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Old 03-28-2012, 09:13 AM
 
3 posts, read 15,662 times
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Hi all,

So I just became a PR of Canada after being on a student visa then a work visa. It's been a long and arduous process but thankfully it's finally done.

Here's the thing: I've been maintaining my residence at my parent's place just across the border to keep my NY driver's license, registration, and (cheap) insurance. I've had some border guards tell me that I need to take care of it but they've never pushed the issue, and I have yet to be stopped by a Canadian cop so never had any problems there.

Given that I'm a PR now I'm going to get an ON license but I was sort of contemplating keeping my NY plates, or at least as long as possible before I'm liable to run into serious problems. I know the process of importing the car and it's not terribly difficult but it's the high cost of insurance that I have a problem with.

So here's my question: is there some kind of a limit or a point in the immigration process when you MUST import your car? Do Canadian cops really care as long as your US registration, stickers, and insurance are valid? Or, when I do finally import the car, can they detain or fine me at the border for not doing it sooner?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:29 AM
 
Location: Midwest
506 posts, read 1,082,045 times
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"A newcomer to Ontario who holds a driver-license from another province or country is required to apply for an Ontario driver's licence within 60 days of taking up residence in the province." Source (http://www.drivetest.ca/en/license/License.aspx - broken link)

Here are the regs for temporary importation.

If you are asking whether you can get away with violating the regulations...can't help you with that one.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:53 AM
 
43 posts, read 174,532 times
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You have another option other than importing your NY registered car. You can sell the car and buy another one in Canada.
You should consider the auto insurance cost of Canada before moving there permanently.
Sometime a couple of $ saving in short term is not worth the hassle in long run.
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:59 AM
 
3,060 posts, read 7,157,921 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canada_bound View Post
...Do Canadian cops really care as long as your US registration, stickers, and insurance are valid? ....
Yes. They really do. If the address on your ON licence and your car registration don't sync you can be in for a real trouble, including fines and penalties. Basically you are avoiding paying ON car registration and licencing (fees which help to pay for the roads you are driving on) - they don't take kindly to it.

Similar scenarios and the repercussions are recounted here - basically - it ain't worth it: Driving US Plated Car in Canada; Will Cause Issues Later?
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Hougary, Texberta
8,576 posts, read 11,067,923 times
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To import a vehicle legally go to riv.ca. They walk you through the steps. It's not that difficult.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:43 PM
 
3 posts, read 15,662 times
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Thanks for the help. What I'm going to do is just import it formally asap since I don't want to risk fines. Hopefully nothing will happen to me between now and when the process is complete.

One more quick thing: once I'm at the border with all my paperwork ready to import the car can they penalize me for not doing it sooner? I imagine they will probably give me **** for it but I'm more concerned with legal repercussions.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:28 PM
 
34,365 posts, read 41,446,089 times
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I remember reading somewhere that the paperwork dealing with the importation of a vehicle has to be submitted to the appropriate border department 72 hours before you actually cross the border with the vehicle..
May or may not apply in your case but just something you may want to check on.
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Old 03-28-2012, 07:20 PM
 
9,334 posts, read 19,458,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
I remember reading somewhere that the paperwork dealing with the importation of a vehicle has to be submitted to the appropriate border department 72 hours before you actually cross the border with the vehicle..
May or may not apply in your case but just something you may want to check on.
Yes. US customs has a fax that you send the paperwork through and you can only export during business hours, mon to Friday.

Is the car on the list of admissible vehicles?
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:46 PM
 
2,288 posts, read 3,932,287 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canada_bound
Thanks for the help. What I'm going to do is just import it formally asap since I don't want to risk fines. Hopefully nothing will happen to me between now and when the process is complete.

One more quick thing: once I'm at the border with all my paperwork ready to import the car can they penalize me for not doing it sooner? I imagine they will probably give me **** for it but I'm more concerned with legal repercussions.
As someone who has done it twice, I don't think they care as long as you do it and you've got proper documentation (not sure they'd know how long you waited anyway). The only timing question is if you imported the car less than 1 year after buying it, then they could charge you GST (and eventually PST) on the purchase price, but I understand your case is the complete opposite.

Make sure you follow every step precisely (see riv.ca). There's nothing worse than having to come back to the border again just because you didn't have a recall clearance letter from the US manufacturer or because the CBP didn't get your title 72 hours in advance. If all goes well, it will only take you ~30 minutes extra the next time you'll be back from your folks' house, and then compliance visits to a Canadian Tire mechanic (free) + a provincial mechanic ($100? that was the cost in Quebec) + your local MTO Driver and Vehicle licence issuing office.

Just one thing regarding the "72 hours in advance rule" -- talk to someone at the CBP crossing you'll go through. Some places will accept faxes but the one I used (Alexandria Bay, NY i.e. 1000 islands) wanted the original through the priority mail and wouldn't take a fax.
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Old 03-30-2012, 06:03 PM
 
9,334 posts, read 19,458,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barneyg View Post
As someone who has done it twice, I don't think they care as long as you do it and you've got proper documentation (not sure they'd know how long you waited anyway). The only timing question is if you imported the car less than 1 year after buying it, then they could charge you GST (and eventually PST) on the purchase price, but I understand your case is the complete opposite.

Make sure you follow every step precisely (see riv.ca). There's nothing worse than having to come back to the border again just because you didn't have a recall clearance letter from the US manufacturer or because the CBP didn't get your title 72 hours in advance. If all goes well, it will only take you ~30 minutes extra the next time you'll be back from your folks' house, and then compliance visits to a Canadian Tire mechanic (free) + a provincial mechanic ($100? that was the cost in Quebec) + your local MTO Driver and Vehicle licence issuing office.

Just one thing regarding the "72 hours in advance rule" -- talk to someone at the CBP crossing you'll go through. Some places will accept faxes but the one I used (Alexandria Bay, NY i.e. 1000 islands) wanted the original through the priority mail and wouldn't take a fax.
Odd that they're different. US cusanted in Lewiston, ny wanted a fax , can't remember if it was 48 or 72 hours in advance. They did not even compare the title to the car, they looked outside th window and I pointed to my Saab.
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