NHTSA / DOT Show Or Display
February 2000 - The DOT has published information regarding the Show & Display regulation on its web site. Please take a look.

Vehicle Show or Display List

Also, Csaba Csere has written an excellent explanation of the S&D   regulation in the March 2000 Car and Driver magazine.

The US DOT may allow the permanent importation of certain vehicles for certain persons. The purpose of the new regulation seems to be to allow importation of collector and /or technically interesting cars by collectors. Not simply larger volume, current production vehicles for everyday transportation that are simply not commercialized in the US by the manufacturer. As far as we know there is a one car list of models to be granted permission under this category, the Jaguar XJ 220. It seems likely that vehicles such as the Porsche 959, Ford RS200, Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, McLaren F1, etc. could qualify for permission and be added to the list.

Not to be forgotten, the EPA requirements. Vehicles are considered "restricted goods" by US Customs. Customs restricts importations unless they meet the DOT and EPA criteria. It also, seems that the DOT will require some proof of an EPA solution for any cars that are granted permission. The EPA requirements get more difficult the newer the vehicle.

Sun International is currently an EPA Independent Commercial Importer (ICI)

Following is our current understanding. Please contact the DOT directly for a definitive interpretation.
Starting August 13, 1999 DOT allows vehicles to be imported for "show or display" and operated on public roads for up to 2,500 miles during any 12 month period, subject to a few conditions:

  • Application: the importer must explain why the vehicle is historically or technologically interesting and detail the purposes to be used on the public roads;

  • Insurance: the vehicles insurance policy, submitted to the DOT must provide that the vehicle will not accumulate more than 2,500 miles in any 12 month period, and provide a statement that the policy will be maintained until the vehicle is 25 years old;

  • Inspection request: the importer must provide a statement that the DOT has the right to inspect the vehicle upon request;

  • Environmental compliance: the importer must provide a statement that the vehicle will not be operated on the public roads unless it complies with the EPA regulations;

  • Limitation on the transfer of Title & Possession: the importer must provide a statement that until the vehicle is 25 years old it will not be transferred without the consent of DOT 

Any violations of the above may result in a civil penalty and void the authorization and require exportation of the vehicle.                               This regulation concerns only the DOT. It does not affect EPA regulations for importation and does not affect California CARB or any other state's emission requirements.
Dated: February 2000