The US government (specifically the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) has strict rules around cars that can and cannot be imported into the United States. The reasons vary for why a certain make or model isn’t allowed to be imported, but the list continues to get updated with new cars every year or two. Here are some stats from the latest list of illegal cars, published in February 2017.

  • Most recent addition: 2015 Porsche FAB Panamera
  • Manufacturer with the most illegal cars: Nissan (11)
  • Year with the most illegal cars: 2000 (10)


List of Illegal Cars in the US for Importation to Show or Display (latest data as of February 2017)

MakeModelModel Year
Alfa Romeo8C Spider Roadster2010
ApriliaMoto 6.51995
Aston MartinVirage Volante1993
AudiAvant RS21995
AudiRS6 Plus2004
Beijing Auto. Ind. HoldingRodedawg2005
BMW2nd Anniversary Limited Edition Mini Cooper S2004
BMWM3 Cabriolet1989
BMWM3 Sport Evolution III1990
Citroen2CV Dolly1985
Daimler-ChryslerSmart Car2000
Fiat126 P2000
Fiat500 Abarth2008
HondaCivic Type-R1997-2000
HondaCRX Exclusive1989
JaguarXJ12 Saloon1988
JaguarXJ 220 S (race car)1993
LamborghiniStrosek Diablo1993
Land RoverDefender 1302000-2001
Lotus340 R2000
LotusElise S11996 – 2001
MitsubishiLancer Evolution Tommi Makinen Edition RD- RHD2000
MorganLeMans ’62 Prototype2002
NissanFigaro1990 – 1991
NissanSkyline GTS-T1995
NissanSkyline GT-R Autech Version 40th Anniversary Edition1998
NissanSkyline R32 GT-R1989 – 1994
NissanSkyline R33 GT-R1995
NissanSkyline R33 GT-R V-Spec1995-1996
NissanSkyline R341999
NissanSkyline R34 GT-R V-Spec1999
NissanSkyline R34 GT-T1999
NissanSkyline R34 25GT-T2001
Porsche959 S (race car)1989
Porsche962 RLR1990
Porsche964 RS1992
PorscheCarrera 4 Lightweight (race car)1990
PorscheFAB Panamera2015
Robin HoodS71983
RoverMini Cooper1995, 1998 – 2000
RoverMini Cooper RSP / LE1990
Saab9-5 SportCombi2012
SkodaFabia Greenline II2012
ToyotaHDJ81 Land Cruiser1990
TriumphBonneville M/C1981
TVRSagaris, T350, Tuscan, Cerbera1996-2006
VolkswagenBeetle (Old Style)2000
VolkswagenBeetle (Ultimate Edition)2003
VolkswagenBeetle (Ultima Edition)2004
VolkswagenCorrado Magnum Sport Kombi1990
VolkswagenPolo TDI BlueMotion2012-2013
VolkswagenType 2 Vanagon Double Cab Pickup Truck1986


You also have to register to be an importer of foreign vehicles. There are strict guidelines that importers must follow, and if the rules are broken, occasionally ]importers get their registration revoked or suspended for a period of time. Below is the most recent lists available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Importers Whose Registrations are Revoked (latest data as of June 2016)

Registered Importer and AddressRI NumberContact NumberEffective Date
US IMPORTING, LLC, 6050 BIRCH RD, FLINT, MI 4850705-340810-244-0909June 1, 2016
U.S. Drive Right, 2002 Elwood, Spring Arbor, MI 4928308-355888-632-5936March 18, 2013
Galena Chrysler, 937 Galena Square Drive, Galena, IL 6103608-357815-777-1777March 9, 2011
PNT Registered Importer, P.O. Box 565, 20 Kernan Road, Oroville, WA 9884498-180509-476-3581November 24, 2008
Barry Taylor Enterprises, 110 South 23RD St., Suite E Richmond, CA 9480401-280510-235-3990March 31, 2008
Motorex, 15607 New Century Drive, Gardena, CA 9024899-229310-523-2233February 15, 2006
Registered Importer Corporation, 301 Kinetic Drive, Bld 1, Ent 1 Oxnard, CA 9303001-290805-988-0065December 15, 2005


Importers Whose Registrations Are Suspended (latest data as of December 2013)

Registered Importer and AddressRI NumberContact NumberEffective Date
US Specs 121 Northway Drive Havre de Grace, MD 2107803-321443-502-2331November 25, 2013

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