Grey Market 70 Series?

Dec 19, 2004
I've searched the import section and done searches for hours and haven't found a concrete answer so I figured it's time to post my question.

I talked to a guy about a 70 series cruiser that he has for sale in the USA that does not yet meet the 25 year rule. I know this vehicle has been registed in CA and MT and comes with a MT title. It does not have the 17 digit VIN as the VIN is more like my FJ40. The current owner is the second owner and I have not been able to confirm if it was legally brought into the country. I know it has been in the US for at least 5 years.

Is there any way to find out if a vehicle is legally brought into the country?

Can I assume that since the original VIN of the vehicle matches the title that it is good to go?

I would think that since it was first registered in CA that all the correct paperwork would need to be filled out but I do not know.

Any help would be appreciated.


Whip it good!
Apr 26, 2007
God's Waiting Room
Assuming it was legally imported, aside from the fact that the PO or PPO should have all the import paperwork, there should be a sticker on the door jam with the Registered Importer's info and all needed info for verification.

No sticker, no paperwork, most likely a shade of grey. You may be able to register it in most states since it has a valid US title, but usually the non-USA VIN numbers are not in the big VIN database that DMVs use and you might run into some hard-ass at the DMV who might s*** in your Wheaties come registration time.:meh:
Jul 3, 2004
Anchorage, AK
Is it a Canadian market BJ-70? I am assuming it isn't since it does not have the proper vin. In this case it probably has not been properly imported. It should have a sticker in the drivers door jam if a Registered Importer did the paper work. If not, then no sticker. One can import Canadian market BJ-70's without a Registered Importer, just takes some leg work to get all the paper work figured out. Does it have mph on the speedo? If not, then probably not imported properly. You can do a search on the gov web sites on what all is required to legally import a vehicle. Or check up at the sticky on importing. This should give you some ideas of what to look for for conformity. Once it's in and has a states side title I guess all bets are off about any future legal problems if it truly hasn't been legally imported. Issues to consider as has been mentioned a lot of times is what happens in a accident and the insurance company says that it is not a legally imported vehicle? One would think that there should be some paper work, or copies, for the legal importation, even though I think the first DMV probably keeps these.
Apr 20, 2002
The one sticker I have seen was paper and would not last very long if any exposure to elements. Once registered there is no reason to keep the paperwork for import. Really this is a moot point. If you like the truck get it. If you don't, move on.

There are certain counties in the US that can be hard-arse about registration (bay area california). Most others will work with you. Check first.

Canadian trucks BTW do not need the 25 year rule as they meet north american DOT rules (I have seen a dozen imported BJ70's).

Gun Runner 5

First and Final Warning!!
Oct 22, 2009
Thomasville, GA
Every State (possibly with the exception of California) should readily accept a vehicle titled in another State. I have never heard of a State not doing so.
My .02 .......1978HJ45

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