Importing a vehicle from the United States into Canada requires significant expense and work. But, you can reduce the stress associated with the import process if you work with a reputable customs broker. Different sets of rules apply depending on your purpose of bringing the vehicle into Canada and the age of the vehicle.
The Registrar of Imported Vehicles (RIV) strictly regulates the import process. Once you decide to purchase a vehicle in the U. S., you must get in touch with the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), Transport Canada, The Register of Imported Vehicles (RIV), and the U. S. Customs for the ports you will be using. You must confirm with them the paperwork required and the current process.
The Kind of Vehicles You Must Purchase to Import from the U. S.
Some vehicles can’t be imported into Canada. For your vehicle to be allowed entry into the Canadian border, it has to be on Transport Canada’s list of permissible makes and models. Then, you need to confirm with RIV and Transport Canada the necessary modifications to the vehicle. It is best to have these modifications made while the vehicle is in the U. S. But, ensure no modifications have been made from the original condition by the seller to avoid complicating the process.
In addition, to successfully import a car to Canada from USA, you need to get a “proof of recall clearance” to register the vehicle. This clearance will confirm that the manufacturer of your vehicle has not deemed it unsafe and there are no outstanding recalls for this vehicle.
Insurance and License Plates You Must Secure
You need valid Canadian car insurance for your vehicle from the time you buy it. Contact your current insurance provider if you can extend your auto insurance to cover the new purchase. Ensure you always have the certificate of insurance throughout this entire process.
If you get the vehicle from a dealer, you should get a temporary license plate that is valid in both the U. S. and Canada for a month. If the vehicle is from a private seller, keep in mind that Canadian Customs may not let a Canadian resident drive a vehicle with a U. S. license plate in Canada unless you can prove to them that you will licence the car in Canada. As long as you are following the right procedures, this should not be an issue. And you don’t have to worry about this if you work with an experienced broker.