I recently bought and imported a 1977 Boler
from Canada and wanted to share my experience in case it might help someone else.
The short story: It was easy, go for it!
The long story: The Boler
was for sale
near Vancouver BC and I live near Seattle.
I communicated enough with the seller that I trusted them and sent them a $500 CDN deposit through Paypal. They received it instantly and held the trailer until I could drive up to BC. Otherwise it would have sold long before I got there. This worked great for me, YMMV.
1. Photo of trailer, photo of registration
from inside the trailer closet door (both from the seller's ad)
2. completed NHTSA Form OMB No. 2127-0002 (Google: Permanently importing a trailer into the U.S.)
3. $ in my Paypal account to cover the remaining price.
Upon purchase, the Boler
owner gave me:
1. signed vehicle registration
2. BC Transfer/Tax Form (scan below)
3. keys to the trailer!
They took their license
plate off, helped me hitch it up, and I drove away (ssort of, see other advice below).
At the border (Peach Arch crossing) I told the CBP officer at the window I was importing the trailer. He had me pull into the inspection station. I brought the above items (except Paypal
) inside. The officer inside didn't want any of the stuff I brought, but I think it indicated I knew what I was doing. He took the registration
and transfer form and the keys and inspected the trailer (and broke the 40 year old Bargman lock!
) . He gave me a signed form OMB 1651-0022 (scan below). There was no tax ("NAFTA covered it since the trailer was manufactured in Canada.")
Once back home, I brought the Canadian registration, BC Transfer Form and the US Customs form into the DOL (DMV). I paid the taxes (10% of the purchase price, ouch!) and registration fee, got my plates and the trailer became mine!
In terms of other advice, before you buy a trailer long distance, I'd recommend being prepared with:
1. height of trailer's hitch so you can get the right draw bar for your tow vehicle
2. hitch ball size needed so you bring the right size
3. Proper electrical
connection for trailer (4 or 7 pin) or an adapter.
4. Chocks if seller not providing
5. 2 trailer mirrors
6. An adult to ride shotgun and help you with lane changes, etc.
7. Tire pressure gauge to check vehicle and trailer inflation
8. Inflate tow vehicle tires
2-5 lbs higher than recommended (don't exceed maximum)
9. Anything else you need to inspect the trailer (flashlight, electrical
testers, rulers, levels, squares, etc.)
10. Patience and lots of time. Once we hooked up, it took us 5 hours to get on the road as the towing lights
had a missing ground which needed to be traced to make them work.
Good luck! This was the easy part!