The RIV makes every effort to assist the importer during the import process however recall clearance remains the responsibility of the importer. It is important to verify recall clearance prior to importing the vehicle in order to avoid any delays during the import process. Please note that recall clearance is not required at the border.
Recall clearance documents verify that any defects identified by the manufacturer as a potential safety risk to the vehicle’s operator, occupants and public at large, have been corrected.
The Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) will not release the inspection form for your vehicle until confirmation that there are no outstanding recalls, has been received.
To facilitate the timely release of your vehicle’s RIV inspection form and avoid delays or additional expenses, we recommend that you get your recall clearance documents early in the import process. Documents remain valid for 30 days prior to import and you can submit your recall information to RIV before you import the vehicle.
To submit recall clearance documents:
Fax: 1-888-642-9899 (recall clearance documents only)
In person or by mail: Contact us.
To obtain recall clearance documentation, select a vehicle type and manufacturer for contact information.
In order to alert manufacturers to future recall clearance document requests, RIV sends them a list of VINs for vehicles that have been imported into Canada. This information also assists the manufacturer to locate the current owner of the vehicle should there be a future recall.
Acceptable forms of recall clearance documentation
RIV will accept any of the following recall clearance information:
- A letter from the vehicle manufacturer’s U.S. or Canadian head office.
The letter must be written on company letterhead clearly stating that there are no outstanding recalls for the vehicle. If the manufacturer's logo does not appear on the letter, it will be rejected. The letter must be dated and signed by an authorized employee of the manufacturer and include their name and title, the vehicle identification number (VIN), year, make and model. RIV routinely forwards a copy of these letters to the manufacturer for authentication.
- A printout from an American or Canadian dealership’s vehicle service database.
This document must be produced by an authorized dealer and not a reseller. You can confirm whether or not a dealership is authorized by visiting the manufacturer’s web site or by calling their head office and providing them with the dealership’s location. The printout must also contain the 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN), year, make and model, and indicate that there are no outstanding recalls. RIV routinely forwards a copy of these printouts to the manufacturer for authentication.
- Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) web site.
Some manufacturers post their recall information on their public web sites specific to the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). This recall information will be accepted subject to verification by RIV.
As a courtesy, the RIV will be conducting an on-line check for manufacturers that provide recall clearance on their official website, specifically using the unique vehicle identification number. Should the vehicle have any outstanding recalls, we will require an invoice or work order confirming the recall(s) was completed.
Please note should any of the above documentation indicate that there is an outstanding safety recall, the RIV may accept an invoice/work order from an authorized dealer confirming that the safety recall was completed. The invoice(s) must be dated, contain the vehicle identification number (VIN) and should be accompanied by one of the above acceptable document types.
Vehicles with multiple manufacturers
If you are importing a bus, limousine or any other vehicle that results from more than one manufacturer, you may require two recall clearance documents. Where the final stage manufacturer provides a recall clearance letter that also references the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM) recall information, only one letter is necessary.
Normally, the recall clearance letter from the final stage manufacturer will say, "Please contact the chassis manufacturer for recall information.” It is your responsibility to determine the number of recall clearance letters that are necessary. The final stage manufacturer of your vehicle can also assist you with this.