It is pretty easy to move from one state in America to another. You can ship your stuff across the country and then fly over and just start moving in; or you can drive your car—while hauling a trailer—up the West Coast, for example. If you wanted to move from the United States to Canada, though, this might be a little more complicated. Sure, these two countries share a very long physical border, and they are similar in many ways, but they are definitely two different countries with different laws, regulations, customs, and more.
With that in mind, you should realize that the things you bring with you—whether in your trailer or shipped in a truck—are technically considered to be imports. This also includes the car you drive! And that means you could have to pay import fees, duties, or taxes in the process.
VEHICLE IMPORT INSPECTION
Now, most people who move from one country to another are not an official international importer. However, when you try to transport something as valuable as a vehicle as your car—on a permanent basis—the Canadian Clearit.ca customs agency will consider it an act of import. And because of this, you will have to follow all import regulations, which includes a vehicle import inspection.
A Canadian vehicle import inspection involves inspection of your vehicle by an authorized agent as described in the Canadian Motor Vehicles Safety Act. This is important because the CMVSA requires that your car meets certain regulations, which were set forth in the Canadian Registrar of Motor Vehicles. These regulations ensure that your vehicle satisfies safety and emissions regulations. Without these satisfactions, you probably will not be able to bring your car into Canada without making modifications.
VEHICLES ALLOWED FOR IMPORT
If you bought your car in the United States, it can more than likely be registered in Canada. Of course, there are a few exceptions; and if your car does not pass inspection, you might have to just make a simple restoration or modification.
With that in mind, however, the following vehicles are generally not allowed for Canadian import:
- Any vehicle which has been lengthened
- Any vehicle which may have been stressed (in any way)
- Any vehicle which was originally assembled by multiple manufacturers
- Any vehicle which has been modified (as in with a lift kit)
- Any vehicle which has been converted from two wheels to three wheels
- Any van with a raised or modified roof or a modified interior