Moving to the USA from Canada

Cross border movingIf you’re planning to start the next chapter of your life across the Canadian border, King’s Transfer Van Lines is the company to call. We are expert moving professionals with almost 100 years of experience in cross-border handling and transport, and we have assisted countless people relocate from Canada to the United States..

Relocating from one country to the next isn’t as simple as what you read and watch in the work of fiction; there are numerous rules and regulations that can be complicated to understand and (potentially) get lost in translation. That’s why we have our experienced coordinators help take the burden off your shoulders and to ensure your move from Canada to the United States is stress and worry-free.

Preparing for Your Move to the USA

When moving across the border, your household goods and personal belongings are eligible to enter the United States duty-free on the condition you have owned and used them for at least one year. Moreover, all antiques qualify for duty-free entry if they are 100 years or older. To prove antiquity, you are required to provide copies of all your receipts and appraisals at customs.

It’s important to be mindful that some of your personal belongings—such as your vehicle(s)—may or may not be dutiable. Consult your nearest U.S. Customs office or consulate in your area for an accurate breakdown of what is and isn’t dutiable.

For further questions or inquiries—or assistance with the moving process—get in touch with our moving experts at King’s Transfer Van Lines today!


For dogs and cats over 3 months old, you will need your veterinarian to give you a certificate that affirms good health of your companion(s), as well as request copies of their rabies vaccinations. Birds and other household pets may need to be quarantined for a length of time.


Transporting alcohol in the same moving van along with your household goods is forbidden. Instead, you will need to consider having your collection shipped via air mail or by a third-party. If needed, King’s Transfer Van Lines can help you make the arrangements.

Your wine and spirits collections are subject to state taxes, and the rates vary in each state. For accurate details and pricing, please contact your state liquor control authority.

Motorized Vehicles and Motorcycles

Any motor vehicle (less than 25 years in age) must meet US safety and environmental standards to be imported into the US. A compliance letter must be obtained from the manufacturer (not dealership) stating the vehicle does meet all US EPA & DOT standards. The compliance letter is not required if it is a return of a US registered vehicle. A list of automobile manufacturers can be found on the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.

It’s important to note that some manufacturers (such as Honda, Chrysler, Toyota) are refusing to provide compliance letters. Additionally, motorcycles that were manufactured overseas or are classified as “gray market” bikes may be denied entry at the U.S. border. If the compliance letter cannot be acquired, you are subjected to comply with the services of a “Registered Importer” which will then determine if your car or motorcycle meets or can be altered to meet the US safety and emission standards. For a complete list of registered importers, you can consult the NHTSA website

In addition to the compliance letter, you must fill out an EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) form for each vehicle you’re importing to the United States. However, if you’re returning with a vehicle that’s already registered with the U.S., the EPA form is not required.

All motor vehicles, including those already registered in the U.S., are required to provide an HS7 document.

Importing a non-conforming vehicle is allowed if you will be moving to the United States for one (1) year or less. However, within the year from your move to the states, you must import your vehicle back to Canada. No extensions will be permitted before the one (1) year deadline. Posting a bond/deposit for this type of import may be necessary.

If you’re a returning U.S. citizen or resident with a vehicle purchased while living in Canada, you need to be mindful that a duty fee will be applied if your car was manufactured outside of the NAFTA zone. The duty rate is currently 2.5% and is subjected to change without notice.

Required Documentation – Household Goods

Your movers will need copies of the following documentations to ensure your household goods are shipped and received through U.S. Customs:

For Non-Residents:

Individuals born outside of the United States must provide the following documents at customs:

  • A completed S. Customs 3299 form
  • A valid passport
  • A work or study visa
  • A letter of employment (if applicable)
  • A copy of I94, which is inserted in your passport upon entry

Part-time American Residents:

Individuals residing part-time in the United States must provide the following documents at customs:

  • A completed S. Customs 3299 form
  • A lease or proof of property ownership in the U.S.
  • A valid passport
  • A document (property deed, property tax records, utility bills) proving Canadian residency

By recruiting the assistance of King’s Transfer Van Lines, we help ease your moving stress by taking care of you every step of the way; flawless moves from from one border to the next is our specialty. One way we can help is by clearing your belongings on your behalf when the movers arrive at the border. Simply provide us the necessary documentations and we’ll make your sure household good and items cross over without a hitch. With our trusted and experienced staff taking care of this task, your time can be spent taking care of something else. It’s that simple!

Should an issue arise, your shipment will be placed “IN BOND” at the customs office closest to your new destination. To clear and obtain your goods with U.S. Customs, you will have to present yourself in person.

However, if you are a returning U.S. resident, you must enter the United States prior to your shipment arriving at the border. Individuals with a work or study visa should complete the immigration process to ensure their status is properly established. Once you enter the United States, U.S. Customs will place an I94 document in your passport. A copy of the I94 document must be given to your moving company as proof that your entry into the United States has been granted.

Once your moving truck arrives at the border, U.S. Customs will verify all your personal information and documentations. If U.S. Customs detects an issue with your immigration status, they reserve the right to deny your shipment from entering the United States. If this occurs, you will sustain extra charges for border delays, and your personal items will be returned to its origin and placed in storage until the situation is rectified. This is why our friendly staff at King’s Transfer Van Lines goes the extra step in assisting and ensuring you have the proper documentations before crossing the border with your belongings.

For more information about our International Moving Services, read here.

Useful Contacts

With so much to do before your big move across the border, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed and uncertain if your valuables and personal belongings meet custom standards and regulations. To ensure a smooth move from one country to the next, enclosed are a list of pertinent numbers you can consult every step of the way:

Customs Contact Information
U.S. Customs Office
Washington, DC
(203) 325-8000

Immigration and Visa Information
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service
Arlington, VA
1-800-375-5283 (within the United States)

For email inquiries, please send us an email at the following address:

For questions or assistance regarding your upcoming move, please feel free to contact our friendly and professional staff at King’s Transfer Van Lines at 514-932-2957 or 1-800-267-2957 today!