Out of Province Inspections


The Registrar of Imported Vehicles has contracted Harry’s Abbotsford AutoPro to perform the required Federal and Provincial vehicle inspections.

What to do before you import:

Make sure your vehicle is admissible and can be modified to meet Canadian requirements by checking Transport Canada’s list of Vehicles Admissable from the United States. The Registrar of Imported Vehicles program regulates only vehicles originally manufactured for the U.S. market.  Vehicles originally manufactured to standards other than the U.S. or Canada, are inadmissible into Canada under the current laws. The program regulates passenger cars, trucks, vans, jeeps, chassis cabs, trailers, motorcycles, off-road vehicles and snowmobiles less than 15 years old and buses manufactured after January 1, 1971.

For information on the importation of vehicles into Canada from countries other than the United States, go to www.riv.ca .Check the list on this web site (riv.ca) for typical modification requirements or call 1-888-848-8240.

Contact the original equipment manufacturer or authorized dealer of your vehicle to obtain a recall clearance letter. you must have this document in order to pass the federal inspection.

  • Obtain information from the manufacturer or authorized dealer on costs and availability of parts for the required modifications. Some manufacturers require an authorized dealer perform the modifications. Remember that the costs of the modifications are your responsibility.

Determine additional costs, such as duty and taxes. The Canada Boarder Services Agency is responsible for assessing and collecting duties and taxes, and can be reached at 1-800-461-9999 (in Canada) or (506) 636-5064 (outside Canada).

  • Make sure you have the required documentation: title documents, registration, sales receipts, statement of compliance label and manufacturer’s recall clearance letter.
  • Find out about any additional provincial or territorial requirements, such as safety inspections and emissions tests.
  • Arrange for insurance on your vehicle.
  • U.S. customs requires notification of all self-propelled vehicles being permanently exported from the United States. Their regulations state that at land border points:1. The required documentation must be submitted to U.S. customs at least 72 hours prior to export; and
    2. The vehicle must be presented to U.S. customs at the time of export. U.S. Customs recommends that you contact the port of crossing directly to determine exact documentation requirements and hours of operation.
  • If you are importing a trailer, you may call Riv at 1-888-848-8240 to have your Vehicle Identification Number verified ahead of time.

What to do at the Border

  • Produce your title documents, registration and sales receipts. Complete Vehicle Import Form – Form 1, which Canada Border Services Agency will provide.  This requires a Canadian mailing address.  This form must be kept in the vehicle until it is licensed.

Canada Border Services Agency will check your vehicle against Transport Canada’s list of Vehicles Admissable from the United States.

  • You may pay at the border by cash or cheque, or at a Livingston International office. They will also verify the public VIN and manufacturer’s statement of compliance label on the vehicle to make sure they match.

Canada Border Services Agency will facilitate the payment of the non-refundable Riv Fee.

  • Payment for the RIV fee may be made by one of the following options:
    • At the border with a major credit card presented to CBSA
    • Directly on the Riv website using Visa, MasterCard or American Express.
    • Mailing a cheque or money order to RIV’s head office at:
      405 The West Mall, Toronto, ON  M9C 5K7

    NOTE: Personal cheques will be held for 10 business days before RIV will release the inspection form for the vehicle. This will use up a portion of your 45 day compliance period.

    • Remember that payment of fees and receipt of the Vehicle Import Form – Form 1 does not warrant that your vehicle is capable of being brought into conformity with all applicable federal and provincial or territorial laws.
    • The Registrar of Imported Vehicles will not issue a federal inspection form or any specific modification information for a vehicle with an unpaid file. It is important that you do not proceed with any modifications on your vehicle until you receive this federal inspection form. If the file remains unpaid for 14 days after importation, we will send the importer a reminder notice. If payment still has not been received within the prescribed 45 days after the date of importation, the file will be forwarded to Transport Canada for enforcement.  The compliance status of every vehicle entering Canada through the RIV system is shared with all provincial and territorial licensing jurisdictions.  Non compliance with the Motor Vehicle Safety Act may result in a refusal to license, or a revocation of an existing registration.

    What to do after your vehicle enters Canada

  • After payment and the recall clearance documentation have been received, the Registrar of Imported Vehicles will forward you an inspection form by e-mail (if your e-mail address is on file), by fax (if your fax number is on file) or by regular mail.  The inspection form contains all the information you will need to determine exactly what modifications are necessary to pass the RIV inspection.

It is your responsibility to complete the necessary modifications within 45 days from the date of importation. You may have the modifications done by the mechanic or garage of your choice.  However, in some cases, the manufacturer has advised Transport Canada that any modifications to the vehicle must be performed by a service centre authorized by the manufacturer.   The manufacturer’s specific requirements are published in the relevant sections on the List of Vehicles Admissable from the United States.

  • The Motor Vehicle Safety Act does not require the modifications to be performed by any specific individual or agency, and the RIV inspection only verifies that the required modifications have been successfully completed.  Should you decide to have a third party other than the manufacturer’s authorized dealership perform the required modifications, RIV cannot be held liable for any voiding of warranties, damage to the vehicle or compromised safety and drivability of the vehicle.  We recommend that you contact the manufacturer to discuss appropriate parts or warranty issues.
  • Make sure you keep detailed receipts for parts and labour for the modifications to present at the time of the inspection, along with Form 1 and Form 2.
  • RIV has contracted Smart Care Auto Centre LTD to perform RIV inspections.

Once you pass the inspection, the inspection centre will stamp your Form 1. You will have to present your stamped copy of the Form 1 to the Provincial Licensing Authority.

  • Each province has its own requirements for provincial safety inspections for out-of-province vehicles.  Please contact the province to see if there is any additional testing required in order to license your vehicle.
  • After passing the federal inspection, we will send you a new Canadian certification label with instructions on where to affix it to your vehicle.  This normally takes about one week.
  • If the vehicle fails the inspection, you will have to pay additional charges for another inspection. If the vehicle cannot pass the inspection within the 45 days, it will have to be exported back to the United States.

If you are having trouble meeting the 45-day deadline or other questions, we may be able to help

Detailed List of Services
    Each pre-sale inspections starts with a complete road test of your vehicle. Our licenced technicians will test the vehicle’s performance on the road. We test the following:
    • braking system
    • check for noises over bumps
    • steering & alignment
    • driver controls
    • heat & air-conditioning function
    • seats & seatbelts
    • dash warning lights
    • transmission operation
    • Speedometer Operation
    • Odometer (if equipped) operation
    • VIN number
    • Door panels
    • Rear view mirror
    • Sun visors
    • Horn
    • Signal lamp switch and indicator
    • Hazard lamps
    • Headlamp switch and High beam indicator
    • Auxiliary lamp indicator(s)
    • Instrument panel lamps
    • HVAC
    • Windshield wiper and washer operation
    • Accelerator
    • Service brake pedal
    • Clutch pedal assembly
    • Park brake
    • Neutral safety switch operation
    • Alarm & remote lock operation
    • Windshield
    • Side glass
    • Rear glass
    • Fuel cap
    • General Body Condition
    • Bumpers (Front & Rear)
    • Head lights and lenses
    • Fog lights and lenses
    • Signal lights and lenses
    • Park lights and lenses
    • Tail lights and lenses
    • Reverse lights and lenses
    • Brake lights and lenses
    • Daytime Running Lamps
    • Front brake lining material
    • Front brake rotor or drum thickness
    • Front brake caliper condition
    • Rear Brake lining material
    • Rear brake rotor or drum thickness
    • Rear brake wheel cylinder condition
    • Brake lines and hoses


    • Stabilizer links
    • Stabilizer bushings
    • Control arms and bushings
    • Wheels bearings
    • Ball joints (front and rear)
    • Tie Rod Ends (inner and outer)
    • Pitman arm
    • Idler arm
    • Steering stabilizer/damper
    • Steering shaft assembly
    • Steering Gear
    • Rack and Pinion
    • Power steering system
    • Struts and Shocks
    • Springs
    • PCM codes present
    • PCM (MIL, SES, etc.) lamp fails to illuminate
    • ABS codes present
    • ABS lamp fails to illuminate
    • ABS lamp remains illuminated
    • Brake system warning lamp remains illuminated
    • SRS codes present
    • SRS lamp fails to illuminate
    • SRS lamps remains illuminated
    • Airbag(s) present
    • Airbag cover integrity
    • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
    • Powertrain Warning lamp
    • Other safety systems
    • Air filter
    • Brake fluid condition
    • Power steering fluid condition
    • Spark plug condition
    • Spark plug wires/coil condition
    • Belts and tensioner condition
    • Coolant condition
    • Transmission fluid condition
    • Engine oil condition
    • Hood latch mechanism
    • Battery and charging system condition
    • Starter motor draw/condition
    • Brake master cylinder
    • Clutch master cylinder
    • Fuel System
    • Exhaust manifold(s)
    • Oil leaks
    • Engine and transmission mounts
    • Tire tread measurement
    • Tire sidewall condition
    • Inspect tire separations/defects
    • Tire pressure
    • Inspect wheel nuts and lugs
    • Transmission leaks
    • Engine leaks and mounts
    • Universal joints
    • Propeller shafts
    • Drive axles and boots
    • Differential(s) fluid condition
    • End links and bushings
    • Subframe
    • Floor pan
    • Fuel System
    • Exhaust System

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