So you’ve made the decision to ship your car overseas. You’re probably wondering, what’s next? What documents do I need to ensure the smooth shipping of my vehicle to Africa or wherever else you’re sending it? The paperwork process can seem overwhelming at first but it’s really not. We assist you in all phases and guide you every step of the way to make sure your vehicle gets to its destination safely, on time and in an efficient manner. The last thing you – or we – want is for there to be a hold up at the destination port. That’s why we offer help in obtaining all the right documentation.

First and foremost, you’ll need an original Certificate of Title of Ownership, without any liens recorded on the title. You should have this on hand. If not, obtain it from your local department of motor vehicles. If the vehicle is used or pre-owned, the existing Certificate of Title can be endorsed by the seller to the new owner. Keep in mind, proof of export will be given to the seller if requested, with no sales tax payable to the seller. In addition, you may need a Bill of Sale or a Notarized Bill of Sale, depending on which port the vehicle is scheduled to sail from.

International Car Shipping Rates

There are a few special notes to make. If you are a member of the military, government or state service and have a vehicle title with a lien against it, you must seek permission from the lien holder in order to export the vehicle. This is an extra step that’s not really as much of a hassle as it sounds. Just obtain an original letter from the lien holder, along with three certified copies of the Certificate of Title. In addition, you’ll have to show your military orders or a letter from the government or state authority, plus a copy of the Title Record History from your Department of Motor Vehicles. It sounds like a lot but this process goes rather smoothly in most cases. It’s also a very important step that can’t be overlooked. In the event that you purchase a new vehicle, you’ll need an Original Certificate of Origin and Bill of Sale from the dealership—essential to getting clearance by Customs. In some cases, such as within select Florida ports for example, you will also need a Power of Attorney that gives agents permission to clear your documents on your behalf.

If we handle the clearance for you in the United States, you will get back all documents that you provided for US Customs clearance of your vehicle, sent to you after the vessel has sailed. Or, you could opt to have them mailed via the post office or FedEx. So there it is in a nutshell. Easy, right? We think so. And again, we help you with every step of the process, so don’t ever feel like you’re on your own.

2 Comments

  1. Emmanuel Ototobor says:

    I want to ship my car is at vero beach Florida 32960 that’s my area code

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Important info to Ship a Car Overseas:
  • No car can leave USA if it has a lien on it. What does this mean? Your car must be paid in full. The only people who can ship a car overseas and still carry a lien on the car are US Military and Government employees/contractors. For those people a letter of authorization from the lender will need to be issued to pass US Customs. Otherwise the car may be considered stolen.
  • A clear Title of Ownership with no Liens on the Title.
  • If you bought a car new, then your name must be listed on the front of the Title as the registered owner.
  • If the vehicle has been sold, then both the Seller and Buyer have to sign the back of the Title in the spaces as detailed on the back of the Title.
  • For safety reasons, the vehicle cannot have more than a ¼ tank of gas.
Travel & Living Abroad:
  • Most countries will allow a traveler to temporarily import their car for up to 6 months. After the 6 months is up, import duty will be charged. For many travelers going to Europe and taking their car, a deposit is paid up front. When the car goes back to it's destination country, the deposit is refunded. If a person has lived in USA for 1 or more years, most countries will allow that person to bring their car back duty free! The car must not have any liens on it. Please check with your Customs Department first.
Import Duty for Destination Country:
  • Import duty is NOT collected by Ship Overseas. It must be paid at the arrival port by whoever is picking up the car. We wrote a blog post about vehicle import duty here. It talks about how to find out import duty for your country.