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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117401
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I purchased a 1994 acura integra in sacramento, ca from a guy

Customer Question

I purchased a 1994 acura integra in sacramento, ca from a guy that had brought the car with him from canada. The car was registered and insured in canada so it was all legal there. Ive been trying to register the car here in california, and the last piece of paper that dmv wants from me is a US Customs Form endorsed by the Customs Agency. The closest one is in San Francisco. I called them and the guy told me I needed the person I purchased the car from to be there with me and the car in San Fran to complete this form. The problem is the guy I got it from is now in Miami and is not willing to help me in any way. Help please. What are my options.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
It was up to the seller to provide you with the proper customs documentation, since he needed that customs documentation to get the car into the US. He has to be present to obtain the documentation. Under the US Law, this is considered breach of the common law warranty of merchantability, since the seller sold you a car you cannot register and since you cannot register it, it is not fit for its intended purpose and you could actually sue the seller for your money back.
You need to inform him that he needs to obtain the Canada/US Customs form he obtained when he brought the car into the US and provide it to you or you will be forced to sue him for damages. I am afraid that legally that is the only way you can get the Customs documentation you need though.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I was already aware it was supposed to be done by the person who brought the vehicle across the border. I'm just unable to get a hold of the guy now and he's in Florida to boot. The car is only worth let's say 2,000$, I can't see it being worth suing him over at this point. If that's the only solution I will be forced to junk or sell it for parts.
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your additional information.
In order to get the documentation to register in the US, you must present the bill of sale, foreign registration, and any other documents covering the vehicle to customs. You will also be required to complete EPA form 3520-1 and DOT form HS-7, declaring the emissions and safety provisions under which the vehicle is being imported.
If you are not able to do so or cannot get the seller to provide the documents and cannot sue, I am afraid those are the only legal options.