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‘7’ Steps to Move a Vehicle from Australia to the US!

Move a Vehicle, vehicle transport, import vehicle, export vehicle, Car Shipping

Are you looking for car shipping companies to move your car overseas? Or do you want to know the shipping method to transport your vehicle from Australia to the USA?

Well! Many shipping agencies have professionals who regulate the process of shipping a car from the USA to Australia. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration licenses these companies under the United States Department of Transportation. With the availability of fast and professional services, companies like can transport your exotic and luxurious cars safely.

The individual enclosed cargo containers and open-air trailers are used for exporting your vehicle conveniently, which operates under schedules to synchronize with the specific port authorities. The cost of such shipments will depend on many factors, including the size of your car and the distance of the move.  In addition, shipping your car in an enclosed truck will protect your vehicle from weather conditions or possible damages. Therefore, Before hiring any professionals for international shipments, check whether your hired company is licensed and insured.

However, let’s have a look at the following steps to move your vehicle from Australia to the USA.

Table of Contents:

Steps to Transfer a Vehicle to the USA From Australia

  • Maintain Vehicle Shipping Checklist
  • Determine Vehicle Eligibility
  • Prepare your Vehicle to Meets the Requirements of Shipping
  • Car Shipping Cost and Time
  • Choose Appropriate Car Shipping Method
  • Clean your Vehicle Before Exporting
  • Comply with US Licensing and Registration Laws

Wrapping Up

Steps to Transfer a Vehicle to the USA From Australia

Maintain Vehicle Shipping Checklist

A rough breakdown is essential to ship your vehicle to the United States. Before shipping your car, determine its eligibility to the US or the need to transform the vehicle to match US standards. Fill the form or deal with an agreement with a DOT-registered merchant to modify the vehicle and certify that it adheres to all FMVSS and Emission Standards

Moreover, discover the overall cost of shipping a vehicle, including transport, storage, and delivery charges, freight and insurance charges, registration and insurance requirements, taxes and duties, and other charges like import processing. Along with this, select the appropriate preferred and affordable shipping methods, determine the vehicle’s departure and destination ports, and clean vehicle’s undercarriage for protecting your vehicle from any damage or accident.

Determine Vehicle Eligibility

In order to involve yourself in the vehicle shipping process, it is essential to determine the eligibility of shipping a car. Therefore, consider all these following points to comply with US vehicle transportation:

  • You must be a US citizen, military or civilian employee of the US government or a nonresident.
  • You have a plan to keep your car permanently in the US  or just for a temporary purpose.
  • The vehicle was built after September 1, 1978.
  • The model year of your vehicle is 1987 or later.

So, go through this process of determining what will be required to export your vehicle.

Prepare your Vehicle to Meets the Requirements of Shipping

Now, if your vehicle has complied with all the above-mentioned shipping details from Australia to the United States, then it is time to make the further process.

But what about nonconforming vehicles?

According to FMVSS and EPA emissions standards, the nonconforming vehicles must be meet with their all applicable standards. The nonconforming vehicles and engines can be imported if:

  • Independent Commercial Importers (ICI) will modify, test and certify them.
  • Vehicles are more than 21 years old with their original engines and suit for an EPA exemption.
  • Transport vehicles more than 25 years old may pass for DOT.
  • The undercarriage of your vehicle must be clean and free from any dust or soil.

After meeting all the above-mentioned standards, the car will carry a manufacturer’s label on the engine compartment attesting to its compliance and a certification label near the driver’s side door. It will confirm that the vehicle complies with bumper, safety, and theft prevention standards.

In case, if your vehicle is nonconforming, make sure it gets certification from DOT-registered importer for shipping. They will certify that it conforms to all applicable FMVSS and emission standards. Under certain conditions, a nonconforming vehicle may be shipped from Australia to the US. These are as follows:

  • Re-importing a previously exported vehicle,
  • Importing a vehicle for personal use not surpassing one year.
  • Diplomatic personnel,
  • Shipping a vehicle as a member of foreign armed forces and other exceptions authorized by the US State Department.

Car Shipping Cost and Time

The cost to export a car to the United States depends on various factors like the model of vehicle, departure port, pick-up location, shipping method, availability of your chosen services, and your final destination. Other than this, storage, vendor fees, cleaning, and American taxes & duties also need to be considered while estimating the total cost.

In case, if you are leaving in the US and the vehicle is shipped concurrently with your entry, then you do not need to pay duties for up to 12 months for importing your vehicle. On the contrary, if you are resident of the USA returning to the country from work, study abroad, or travel, then you can employ for your $800 CBP exemption under the following circumstances:

  • The vehicle accompanies you on your return.
  • You have shipped the vehicle for private use.

Choose Appropriate Car Shipping Method

Three shipping methods are used for importing a vehicle from Australia to the USA. These are:

  • Shared container
  • Sole container
  • Roll-on/roll-off service

Shared Container Method: In this, a single and separate container is used to export several vehicles. It means a container is shared between several clients to transport their vehicles. It includes the charges of unloading the cars, customs clearance, terminal handling charge, and trucking charge with reliable safety precautions.

Sole Container Method: One or more of your vehicle(s) reside in a single container. In this, the vehicle is kept secure and protected throughout the process, so clients can transport other personal belongings inside the vehicle.

Roll-on/Roll-off Service: This more affordable shipping method loads the vehicle into the holding area of a large vessel, which resembles a big parking garage. This method is suitable for shipping and handling heavier vehicles like trucks. It includes the fee of port charges, shipping charges, and customs clearance charges.

Clean your Vehicle Before Exporting

The undercarriage must be cleaned and free of foreign soil to prevent the vehicle from fungi, invasive plants, microorganisms, and insects before shipping your vehicle to the USA from Australia. This process can be approached through steam cleaning or other precise cleaning techniques.

Many shipping agencies assist their customers with obtaining a suitable cleaner to help assure you comply with this specification. Vacuuming the interior is counted as an appropriate method for sufficient results.

Comply with US Licensing and Registration Laws

Make sure that both you and your vehicle comply with all US licensing and registration laws in order to drive your transported vehicle in the United States. The requirements vary depending on the citizenship status and the length of a person in the US.

If you are a foreign national, then ensure that your imported vehicle should carry International Registration Marker and you have an International Driving Permit (IDP). According to the Convention on International Road Traffic of 1949, Australian residents can obtain an IDP and utilize their license in the United States.

Wrapping Up

Want to get familiar with an international shipping company’s steps for transporting your vehicles? You can approach top shipping companies that are licensed, insured, and come equipped with all challenges linked with your vehicle transportation needs.

After transferring your vehicle to the USA, the process of re-registration of your car is essential to drive it. If you are conscious of the customs and prepared with the paperwork, you will not be going to face any issue regarding the further processes. 

Author Bio: Bruce Jonus is working as a Marketing manager cum Content Writer at “Willship International” a well-known Australian Car Exports Company specializing in the movement of vehicles, caravans, motorhomes, boats, motorbikes, machinery etc. He also loves to write blogs about Vehicle import-export.

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