Exporting your Motor Vehicle out of the U.S. – A Quick Guide

So you are moving abroad and want to bring your car with you? To comply with the provisions of 19 CFR Part 192, you will need to report this export to the Federal Government by presenting both the vehicle itself as well as a specific set of documents to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at least three (3) days prior to export.

The following documents are required when exporting a traditional used motor vehicle abroad:

  1. Original Certificate of Title
  2. Original Letter of Intent – for vehicles exported by sea or air, a letter provided by the carrier and identifying the date of export (be aware of 72 hour rule), destination, vehicle owner, vehicle identification number, and authorized signature
  3. Export Power of Attorney – If the owner of the vehicle to be exported is not presenting the documents to CBP, a CBP Export Power of Attorney must be submitted and notarized, identifying the person submitting the documentation and signed by and identifying the ultimate purchaser/owner and the vehicle (by VIN).
  4. Letter of Authorization – If the vehicle to be exported is owned by a corporation, company or business entity, it must be accompanied by a notarized letter on official business letterhead authorizing an agent to act on its behalf.
  5. Lienholder Authorization – if the vehicle is leased or has a lien against it, there must be specific authorization allowing for the export of the vehicle on company letterhead.
  6. Copy of the photo identification of the person presenting the export documents.
  7. Copy of the photo identification of the owner of the vehicle if different from the presenter.

As always, if you are unsure, consult with a professional. Penalties for failure to comply with CBP’s export requirements, aside from the inability to export your vehicle, could include monetary fines, liquidated damages, seizure of the vehicle, and/or demand for redelivery of the vehicle.