehicles: Considerations for Establishing Jurisdiction Policy for Title and Registration for more detailed information on titling and registration policy recommendations for imported vehicles.

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