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Moving to USA from Canada in my Tesla Model 3... What do I need to cross the border?

d.cj

New Member
May 27, 2021
1
0
Vancouver
Hi all! I'm going to be moving to the USA soon (New York).

I'm going to be driving from Vancouver, Canada in my Model 3, and I'm finding it hard to understand what information I'll need to cross the border with my car. I have all my other paperwork sorted out (TN-Visa stuff) and I'm going to register the car in New York once I get there.

My research so far has pointed me to EPA Form 3520-1 and NHTSA Form HS-7, but it's unclear to me if that's all I need or not.

Has anyone done this before? It sounds like the rules to go from USA to Canada have more requirements, but hopefully I don't need to do anything special the other way around. I saw something about a Certificate of Compliance letter I think?

I'm not even sure which government organization(s) I should reach out to to get more clarity on this.

Please let me know, thanks!
 

LeJo

New Member
Jun 3, 2022
1
0
Vancouver
Hi all! I'm going to be moving to the USA soon (New York).

I'm going to be driving from Vancouver, Canada in my Model 3, and I'm finding it hard to understand what information I'll need to cross the border with my car. I have all my other paperwork sorted out (TN-Visa stuff) and I'm going to register the car in New York once I get there.

My research so far has pointed me to EPA Form 3520-1 and NHTSA Form HS-7, but it's unclear to me if that's all I need or not.

Has anyone done this before? It sounds like the rules to go from USA to Canada have more requirements, but hopefully I don't need to do anything special the other way around. I saw something about a Certificate of Compliance letter I think?

I'm not even sure which government organization(s) I should reach out to to get more clarity on this.

Please let me know, thanks!
Hi D.CJ , I am in the same boat as well, and I did try to reach Peace Arch POE at (360) 332-8511 x1... they need two things proof of ownership , and Certificate of Compliance letter. my question is where did you get Certificate of Compliance letter for your Tesla model3 ? - Thanks
 
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M3SRP

New Member
Jun 17, 2022
1
0
Canada
For anyone still wondering how to initiate the process of getting a compliance letter from Tesla, I was able to do so by using the online chat and requesting the agent for a compliance letter (still waiting for the follow up email including the letter that the agent told me they are going to send me). If you are not sure how to get to the online chat:
  • Go to Tesla Contact Us page
  • You can choose any of the categories that opens a chat window (I chose "Vehicle & App Features" as the main category and "Tesla App" as the subcategory). Seems like different categories have different hours of operation.
  • Write a short description and the "Chat with Us" button will connect you to an agent
 
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Tsondo

New Member
Nov 15, 2021
3
1
Spain
For anyone still wondering how to initiate the process of getting a compliance letter from Tesla, I was able to do so by using the online chat and requesting the agent for a compliance letter (still waiting for the follow up email including the letter that the agent told me they are going to send me). If you are not sure how to get to the online chat:
  • Go to Tesla Contact Us page
  • You can choose any of the categories that opens a chat window (I chose "Vehicle & App Features" as the main category and "Tesla App" as the subcategory). Seems like different categories have different hours of operation.
  • Write a short description and the "Chat with Us" button will connect you to an agent
Thank you. I am considering whether or not it is worth taking my EU (Spain) model 3 to the USA when I move next year. It has been a challenge to find out if this is allowed or what the requirements are. If I can request a letter via the chat, that will do!
 
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Thank you. I am considering whether or not it is worth taking my EU (Spain) model 3 to the USA when I move next year. It has been a challenge to find out if this is allowed or what the requirements are. If I can request a letter via the chat, that will do!
Sell your car in Spain. Seriously. You will have zero warranty. It doesn't transfer to the states. Tesla also won't convert your nav system or radio receiver, so most of what makes a Tesla a Tesla, you can't use anymore.
That's also assuming the rest of a EU built car can even be imported here.
It's vastly different bring a EU car to the states than it is to bring a Canadian car into the states.
 
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jboy210

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Dec 2, 2016
7,280
4,945
Northern California
Sell your car in Spain. Seriously. You will have zero warranty. It doesn't transfer to the states. Tesla also won't convert your nav system or radio receiver, so most of what makes a Tesla a Tesla, you can't use anymore.
That's also assuming the rest of a EU built car can even be imported here.
It's vastly different bring a EU car to the states than it is to bring a Canadian car into the states.
Also you may not be able to charge it in the US at Tesla Superchargers. Tesla Superchargers in the US have just the proprietary Tesla connector. No CCS2. Some third party HSDC chargers have CCS1, but their reliability and density pales in comparison to Tesla Superchargers.
 
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Sell your car in Spain. Seriously. You will have zero warranty. It doesn't transfer to the states. Tesla also won't convert your nav system or radio receiver, so most of what makes a Tesla a Tesla, you can't use anymore.
That's also assuming the rest of a EU built car can even be imported here.
It's vastly different bring a EU car to the states than it is to bring a Canadian car into the states.
The US has one of the strictest auto import laws in the world. Unless you’re in the military (I think), you can’t import a vehicle into the US unless it’s at least 25 years old.
 
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Tsondo

New Member
Nov 15, 2021
3
1
Spain
Thanks for chiming in, everyone. You may all be correct, and given that there is literally no way to check these concerns with Tesla before actually attempting the import, I agree the safest thing will be to sell the car in Spain. I am a bit curious how you came to a definitive answer that Tesla will not honor the warranty, or convert the nav system. I was unable to find a written policy on any of this. Is it anecdotal evidence or have you seen a formal policy?
 
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Tsondo

New Member
Nov 15, 2021
3
1
Spain
The US has one of the strictest auto import laws in the world. Unless you’re in the military (I think), you can’t import a vehicle into the US unless it’s at least 25 years old.
I am with the military, sort of. Anyway, if it was any other car, I know the rules. They are published on the Customs and Border Patrol web site. Customs in this case is a minor issue. The bigger issue is Supercharging, nav system, radio, autopilot functionality, etc. There is literally nothing preventing Tesla from altering these components, but getting an answer about whether or not they are willing to do so, or in fact answering literally any question or concern for a customer, is a real challenge, and the main downside of owning a Tesla, from my perspective. Still worth it, though, given that they are the only ones who can make such cars.
 
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sterod

New Member
May 18, 2022
4
10
Toronto
Has anyone had any recent success with this process? I contacted two companies, borderbuddy.com and bidbuyimporters.com and both have told me that the sticker on my Canadian M3 only has the Canadian flag on it, and as a result it is only EPA compliant, not DOT compliant. They are telling me I need to get the DOT compliance letter from Tesla, which I have tried to get repeatedly with no luck. No response to my emails and their "chat with us" page does not work. The button is either greyed out, or when you click it, nothing happens. I'm also told by these two companies that if the DOT compliance letter says the word "except" or any variation of "with exception with" it means the car is not compliant and must be "modified" to import into the US.
 
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