Information Re: Importing to the USA (3 Viewers)

The Jade Bean

Hobby coffee roaster and Toyota junkie.
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@gilmorneau

Was your vehicle titled/registered in your name for the trip?
-Yes this was our Troopy while we lived in Honduras so it was in my name.

Did you need carnets for transiting each country you passed through?
-I didn’t need it for Guatemala as they are part of the CA4. I did get harassed by Guat police deep in Guat as they didn’t understand Americans driving a Cruiser and not needing a Carnet. However I basically demanded they leave us be and let us go and they did. I’m always polite until I need to be otherwise and it served me well.

At the Guat/Mexico border we did get fumigated and I did get a Carnet there.

At the Mex/US border we had a run in, but got through it. Basically here’s what happen. I did lots of reading online of what papers I needed, how many copies, etc. I had EVERYTHING. I was so excited to import I told them at the border I wanted to import and that was my problem. There were two border agents, one nice and the other a bleeping ?!%! The bleep told us we had to have a $10k bond and stay in Mex for three day and possibly drive all the way back to HND and start over. My kids were upset and my wife was crying after 3 weeks on the road and being told this and this guy was literally laughing getting off. It took everything to not punch him in the throat. The nice guy then shows up and says look the people that normally deal with this aren’t here since it’s the weekend and you seem like honest people so you can go and just do your papers at the local office in your town. In the end they didn’t even look in the Cruiser or ask us to get out.

Anyway we have since told multiple people to not say ANYTHING about importing and just only answer their questions. I’ve had two or three friends do the exact same thing with ZERO issues.

Importing at the local office was SOOOOOO EASY!!!!!

Side note, I still have my HND title and plates so there’s no reason now I couldn’t drive back and fourth and just switch plates.
 

The Jade Bean

Hobby coffee roaster and Toyota junkie.
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I was asked some other questions on another platform. “And now I know to NOT Offer any info that we’re not asked haha. You said you were on the road for three weeks- you guys stopped a lot? Did some tourist things? If so, any recommendations? And did you feel okay leaving the cruiser parked loaded up?

Also, did you have your residency back then? Once you crossed into México you got your carnet. Easy process? Did you also opt for the Mexican Insurance? I guess the border crossings can be sketchy depending on the officers.”

My answers: One of the three weeks was waiting in Mex. for a transmission seal from the US. We never did get our residency. I honestly can’t recall if we got the ins, but I don’t think so. We paid like $295 I think. It’s hard to remember. Lol. Wife says she thinks we did. Carnet was easy, just confusing what office to go in. Yes the border officer makes the difference. We only drove about 6hrs a day and stayed only at places that had locked up parking. We also stayed on the PanAm. We had our kids too so we had to stop often. At the US border it was confusing which lane to go into to get our carnet money back, but for some money a Mex. guy directed us.
 

The Jade Bean

Hobby coffee roaster and Toyota junkie.
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Here’s some of my import docs.
98C68986-CE60-4ADC-9A3A-3D0FEDF6B0F7.jpeg
242287C4-71A7-4F0F-B9B1-E7D1226B181B.jpeg
7A6FCCB9-0844-42E5-91BD-F316B112A351.jpeg
 

bpeeps00

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This is all very valuable info. I own two cruisers here in Honduras and I will be shipping my 40, and driving (to NJ) my 80. I will definitely share my experience once i start the process. Right now I am getting all paperwork in order and making copies (multiple) of all documents. If anyone can recommend a broker and open air carrier stateside, I would appreciate it. My 40 will be leaving from the north coast of Honduras and arriving in Pt Everglades, FL.
 
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Tampa, FL
@gilmorneau

Once the car has arrived, can it be driven from the port to my house, or do i need to rent a car trailer for it?
In my case it would be from Europe to Port of Miami. Then drive it to Tampa. (sorry if that was listed, and i missed it)

Great write up! I like the idea of making a trip of it to Europe (Southern France, Spain, Italy) to find the car i'm looking for and then sending it back.
 

gilmorneau

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Once the car has arrived, can it be driven from the port to my house

Short answer is yes, you can drive it home. I've done it several times. You'll need insurance, but if you have the Bill of Sale and the import paperwork, no one should bother about anything else. As with buying a car locally, you're allowed a little time to get it home and get to your local DMV to get it registered.
 

tlaporte

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In California I was able to “pre-register” mine, since I had the paperwork and VIN information. Really, as long as I had paid the license fees, that’s what they wanted!
 

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