International Vehicle Importers (IVI) will provide all the necessary legal documents needed to title and register your over 25 year old vehicle in most states. We recommend using a DMV service, if available, to help you with the process. Imported vehicles are out of the normal for most clerks, so having a service take the documents for you, helps. AAA, or look up “Registration Service” to see if anything is available locally. The documents are as follows:
1. Customs Entry Summary (Customs Clearance)
7501 - Entry Summary (can be paperless)
For multiple vehicle entries, the information may be over two pages.
3461 - Entry/Immediate Delivery Document(can be paperless)
For multiple vehicle entries, there may be only a single original of this document.
2. DOT Entry Document- HS7 (this is not a requirement for paperless entry)
The HS7 is the NHTSA entry document for customs. Now days, with paperless entries, you might find that this document is not stamped by US customs.
3. EPA 3520-1 Entry Document
The 3520-1 is the EPA entry document for customs. Now days, with paperless entries, you might find that this document is not stamped by US customs.
4. Export Certificate (also called Deregistration certificate)
The Export Certificate is the Japanese equivalent of a title. It has all of the vehicles pertinent information on it. In the top middle of the document is the date of first registration. If a date of manufacture can not be determined, then this date can be used to prove the vehicle is over 25 years old, and FMVSS exempt. In this case the date of first registration is given as 6/1989. The last box at the top has the chassis number. In this case it starts HCR32, showing this vehicle is a Nissan Skyline GTS. Right under there is the engine or RB20. The owner and user with addresses are listed in the next section. Under that is the cars dimensions and weight. Under that section are notes. You will often see mileage information here. This is a very important document, please do not lose it.
Translated copy of Export Certificate
Same items as on the Export Certificate, translated into English
5. DMV Document
Bill of Sale - Noting VIN, Purchase Price, Seller, and Buyer
Every state has its own requirements, fees, inspections, and taxes when it comes to titling and registering a vehicle. Prior to purchasing any vehicle, we highly recommend checking with your local authorities to verify the procedure, and documents required.
In most cases, the only documentation needed to transfer registration of the vehicle from us to you is the documentation above. Some states may require a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification. A 25 year old Japanese car doesn't have a 17 digit VIN/Chassis number. Vehicles over 25 years old are not required to meet FMVSS standards, so they aren't required to have a 17 digit VIN. Some states may have some specific title requirements, but please read this newsletter from the NHTSA before they "assign" a VIN to your vehicle.
Please make extra copies of the documents we provide for your records. The Japanese Export Certificate/Deregistration is not reproducible. Please do not lose it, there is only one original.
California - California has some specific Direct Import requirements that make it very difficult to register a vehicle. Please see this DMV newsletter. http://www.importavehicle.info/2014/06/california-vehicle-industry-news-2014-14.html
Hawaii - Hawaii has some specific requirements that make it very difficult to register a vehicle. Please see the following post about Hawaii regulations. http://www.importavehicle.info/2014/02/direct-import-vehicles-over-25-years.html