Is the Nissan Silvia S14 Legal in the US? (Detailed Explanation)

The Nissan Silvia is a model renowned for its excellent racing capabilities. This model has several sub-models that are built for different markets. So, the question is whether the Nissan Silvia S14 is allowed in the US.

The Nissan Silvia S14 is illegal in the US. Firstly, it was built exclusively for the Japanese market. Also, it was declared illegal since it did not meet pollution and federal safety standards. Moreover, it features a right-hand steering column that is similar to cars in England and not the US. 

This article gives reasons why the S14 was banned in the US, and which Nissan Silvia models are acceptable in the country. 

Is the Nissan Silvia S14 Legal in the US?

Is the nissan silvia S14 legal in the us

The Nissan Silvia, popularly known as the fast and furious, is one of the most common racing cars. They are renowned for their incredible speed, outstanding performance, and easy handling. Any JDM enthusiast and those who take part in drifting can vouch for this car.

The passion that people show for this car is not unfounded. They are designed with a unique aerodynamic frame, a reliable turbocharged engine, and chrome detailing to make them look good to the eye. Saying that they are fast would be an understatement.

On top of that, these cars feature low platforms, rounded upper bodies, and sloping hoods. The designs were specially selected to ensure great aerodynamic performance and high visibility for the driver. However, American drivers can only express their excitement and not actually own the car, at least not on US soil. The car was declared illegal in the country for several reasons. 

First off, it was exclusively made for the Japanese market. Nissan Silvia was the Japanese maker’s line of sports cars. They all feature a similar S-chassis with great capabilities when it comes to the racing field. There is a US version of these vehicles, the 240SX which is legal in the country. The S14 was never certified for sale in the US. 

Another reason is that the vehicle did not comply with all federal safety and pollution standards, hence importing it was banned. Moreover, it has a right-hand steering column akin to the cars in England and not in the US. 

On top of that, the Nissan Silvia S14 was manufactured in the 1990s which means that it fell under the 25-year import law. This means that importing the car into the country was banned for the next 25 years since its debut. 

Can You Drive a Nissan Silvia in the US? 

Nissan Silvia is not allowed in the United States. The country has a set 25-year import law that restricts the importation of the specific Nissan Silvia cars as they do not meet the crash test and emissions standards.

Anyone who attempts driving the S14 in the US risks spending 20 years in prison, and a fine of $250,000. Worth noting is that the cars cost less than $20,000. It is not really worth the risk, since you will not get to enjoy the car when behind bars. Therefore, driving the Nissan Silvia S14 is a violation of the laws. It will cost you jail time and a boatload of money. 

Which Nissan Silvia is Legal in the US? 

Fortunately for American drivers, the Nissan 240SXare is perfectly legal in the US. This model is known for its great success in local drag racing, street racing, and drift competitions. 

Following the ban of Nissan Silvia S14 in the US, the brand created a model that would be a version of the car in the US—that is the 240SX. The two are inherently the same car, but with minor differences. They have different trim levels and are fitted with engines from different manufacturers.

The engine of the 240SX was slightly less powerful with 180hp, compared to the 205hp of the S14. Moreover, it is less powerful and not as fast as the S14, but the good thing is that it can be driven on US roads. The 240SX is the emissions-certified version of the S14 making it legal in the US. 


The Nissan S14 is famous for its racing capabilities. It is among Nissan’s entry-level sports cars that made its debut in 1989. Moreover, it is one of the beloveds when it comes to JDM car culture and is regarded as Nissan’s coolest sports car.

The Nissan Silvia is the name of the Japanese line of sports cars. They were all a family of cars with the same chassis that was designed for sporting activities, races, and drifting. 

The Nissan Skyline is another very popular car. However, it is not one you will see plying on the US roads. They are illegal in most American states.

Final Thoughts 

As many people love the Nissan Silvia, it is not legal in the US. It has only been sold in Japan and does not meet the emissions tests. This means that it is banned on public roads. Owning one behind the law is not worth the risk. You can get yourself the 240SX model that is perfectly legal and almost similar to the S14.

Related Posts: