Frequently Asked Questions Everything you need to know


Q: Why do I need a recall clearance letter?

A: Recall clearance letters are required by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) to verify that your vehicle is free of any defects identified by the manufacturer.


Q: What is the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV)?

A: RIV operates Canada's national program of vehicle registration, inspection and certification program.


Q: Does the recall clearance letter requirement apply to me?

A: All vehicles being imported into Canada from the United States which are 15 years old and newer require a recall clearance letter.


Q: What if my vehicle has an outstanding recall?

A: If it is discovered that your vehicle has an outstanding recall on it after you order your recall letter, the vehicle will have to be taken into a local dealership where they will service the outstanding recall for free (required by law). Once the outstanding recall has been serviced, please send us a copy of the invoice and we will complete the recall letter process with RIV.


Q: When do I need to obtain the recall letter?

A: Recall letters are required by RIV after the vehicle has crossed into Canada. They are NOT required at the border for Canada Customs. However, most of our clients order a recall letter through us before their vehicle crosses into Canada to avoid any surprises (ie. the vehicle has an outstanding defective recall which must be cleared).


Q: What is the next step after I order a recall letter?

A: After the recall letter is ordered, we submit it directly to RIV. RIV then reviews and approves the recall letter, and releases the Form 2 on RIV's website which you can access and print ( https://www.riv.ca/TrackYourCase.aspx ). The form 2 must be taken to any Canadian Tire, along with your vehicle and the Form 1 so they can complete the federal inspection.


Q: How long does RIV take to review and approve the recall letter?

A: RIV generally reviews and approves the recall letter within 2 hours if it's between Monday to Friday from 9AM to 5PM, otherwise it will be approved and released the following morning.


Q: What if the dealer won't fix my outstanding recall?

A: We have processed tens of thousands of recall letters, and have never encountered a dealer unwilling to fix an outstanding recall. The dealer is required by law to fix your vehicle, and are reimbursed from their corporate head office to do so.



About Recall Check

Recall Check has been providing recall clearance letters across Canada and the US since 1999. Our extensive recall database is updated daily and contains information for all makes and models. The Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) requires that every car imported into Canada needs a recall clearance letter. All of our recall letter orders are sent directly to the Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) and are normally processed within 2 business hours.

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