Well-known member
Dec 10, 2005
on June 8, 2019 I was surprised to see a VW Amarok TDI, with 6 speed manual transmission parked near a hotel in Roanoke Rapid, N.C. It had a Pennsylvania license plate where it was registered and was gray. I was surprised at the size, because of comments that it is too small for the U.S. market- it seemed to be close to the size of a Toyota Tacoma. I would be interested in learning how such a vehicle could be imported and registered in the U.S.- excluding diplomats and military personel. I truly sweet looking vehicle.


Veteran Member
May 19, 2010
2015 GSW Tdi, 2012 JSW Tdi DSG (Sold w/80k miles), 2010 Sportwagen TDI 6spd (Traded)
Under federal law some vehicles can be imported and driven in a limited term use permit, mostly manufacturers. Otherwise, non-DOT verified vehicles must be 25+ years old to be imported without meeting current emissions.

That said, the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Germany and the US allows US military to import and operate cars within Germany without meeting all of the codes required. The inspection is still very strict. I've seen newer cars fail for lose tie rods and small rust. What people may not know, it that is works the other way around as well. German military stationed in the US can import and operate their vehicles while stationed here. I suspect that is what you saw. Since Philadelphia is a Port of Entry that may be why it had PA plates.

The German military has a presence at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico and Dulles Airport, VA. Both enclosures are technically German territory.
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