Car Importing Regulations of Canada

Travelling domestically between the United States and Canada is mostly a simple process.  Moving from the US to Canada, on the other hand, is a little more complicated. Sure, it might not be as complex as trying to move to another continent entirely, but don’t let the fact that these two large countries share an international border on the same continent.  Indeed, the process of moving from the US to Canada can catch you off guard if you are not prepared, especially if you have planned not to sell your car and bring it across the border with you.

Fortunately, preparing for this process is not very hard at all.  You just have to learn a little about Clearit customs brokerage if you want to do it properly.

When Importing A Car from the United States to Canada

Most people who move to Canada from the US are not a registered international importer.  But when you try to bring your car across the border—on a permanent basis—the appropriate international customs agencies will treat it as an international import.  Because of this you need to have your vehicle inspected and certified to ensure that it meets all regulations set forth by the Canadian Registrar of Imported Vehicles and the Motor Vehicles Safety Act.  Doing this ensures that your vehicle is built to satisfy various regulations for operation on public roads in Canada.  If your car does not meet certification, there may be some modifications you need to make before you can officially register your car in Canada.

Are All Vehicles Allowed in Canada?

For the most part, if you bought your car in the United States, it can probably be registered in Canada; and those that might not pass certification the first time through might only need a minor modification or restoration.  These vehicles, however, are typically not allowed for entry into Canada:

  • Any vehicle which has been lengthened from its original state
  • Any vehicle which may have been stressed from its original state
  • Any vehicle that was assembled by more than one manufacturer
  • Any vehicle modified or equipped with a lift kit
  • Any vehicle that has been converted from two wheels to three wheels
  • Any van with a modified or raised roof
  • Any van with a modified interior

It is exceedingly important to remember that while the list is small, not every vehicle can be imported to Canada, even if you pay the taxes and fees.

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