How to move your car from the USA to Canada?


Is it worth it ? and is the process too much administratively or something very trivial.
Also has anyone just crossed the border by driving it :slight_smile: i know this sounds crazy but for peeps who moved north from NYC/Seattle areas this is the most convenient way of getting to GTA/Vancouver areas.


I sold an older car and got the newer one across. Also since it was a 4WD I thought we could use it to explore the Canadian wilderness a bit.

I used these guys they were super professional they knew the process well and emailed me list of documents needed. And picked up my car from my place in California.


Subhash, to add on to 's point, if its a newer car and a car was declared an asset you will bring in when you landed (in personal effects accounting document), it would be a good idea to ship it or drive it over to Canada. I sold both my cars as they were 2012 & older and wanted to get one on loan here. However, had some issues getting approval for the loan as I did not have Canadian credit history (& US credit history was not accepted) - you may be required to put more down on the car. Also, had rental for that period, which could have gone towards shipping instead.


We lived downtown the first month so didn’t need a car and could wait till ours arrived. I would recommend new arrivals live downtown use a short term rentals much easier to explore the city (fun in summer). @t.anand did you try RBC apparently there are special provisions for new arrivals to get credit during the first year.


Thanks and t.anand … i guess ill fill out those forms for my car, not worth selling a 2 yo vehicle and buying it again there.


Hi @anon25417004,

Thanks for the helpful reply. After the car is shipped and ready to pick up in Canada. Can you elaborate on that process a little or your experience.

The Transport companies usually drop off the cars at dedicated impounds where we need the pick the car from.
My question is:
Q: Did you you got your car insurance and car inspected after picking up your car from one of those impounds ?
As my car will still have a US (California) license plate, would it be okay to drive in Ontario while i am working on getting it inspected as i believe we will get Ontario license plate only after getting inspection completed and passed.

Looking forward for the response.


You have to fill RIV (registrar of imported vehicle) online forms to get the car into canada. they will ask for uploading title and recall clearance certificate.
After that you will get 4 copies of the form to take with you to border crossing.
There are 2 types of import (when you select that in RIV website online)
Temporary - for work permit and student visa holders
Permanent - for PR ppl (im not sure PR folks can choose the temp option or not)

In the border crossing they will get these 4 copies of papers and give you 2 back. In doing so if you are temp importing they wont ask anything more, for permanent imports you will have to pay taxes upfront. (temp ppl pay later when they choose to sell)

After moving to canada rules are specific to province
For BC

  • Get car checked by ICBC approved garage and get provincial clearance certificate.
  • Go to ICBC autoplan broker (there are a dozen in every street) and get insurance for the car by providing provincial clearance cert AND previous insurance records from US (if you provide them you will get some % of discount every year you were claim free)
  • ICBC will get you a new plate and you basically surrender old plate and US state registration paper with them


Thanks Subash for your reply.


Hi Friends,

I would like to know if anyone experienced similar situation and needs your valuable input.

I am moving to canada in December. I bought new car in US one year back on finance, paying monthly installment. I would like to bring the car to canada while continue paying monthly installment .

What are my option to bring this car to canada ?

Can i registered the car in canada while paying the monthly payment in USA ( title is still with dealer till all payments clear). ?

Thank you.