|1991 Nissan Fiagaro|
In this case a 1991 Nissan Fiagro that is legal in Canada, because it is over 15 years old, was purchased by a man in Massachusetts.
The Massachusets DOT is not the FEDERAL DOT. It is a local agency that handles vehicle registration, not vehicle importation.
The NHTSA - DOT are the ones that handle vehicle import. In this case, since the car was in Canada, it was likely just driven though the border. Vehicle import is not a huge issue from Canada to the US, but Canadian cars still need to meet US standards to be legally imported. Driving though the border, is not a legal importation. To legally import this car, the importer would have had to fill out a:
HS7 - NHTSA import form
and a 3520-1 - EPA import form
It would have likely been stopped at the border, because currently the laws do not allow this car. Show or Display - this car is on the list of vehicles not approved for import. More than 500 of them made, and it is not of any historical or technological significance. It may have retro styling, but styling alone isn't enough to qualify for Show or Display. However, this car is nearly 25 years old, and will be eligible for importation in 2015-2016.
So as far as registration went, he got an exemption. Still doesn't change the fact that it wasn't imported correctly. This is always something to look out for. Illegally imported vehicles are like hot potatoes. The last one holding it, is the one that gets BURNED. It has happened numerous times over the years. Don't give anyone in the government a reason to seize your car, that you worked hard to buy. Import it correctly. Follow the rules. If you don't want to follow the rules, then know the risks.
US Customs Crushes a Land Rover Defender
Seized Nissan Skyline GT-R R33 For Sale on ebay
Sentence Handed Down Over Illegal Cars from Canada