Automotive

Driving the US vehicle in Canada????

  • Last Updated:
  • Jul 22nd, 2009 2:48 pm
Tags:
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 26, 2008
25 posts
Canada

Driving the US vehicle in Canada????

Hi, I am a permanent resident and driving the US vehicle in Canada. The vehicle is in finance and fully insured, therefore I cant import it up to I would be able to pay off my car. Last time when I was crossing the border, the Canadian customs guy made a huge deal why I am driving the car and why do I have the US dl. He said that I am going to have lots of trouble, but couldnt make it clear why I cant have the US dl or drive my car.Anyways he let me in. Usually I go to the states every third month or so, so I do no see why he was so upset on me. Any thoughts from Canadians would be highly appreciated, I just dont wanna mess up with the law.
53 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Aug 22, 2003
15541 posts
979 upvotes
Niagara Falls
The BSO was correct. Technically it's illegal for a Canadian resident to drive a US plated and registered vehicle in Canada. At the border they can decide you are importing the vehicle (which you really are) and charge you all the applicable taxes, etc. We went through it driving a US plated rental into Canada. There are lots of specifics to the law so you're probably best to phone both the border and the go talk to your local MTO (Ministry of Transportation) office. If you're in Canada you should indeed have a valid Canadian license in your situation and are required to by law IIRC. You really should be trying to refinance in Canada and import the car legally to be in compliance.
Thinking seriously about the 4 S's...Sun, Sand, Surf and ... Booked for Sept in Mexico and booked Samana DR for Jan!
Jr. Member
Dec 26, 2006
117 posts
2 upvotes
If you are working in the US with a US work visa, when you cross the border into Canada the officer just lets you go through without any hassles on the US car plate and US driver license.

However, if you now live and work in Canada, then when you happen to cross the border from US into Canada, you'll have a hard time with a US plated car and US driver license.

If you move back to Canada from the US, you are supposed to declare and import the vehicle when you were crossing the border. At that time you would have 49 days to finish all the car import paperworks. The whole process sounds tough but once you've done it, it seems just fair. Since the car is still under financed, you can't import it yet. But you should have taken a loan in Canada to pay it off and imported it.
[OP]
Newbie
Sep 26, 2008
25 posts
Canada
well, I do have my canadian dl, but my american insurance requires to have the us dl not canadian. I crossed border many times before, but only two weeks ago I run into this issue. They didnt ask me to pay anything, just I spent about an hour talking to guy at the office and he said that I must receive or not some letter from him asking for papers. However 2 wks passed and no letter, should I think everything is cleared or they dont work fast.Anyways, you said try to re-finance it in Canada, so you sure it would be possible to get a loan?

I searched the web and couldnt find any clear answer why having the US dl is illegal? why do I need to surrender my EC dr if in my native country police doesnt recognize Canadian dl. The same iis n here - LOL.
Member
Jul 4, 2008
206 posts
All jurisdictions in Canada have time limits for new residents to register their vehicles. On PEI it is only 10 days. I don't know what it is in Ontario (or where ever you are), but I can't see it being more than 30-60 days.

If you were ever stopped by the police the officer will certainly notice your licence details and rego/insurance details don't match. And I'd be even more concerned that your residency in Canada may have invalidated your car insurance since you no longer reside at your US address.
Sr. Member
Oct 27, 2008
657 posts
6 upvotes
medellru wrote: well, I do have my canadian dl, but my american insurance requires to have the us dl not canadian...
You have 2 driver licenses from US and Canada? My wife is US citizen, she has to trade her us dl to canada...I guess it won't be fair for you to drive and work in canada without paying the sticker yearly, which is used to fund the road work (build and maintenance)

Insurance is another thing...does your US insurance cover you driving in Canada?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jan 28, 2008
1177 posts
30 upvotes
Sarnia
I doubt very much that your US insurer would cover you if/and when they find out you are actually living in Canada. Insurance rates are based on where you reside and I'll just bet you didn't tell them you were living in Canada did you.. Fess up otherwise this is just a waste of time.
Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. Proverbs 17;28
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 7, 2007
5347 posts
3002 upvotes
Not a big deal, based on your description I don't understand why the customs officer gave you a lecture.

There are tons and tons of people like you, living and working legally on the two countries, crossing the border all the time. And yes, they do have two licenses... even if technically that is not kosher...
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 7, 2007
5347 posts
3002 upvotes
pkguy wrote: I doubt very much that your US insurer would cover you if/and when they find out you are actually living in Canada. Insurance rates are based on where you reside and I'll just bet you didn't tell them you were living in Canada did you.. Fess up otherwise this is just a waste of time.
Yes, you are right, BUT if he has an address there (example: he owns a home) then the insurance will cover him...

based on his -incomplete- description, I understand that he is a legal resident of both countries
Sr. Member
Oct 27, 2008
657 posts
6 upvotes
motomondo wrote: Not a big deal, based on your description I don't understand why the customs officer gave you a lecture.

There are tons and tons of people like you, living and working legally on the two countries, crossing the border all the time. And yes, they do have two licenses... even if technically that is not kosher...
Don't know anything about kosher...but when my wife decided to live in Canada, the custom did advice her to import her car (they let us in and sort all this out on our own). It is a fair thing to do, we, canadians who work and live here pay sales tax (on car) and yearly sticker and emission fee.

If you work in 2 countries then should probably have 2 cars. US insurance will not cover you if they found out you live and work in Canada, I know from experience and State Farm.

US visitor is a different story, they're here temporarily and usually ends up spending money anyway ...so they're cool :D
Sr. Member
Oct 27, 2008
657 posts
6 upvotes
motomondo wrote: Yes, you are right, BUT if he has an address there (example: he owns a home) then the insurance will cover him...

based on his -incomplete- description, I understand that he is a legal resident of both countries
cover his house, not his car :lol:

btw do tell how you manage to have 2 licenses?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 7, 2007
5347 posts
3002 upvotes
Friday5PM wrote: cover his house, not his car :lol:

btw do tell how you manage to have 2 licenses?
I do have dual citizenship... in my case, resident of only one country
But I do have two drivers licenses
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 7, 2007
5347 posts
3002 upvotes
Friday5PM wrote: Don't know anything about kosher...but when my wife decided to live in Canada, the custom did advice her to import her car (they let us in and sort all this out on our own). It is a fair thing to do, we, canadians who work and live here pay sales tax (on car) and yearly sticker and emission fee.

If you work in 2 countries then should probably have 2 cars. US insurance will not cover you if they found out you live and work in Canada, I know from experience and State Farm.

US visitor is a different story, they're here temporarily and usually ends up spending money anyway ...so they're cool :D
But what you are saying is very cut and dry, she decided to live in only one country, I hope you can accept the posibility of people living in two countries...
Sr. Member
Oct 27, 2008
657 posts
6 upvotes
motomondo wrote: I do have dual citizenship... in my case, resident of only one country
But I do have two drivers licenses
US only allows one citizenship (except for citizenship-by-birth), is one of yours american?
Sr. Member
Oct 27, 2008
657 posts
6 upvotes
motomondo wrote: But what you are saying is very cut and dry, she decided to live in only one country, I hope you can accept the posibility of people living in two countries...
I can accept if you can prove it, by telling me the name of insurance company that allows this scenario (US insurance comp that will give coverage to someone who works and lives in Canada or vice versa), I would like to know too! We tried that, we actually still have a house in Columbus OH
motomondo wrote: Yes, you are right, BUT if he has an address there (example: he owns a home) then the insurance will cover him...
I take it you mean the US insurance will cover him, his car and working and living in Canada
Sr. Member
Oct 27, 2008
657 posts
6 upvotes
motomondo wrote: I ...
But I do have two drivers licenses
Did you go through driving exam and road test again to get the second license? do tell the two driver licenses and how you get them
Member
Jul 4, 2008
206 posts
Friday5PM wrote: Did you go through driving exam and road test again to get the second license? do tell the two driver licenses and how you get them

I actually had two licences at one time. I just didn't realise it. When I moved back to PEI I went in to the local motor vehicle branch and changed my NB licence and rego. They should have contacted NB motor vehicles to let them know, but they didn't and 15 months later I received the licence renewal papers in the mail.

edit: thinking back, my grandfather at one time had an Ontario licence and vehicle registration AND the same in Florida. From what I remember, the DMV in Florida said they shouldn't do it, but because he was alternating his living between Florida and Ontario it would make things easier.
Sr. Member
Oct 27, 2008
657 posts
6 upvotes
eastwood wrote: I actually had two licences at one time. I just didn't realise it. When I moved back to PEI I went in to the local motor vehicle branch and changed my NB licence and rego. They should have contacted NB motor vehicles to let them know, but they didn't and 15 months later I received the licence renewal papers in the mail.
In ON, at least in my wife situation, they (MTO) kept her US dl and in order to issue her ON dl. so what happened in case, you didn't have to give your NB dl to get PEI dl? hmm, I'll ask my cousin, she works in Driver licensing office
Member
Jul 4, 2008
206 posts
Friday5PM wrote: In ON, at least in my wife situation, they (MTO) kept her US dl and in order to issue her ON dl. so what happened in case, you didn't have to give your NB dl to get PEI dl? hmm, I'll ask my cousin, she works in Driver licensing office
No, I gave the NB licence to them and was issued one for PEI. They are supposed to inform motor vehicles in NB, but did not. Though I didn't get a renewal reminder for my car registration in NB, so I guess that info was forwarded.
Sr. Member
Oct 27, 2008
657 posts
6 upvotes
eastwood wrote: No, I gave the NB licence to them and was issued one for PEI. They are supposed to inform motor vehicles in NB, but did not. Though I didn't get a renewal reminder for my car registration in NB, so I guess that info was forwarded.
Does your granddaddy have 2 dl? ON and FL? I know someone who does, but he took the road test and exam all over again in US (as a visa student)...and he never told him about having ON dl

Top