Canada to the USA….oh, the joys of moving back “home”

Update: I learned how to import vehicles into the USA from Canada today. Not terribly difficult but nonetheless work. I had to contact BMW & Fiat USA to apply for letters of compliance. This was after I called the Canadian divisions because that made sense to me.  NOT! 😒 Compliance letters mean my vehicles meet USA DOT and EPA standards. Both vehicles do.



However, since my motorcycle and car were not built-in North America I have to pay 2.5% duty on the Kelly Blue Book values. Just another way to tax us. After I decided what State I will live in I will have a letter of import all ready from the border and just have to get them inspected. More money and will have to change the insert for my speedometer to MPH versus KPH. I can get that insert from a BMW and Fiat dealer.


You have to take care of all recalls before importing. Bring all purchase agreements and registration to the border too. Fiat needs me to fax my registration, amount of KM’s on the car and reason for me moving to the USA. I have none that meet their requirements, letter of employment, but I am a USA citizen so I will fax them a copy of my face page of my passport.


This is crazy moving back.Trying to put the pieces together Canada to USA seems more complicated than when I moved the other way.


Daunting. Don’t even talk to me about how I will be taxed income tax wise for the year 2015. 2014 same as always but next year will be complicated and confusing but I have an idea now after meeting my accountant. So, I keep plugging along. As for my winter bike trip?

Takes 10 business days to get the BMW letter of compliance so I can’t go anywhere until I get that so my trip will have to wait but I am determined to ride my bike across the USA before I move for good. Fly back and drive my car in whatever month that may be. House needs to be sold.

My accountant said having dual citizenship can’t hurt so I will wait to be sworn in as well before I leave Canada and get my Canadian passport.


How’s that for an update?  So much to do but I suppose I have time now.  I will pace myself as this in itself can get completely overwhelming doing it by myself.  Leslie’s transition continues.  😳

Author: advgrrl

Avid ADV rider! This Blog is all about the adventure in adventure riding. Researching new bikes, routes, accessories, learning about other riders and hopefully a great place for others to comment and explore with me. PLUS, up and down's, wildlife, my dogs, my life!

18 thoughts on “Canada to the USA….oh, the joys of moving back “home””

  1. You will do it! Just take your time. I’m reminded of that saying about ‘how do you eat an elephant? ‘…in bite sized chunks!

  2. It’s not a surprise that this is more complicated than anticipated. We lived in our homes in PA all our lives, having plans to move to FL for winters. We did that and now call this our primary home.
    Upon switching our tags and liscenses we encountered such a complication of insurances, taxes, on and on. Each state is independent of the other and can charge what ever they want. Canada to US …… it’s the same thing. Go slow, each day you will make progress. It took us a month to get our paperwork in place for FL. Should have kept it all in PA but who knew. We are the “SNOWBIRDS”.
    RIDE ON!

  3. Some states charge personal property tax on a vehicle when you buy the license plate, others don’t. If you’re going to live near a state border, it’s worthwhile to check this tax situation as well, not likely to be the determining factor by itself, but could be the “tipping point.”

    One more thing, in 2011, I lived in Illinois, paying less than $400.00 per year for full coverage insurance on my ’07 Camry and ’09 Triumph Speed Triple. In Arizona, for slightly less coverage for the same car and a ’13 KTM 690 Duke, just over $987 per year. That’s with State Farm, other companies were much higher, even over $2000.00 per year. Needless to say, when this job ends, I can’t afford to stay here.

  4. If you could have found a way to cross the southern border, no questions would have been asked, no forms, no nothing…lol

  5. How did you get a letter of compliance from BMWNA? I just got off the phone with them and I was told it HAS to be through a registered importer, not to an individual. Please tell me your secrets, I’m all ears! Got a good contact with them?

    1. I went to the border and made some inquiries. Called bmw USA and asked for the letter. They said it woukd take 10 business days. I hope i get this week. I have to bring to the border my title, registration and letter. Pay some duty taxes and done

      1. Thanks for the quick reply! Maybe I was talking to the wrong person… Did they charge you anything?

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