Re-importing car into the United States

About 12 years ago we exported our 1984 Pontiac Fiero overseas. Now we want to import it back to California. Is there anything special we have to do to get it through customs?

The people to ask work for the US Customs department.

My guess (GUESS) is that if the car was built to US specifications and has not been modified there should be no problem bringing it back.

You must really like this car.

Agree; if it originally met US specs then the technical part will be relatively easy. It will still have to have a safety and emissions inspection, of course.

Start by reading here. Not sure since it met US specs originally, if you need to use a registered importer or not. Things may be a bit easier if you are a returning employee of the US government.


If it met US specs when you bought it and it was never altered, you should be able to bring it back. The other question is whether it will meet Cali emissions standards. I imagine that if it meets the 1984 emissions standards, you are OK. Talk to the Cali DMV to find out what the registration requirements are.

Be sure the all-important emissions and safety labels are still in place. They will focus on them…I think you could buy one on E-bay, a nice V-6 GT model, cheaper than doing what you are trying to do…