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Titling & Registering an Out-of-Country Vehicle

Overview

This page provides information on titling and registering a vehicle that you have imported from another country.
 
Use the links below to go directly to any section:
Note: Not all vehicles imported to the U.S. meet standards for a title or registration.  Please read detailed information below.
 
Important: Before applying, please determine if you legally qualify for Oregon vehicle registration.

How to Apply
To apply for a title and registration, you must:
  • Fill out an Application for Title and Registration (Form 735-226):
  • Complete a Certification of Liens on an Imported Vehicle (Form 735-6436);
  • Provide a certified translation of any document written in a language which uses an alphabet other than that used in English (for example, Japanese, Arabic, Cyrillic);
  • Provide proof the vehicle meets U.S. Federal Vehicle Standards;
  • Provide the original foreign title or equivalent ownership document from the country where the vehicle was last registered or titled;
  • Provide releases of interest from previous owners (if you were not the owner in the country where the vehicle was last registered or titled) using the:
    • Back of Title,
    • Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO), 
    • Bill of Sale (Form 735-501), or
    • Lien Release (Form 735-524);
  • Prove compliance with or exemption from the Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) requirement. Vehicles subject to LEV include 2009 model year or newer passenger vehicles with 7,500 or less mileage. Exemptions include vehicles purchased by non-residents of Oregon before establishing residency in the State of Oregon. The LEV requirement does not apply to electric, hybrid, or government-owned passenger vehicles;
  • Pass an emissions test at DEQ if you live in the Portland Area or the Rogue Valley (Medford);
  • Get a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection at a regular or full-service DMV office:
    • You must pay a $7 fee for this service; 
  • Choose license plates (click here for choices):
    • If you choose a specialty plate, write the name of that plate in the "Remarks" section of your application,
    • You may transfer Oregon plates you own to your imported vehicle:
      • The plates must be a type that DMV still issues, or have a specialty background,
      • The plates must be in good condition and readable, and
      • The plates can only be transferred to the same type of vehicle,
    • When you transfer plates:
      • The expiration date of the registration will remain the same,
      • Expired plates cannot be transferred, unless registration fees are paid at the time of plate transfer, and
      • You must pay a plate transfer fee of $6;
  • Figure and pay all applicable fees;
  • Submit your completed application, supporting materials and payment to DMV.,/div>

Note: By submitting an application for registration, you are certifying that you have the insurance required by Oregon law and that you will comply with Oregon's motor vehicle insurance requirements as long as the vehicle is registered in your name

How to Submit Your Application
If you are buying or renewing plates and need a temporary permit to drive the vehicle, you may submit your completed application, supporting materials and payment to a DMV office (if all is in order, you may be able to get plates or stickers at the office), or mail your materials to the address below:
Oregon DMV
1905 Lana Ave NE
Salem, OR 97314
Make checks or money orders payable to "Oregon DMV."   To get a vehicle identification number inspection, you must go to a full service or regular DMV office.   
 
If you are mailing your Application for Title and Registration, you may want to keep the Notice of Transaction Submitted page and a copy of the Bill of Sale in the glove compartment of the vehicle until the registration card is received.
 
Note: Due to the added costs of merchant fees, DMV offices only accept cash or checks and do not accept credit or debit cards; however, ATMs are available at most offices.

Providing Proof of Compliance
Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) Requirement
The Low Emissions Vehicle (LEV) requirement is in addition to the requirement that the vehicle meets federal safety and emissions standards described below.

Federal Safety Standards
All vehicles with a year model less than 25 years old must conform to federal safety standards. This includes trailers, as the U.S. Department of Transportation counts them as motor vehicles for purposes of safety requirements.

Federal Emissions Standards
All vehicles with a year model 20 years old or less must conform to federal emission standards.

Proof of Compliance with Federal Vehicle Standards
You may use one of the following as proof of compliance:
  • A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Form CF7501 or CBP7501, Entry Summary that contains:
    • A vehicle description that includes the year, model, make and vehicle identification number, and
    • An approval stamp or signature of an authorized U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent;
  • An original letter from the vehicle manufacturer or authorized U.S. distributor that clearly identifies the vehicle (including vehicle identification number) and states that the vehicle was manufactured to meet U.S. federal safety and emissions standards;
  • An original letter from the manufacturer or U.S. distributor that clearly identifies the vehicle (including the VIN) and states that the vehicle meets EPA standards and can be modified to meet federal safety standards.  The letter must be accompanied with a certification that the vehicle has been modified and complies with federal vehicle standards. The customer may complete a Certification of Compliance with Federal Emission and Safety Standards (Form 735-7286) for this purpose;
  • An MCO that indicates a U.S. manufacturer or distributor or a statement on the MCO that the vehicle was manufactured to meet U.S. standards*;
  • For vehicles imported by the U.S. military or U.S. military personnel, a written notice or form issued by the U.S. military that states the vehicle complies with federal vehicle standards; or 
  • If the vehicle is an imported moped or motorcycle sold by an Oregon dealer:
      *Note: Not all vehicles that have been issued MCOs have been manufactured to meet U.S. standards.
       
      More Information
      If you have any questions regarding the U.S. Customs requirements for vehicle inspections, please contact one of the following:
        For a definition of the Federal Standards, please refer to OAR 735-022-0080. For information on DMV’s authority to request proof of compliance, please refer to ORS 803.045 and OAR 735-022-0090 (1)
         
        Hint: In using the links above, you may need to scroll down to find the correct ORS and/or OAR reference.

        Vehicles That Do Not Meet Federal Standards
        Some vehicles imported to the United States do not comply, and/or there is no proof of compliance, with U.S. vehicle standards and therefore do not qualify for a title or registration.
         
        For example, DMV will not issue title or registration to imported Japanese “mini-trucks.”  These vehicles are also not considered ATVs because they are not manufactured for recreational purposes.  As a result, these “mini-trucks” may only be used on private property, but not on any public road or thoroughfare.

        How Long Will It Take?
        If your paperwork is accurate and complete when received at DMV Headquarters in Salem, and your payment is correct, your plates are generally mailed within 5-10 business days. 
         
        Titles are generally mailed to applicants about three to five weeks after DMV receives the necessary paperwork. Delays may occur during peak processing months.

        Related Information
        Additional information that may be relevant includes: