Motor vehicle dealers commonly use dealer plates when crossing the U.S. border for business, and sometimes on personal trips.
That’s why, after learning in June that several of its members travelling with dealer plates on their vehicles had been turned back at the border, the Used Car Dealers Association (UCDA) says it took action.
First, it contacted U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB), which proved very receptive to working together to resolve the issue.
“CPB explained that it had increased scrutiny over concerns that vehicles were being brought into the United States to be sold, without being properly imported,” the UCDA said in a release today.
“The CPB then offered the UCDA advice to share with its members to help them avoid such border problems.”
Finally, the UCDA included this advice in a “Dealer Alert” it sent to members on Aug. 4, 2010. It also produced a wallet-sized card with the same information for dealers to carry as a reminder when driving to the United States.
“Above all, having the right documentation is essential,” the UCDA goes on. “Dealers must always carry proof of vehicle and plate registration and insurance, along with proper identification for drivers and passengers (e.g., passport, enhanced driver’s licence and Nexus card).”
Dealers visiting the U.S. for private, non-commercial reasons should also carry documentation relating to their visit, such as:
• airline tickets
• hotel reservations/vacation itinerary
• tickets for attractions, sporting events or concerts
• U.S. addresses of destination or venue.
If dealers enter the United States to buy or to pick up vehicles already purchased, however, they are advised to carry one or more of the following:
• an auction access card
• auction announcements
• pre-bid printouts
• purchase orders
• storage and towing receipts.
While carrying these documents and/or others does not guarantee entry to the United States if customs officers have other concerns, having appropriate documentation, such as that listed above, is the best prevention for border-crossing issues.
Since its Aug. 4 “Dealer Alert”, the UCDA has not heard of any member being turned away at the border.
For further information, please call Warren Barnard or Jim Hamilton, UCDA Legal Department (416) 231-2600 or 1 (800) 268-2598.