How to Export Used Cars From the USA

By Claire Moorman
Get your used car across the border by providing official proof of ownership.

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Exporting a vehicle from the U.S. to another country is not difficult, but it does require a fair amount of paperwork. The regulations governing exportation of used cars versus new cars are different. Customs defines a used car as one which has been sold from an original dealer to an "ultimate purchaser." Whether you are a government employee or simply a regular person who wants to transport a used car across the border, make sure you bring the proper materials.

Civilian Exportation

Procure a copy of the original title of the car. If the used car is too old to have an ownership title still intact, you may use a bill of sale, right of possession or sales invoice as proof of ownership. However, some customs offices will not accept any document besides the original title or a copy of it, so check with the office beforehand. If the DMV refuses to give you a certified copy of the title and the original is unavailable, use a title record or title summary instead.

Provide a signed letter from a third-party owner if the vehicle in question is being leased. This letter should state that the leaser agrees that the vehicle may be exported and must also include a full description of the vehicle and its vehicle identification number (VIN).

Use a junk or scrap certificate to authorize ownership of a used car that has been issued junk or scrap status.

Call the customs office at least 72 hours before exportation and give them the vehicle's documentation and VIN. The customs office will check to make sure it is not stolen property. If the used car does not have a VIN, provide a product identification number (PIN)

Government Employee Exportation

Bring your official travel orders to your local customs office if you are a government employee being transferred abroad. Since Customs cannot perform inspections of vehicles that are to be transferred at government expense, this document will identify your car as legitimate property.

Provide the Department of Defense Form 778, also known as the Private Vehicle Shipping Document for Automobile, to the customs officer. The form will contain all important identifying information about the vehicle you wish to transport at government expense.

Copy the title certificate if the used vehicle is registered to the U.S. Department of State. Give the certified copy of the title to the customs official as well. For this copy to be considered "official," it must feature the seal of the Department of State, and it must be signed by the Office of Foreign Missions to Customs.

About the Author

Claire Moorman has been writing since 2007. Her work has appeared in several newspapers such as the "Bedford Times-Mail" in Bedford, Ind., and "Nuvo Newsweekly." She served for two years as a reporter and assistant copy editor for "The Franklin," her college newspaper. Moorman is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and English from Franklin College.

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