Imported Vehicles Manufactured
with Non-US Standards
A vehicle that is manufactured outside of the United States and is not originally built to meet U.S. safety and emissions standards is called a Grey Market vehicle. The vehicle may need to be modified after it is imported. The vehicle must be approved by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) and before it can be registered. In addition, a U.S. Customs form 7501, "Entry Summary" is provided to the importer at the port of entry when the vehicle is brought into the U.S. The form must be signed by the importer and provided to the applicant. Please see below for contact information for these agencies.
Registration and inspection of a Grey Market vehicle:
No registration can be issued until the applicant presents the US Customs form, and the EPA and DOT approval letters. These documents must be presented to DMV with proof of ownership documentation, and a Connecticut Insurance card. A temporary registration may be issued at that time so that the vehicle can be presented for a safety inspection at a Connecticut DMV inspection lane, and an emissions inspection at a Connecticut emissions station. All Grey Market vehicle inspections are only performed at the Wethersfield inspection lane. However, vehicles that are 25 years or older only require a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verification, which must be done at DMV. Please see Inspections Performed at DMV for inspection lane hours and check the latest nformation on office hours and holiday closings.
Upon successful completion of the safety inspection and emissions inspection, the applicant can proceed to the registration area in a DMV Major Service Office or Regional Service Center with the following documents:
- DMV Safety Inspection Report
- CT Emissions (Vehicle Inspection Report)
- EPA approval letter
- DOT approval letter
- U.S. Customs Entry Summary form 7501
- Connecticut Insurance card which can be obtained from your insurance company or agent. The insurance card must be in the name of the registered owner(s) of the vehicle.
- Proof of ownership documents
- Sales tax will be collected when the vehicle is registered.
- The sales tax will be 6.35 percent for vehicles purchased at $50,000 or less. The sales tax will be 7.75 percent for vehicles over $50,000.
Please see list of Acceptable Forms of Identification required to register the vehicle.
The applicant must find a "conversion shop" that is federally approved and will make the necessary alterations to the vehicle in accordance with federal standards (i.e., door braces are usually needed because federal standards require that doors be able to withstand 700 pounds per square inch). A list of federally approved conversion shops can be obtained from DOT and EPA. The conversion shop will contact DOT and EPA for certification that the conversion has occurred.
If the vehicle is new, the owner must also present a Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (on bank note paper) to register the vehicle. Photocopies are not acceptable.
If the vehicle is used, the owner must present the proper ownership documentation (i.e., foreign equivalents of "Title" Certificates, such as the German Fahrzugbrief). Documentation must not show any break in continuity of ownership. The EPA and DOT letters are required to be a permanent part of the ownership record. If the seller does not have the required letters, the buyer must contact the US DOT and US EPA for copies of the letters.
If the DMV is not satisfied with the documentation of ownership, the owner is required to post a surety bond of two times the book value of the vehicle before the vehicle can be registered. The bond is automatically cancelled three years after the validation of the registration (such bonds can be obtained through an insurance agent or broker).
U.S. DOT and EPA forms are not required (U.S. Customs form is still required) if the importer or importer's agent submits documentation from these agencies that the vehicle is in compliance with, or is exempt from, U.S. emission and safety standards (both documents must indicate compliance or exemption), or a manufacturer's Certificate of Origin has been issued, indicating the vehicle is in compliance with EPA and DOT standards.
P.O. Box 7407
Washington, D.C., 20044
U.S. DOT National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 400 Seventh St. S.W. Washington, D.C., 20590 (800) 424-9393 or (202) 366-0123 U.S. EPA Manufacturers Operations Division Investigation/Imports Section 401 Main St. S.W. Washington, D.C., 20460 (202) 260-4111
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh St. S.W.
Washington, D.C., 20590
(800) 424-9393 or (202) 366-0123
U.S. EPA Manufacturers Operations Division Investigation/Imports Section 401 Main St. S.W. Washington, D.C., 20460 (202) 260-4111
Manufacturers Operations Division
401 Main St. S.W.
Washington, D.C., 20460