Automotive

Canadian car left in Texas

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 6th, 2019 11:42 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Dec 3, 2019
0 posts

Canadian car left in Texas

I’m currently on a work visa from Canada, I’ve left my Canadian car in Texas for over 2 years now, ive recently read its only allowed to be down for a year.

I know I need to bring back the Canadian car back, when I cross the boarder into Canada do I have anything to worried about? I feel like boarder patrol just wants to make sure Im not bringing back anything illegal.

I’m Canadian, the car is Canadian and it’s my car.

Do I need to be worried ?
18 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
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Center of Universe
Is it registered and insured?
Deal Addict
Sep 8, 2017
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GTA
Did you ever change to Texas plates? I'd be shocked if their laws allow an out-of-state car on their roads for 2 years.
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Jul 12, 2003
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Before talking about being questioning at border, i would think about the insurance first.
If you haven't change your insurance or disclose that you are driving the car to US that long, you are probably not covered under their insurance policy if anything happens down there, and this is a huge risk to drive without a proper insurance coverage in US.
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Sep 8, 2017
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Good point. I inquired about that, and my policy only provides 6 months of out-of-province coverage.
Sr. Member
Oct 2, 2017
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instead of going through all that trouble, get a uhaul trailer and tow it back, then all you have to worry about is the registration/ownership
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Oct 6, 2010
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derass wrote: Did you ever change to Texas plates? I'd be shocked if their laws allow an out-of-state car on their roads for 2 years.
Indeed. Problem is you see it all the time in Ontario where if you move here the limit is 60 days to exchange your license/plates and for students and the sort, less than 6 consecutive months. Which no one is doing.
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Jun 26, 2011
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Your Canadian insurance does not cover for a car that's been away from Canada for more than 6 consecutive months. If you are away for longer than that duration, you would have needed to get insurance in Texas, likely requiring your license to be transferred as well. Therefore, if you really want to get down to it, your insurance is likely invalid currently.

Do you even have a valid sticker for your Ontario plates? It feels like it could cause problems at the border if you are also driving a car without a valid sticker. Are you driving back to Canada for good? If so, it might be in your best interest to drive to the border, get a Uhaul and tow it across back home.
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Mar 7, 2007
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You will be 100% fine.

Crossing the border back into Canada will be trouble-free.

They do not care about your license plate sticker. They have more important things to worry about: drugs, weapons, other illegal items, and people coming to work here (without the proper visa / permit).

A Canadian citizen driving a Canadian car coming into Canada? Millions of such crossings every week.
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Sep 1, 2004
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motomondo wrote: They do not care about your license plate sticker. They have more important things to worry about: drugs, weapons, other illegal items, and people coming to work here (without the proper visa / permit).
So you are assuming CBSA agents are incompetent?

Even if they let you thru, how does driving around with expired plates sans insurance a good idea?
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Feb 29, 2008
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I have exported and re-imported my car from the US. Upon reimportation it was plated in Florida with valid Florida insurance. I had no issues. I simply declared it and showed proof that it was exported from Canada.

Mind you it was only one year.
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Mar 7, 2007
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Xtrema wrote: So you are assuming CBSA agents are incompetent?

Even if they let you thru, how does driving around with expired plates sans insurance a good idea?
Not assuming. I am telling you.

These guys ARE competent but they have priorities.
Checking the license plate sticker of each car and truck that is crossing is not a priority for them.

For all I know, the car has insurance, either in Canada or Texas.
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Nov 17, 2004
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CBSA doesn’t care about your plate and stickers. Unless they are suspicious about something, then they may use that as reasonable cause to send you to secondary, further investigations, etc. since it can further cause suspicion.

Source: former CBSA (CCRA) officer
Sr. Member
Mar 22, 2004
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London, ON
Xtrema wrote: So you are assuming CBSA agents are incompetent?

Even if they let you thru, how does driving around with expired plates sans insurance a good idea?
CBSA enforces Federal Laws. License plate stickers are under provincial jurisdiction. Nobody said expired plates and insurance are a good idea. The question was whether CBSA would care.
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Oct 1, 2015
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Xtrema wrote: So you are assuming CBSA agents are incompetent?

Even if they let you thru, how does driving around with expired plates sans insurance a good idea?
When was the last time you heard of someone being pulled over at the border for an expired plate sticker?
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Nov 1, 2006
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Xtrema wrote: So you are assuming CBSA agents are incompetent?

Even if they let you thru, how does driving around with expired plates sans insurance a good idea?
Now that's a "bit" of a misinterpretation. In no way did he suggest that "CBSA agents are incompetent".
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Sep 1, 2004
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CensoredByRFD wrote: CBSA doesn’t care about your plate and stickers. Unless they are suspicious about something, then they may use that as reasonable cause to send you to secondary, further investigations, etc. since it can further cause suspicion.

Source: former CBSA (CCRA) officer
Thank you, that's what I meant. It arouse suspicion.
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Dec 12, 2009
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CensoredByRFD wrote: CBSA doesn’t care about your plate and stickers. Unless they are suspicious about something, then they may use that as reasonable cause to send you to secondary, further investigations, etc. since it can further cause suspicion.

Source: former CBSA (CCRA) officer
I've seen a few on the "Border Patrol" TV shows get pulled over for 2ndary. Then once border patrol found out they didn't have a license or whatever, see the car get towed away and the person placed in a local police car.
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ROYinTO wrote: I've seen a few on the "Border Patrol" TV shows get pulled over for 2ndary. Then once border patrol found out they didn't have a license or whatever, see the car get towed away and the person placed in a local police car.
Once you’re already in secondary, you’re usually already in trouble.

Customs doesn’t have access to the MTO data base with the updated license/registration. If primary sees it and asks, you can just say that you forgot to put the new sticker on and they can’t check unless they call the police to check for them. It’s highly doubtful that they’ll care unless they’re already suspicions about something (ie 4 males of different ethnicities in a beat up old car coming back from the Bronx visiting “friends” with no luggage in the trunk and saying that they didn’t buy anything). If you’re a family of 4 with 2 small kids coming back from visiting family in Syracuse for American thanksgiving In a 2 year old Toyota Camry, coming back with some shopping from the outlets and declaring $500 worth of goods and a bottle of vodka from duty free, they’re not going to care if your sticker is expired.

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