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  1. #1
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    Member No: 158530 surfsucks is an unknown quantity at this point surfsucks's Avatar
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    Is a right hand steering wheel illegal in the US?

    I'm really interested in buying a classic Mini in Britain and importing it to the US. Is it illegal to have a car with the steering on the right hand side instead of the left? How much would it cost to have it converted?(mostly just want to know for curiosity's sake. I'm sure its expensive and I can't afford it.)


  2. #2
    foxdown
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    Re: Is a right hand steering wheel illegal in the

    It is legal. In 1988 I imported a right hand drive Mercedes which I purchased while living in England. Also, I now see many US Post Office delivery vehicles with right hand drive. Of course to be sure it wouldn't hurt to check with your state motor dept but I can't imagine anything has changed since my own experiences.

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    foxdown
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    Re: Is a right hand steering wheel illegal in the

    I would also recommend contact federal offices as there are numerous regulations in regard to emissions and safety features. In my above post I referenced 1988. It should have been 1978. At the time I imported the Mercedes I was also going to import an Aston Martin. However that car would have required extensive and expensive changes to the engine, brakes and even seats (the seats at that time didn't lock in place as required in the US)

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    Re: Is a right hand steering wheel illegal in the

    No problem with RHD.

    As fro importing a car from the UK, if it's over 25 years old from date of MANUFACTURE (not model year), you don't have to meet ant EPA or DOT requirements. Less than 25 and you do, which is a whole very, very expensive can of worms.

    Of course, there are those who circumvent the laws and bring in bogus 25 year old cars. Not a game I want to get involved with!

    http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/car/468718083.html

  5. #5
    carlos
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    Re: Is a right hand steering wheel illegal in the US?

    its not illegal becuz i got a honda eg6 imprted from japan and its right hand steering and i cruise in it all the time and the dmv didnt tell me anything about it so its not just import that mini cooper they wont say any thing just take it tothe dmv and they will fix all the paper work

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    Yes, RHD is not only legal but also a lot of fun! I imported a 1972 Austin Mini Clubman from the UK back in April of 2012. It came into California on the same ship that brings in the New MINI coopers and Land Rovers in SoCal. What one of the guys states is correct, to enter the USA, the car must be at least 25 yrs old. Additionally, for California registration, the car has to be pre-1976.

    What one of the comments refers to is the illegal practice of "Re-Vinning" where the ID number from an earlier car is put onto a newer car. This practice is illegal in the US and the UK! The Dept. of Homeland Security is getting wise to this and has started cracking down on it. By law, should they determine that a car has been revinned, they will confiscate the car and crush it. The owner has no recourse and is simply out the money. Trying to bring in an illegal car (or even a questionable car)and getting caught may cause the vehicle to be reexported to its point of origin. Obviously something you don't want to mess with!
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