Cross-Border Moves

Moving to the United States from Canada

Documentation You Will Need:

This list is intended for general reference only. Due to the complex nature of cross-border moving and the varied types of effects people possess, be sure to consult US and/or Canada customs agencies for any required clarification.

You will need to provide copies of:

  • Passport photo page for each family member
  • Marriage certificate, if spouse surnames are different
  • Work visa(s) or I-94, and job offer letter(s), if applicable
  • CBP Form 3299 – Declaration For Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles
  • Vehicle documentation:
    • Registration
    • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – HS7 Form
    • Environmental Protection Agency – 3520-1 Form

Import Procedure

This process is quite different from a move going the other direction, as each country has its own particular requirements for imported used household goods.

The movers will present the 3299 (and vehicle forms, if applicable) at the border to show ownership of the goods inside the trailer. Any inspections will be done at the border crossing itself, and the shipper does not need to be present. Shipper will need to keep a copy of this form as well, and must disclose at the time of his/her own crossing that unaccompanied goods are also crossing at some point.

Vehicles are subject to applicable state licensing requirements.


Moving to Canada from the United States

Documentation You Will Need:

You will need to provide copies of:

  • Passport photo page for each family member
  • Marriage certificate, if spouse surnames are different
  • Work visa(s) or I-94, and job offer letter(s), if applicable
  • Vehicle documentation
    • Title & Registration for vehicles
    • Original must stay with vehicle, which must otherwise be empty of personal belongings.
      • Any third-party lienholders listed for the vehicle(s) must provide written authorization for vehicle to be exported. Sometimes, however, Canada Customs will refuse to allow a vehicle to be imported even with such a letter. It is strongly recommended any outstanding vehicle financing/loans be cleared up and the title re-issued. Plan for at least six weeks for your state’s motor vehicle department to complete this process.
  • If manufactured for use in the US, a letter from vehicle manufacturer(s) confirming compliance with Canadian highway and emissions regulations, and confirming all recalls are cleared.
  • Also, confirm with Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) that car is eligible (most modern cars are)
  • Customs and Border Protection Worksheet
  • Customs Power of Attorney form
  • Employee Identification Number (if customer has an SSN)

Import Procedure

This process is quite different from a move going the other direction, as each country has its own particular requirements for imported used household goods.

Movers will schedule an appointment at a Canada Customs facility. Shipper must meet movers and customs agent there. Shipment documents will be reviewed, and shipment may be inspected, before agent will clear shipment for delivery to residence.

If the shipment cannot be cleared for any reason, it will be held in bonded storage. The daily rate for this is extremely high. Shipper must understand the importance of a) being on time for that appointment and b) not having anything in the paperwork or the shipment contents which would give Customs reason to delay clearance.


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