Changing Chilean plates so we can drive to USA?

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#1 Sun, 04/10/2016 - 19:41

Changing Chilean plates so we can drive to USA?

Hello fellow wanderers.

We have a beautiful 91' Kombi from Chile. We are currently cruising Argentina. 

When we return to chile in 6 months time we want to drive to USA.

Here's the problem. With Chilean plates you can only be out of the country(chile) 6 months before you have to return. This makes our dream impossible, so my question is.

Can we change plates in chile to American as foreigners to do this beautiful trip? Or are there any other solutions?

Hope to hear from you,

Amalie, Jonatan and the Kombi Appa ;) 

Sat, 04/16/2016 - 23:32

VERY unlikely it will be

VERY unlikely it will be worth the expense and bother of getting a Chilean vehicle to meet US requirements. even if it was in the USA at the time. Getting it done in Chile would be impossible.


As for the 6 month rule, you can email the aduana to get an extension (ask them when you leave and they should be able to give you the contact details and even if you don't you will have to pay only a moderate fine on your return

Sat, 07/02/2016 - 08:48

Unless the car is 21 yrs old

Unless the car is 21 yrs old or more , then it is possible to come with the vehicle into the U.S. and no requirements are needed.

EPA Form 3520-1, Exempted vehicles Code E (more than 21 yrs old vehicle). The engine must be the the original from the vehicle, but it is not really required.

On the orther hand,

Vehicles younger  than 21yrs old with foreing plates and not up to American Standards, it is basically not worthy, because EPA will make you to get a listed approved importer to bring the car up to standards. Aslo the car could be impunded by Customs.

Comments from Gaston E. - SamericaXplorer