Recall Clearance Letter

One of the first steps for car import in Canada is to gather all the required documents for importing a car in Canada. Here are some of these documents: 

  • The original title, the manufacturer’s statement of origin, or the origin certificate (front and back). If your vehicle is not required to have one of these documents, you should provide a Certificate of No Title.
  • Sales invoice
  • Recall letter (the US only)
  • CUSMA, if needed (commercial US imports only)
  • If the export location is not the US, copies of the Export Certificate and Invoices (in English or French)
  • Statement of compliance from the manufacturer attached to the vehicle
  • The EPA label on the vehicle


As you can see, one of these documents is the recall clearance letter that you need before filing the AES. No matter what make and model your car is, Bidbuy Importers can provide your letter. All you need to do is enter your VIN# in the field below to find out if there are any outstanding recalls:

But before you march on to get your car’s clearance letter, let’s see what it is:

What is a Recall Clearance Letter?

Your OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) will issue you a recall letter (also known as a recall clearance letter) if your vehicle needs a recall. The document informs you if there are any outstanding recalls on your vehicle or not. If your car has a safety defect resulting from the original manufacturing process, then it is subject to a recall. OEMs should notify the last owner and take care of the issue at their own expense once the issue is discovered. If you wish to avoid any unnecessary delays, you should obtain this information before proceeding with the importation of the vehicle.

To avoid these unnecessary delays, it’s best to work with professional auto importers. At Bidbuy Importers, we’ve developed a simple, proven process that gives you easy access to thousands of American cars, covering every step of the purchase and import process for you.

More About the Recall Letter?

The letter should be on the official letterhead of the OEM and come from the OEM’s headquarters. In addition to the signature, the name and position of the OEM official must be included in the document. It must be noted that letters without a manufacturer’s logo will not be accepted.

In a few cases, a printout from a US dealer is acceptable. Keep in mind, however, that the American dealer should not be a re-seller but an authorized dealer. Call the manufacturer’s head office and give details of the dealership’s location in order to verify whether it is an authorized dealer and not a re-seller.

Another point to note in this regard is that the printout must be stamped with the company logo. In addition, the letter should include the vehicle’s 17-digit VIN (Vehicle Identification Number).

To prove that your vehicle has no outstanding recalls, the letter should clearly state that “this vehicle has no outstanding recalls.”. The letter must be provided to the RIV department before your Vehicle Inspection Form can be released.

What To Do If Your Car Has a Recall?

You will need to make various repairs to your vehicle if it has a recall. Upon completion of all repairs, you will receive an invoice containing the same work order number as on your recall letter. After this point, you should take the invoice along with the letter from the dealer to your federal inspection as proof that the recall has been completed.

The process can be lengthy and tiring for individuals doing this for the first time. This is where Bidbuy Importers can help. Sit back, relax and have your car keys at your front door without worrying about the RIV program, RIV exemptions, vehicle admissibility, recall clearance letter, or vehicle modification requirements.

In the case of importing a bus, motor, conversion van, limousine, or any other vehicle requiring multiple manufacturers, you may need two recall letters. In some cases, one letter may be enough, for example, when the final stage manufacturer issues a recall letter that refers to the OEM recall information.

The recall letter issued by the final stage manufacturer will generally state, “Please contact the chassis manufacturer for more information.” Your final stage manufacturer can certainly assist you in knowing the number of recall letters you should send; however, it’s up to you to know the number of letters required.

Please have any outstanding recalls resolved by your local dealer/manufacturer before importing to either country.

We’re Here to Help

If you need to ship a car from anywhere in the world to Canada, count on us. Importing a car to Canada is a complicated process that needs to be taken care of by professionals. You can trust our import specialists to handle the import of your next vehicle and make this process as easy as possible.

Bidbuy Importers can help you with the entire process of Canada car shipping in Vancouver, Surrey, BC, and Blaine, Seattle, WA. Get in touch with us and get your free estimate. Call us at +1-844-505-1555!