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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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Old 10-24-2012, 10:28 AM
jepmol jepmol is offline
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Location: California
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Mein Auto: Honda
Bmw525tds for California

Somebody has experience to bring BMW 525tds ,98 diesel. To California from Europe.
I,m the onwer, I bought it in Spain.
What about DMV legislation, smoke test, inspection..
Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:37 AM
DennisCooper!'s Avatar
DennisCooper! DennisCooper! is offline
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Mein Auto: 03 Ex Cop 530d Touring

To get the car fully US road legal will cost you many times over what the car is worth. You'll need to pay for modifications to US road legal standards and then get the various tests done to ensure it meets the correct requirements. In short, the only cars coming over from Europe are 'interesting' ones and those that are still worth quite a bit of money. The Diesel version of the E39 isn't one of those cars deemed valuable enough to perhaps need to drop a very large amount of money for to get it into the US. Recently, an E39 Diesel that perhaps was Federalized when it was very new was/is for sale. I think it's up for around $30,000 USD as obviously, the owner would like to recoup some of the very high fees paid when it was first imported into the USA.

If your pockets are deep enough, then perhaps proceed. I guess a good starting point to find out more, including costs of everything would be these guys;

Please post back here with pricing of everything and if indeed you do go ahead with it, or not!

Cheers, Dennis!
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Old 10-24-2012, 12:38 PM
Mister Drexciya Mister Drexciya is offline
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Location: Chicago
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: E39 2002 525iT
Forget about it; the US bureaucracy makes it sheer impossible and the costs are truely prohibitive if you do try to get it road-legal. Even a Euro-spec 525i is practically impossible to be made US compliant, let alone a "dirty oldfashioned" 525tds.

Bill Gates imported a Porsche 959; he did not manage to get this Porsche US road legal:

The only way to drive your 525tds legally in the US is to go there and drive it around for no more than one year (you being a nonresident). After one year you are obliged to export it; you will not be allowed to sell it or scrap it in the US.

So, practically speaking: sell the tds in Spain and buy yourself another BMW in the US with the money you would have saved ;-).
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