I am actually just doing this and I will update with any tips, how much it actually costs etc. So far it's important to realize it takes 4 business days to get the US side clearance for export, and the vehicle can't come into canada before that (unless you want to bring it back out for 72 hours). The US side also only allows exports between the hours of 8-330 on weekdays.
Luckily our 40 year old bikes are exempt from the actual RIV program (300+ fee).
Flashbacks! I brought my CB500T up from WA into BC many moons ago...
Being a ‘70s bike, import fees were minimal, no taxes or duty, maybe a nominal charge for pushing paper. Can’t recall if I had to whip out my Visa. If I did, it must have been a relatively insignificant cost for me to forget.
I parked the bike in Blaine, WA, in a friend-of-a-friend’s driveway and filed the export paperwork. Three or four days later, the title cleared and I brought it over the border on a trailer.
There was a quick inspection on the Canadian side, ensuring numbers matched and nothing was being smuggled under the seat or in the gas tank... and, yes, window of time to complete this task is narrow and rather inconvenient for people with day jobs.
On the way home, I stopped off at an insurance agency. They took a photo of the VIN and kept the WA title. Just like that, was officially registered and insured as a BC bike.
It’s not a difficult process per se, but the logistics do sap almost a week of your life. After that, the only work left is memorizing which mph values align with our metric street signs.
Now I’m going to click the link to see if anything changed over the past five years...
The us side has changed since then, they now charge a 75 US fee (but you don't need a broker) to get a case number type thing to include in the title/bill of sale you send to US CBP for export clearance.
Definitely the whole takes a week of your life part hasn't changed
Now that I've successfully imported the free bike I mentioned in my project log, here's how it currently works for WA to BC. It could be different or it could change, check with the official websites.
A WA title is necessary to register the bike in BC. There's a way to register a bike without a title but it requires a 150$ inspection + a 30+$ notarized document and I'm not sure how it would work if the bike had been registered in the states. All you need from the seller is to complete a bill of sale and sign the title, the WA bill of sale provided on the official state website worked fine and contains all the info needed for the rest of the process. Another thing to note is that a statement of compliance is necessary (usually printed on the vin plate, something like "this vehicle conforms to all US specifications". If you don't have one like on a really old cb160, you'd need a letter from the manufacturer which I have not done so I don't know how that would work.
You need the correct paperwork from both borders to get it registered in Canada. The US side takes about 4 business days to complete, the Canadian side takes as long as it takes you to prepare the form online and print it.
Canadian side: Go to the RIV website, fill out the e-form and print it (4 sheets). Hopefully your bike is RIV exempt (>15 years old) because it seems expensive and more complicated.
US side: email the blaine office for info, they send you a packet (the worksheet they send gets filled out by AES). You then begin an AES filing if you want to do it all yourself. It costs 75$ and you need access to a printer with scan capability. They give you the ITN number needed plus the completed worksheet. You send these things to US CBP according to the instructions. They give you the earliest date on which you can export (72 hours from when they process the documents). You then pick up the bike, park where they tell you to at the border, bring the documents they tell you to into the office (one document was supposed to be printed on yellow paper but they didn't even look at it).
Keep following the instructions, and they stamp your title and send you away.
Then you go to the canadian border, where they ask you questions (save your craigslist/ebay etc. ad to show that you aren't declaring a low price to evade taxes), they stamp the 4 pages of documents you brought, give you two copies (one for the insurance agency, one for you) and charge you any taxes (my 5$ declaration resulted in 0.34 cents).
You then take all the papers to an insurance agency, they take the title, check the vin matches (you're supposed to have the bike with you but if you have a picture on your phone it might not be necessary). They then spend 40 minutes on the phone with the government insurance agency figuring out why the RIV exempt form is different from the normal RIV form as well as how to enter a 1980 serial number (not a 17 digit VIN) into the system, eventually succeed and you get a BC registration.
A forum community dedicated to Honda Twin cylinder motorcycle owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about performance, engine builds, classifieds, modifications, troubleshooting, maintenance, and more!