Canada Vehicle Registration Process

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Canada Vehicle Registration Process

Process of Registering A Vehicle In Canada

The process of registering a vehicle in Canada is not terribly complicated if you’re shipping from the U.S. Since there are existing agreements (and a border) between the countries, procedural and administrative tasks like vehicle registration are easier to accomplish than in some other parts of the world.

On this page, we’ll discuss the particulars of getting an imported vehicle registered in Canada, as well as a few other useful tidbits that may help you along the way.

When registering the vehicle for the first time, here are the key things that MUST be provided:

  • Proof of identity (name, date of birth and signature)
  • Alternatively, you could provide the registrant identification number
  • Your driver’s license
  • Certificate of sale
  • Title for the vehicle

Other miscellaneous items to keep in mind are the current license plate numbers, the odometer reading and safety inspection number.

If you’re shipping a vehicle to Canada, we’d like to hear from you! We offer FREE cost estimates for all domestic and international shipments and we’re happy to answer you questions. Learn more about shipping a vehicle to Canada by clicking here or call us to learn more about what we offer!

Vehicle Inspection

Regardless of the territory or province, importers should make sure to complete an inspection with the Registrar of Imported Vehicles within 45 days of the date of import. Modifications to the vehicle must be completed prior to the inspection.

Failing to complete the inspection will lead to fines and penalties.

Where To Register Your Vehicle

Canada is made up of provinces and territories, each with their own requirements and fees. Some areas have a department of transportation while others have a ministry of transportation.

Some provinces have insurance companies run by private companies while others are government-run insurances.


A-1 Auto Transport ships vehicles worldwide. Click here or call 1-800-518-8708 to get a free, no obligation to buy price quote to ship your car.


Insurance In Canada

Purchasing auto insurance is mandatory for Canadian cars, with every driver needing a third-party liability insurance with a minimum $200,000 in each province (though some provinces have lower minimums). It’s important to note that regardless of who is driving the vehicle, the particular vehicle must have the liability insurance card (referred to as the “pink slip”) in it at all times.

The insurance covers the driver in the event that the driver kills someone or damages property while driving.

Collision insurance is optional though recommended.

To receive insurance, the following is needed:

  • Canadian driver’s license and a driving record
  • Name and address
  • In-depth information about the vehicle (make, model, mileage and registration number)
  • History of past and current insurance providers
  • Letter from any previous insurance company with previous insurance records, including any “no claim bonuses.”
Resources For Registering A Vehicle In Canada

Transport Canada – A website with informational links about Canada, government agencies, provincial government, and transportation agencies.

Registrar of Imported Vehicles – A great resource about the inspection process for imported vehicles, including the steps involved and a helpful database that allows you to search for an inspection center near you.

Joe Webster

Written by Joe Webster

Joe Webster began his journey in the auto transport field by attending the University of Southern California (USC), where he graduated with with a Bachelor of Business Marketing.

After college, he started his career in the auto transport industry from the bottom up and has done virtually every job there is to do at A-1 Auto Transport, including but not limited to: Truck Driver, Dispatch, Sales, PR, Bookkeeping, Transport Planner, Transport Manager, International Transport Manager, Brokering, Customer Service, and Marketing. Working with his mentor Tony Taylor, Joe Webster has learned the ins and outs of this industry which is largely misunderstood.

With over 30 years experience in the industry, we've been helping people ship their vehicles, motorcycles, RV's, heavy equipment, household goods and more across the country or overseas without a hitch. Ask us anything.

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