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Titling an Imported Vehicle in Virginia

An imported vehicle is any vehicle (including motorcycles) brought into the United States from any foreign country (including Canadian vehicles and US manufactured vehicles that are manufactured for export and subsequently imported). These vehicles may or may not meet the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act and the policies and regulations adopted as a result of this Act.

Motor vehicles manufactured less than 25 or more model years ago are subject to the federal motor vehicle safety requirements and cannot be titled or registered in Virginia without proof of conformity with the federal motor vehicle safety requirements.

DMV will only issue a certificate of title or a vehicle registration for an imported vehicle when the applicant submits proof that the vehicle complies with federal motor vehicle safety requirements. If the vehicle is exempt from the federal motor vehicle safety requirement, the vehicle may be registered only for a specified period.

How to Apply

Follow these steps when applying for a title for an imported vehicle.

Step 1: Present the following documents

  • Application for Certificate of Title and Registration (VSA 17A)
  • Proof of address
  • Authentic source of ownership document
  • English translations for all documents written exclusively in a foreign language
  • At least one of the following United States Customs Service forms with a customs release:
    • Customs and Border Protection Form 7501
    • Customs and Border Protection Form 368
    • Customs and Border Protection Form 3311
    • Customs and Border Protection Form 6059B
    • Customs and Border Protection Form 7523
    • Customs and Border Protection Form 3461
  • Department of Transportation NHTSA HS-7 Declaration (Importation of Motor Vehicles and Motor Vehicle Equipment Subject to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety, Bumper and Theft Prevention Standards) if applicable
  • Original Bond Release Letter (if applicable) from US Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • The Manufacturer's Confirmation Letter (if applicable) or Environmental Protection Agency Form 3520-1
  • Any additional requirements specified on the NHTSA HS-7 Declaration form

Notes for Military Personnel:

  • Military personnel or U.S. residents returning from a foreign country may present Customs Customs and Border Protection Form (CBP) 3299, Declaration for Title Entry of Unaccompanied Articles (CBP 3299) with an electronic Customs stamp in lieu of CF7501. Customs and Border Protection Form 3299 is used only when the vehicle has been titled in the US, exported, and subsequently imported. There is no need to submit the HS-7. The vehicle make and identification number (VIN) must be specified on the CBP 3299
  • Foreign military personnel stationed at military installations in Virginia under the auspices of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are exempt from bringing their vehicles into compliance with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). They may register their vehicles for the length of their tour of duty only. A copy of their orders is sufficient to determine the length of their tour of duty.

Step 2: Pay the following fees

Step 3: Select electronic or paper title

  • Instead of receiving the title in paper form, you may request that DMV retain an electronic record of the title to ensure the safety of your title.
  • If you select the electronic option, when you require a paper title, you may visit any customer service center and request one. You will be required to show proof that you are the registered owner. If no lien ever existed on the vehicle record and no paper title was previously issued, a one-time paper title will be issued at no fee. If a lien existed or a paper title was previously printed, the substitute title fee will be charged. NOTE: If the lien is an electronic lien and the lien has been released, a one-time paper title will be issued at no fee, provided it has not been printed already.
  • If you are unable to visit a customer service center, you may request in writing or online to have a paper title sent to you. The paper title will be mailed to your address on record with DMV, providing there are no held or stop conditions on the record. Send your written request and payment (if applicable) to:
    • Virginia DMV
    • Attn: Titles and Registration Work Center
    • PO Box 27412
    • Richmond, VA 23269

Additional Information

Applicants needing additional information should contact one of the following: