Requirements to export a vehicle according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection posts guidelines for exporting a vehicle on their website. However, the specific procedures for vehicle exports are different for each port. The basics, consistent across all CBP ports, include:

  • file in the Automated Export System to get an internal transaction number (ITN)
  • vehicle identification number (VIN) and/or vehicle title
  • send the above to the port at least 72 hours prior to export

Below are the the unique requirements of some the most common U.S. ports for vehicles bound for Canada. Ports not listed here may be contacted directly to obtain their specific requirements.

Alexandria Bay, New York

  • Phone: 315-482-2261 ext. 2660
  • Email:
  • Hours: 0800 - 1600 Monday - Friday, excluding holidays

Email the ITN and title to CBP Alexandria Bay at least 72 hours prior to export.

Blaine, Washington

  • Phone: 360-332-2632
  • Email:
  • Hours: 0800 - 1530 Monday - Friday, excluding holidays

Hand deliver or email to Blaine CBP at least three business days prior to export:

  1. Vehicle export worksheet. Place the ITN, the number obtained upon filing in AES, at the top of this form.
  2. Title/certificate of ownership. Includes salvage title, rebuilt title or flood title. (Because Washington state does not issue a salvage title the required document to export a salvaged vehicle out of Washington is a public disclosure form. This can be obtained from the Department of Licensing in Olympia.)
  3. Bill of sale or invoice. This can be a hand written document between buyer and seller and it should indicate the VIN or serial number. If the vehicle was a gift, a gift letter can be substituted for bill of sale. If you are the titled owner of the vehicle, a bill of sale is not required.

After emailing the export application, send another follow-up email requesting the receipt of the export application. In this second email, include the the vehicle's year, make, model, vehicle identification number (VIN) and U.S. state the vehicle is titled in. Or if unable to email, call (360) 332-2632 and leave a message with the year, make, model and state of title.

After the three-business day requirement has been met and the vehicle has been cleared for export, bring the vehicle and all of the original documents — vehicle export worksheet, title/certificate of origin, bill of sale — previously submitted to the office during normal business hours. Note that the vehicle must remain in the United States for 72 hours prior to export.

Buffalo, New York

  • Phone: 716-843-8359
  • Email:
  • Hours: 0800 - 1600 Monday - Friday, excluding holidays

The Lewiston Bridge, part of the Buffalo-Niagara Falls customs port is the only place to export a vehicle in Western New York.

To export a vehicle to Canada via this port, file in the Automated Export System to get an ITN. Then email the Buffalo office ( with the ITN and the vehicle identification number (VIN) in the body of the email. Do not add attachments to the email. This email must be sent at least 72 hours in advance of reaching the border. Afterward, a confirmation email is sent by the Buffalo CBP office.

On the day of export bring:

  1. The vehicle to be exported
  2. ITN number
  3. Original title. Vehicles that have no title — snowmobiles, ATVs, backhoes, forklifts — must present registration and/or original bill of sale, as well as an invoice with an original signature from the seller. Ownership requirements are dependent upon the state of origin and vary from state to state.
  4. Valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) identification, such as a passport
  5. Lien holder documents, if applicable. This is required where title evidences third-party ownership/claims. If the vehicle is leased or a recorded lien exists in the U.S., the provisional owner must provide a separate document from the third-party-in-interest which specifically states that the vehicle may be permanently exported. This writing must be on the third-party's letterhead paper and contain a complete description of the vehicle to include the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), the name of the owner or lien holder of the leased vehicle, and the telephone numbers at which that owner or lien holder may be contacted. The writing must bear an original signature of the third-party and the date it was signed.
  6. Printed email confirmation, including the exporter's original message emailed to CBP.

Detroit, Michigan

  • Phone: 313-226-3139
  • Email:

Email the vehicle description — make, model, year — the VIN and the ITN to at least 72 hours prior to your intended export date. Attach a copy of the title, bill of sale, or manufacturer’s statement of origin. Place the VIN/serial number in the subject line of your email.

Acceptable email correspondence:

  1. Typed VIN, registration number or ID number
  2. Scanned pdf of the title, registration or bill of sale
  3. Scanned jpeg of the title, registration or bill of sale

Zip files are not accepted.

Once the waiting period is satisfied, the exporter is to arrive at the port of export with the original documentation:

  1. Original title
  2. Valid Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) identification, such as a passport
  3. Lien release if there is a lien on the vehicle
  4. Printout of the email sent to CBP with the time and date visible
  5. Power of attorney or contract if third-party driver used

Montana, all ports

  • Phone: 406-432-5522
  • Email:

The documentation for all personal vehicle exports via Idaho or Montana ports is processed centrally by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) office in Whitlash, Montana. At least 72 hours before crossing any of the borders in Idaho or Montana, exporters must email the following documents to the Whitlash office:

  1. Vehicle export cover sheet
  2. A copy (front and back) of the vehicle title, manufacturer's statement of origin (MSO) or certified copy of the same from the Department of Motor Vehicles. If exporting a salvage vehicle, supply a copy of the salvage title. If the title is someone else's name, then on the title the seller must sign as the seller with the exporter's name as the buyer. Partial submissions are not allowed. For vehicles not requiring a title, complete the no title addendum.
  3. ITN number
  4. Name and phone number
  5. A copy of the bill of sale, if applicable
  6. Loans/liens. By signing off their interest on the original title, the lien holder indicates that the loan has been satisfied. If the lien has not been removed, but the lien holder does not object to export, then obtain from the lien holder a letter of permission with their company letterhead to allow the vehicle to be exported from the United States. This letter of permission must bear an original signature of the lien holder and the date when it was signed. Additionally, a certified screen print of the title information from the DMV (the title information, NOT the registration information) must be obtained, and must be signed by a DMV official. Emailed copies of the Letter of Permission and the Certified Screen Print are acceptable to initiate clearance checks.

Don't submit your recall clearance letter to U.S. customs as it is not required for exports from the United States.

Assuming your documentation above is accurate and complete in the email, a CBP official will begin the export checks to be completed within 72 hours of receipt. A CBP official will contact you if there are any problems with the submission.

On the day of export, the owner or agent of the vehicle must supply the original documentation above in person at the port of border crossing.

Port Huron, Michigan

  • Phone: 810-989-8838
  • Email:

Email the vehicle description — make, model, year — the VIN, and the ITN to at least 72 hours in advance.

When you arrive at the port, after the 72-hour waiting period, you'll need this documentation:

  1. An original title, certificate of origin, or manufactures’ statement of origin. Vehicles that have no title (e.g. snowmobiles) or unable to obtain a title, certificate of origin, or MSO (because manufacturer is no longer in business) must present a registration and or bill of sale. Registration and or bill of sale serves as your ownership (title). This requirement varies from state to state.
  2. WHTI compliant identification (e.g. passport) for yourself and all parties with you.
  3. Lien release if a lien is present on the vehicle. Note: This can be done by having the finance company sign off on the original title itself (along with the finance company's stamp) or an original letter from the finance company indicating that the lien is released. For those vehicles that are still being financed, you may present a certified copy of the title, along with an original letter from the finance company that states that the vehicle can be exported.
  4. Printout of Port Huron's email confirmation along with your original message to CBP with the time and date visible.

Sumas, Washington

  • Phone: 360-988-2971
  • Email:
  • Hours: 0800 - 1530 Monday - Friday, excluding holidays

Email CBP Sumas at least 72 hours in advance

  1. Title, manufacturer's statement of origin, or letter from lien holder.
  2. Completed vehicle export worksheet.
  3. An invoice or bill of sale if purchased, or, if gifted, a letter from the donor with the fair market value. Include the VIN/serial number.

Ensure that the vehicle remains in the US for 72 hours prior to export.

Ogdensburg, New York

  • Phone: (315) 393-2886
  • Email:

Email CBP at least 72 hours with the ITN number.

Final note on exporting vehicles from the United States

Again, all ports have different requirements. Some do not allow you to send documents by email and require fax. Some require the original documents, not copies, to be mailed to the port at least 72 hours before arrival. To know for sure, get in touch directly with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection port.

Note: Vehicles for export may not be brought to Canada or be in Canada prior to being formally exported by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Failure to comply with the requirements set forth in the Code of Federal Regulations (19 CFR 192.2) may result in a penalty action.

Read more about exporting vehicles, such as specifics on foreign-titled vehicles and untitled vehicles, at the United States at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.