How to Get a Recall Clearance Letter?

Recall clearance letter for transporting between US and Canada

A recall clearance letter confirms that any deficiencies spotted by the manufacturers as possible safety risks to the automobile operator and the public, in general, have been fixed. Before you can register and plate your car, recall clearance must be done. The Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) is responsible for these types of letters. It won’t drop the inspection form for your automobile until verification that no major recall is received. It usually takes one to four hours to process a recall letter and send it directly to the regulator. A letter such as this is very helpful, since the government ensures the safety of your vehicle.

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Why Is a Recall Clearance Letter Required?

According to the RIV, the letter is needed for all imported cars to Canada. Keep in mind the automobiles must be less than 15 years old. The recall clearance letter is vital after your vehicle reaches Canada; you need it before registration and plating. This letter will announce to the government of Canada that your automobile is safe and without any deficiencies. You need to send the letter to the RIV through email or fax.

Most manufacturers in Canada won’t provide the letter to Canadians. They want to persuade Canadians to stop purchasing US cars. Audi, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, and Bentley are some of these manufacturers. It is a good policy to encourage people to buy domestic products, but on the other hand, Canadians will be deprived of quality US automobiles.

How to Obtain Recall Clearance Documentation?

The RIV will do its best to help the importers during the process, but obtaining a recall clearance letter is the importers’ liability. Confirming the recall clearance before importing the automobile is vital to avoid any delays during the process. Please remember that recall clearance is not mandatory at the border.

By getting your recall clearance documents early in the import process, you will avoid delays and accelerate the vehicle’s inspection at the RIV. These documents are only reputable for 30 days before the import, and you can offer your recall info to RIV prior to the import. Visit the RIV official website to get recall clearance documentation. It would help to choose the automobile type and manufacturers on the website for contact information.

A man requesting a recall letter for his car in and near Blaine

Acceptable Recall Clearance Letters

The following recall clearance letters are acceptable by the RIV:

1. A letter is acceptable from the US manufacturer of the car or the head office in Canada. The company must clearly state there are no major recalls for the automobile in the letter. The manufacturer’s logo is necessary; without that, the letter is not accepted. The letter must be signed and dated by the company’s authorized agent. It must involve the car’s name, title, VIN, make, and model. The RIV usually sends a copy of these letters to the manufacturer for attestation.

2- A printout from the database of an American or Canadian dealership is also acceptable. An authorized dealer must prepare this document. You can determine whether a dealership is authorized or not by visiting their website or contacting them. The 17-digit VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) with other information like year and model must be in the printout. The RIV usually sends a copy of the printout to the manufacturer for attestation.

3- The original website of the manufacturer is also acceptable. The available recall information on public websites of some manufacturers is helpful. The RIV permits this recall of information.

The RIV will search online for manufacturers who provide this type of information. It usually uses VIN for doing that. An invoice or work order is required indicating the recalls are completed. If any of the above documents show a significant safety recall, the RIV accepts an invoice or work order from an authorized dealer. The date on invoices is required, and they must include a VIN accompanied by one of the above documents.

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Some vehicles have multiple manufacturers.

If you want to import a motor vehicle that results from numerous manufacturers, you might need two recall clearance letters. Only one letter is required if the manufacturer provides a final step that refers to the original information. The last stage clearance letter is helpful and declares contacting the chassis manufacturer to get recall info.

What Should I Do When the Automobile Has a Clearance Recall?

In the case that your car has a clearance recall, you need to pass through all the required repairs. Once the repairs are completed, you will receive an invoice from the dealer with the same work order number as your recall clearance letter. As a confirmation that the recall is complete, you must take the letter to federal inspection.

Further Information

When your car has a safety deficiency related to the original procedure of manufacturing, then it will be exposed to recall. OEMs must announce the issue to the last owner and resolve it at their own cost. If you want to be cautious and stay away from any delays and risks, you need to get the required information before importing the vehicle. It is a wise idea to have a plan beforehand. Later delays are disappointing, and they might create many problems for you. Professional auto importers are beneficial here because they can help you avoid delays. Working with these professionals is simple and they will clarify all the issues for you during the process. Ordinary people usually have limited knowledge and experience regarding the importation process, so working with experts can remove many risks on the way.

Happy couple after getting recall clearance letter

Have a question?

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