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I'm posting this as an FYI, I had a hard time finding all this information in one spot, so I figured I'd post it here so the next guy has a little easier of a time.

In my case, I am a resident of Florida and I was importing a 1981 280zx Turbo from Ontario.

First of all, there a 4 entities that you need to satisfy....the EPA, DOT, Customs and your local DMV. Listed below is how you deal with each.

Have this paperwork BEFORE you go! The options below are for your everyday guys, beware the other options on these forms require that you be, or have a contract with, a registered importer.


With the EPA, you need to have EPA Form 3520-1 filled out for the border patrol. There are several routes you can go with this form.

Code B: Even if you have the sticker, you need to have a letter from Nissan granting importation.

Code E: This is the best way to go as long as the car is OVER 21 years old. As long as the date of manufacture is at least 21 years ago, the car is exempt.

The people at the EPA are extremely helpful and responsive. Their number is (734) 214-4100. www.epa.gov/otaq/imports


These people are a little more difficult. Their number is (202) 366-5291. Good luck getting a call back.

With the DOT you need Form HS-7. www.dot.gov

If your car is older than 25 years, claim Code 1 and you're set.

In my case, I claimed code 2B since it is not 25 years old. This requires a letter from Nissan. See below.

Watch out for the other options, they sound good, but remember RI (Register Importer). You are most likely not one if you are reading this and they cost $$$$$$. Lots of it.


When you cross the border, show the border patrol you letter from Nissan, DOT Form, and EPA Form. They will give you an "Entry Summary" Form 1515-0065. They are suppose to collect 2.5% of the sale price in duty.

Getting across the border is fairly easy (scary), but you will have to also satisfy you local Customs before registering and titling the car.


Once you are in the US, go to your local Customs Office with your Form 1515-0065. They will inspect the vehicle (make sure all numbers match) and stamp the form. You then have to take the 1515-0065 to the DMV (not all DMVs have inspectors, call first) and have the car inspected by them before they will issue a title and registration.

They will again check all numbers to match (Door Jamb, Dash, Body and my bozo even looked for the VIN on the block). Once this is verified you can get you title and registration.


Nissan's records go back to 1982, if you have an older car, the letter takes time. It took me 2-weeks to get it. They faxed it the day before I left. Their number is 1-800-647-7261.

Now, some important points.

You are a US citizen buying a car in Canada. You have to register the car in Canada and get a Temporary Tag from them! I got a 10-travel permit from the Ontario DMV.

Once you cross the border into the US, the Canadian temp tag is no good. You should go to the local DMV (state you crossed into) and get another temp tag. I skipped this.

It's a lot to consider into the price for the car, is all this worth it? In my case, I drove away with one of the only Black and Silver 81 Turbos in N. America, so yeah it was. But for your everyday beater, forget about it.
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