View Full Version : Importing 81 diesel cruiser questions

10-06-2006, 08:04 PM

I know this has been discussed before, but I seem to be having trouble with the search function.

Can anyone tell me exactly what is involved in importing an 81 BJ42 from Canada into the States? I have read the long post on Mud, and it wasn't exactly what I was looking for.

Basically I need a, "This is what you need, 1. 2. 3..." sort of answer if anyone has such a thing.

thanks in advance,

10-06-2006, 09:26 PM
good luck with it. Search mud. It's not as easy as 1. 2. 3. But doable from what I understand

10-06-2006, 10:13 PM
Thought I saw a post on MUD the other day that it amounted to getting a letter from Toyota (dealership counted and was what the person did) stating that it (the model in question whatever it would be) met all of the requirements for the US.

IIRC, the person personally went and got the vehicles (yes, two of them), showed the letter from the Toyota dealership at the border to someone, and voila. Sounds too easy but they said it worked.

10-07-2006, 10:37 AM
Hi Corsair,

Thanks for the response. I saw that post too. But those trucks were an HJ60 & a BJ60, and both newer than 25 years. I have seen lots of info about how to import a vehcile newer than 25 years. But an 81 is 25 years old.
Everything I find about 25 year old vehicles basically amounts to, "it's really easy to import a vehicle that is 25 years old". But, I have never found anything that actually says what is required...

Does anyone have any info on older vehicles??

10-07-2006, 11:27 AM
Having successfully imported from Canada I can give you the step-by-step. This applies to a vehicle that is 21 years old or older, BJ42 is certainly in that category.

1. Arrange for a Registered Importer (RI) to prepare several documents. It will cost a couple hundred bucks. Among the documents you REALLY need to get an EPA waiver. Easy for the RI to get, but will save a ton of headaches once you get the rig to Colorado. Since it isn't as important in some other states, some RIs don't do this as a routine and you have to ask for it. In addition to the importation documents you will need the Canadian registration signed over and a bill of sale. You will also want the VIN so you can get it insured during transit before you even take delivery.

2. At the border crossing, the RI will meet with customs. Customs will inspect the truck and verify that the documentation matches the rig and everything's in order. The truck will also be weighed at that point.

3. Once you get it to Colorado, you need to get a temporary tag. Using this you need to get diesel emissions completed. This will consist of a treadmill test, however the EPA waiver will keep you out of trouble in case there are any emissions equipment that were required in the states for that year but not for the Canadian market. The emissions inspection will need to take place at the AIR headquarters in Denver, it can not be done at the official diesel emissions stations scattered up and down the front range.

4. With importation documentation, proof of insurance, proof of emission compliance, Canadian registrations signed over and bill of sale, you can now apply for title and tags. The tags you can get right away, title will take a few weeks.

The "Letter from Toyota" only applies to vehicles less than 21 years old. And you can't get it on any Canadian cruiser such as a mine HZJ as these were never imported into Canada for highway use. All Canadian cars and trucks for highway use in Canada have been 100% the same as USA for about 5-6 years now and would be eligible for the "letter", but who would want a Canadian Celica?

Happy cruisin'!

PS, if you need me to, I can go look at the exact titles of all the importation documents, but the RI will know what you need. I used an RI in Montana near the border.

10-07-2006, 10:54 PM
GO down to the DMV and ask them what you need to have to register a 1981 canadian vehicle. They will give your the forms you'll need later.

You can do it all yourself. There is no reason to pay an RI.

10-08-2006, 09:21 AM
Colorado DMV does not have the federal forms. US Customs does.

10-08-2006, 07:18 PM
Thanks a ton guys! This is exactly the sort of information I was hoping for. I will go to the DMV tomorrow during my lunch break to learn what I can from them. I also have a couple of phone numbers for some local R.I.'s. I will give them a call as well. With luck everything will work out...


10-08-2006, 08:31 PM
You'll want an RI that is at the border crossing where you intend to bring the truck into. They will need to inspect the rig along with customs. Note that Customs will not give you the EPA waiver (or at least they wouldn't 2 years ago when I did this). The RI needs to get it direct from EPA, not customs.

10-08-2006, 09:57 PM
Thanks Jeff! One more question. I was hoping to be able to ship the truck, "in-bond" all the way into Denver & then clear it here. Is it not possible to get it inspected here in Denver, or does it absolutey need to be done by a border agent?