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Need current license plates to cross border?

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Can anyone tell me what will happen to either Canadians or American vehicles crossing over the border into the US if the license tags has expired? My Canadian plates expired within a year of arrival and is now nearly two years out of date. I have been told I can not cross the US border- true? What about trying to get back into Canada? Is there a way to comply without sending for new tags? Don't have time before leaving for that.

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Nothing. I went to California this year passing through Nogales with my expired SD plates and had no problem at all. Although in all honesty I can't speak for the Canadian border.

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I am sure the border couldn't care less what your plate says as long as you can prove that the vehicle is yours. ??

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I have been to the US twice with expired Canadian plates, no questions no issues. I did have insurance. What happens when you get to the Canadian border is, I suspect, up to the province involved. I would check with the motor vehicle office of the province your plates are from. I think you could arrange insurance in advance and get a temporary permit until you can update the registration.

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Despite that some posters above have encountered no problems, previous posters have had problems driving in TX with expired registration/plates, and immediately upon crossing the border into TX. Here is the official position of Texas Dps, from their website. Travelers facing this situation might want to call a Texas DMV office closest to their point of entry and speak to someone official. (The below quote refers to TX tags and registration, but a quick google of other states, seems to present the same position);

"...Although you can renew your license plates and vehicle registration up to 90 days before the listed expiration date, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) understands that sometimes life's other responsibilities get in the way of completing this task.After your license plates and vehicle registration have expired, you can still legally drive your vehicle for up to five business days with no penalty. If you fail to complete the renewal process within those five days, however, you could get a traffic ticket of up to $200 if a law enforcement officer stops you for driving with an expired registration.

How to Renew an Expired Vehicle Registration

Unfortunately, once your vehicle registration and license plates have expired, you're going to need to visit the county tax office or an approved TX DMV substation in order to complete the renewal process. Don't forget to bring your registration renewal notice, your registration receipt from the previous year, your license plate number, or your VIN.There is a 20% late fee for expired license plates and vehicle registration. However, you will only be assessed this penalty if you have been given a ticket for driving the vehicle without the proper license plates and registration."

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Just crossed a few days ago with expired plates, not a word mentioned about them. I did renew telephonically when I got to San Diego, I doubt you will have a problem entering the US, with that said the local Police may cite you once your on the highway ?

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I am moving back to BC, Canada and this is what I was told to do by ICBC, the British Columbia auto insurer.

I must have US auto insurance when I cross over from Mexico to USA. and it must also be valid for driving in Canada. I will buy a one month policy at Tio Corp for the insurance, that is the minimum policy I can get and costs about $145 USD. (National Auto Insurance Company and yes, it is valid for driving in Canada).

When I cross over the Canadian border, if stopped by the police I could get tagged, but I will show the US car insurance, my Mexican car insurnance to prove that I have lived out of the country for 4 years, hopefully they will be understanding and let me pass.

Immediately upon getting into BC - go to an AutoPlan broker and get BC auto insurance. I was told that I can use the same plates, that I have on the vehicle now and that I will get the same price for insurance as when I left (my driving record was checked and found no claims), and I will just get the sticker to put on the plate.

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They do not look at much when you cross the border. I would worry too much about it but you should really get a valid sticker as soon as possible because that could cause you more grievance in Canada.

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If you are stopped for something else, like speeding, you will usually also get a ticket for expired registration. If you are never going to be driving through that particular state again, just say "Gracias" and file it with your other papers. If coming back the same way probably best to pay it or risk being arrested in the future if ever stopped again.

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Hey

My Texas tag expires last day of Nov 2017. Can I still drive my car legally here?We go back for border renewal in Feb 2018. Should of thought of that damn!!!

Regan

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I can only tell you that technically you may have to, I don't know but between 2005 and 2014 I drove all over Jalisco with Texas plates where the tag had expired sometime in 2004.  I was stopped for speeding and other things but never did anyone comment or complain about the expired tag. 

Once I got Mexican plates in 2014, no one has stopped me for anything.  US plates attract attention and I was always allowed if not encouraged to pay the officer for the ticket that I have yet to ever get. But understand. I haven't been here that long. I came in 1997.

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The technicality is that, although there is little police enforcement, your car must be “legal to drive in its home jurisdiction“ in order for it to be legal to drive anywhere, as common sense would dictate. You could find that an accident with an illegally operated vehicle would mean that your insurance would not pay, you would go straight to jail and lose your car.....Other than that, you must decide.  Personally, I would get my plates legal; perhaps by re-titling in South Dakota by mail.....problem solved....no inspection needed.

That was how my Texas plates ended up on a shelf.

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I know....But Regan asked the question just an hour ago.  I assumed that he might like a response.

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Not any more, Daisy.  Please read the last six posts more carefully.

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I tried renewing mine and then 4 years after I got here, they figured out, I was no longer in Texas, and that is why I stopped updating my annual tag. Being cheap, rather than getting Dakota plates I went about ten years without a new tag, and never had a problem in Mexico.

I eventually got rid of the car.

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20 hours ago, Regan said:

Hey

My Texas tag expires last day of Nov 2017. Can I still drive my car legally here?We go back for border renewal in Feb 2018. Should of thought of that damn!!!

Regan

As you can see, there are (at least!) two schools of thought. One,.....just go on driving the expired plates.... is ‘what is done by many with seeming impunity’. The other is ‘you better stay legal or else’ which many people follow.... and many of them use South Dakota title/plates to accomplish this.

So I’ll add my 2 cents worth... if you are going NOB in. Feb, and you still have a valid Texas address, I’d renew the Texas plates then. IF you do not have a legal Texas address but you either have a mail forwarding addresss NOB or a relative whose address you could use, I’d start the process of getting South Dakota plates now and by the time you go up in February you could have those plates for that trip and for the future SOB.  YMMV

 

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Agree with Rick. South Dakota is easy and cheap as long as you have a way to get the plates SOB.

PS   Not sure if it still holds but Clay County SD plates always began with 19........  If you see a plate with some other numbers chances are they are REALLY from SD.

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Im my experience, Texas only allowed one renewal by mail. After that, you had to have an inspection and proof of a TX address.  They would not accept the address of mail forwarding services & have them flagged.  So......SD by phone & mail. It was easy through the Clay County Treasurer‘s office. 

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The only issue u as a Canadian can encounter is not having a valid emission test. If not current, find a border crossing adjacent a CTC & have the test completed as u wait then proceed to a Service (Insert Province) & pick up u'r renewal. In my case Prescott Ontario happens to have both with-in 2 blocks. I believe BC is similar as I sent a car west & had it tested prior to loading on the Train

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At least make sure you have usa insurance and canadian.

My reg expired and i got pulled over nob.. showed my current usa insurance and proof i was living in mexico

 

Officer let me go with no ticket

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