How to Import Your car to Canada

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When you decide to move to Canada from the United States, you have to remember that there is a little bit more to it than just hauling a truck halfway across the country to your new place.  It is easy to forget that, in fact, moving to Canada from the United States actually involves crossing an international border.  While visiting the country is not too complex, relocating all of your belongings can be, particularly if you want to bring big ticket items, like your car, along with you.

Ok, let’s backtrack a smidge: moving to Canada is easy when compared to other countries.  The thing is that America and Canada are similar in many ways and they are so close together that it can be easy to overlook some of the formalities—the proverbial hoop-jumping—involved with the process.  So let’s take a look at what it takes to when you want to import to Canada.

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IMPORTING YOUR US-PURCHASED VEHICLE TO CANADA

No, you are not “officially” an importer, but when you move to Canada from the United States you are, technically, “importing” goods across an international border (because you intend for them to remain in Canada). All goods you transport across the border will probably duties or taxes. When it comes to a car you purchased in the United States, though, here are some things you can expect:

  • You must have your US-purchased vehicle inspected and certified by someone at the Canadian Registrar of Imported Vehicles. This is important because you absolutely must pass inspection if you want to keep your vehicle in Canada.
  • The Canadian Registrar of Imported Vehicles has a list of modified vehicles that cannot enter Canada (some can be modified again to pass inspection).

IMPORTING YOUR INTERNATIONALLY-PURCHASED VEHICLE TO CANADA

All you really need to know about vehicles in this category is that most (if not, all) are exempt from having to satisfy the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act.  Of course, you can check with the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Administration to determine whether yours satisfies the Act or not.

IMPORTING A NON-REGULATED VEHICLE TO CANADA

If you are trying to import a non-regulated vehicle into Canada you will be pleased to know that all are exempt from the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

IMPORTING OLDER VEHICLES TO CANADA

Finally, all you really need to know about this is that vehicles older than 15 years and buses made before 1971 can be imported as “non-regulate” vehicles

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