The Chinky Pox is an extremely dangerous disease. It traps you indoors in the winter, with nothing to do but stare at the computer, and nibble on snacks until none of your clothes fit. So I need a project:
Destiny calls and I ride! Maybe. What I'm thinking of is buying a Japanese Kei truck. This isn't as easy as it sounds as they are not normally sold in the U.S. Here's one I had been considering:
Statement of conformity from NHTSA
Statement of fact from the importer (see wording below)
Any one of the following US Customs forms:
a. CPB7523 – Entry and manifest of Merchandise Free of Duty
b. CPB 3299 Declaration for Free Entry of Unaccompanied Articles
c. CPB 3311 Declaration for Free Entry of Returned American Articles
d. CPB 7501 – Entry Summary (does not require a Customs Inspector's signature)
e. CPB 3461 Entry/Immediate Delivery Secure and Verifiable ID will be required
DR2698 Verification of Vehicle Identification Number (Colorado form)
A certified weight slip may be required when weight is not disclosed on the ownership documents. Weight in pounds = kg x 2.23
Odometer disclosure – Odometer disclosed on secure form. Owner must sign to begin odometer tracking.
English translation of all accompanying documents. Translation must be notarized.
Importers must sign a SOF stating the following: “All appropriate entry and conformity documents including photos were properly completed, signed, dated, and submitted to NHTSA for approval on ____________(date).
Agents, subagents, dealers, or notaries may witness (certify or notarize) the importers signature. Dealers may not sign in place of importer.
NOTE: If the odometer reading is in kilometers, it must be converted to miles. Use the following formula: Km x .621371 = miles.
NOTES: Item 1 Being over 25 years old, the vehicle should be exempt from this.
Item 2 Should come with the vehicle if you are the first US owner.
Item 3 CPB _7501 and 3461___normally come with the vehicle
Item 4 This is a Colorado form available at the DMV Must arrange an appointment and meet the nice CHP cop who signs these. What I have heard is that the existing VIN # will be acceptable.
Item 5 Self explanatory. I believe the Japanese title includes the vehicle weight. Just include the conversion to pounds in the translation.
Item 6 Again mostly self explanatory. Not sure what a secure form is. Probably notarized. See note above: Mileage in miles to 6 decimal places!
Item 7 Self explanatory. Metric numbers should also have US conversions.
The importers SOF as described above. This should accompany the vehicle.
Also required, but not mentioned, would be a proof of insurance (get some from Haggerty @ $45/mo or so) and since I live in a Very Special High Altitude Zone, I will also need an emissions test proving that the vehicle meets the requirements for one sold normally in the US for the year of manufacture. There are only 6 counties in the US that are included in this group, and 5 of them are in Colorado. And yes, I live in one of them.
That last item may be the really big stumbling block as the 1996 Kei vehicles, although described as having to meet “tighter emissions standards”, the standards in question are Japanese and I have no idea what those might be. Also fuel injection does not appear on the things until the late 90's and I have doubts about a carbureted vehicle getting through emissions. It could happen though.
If you are buying from an importing dealer, all items except #4 above should come with the vehicle. If you are buying one already titled, in Colorado or some other state, all you need is the bill of sale, insurance, and if you live near me, an emissions certificate. The emissions cert is required to get license plates but not to get a Colorado title. Anyway you can get the title and a temp tag good for 1 or 2 months regardless, so you can go to a testing station and watch the techs there explode their heads trying to test it.
If you decide to give this a try, and you live outside the Emissions Zone, your odds are pretty good. Others have done this and succeeded. In the Denver metro area getting one of these through emissions may be as easy as getting a good tune-up or as hard as having to replace the engine. Of course if it turns out you need to replace the engine, you can always just proceed to the point where you get a title, then sell the thing to someone in a less restrictive county. Ones I've seen offered for sale seem to sell the same day.