Automotive

Crossing the border with someone else's car

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  • Aug 12th, 2006 8:21 pm
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Member
Oct 22, 2004
229 posts

Crossing the border with someone else's car

If i cross the border with a car that isn't registered under my name, is that possible? For example, Im driving my parent's car across the border but I'm not the owner of the car but I have insurance coverage under it. Reason is because I heard that they won't let you across or you'll need a signed note? Is that true?
18 replies
Deal Fanatic
Apr 24, 2006
6528 posts
408 upvotes
Toronto
It depends. I do not know what the regulations are for crossing INTO the US with a vehicle that is not yours. Contact US Customs and Border Protection for this info.

However, coming BACK TO Canada with a US plated vehicle that is not yours (only exception being a rental) is not permitted regardless if you have any sort of letter from the owner saying you can drive it.
I Declare - The official guide to your Customs exemptions and item restrictions when returning to Canada from abroad.
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Jan 17, 2003
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Roots wrote:If i cross the border with a car that isn't registered under my name, is that possible? For example, Im driving my parent's car across the border but I'm not the owner of the car but I have insurance coverage under it. Reason is because I heard that they won't let you across or you'll need a signed note? Is that true?
Don't worry about it... i use to drive my parents car across teh border all the time. And recently (last weekend) drove my soon to be father in law's car across the border without him there. Just be prepared to answer the question honestly when they ask you.

This is my mom's car or dad's.
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Jul 4, 2006
2434 posts
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i've done driven my dad's car across the border too without him there.

to tell you the truth, i didn't even think about it.

but, i also still live at home so my driver's license address is the same as the car's registration address. i doubt they check that tho.
Deal Addict
Aug 1, 2005
1698 posts
54 upvotes
Windsor
I've driven my brothers pickup across the border a few times.

I drive my employers cars across the border several times a month, and they've asked if it was my car, and a simple, "no, it's my employers car" would suffice. One thing that does raise a red flag is driving the car across the border twice in one day, which happens frequently with our company vehicles.. they'll ask you why you're entering the US again, and might seem skeptical of your response that it was someone else :)

Make sure you have the registration and proof of insurance in case they ask.
Deal Addict
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Jul 18, 2005
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Once they asked me if this was my car, I said "no, it's my dad's". It was all good :)
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Dec 21, 2005
4715 posts
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Markham
Hmm...never had any border officer ask me about ownership of the car -- and i've driven rental cars over the border

They typically just ask u for proof of citizenship (passport; not driver license -- unless u are travelling w/ a birth certificate). Some will ask you why you're entering; i guess i dont fit the "profile" to get searched :lol:
:idea: :) :lol: :razz: :D
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Mar 25, 2002
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I've only been asked about the owner whenever I drive a US plated rental car into the US. It is usually a one way from Toronto to the Buffalo airport. Only questions I've been asked were.... "who's car is this?" "what's the name of the rental agency?" "where did you pick up your car?".
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Sep 14, 2003
4463 posts
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Burnaby
You won't have a problem. Out of all the times I've crossed the border, I've only been asked once who own's the car, and that was coming back into Canada. On top of that, everytime my friend drives, he drives his dad's van.
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Newbie
Jan 5, 2004
45 posts
I have been asked this question many times. In fact once when I crossed the border with my cousins car, they did not let me cross, as they wanted proof that I was allowed to drive his car and that I was covered by his insuracne. If you are ever going to drive someone elses car across the border, I strongly recommend that you get a hand written and signed letter that states that you are allowed to drive the vehicle mentioned below for the period needed and that you as the driver are insured. Make sure the signature on the letter matches that of the one on the ownership of the car. Keep this letter in the glove box in case they were to ask you. The US customs guys can be real dics and not let you in the country (deny you entry) which stays on there files for many years to come! Good luck....also if using a rental car make sure your name is on the rental agreement in the case where someone else rented it for you for the coorporate discount they were getting.
[OP]
Member
Oct 22, 2004
229 posts
tiju wrote:I have been asked this question many times. In fact once when I crossed the border with my cousins car, they did not let me cross, as they wanted proof that I was allowed to drive his car and that I was covered by his insuracne. If you are ever going to drive someone elses car across the border, I strongly recommend that you get a hand written and signed letter that states that you are allowed to drive the vehicle mentioned below for the period needed and that you as the driver are insured. Make sure the signature on the letter matches that of the one on the ownership of the car. Keep this letter in the glove box in case they were to ask you. The US customs guys can be real dics and not let you in the country (deny you entry) which stays on there files for many years to come! Good luck....also if using a rental car make sure your name is on the rental agreement in the case where someone else rented it for you for the coorporate discount they were getting.
thanks for all the replies guys. That's the thing I'm worried about. It seems like it depends on the border officer. Always, I hope I'll be fine when crossing. :cheesygri
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Jan 8, 2006
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Roots wrote:thanks for all the replies guys. That's the thing I'm worried about. It seems like it depends on the border officer. Always, I hope I'll be fine when crossing. :cheesygri
let us know how it went when you get back.......if any problems or not.....good luck.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 24, 2006
6528 posts
408 upvotes
Toronto
Roots wrote:thanks for all the replies guys. That's the thing I'm worried about. It seems like it depends on the border officer. Always, I hope I'll be fine when crossing. :cheesygri

Very true. Some officers will care more than others. Just be prepared with info from the owner and such.
I Declare - The official guide to your Customs exemptions and item restrictions when returning to Canada from abroad.
Deal Addict
May 27, 2005
2284 posts
45 upvotes
Kingston
Roots wrote:If i cross the border with a car that isn't registered under my name, is that possible? For example, Im driving my parent's car across the border but I'm not the owner of the car but I have insurance coverage under it. Reason is because I heard that they won't let you across or you'll need a signed note? Is that true?
You can drive whatever you want, but there are always bonehead U.S. customs officials who will make $hit up and harrass you.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 24, 2006
6528 posts
408 upvotes
Toronto
belgiangenius wrote:You can drive whatever you want, but there are always bonehead U.S. customs officials who will make $hit up and harrass you.
Or ignorant posters like yourself who don't understand the rules and regulations and therefore decide it's anyone's fault but your own.
I Declare - The official guide to your Customs exemptions and item restrictions when returning to Canada from abroad.
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