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Old 01-09-2012, 11:19 AM
18,105 posts, read 10,294,415 times
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We're getting conflicting info regarding the purchase, title, and insuring a car for our useage in Florida while maintaining a Canadian Driver's license.

The info we get seems contraditory on a couple of items.

We are being told on the one hand; you can insure a vehicle purchased in Florida if the vehicle remains in the U.S. without having a Florida driver's license.

Confusion comes in when some say you need the Florida driver's license in order to insure the car BUT you may only have/use one driver's license and must surrender the other one as having two driver's license would equate to: 'use one until you've committed enough offenses to warrant suspension then simply carry on driving badly with the other'.

Have two calls to Progressive and State Farm waiting on call-back from both for a day now.

We have purchased a used car to leave down here and would desire to drive it fully insured and legally titled using our Canadian driver's licenses from Ontario.

Will not surrender our Canadian driver's licenses under any circumstances!
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:36 AM
Location: it depends
6,074 posts, read 5,317,239 times
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Default that's a good question, and....

what about residents of other (united) states who may spend 3-5 months in Fla, bringing a car to Florida, but who are not Florida residents and leave their cars registered and insured back in the home state?

Anybody have any trouble collecting on claims? Anyone get static from their "home" state agent or insurer about having a car in Florida for months?

How did you resolve it?

(Hope you get answers about the Canadian question, too....)
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:05 PM
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Reputation: 12
Default Any Luck With Insurance Companies...

Hi BruSan, just curious if you have had any feedback from Progressive or State Farm regarding insuring your car in Florida with an Ontario, Canada driver's license, and if so was it very expensive?

I have a family member in a similar situation, so was happy to stumble upon this forum.

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Old 10-20-2012, 12:07 PM
8 posts, read 67,006 times
Reputation: 25
Getting insurance for Canadians, who want to buy and leave a car in Florida, is not easy. First I tried the agent who insures our home. She said it would cost $1400 for 6 months and has a limit of $300000 for liability. She never called me back with more information. The second call I made was about the same, and they didn't call back as promised.

Then I called Debbie Bates Allstate and talked to Blanca Parker. This agent is in the Sun City, Ruskin area, South East of Tampa and 30 minutes North of Bradenton. Blanca was pleasant, efficient, and got costs to me immediately. She took my license number so she could check on my driving record. She knew Canadians like at least $1,000,000 worth of liability, and she will get back to me about the cost. For $500K liability, cost will be about $600 for 6 months of insurance, and you can put the insurance on "vacation" when you aren't there, so the car is covered for damage or theft, for about $150.

Nothing has been finalized so I am not 100% sure so far, but, I wanted to get this information out to people right away. I don't know how you feel about Allstate, I prefer an agent, but, I would go with this if it works out the way it seems to be going. Probably, any Allstate agent can do the same, but, it was nice to work with someone who understood the problem and actually worked to get a solution.

I'll let you know if there is a problem. Just in case, the number is 813-633-3307
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Old 10-21-2012, 07:57 PM
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Marcopolo: Anybody have any trouble collecting on claims? Anyone get static from their "home" state agent or insurer about having a car in Florida for months?

I am not sure if leaving a car from another state is different than leaving a car from Canada in Florida. If we brought a car to Florida and left it here (that was our original plan) our insurance from home would not cover us for more than a few months - I think it was 6.

We would need to get a Florida licence and Florida insurance to cover us. To bring a car from Canada we would have to get any changes made (modifications needed in Florida-this may apply to you, may not), and then we would have to pay all the sales tax, which would have been about $2300. It jsut wasn't worth it to us.

I am not sure if this is of any help, but, in case you need to know quickly this will give you an idea of what may be needed. It is best to talk to a knowledgeable insurance agent.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:58 PM
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Reputation: 11
When crossing the border from Canada to the United States my brother (a canadian) was asked questions about his intentions, he was asked what he owns in the United States, he said a winter home and a vehicle. He was then told he could not purchase and register a vehicle in the United States as he is not a permanent resident, it shows intent to immigrate....he owns a winter home down south and spends half the year there and half in Canada...he was told he had to either drive the vehicle back to Canada and register it there or sell the car...I've searched and searched for information about this and can't see anywhere that this is true....does anyone know?? Thanks so much

Last edited by Waaski; 03-10-2013 at 01:01 PM.. Reason: clarification
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:39 AM
8 posts, read 67,006 times
Reputation: 25
Default Cdn Snowbirds owning a car in Florida

Something isn't right about what was said, because we are living proof you can register a car in Florida.

We are residents of Ontario, and bought a place in Florida in November 2011 near Sun City Centre. In November 2012 we bought a 2013 VW Passat (large backseat to carry people around).

The car has Florida plates, which we just renewed for 2 years, and we have insurance which was difficult to arrange, but, easy once we got an agency that has done this before.

Most insurance companies don't want to do the work necessary to register Canadians. After several calls I found an Allstate agent that has done this before and knew that Canadians want at least $1 million liability insurance. Cost was about $650 a year, but only about $140 a year when on vacation (just compehensive when parked in the garage while we are back home). You can switch between the two.

BTW....we have Canadian drivers licenses only and that is allowed. I believe your Cdn insurance company will only cover you for up to 6 months out of the province. You can't drive a car with a Canadian license for more than 6 months in Florida. If you are transfering a car you have to pay sales tax on the car. Generally, cars cost about 20% less in the U.S. so it is worth considering.

Some people mentioned they don't want to give up their Canadian drivers license. No need to do that. My sister-in-law has a car here as well, she has a Cdn drivers license and she has a US drivers license as well.

Hope that helps.
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Old 04-01-2016, 04:58 PM
1 posts, read 6,229 times
Reputation: 10
I have power of attorney over a 79yr old lady with 85%dementia. US citizen. with a Florida address she cannoclean t drive .
she has a fully insured and taxed car with Florida tags. I am the named driver on her insurance, but being a Canadian
with a Canada driving licence I need to return to Ontario, and taking her with me.
What problems will I get at the customs. Also do I have to get a Florida licence to drive her car
My driving record is clean for the last 70 years . K Read.
Also I am a snowbird
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Old 04-05-2016, 04:35 PM
1 posts, read 6,154 times
Reputation: 11
So I inquired on numerous sites about this and could not get a good answer. So blindly I went to purchase a vehicle in Tampa and it could not have been easier. The dealer just took our Alberta licenses and gave us the plates right there once we provided insurance. I called my insurance agent who I deal with for my home insurance and he sent over a temporary insurance card and I drove the car off the lot. All I needed to do was send our driver abstracts and get our Canadian carrier to send a "letter of experience" to our American office (and apparently very easy if your from Ontario- my agent in Florida could have done it himself) once I got back to Alberta. No DMV- no hassle- easy peasy. I'll also add insurance was less than I pay in Alberta.
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Old 05-06-2016, 09:22 AM
1 posts, read 5,864 times
Reputation: 10
Calgary Cody is correct.
It is very easy to purchase a vehicle in Florida as a Canadian.
Purchase vehicle in Florida, no safety required for used vehicles.
No need to get Florida drivers license, you use your Canadian DL.
Get your driver abstract from your Canadian insurance to show your US insurance so they have a record to go on.
Register it in Florida to your Florida address, then get Florida insurance, I know Progressive does as that's what we use.
Progressive allows you to also reduce coverage while it is not being used when back in Canada.
You cannot bring the vehicle back into Canada without importing it, which means paperwork and tax to be paid on it for Canada Rev, That's a bit of a hassle, so above works great to leave it down in Florida as your snowbird car.
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