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Importing or exporting a motorcycle.
Dealing with EPA, DOT, Customs, etc.

Copyright 2020, R. Fleischer

Here are some references.  BE SURE to contact your country's customs department, and agency for vehicle titling and registration and other requirements, etc....sometimes it all gets complex!
Exporting from the USA to Canada, for instance, has certain special requirements...But often not easy to deal with, even if you know in advance.  There may be requirements for changing the headlight lens, or other lighting items, to conform with local or country laws (driving on the other side of the road?).  Some country's are very strict, such as Germany.    Be cautious, look into things in depth, ask others who've done the same country to country, or from out of state, ETC., there is a 25,be exempt from EPA standards  From this, you will see that generally a vehicle less than 25 years old must comply with Federal vehicle safety standards (FMVSS), to be imported on a permanent basis.   Read it all.   From this, you will see that excluded vehicles are those that have been excluded from the emissions requirements of the Clean Air Act.  Exclusions are for age, type of fuel, maximum speed, or lack of certain safety features.  Excluded vehicles can be imported by anyone, withOUT Customs bond or bond required by the EPA.   Motorcycles built before 1978 are excluded!

There is an exemption for vehicles 21 years or older from the original production date read how that is interpreted.  The importer must file an EPA form 3520-1 upon entry, declaring code E.  Customs may require proof of age.   Note that the vehicle must be in its original unmodified configuration (you may have to figure that one out for your instance).    Note that if the engine was replaced, the vehicle is not eligible unless equivalent or newer EPA certified.  I think that leaves a lot of wiggle room!

One could interpret EPA as meaning pre-1978 needs only paperwork; pre-1981 needs a letter from the EPA (see the website).

There are some other things you NEED to read in the document.

Dealing with your State's DMV is another story entirely ...whether importing from another country ...or simply from one State to another within the 50 United States.  I may be able to offer specific advice for California, maybe Canada, eventually, etc.

Exporting to another country may be simple....or, complicated.   The vehicle may have to have insurance before it is imported; it may well need an inspection, possibly more than just title, serial, VIN, etc.... by some sort of government entity upon importation, possibly even before it can be driven on the new country or State roads.   You might have to supply special documents. 

01/09/2008:  Fix bad NHTSA.DOT URL
03/04/2010:  Add a hyperlink; fix some hidden code.
10/05/2012:  Add QR code; add language button; update Google Ad-Sense code
03/05/2016:  Update meta-codes, layout.
07/30/2016:  Update metacodes again.  Clean up scripts and layout.
01/31/2018:  Reduce excessive html, fonts, colors. Minor cleanup.
04/10/2019:  Expand to include exporting, and add many more details over-all. Change URL of page and title, etc.
09/19/2020:  Add a hyperlink

Copyright 2020, R. Fleischer

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Last check/edit: Monday, December 07, 2020