The Road Legality of Imported Kei Trucks Over 25 Years Old in the US

The Road Legality of Imported Kei Trucks Over 25 Years Old in the US

At, we specialize in bringing high-quality Kei trucks into the United States from Japan. These vehicles, known for their compact size, fuel efficiency, and versatile functionality, have been gaining popularity among U.S. buyers. In this blog post, we'll delve into the road legality of older imported Kei trucks and provide insights into the regulations that govern their use.

Understanding Kei Trucks

Kei trucks, originating from Japan, are small, lightweight vehicles designed to meet Japan's strict size and engine displacement regulations. In the US, they are utilized for a wide range of tasks, from agriculture to construction and urban transport. Kei trucks over 25 years old are particularly appealing for importation because they often enjoy exemptions from specific regulatory requirements, making the importation process smoother.

Importation Process

Importing older Kei trucks over 25 years old comes with a few key considerations:

  1. Age Exemption: Kei trucks that are over 25 years old often enjoy exemptions from specific regulatory requirements, which can simplify the importation process.

  2. Safety Standards: While older Kei trucks might be exempt from certain regulations, it's important to ensure they meet U.S. safety standards. This includes elements such as lighting, mirrors, and seat belts, which may require modifications for compliance.

  3. Customs and Import Duties: Navigating customs and import duties is an essential part of the importation process. Ensuring you comply with these regulations is vital.

  4. State-Specific Regulations: Each state in the US may have unique regulations for imported vehicles. Researching the specific requirements in your state is crucial.

Road Legality

After successfully importing your older Kei truck over 25 years old, ensuring its road legality involves the following steps:

  1. License and Registration: Register your Kei truck with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and obtain the appropriate license to operate the vehicle.

  2. Insurance: Adequate insurance coverage is essential to protect yourself and others while driving your Kei truck. Ensure you meet your state's insurance requirements.

  3. Safety Inspection: In many states, safety inspections are mandatory for all vehicles, including imported Kei trucks. These inspections confirm that your vehicle is safe for operation on U.S. roads.

  4. Emissions Testing: While older Kei trucks are generally exempt from EPA emissions standards, some states may still require emissions testing to ensure your vehicle meets acceptable emissions levels.


Importing and driving an older Kei truck over 25 years old in the US can be a straightforward process due to the exemptions that often apply to these vehicles. These exemptions make the importation process more accessible. However, it's crucial to remain vigilant about other federal and state regulations, including safety and state-specific requirements. At, we specialize in bringing high-quality, older Kei trucks into the US from Japan, providing nationwide delivery and quality assurance to make the process as smooth as possible for our customers. If you're considering importing one of our older Kei trucks, feel free to contact us for assistance in navigating the complexities of importing and registering your vehicle while ensuring road legality and compliance with U.S. regulations.

Back to blog