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Driving mexican plated car to Canada


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I have recently been discussing with Transport Canada and Border staff the issue of importing a Mexican plated vehicle into Canada. First, if you are a Resident of Canada, you CANNOT bring your c

This is another one of those " I have a friend who knows someone that has a friend who overheard someone in a bar telling someone how he couldn't get his car in to Canada stories". 

OBO, you will have absolutely no problem driving your Mexican plated car along with your Mexican driver's licence while in Canada.  You may get a few "looks" and some friendly inquiries though as it i

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Well you sort of both are right.  Here is a quote fro the RIV (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) website www.riv.ca.

"Transport Canada has contracted with Livingston International Inc. to establish and operate Canada’s national program of vehicle registration, inspection and certification known as the Registrar of Imported Vehicles. This program aims to ensure that vehicles originally manufactured for the U.S. market and subsequently imported into Canada meet Canadian road safety standards."

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  • 7 months later...

The glaring exception is that vehicles 15 years or older are allowed. In the U.S.A., it is 25 years. Hundreds of vehicles are imported every year this way, usually super low mileage, or rare models (especially small, off road turbo diesels and camper vans). I know, I own one. It had a Japanese UDC number, 1991, less than 40,000 miles, which was converted to a nice, shiny new Canadian VIN number plate, manufactured in Canada prefix number. It was simply converted, by the importer, who went through a Canadian Tire store in Vancouver. The headlights are realligned for left hand drive, a rear window brakelight installed, tires checked for the "right" numbers. I don't know what the dealer paid. I do know that a car enthusiast from Chicago imported a rare Japanese vehicle from an importer in California, and had it shipped to the East, with all paperwork and shipping, less than $1,000 U.S.. Imported Japanese vehicle (JDM - Japanese Domestic Market) are still very popular. Especially the 4x4 mini vans, such as Delica. Mexico does not allow these Japanese vehicles, which is a real shame because they have some excellent bargains for off road fire trucks and ambulances, and work trucks which would be really useful here.

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  • 1 month later...

I contacted the Canadian Government - and NO a Canadian who still is considered a resident of Canada (regardless of their Mexican status) can not drive a Mexican manufactured and plated car in Canada. Here's the email trail - start at the bottom. Even if the vehicle was manufactured in the U.S. you have 30 days to import it into Canada and transfer the plates, etc. to which ever province you're in …. 

You may not get stopped at the border, but if you're ever in an accident, you aren't insured because you're illegally driving the vehicle.

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From: Motor Vehicle Safety / Securité des véhicules automobiles [mailto:MVS-SA@tc.gc.ca]
Sent: January 31, 2018 10:10 AM

Subject: RE: Canadian driving Mexican plated car in Ontario

 

Unfortunately no, as Canadian citizens it would not be possible to enter with the vehicle into Canada.

 

Thank you,

 

Anita L.

Information Centre/Centre d'information
Transport(s) Canada
Motor Vehicle Safety/Sécurité des véhicules automobiles

1-800-333-0371 or (613) 998-8616
MVS-SA@tc.gc.ca

cid:image002.png@01CE8A05.9BE02270

 

 

 

From:
Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 2:58 PM
To: Motor Vehicle Safety / Securité des véhicules automobiles <
MVS-SA@tc.gc.ca>
Subject: RE: Canadian driving Mexican plated car in Ontario

 

Hi,

 

We were not thinking of leaving the car in Canada or changing the registration on the car bought in Mexico. We would like to leave it registered as a Mexican car and just drive it in Ontario for 7 months a year.

 

As Canadian residents is this possible ?

 

 

From: Motor Vehicle Safety / Securité des véhicules automobiles [mailto:MVS-SA@tc.gc.ca]
Sent: January 30, 2018 2:09 PM

Subject: RE: Canadian driving Mexican plated car in Ontario

 

Importation - Vehicles less than 15 years of age and bus manufactured before January 1, 1971 purchased in countries "other than the United States

Thank you for contacting Transport Canada.

Buses manufactured before January 1, 1971 purchased in countries "other than the United States" are not admissible. The information below will explain the limitations.

 

Vehicles including buses manufactured for sale in countries other than Canada and the United States, do not comply with the requirements of the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Act, CANNOT be altered to comply and thus CANNOT be imported into Canada.

          

That is because the Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Act and Regulations require that all vehicles and buses imported into Canada must comply, at the time of importation, with the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in effect on the date the vehicle was manufactured. Therefore, the vehicle you are describing was sold in another country, hence certified by the manufacturers to standards of the country where it was sold. The vehicle was never certified by the manufacturer to Canadian standards at the time of assembly.

 

Exceptions to the import restrictions from countries other than the United States

 

When Canada Border Services Agency requirements are met, the following circumstances allow people to import vehicles purchased in a country other than the United States:

  • the vehicle is a regulated class of vehicle fifteen (15) years old or older as determined by the month and year the vehicle was manufactured.

  • the vehicle is a bus manufactured before January 1, 1971.

  • the vehicle does not belong to a regulated class of vehicle under the MVSA.

  • the vehicle meets all MVSA requirements, and was acquired NEW abroad via a manufacturer’s foreign buyer program for Canadians abroad (proof of compliance is required).

  • the vehicle meets all United States requirements and acquired NEW abroad via a manufacturer’s foreign buyer program for North-American buyers abroad (additional restrictions apply).

  • the vehicle is a returning Canadian compliant vehicle originally owned in Canada (proof of compliance is required).

  • the vehicle is a returning United States compliant vehicle originally owned in the U.S. (additional restrictions apply).          

 

To summarize, when a vehicle or bus is sold in a foreign market other than the United States, it's assembled to specific standards for that market. This creates an automatic exclusion for importation into Canada because these standards at the time of assembly are not Canadian or U.S. compliant, and there are no provisions in the law that allows for these vehicles to be modified to meet our standards.

 

 

For additional information, please reply to this e-mail or contact us by phone at 1-800-333-0371.

 

 

Information Centre, Motor Vehicle Safety

Transport Canada / Government of Canada

MVS-SA@tc.gc.ca / Tel: 1-800-333-0371 / TTY: 1-888-675-6863

 

Centre d’information, Sécurité des véhicules automobiles

Transports Canada / Gouvernement du Canada

MVS-SA@tc.gc.ca / Tél. : 1-800-333-0371 / ATS : 1-888-675-6863

 

cid:image002.png@01CE8A05.9BE02270

 

 


Sent: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 9:07 AM
To: Motor Vehicle Safety / Securité des véhicules automobiles <MVS-SA@tc.gc.ca>
Subject: Canadian driving Mexican plated car in Ontario

 

Hello,

 

We are Canadian residents, but winter (5 months) in Mexico , we’re thinking of buying a car which would be licensed and insured in Mexico and would like to drive it back each spring and drive it in Ontario for the other 7 months.

 

I can only find information on temporary or visitors driving a foreign plated car or a Canadian  driving a US rented car in Canada, There is nothing specific about a Canadian Resident driving a foreign plated car.

 

 

icon-envelope-tick-green-avg-v1.png

Virus-free. www.avg.com

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Actually according to NAFTA 2019 & the prior agreement... Any vehicle 15 yrs and older qualifies for entry..  Period! 

👊🤓

On 11/11/2018 at 3:31 PM, sem123 said:
  • the vehicle is a regulated class of vehicle fifteen (15) years old or older as determined by the month and year the vehicle was manufactured.

 

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sem123 excellent information. Thank You.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 7 months later...
On 11/27/2019 at 9:44 AM, RVGRINGO said:

Yes, he can drive a Mexican plated car.

RVGRINGO is correct.   Mexico honors drivers licenses from Canada and the USA,  just as they honor  Mexican  drivers licenses. If this wasn't the practice no one could rent a car when traveling to a different country.

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So how do you think various regulations above apply to Canadians who are nonresidents of Canada. Many Canadians living in Mexico are non residents of Canada. 

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In Canada, if you are a non resident for tax purposes, you are a non resident period.

I have personally spoken with a snowbird neighbour who attempted to drive his Mexican plated car across the Canada/US border and was turned back because he was deemed a resident, i.e. he had never filed for non residency. Canada is no different from most other countries in this regard. You have be resident or non resident, you cant be both.

I have driven my Mexican plated car in Canada because I established non residency 25 years ago and have maintained that status ever since.

 

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I wanted to drive my Mexican plated vehicle into British Columbia earlier this year and I was told by the BC transport people I could not even though I was a non resident Canadian. Among other things they said my vehicle would have to be inspected very closely and I would not be able to obtain parts for it in BC as that model was never sold in Canada.  

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But you weren't "importing" it and, if you scroll to the very bottom of your link, you'll find the contact information for the permit that you needed to apply  for 30 days before you got to the border... and I know you're not a U.S. citizen and I know you're not going to school. Try calling that number and asking them NOW.

 

Quote

 

U.S. citizens studying in B.C.

If you're a U.S. citizen bringing your car to the province and are enrolled full-time at a recognized B.C educational institution, you won't need to register your vehicle. Just apply for a non-resident exemption permit within 30 days of your arrival so that you can drive here. This permit allows you to continue using the registration, licence and insurance coverage from your home state, for as long as you're studying here.

To apply, call ICBC's Financial Responsibility Unit:

  • Lower Mainland: 604-443-4624
  • Toll-free: 1-800-665-4336

 

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21 minutes ago, Ferret said:

But you weren't "importing" it and, if you scroll to the very bottom of your link, you'll find the contact information for the permit that you needed to apply  for 30 days before you got to the border... and I know you're not a U.S. citizen and I know you're not going to school. Try calling that number and asking them NOW.

 

  •  

I will try contacting them again. Maybe I will get a different answer. They thought I was importing it as my time in BC didn't have a leave date.

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I talked to the Registry of Imported Vehicles in BC today. The asked if my Mexican vehicle insurance covered me in Canada. It did cover me in the US but Canada?  They said I would have 1 month to register my Mexican vehicle. If I wasn't covered by my Mexican insurance in BC I would have to import the vehicle to register & insure it. They said to import it the vehicle would have to meet provincial and federal guidelines and I would need to check with them to see their guidelines. I tried to do this online but it would not work.  

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Your Mexican insurance will not cover you in the USA !!!  What you have is an additional policy by a USA insurance company, attached to your Mexican policy.  It may very well cover you in Canada, as it is a USA policy.  Read it........Ask your agent, etc.  If it does, you can probably drive your Mexican plated car in Canada for a month, as you posted above.   Be sure to carry your Mexican license, residency visa, etc.

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2 hours ago, RVGRINGO said:

Your Mexican insurance will not cover you in the USA !!!  What you have is an additional policy by a USA insurance company, attached to your Mexican policy.  It may very well cover you in Canada, as it is a USA policy.  Read it........Ask your agent, etc.  If it does, you can probably drive your Mexican plated car in Canada for a month, as you posted above.   Be sure to carry your Mexican license, residency visa, etc.

Maybe your Mexican insurance police doesn't cover you but mine does cover me.

My Mexican policy includes liability insurance in the USA and has an 800 USA phone number in the event of an accident. Same limits as here.

  So they should read their own policy.

I am not aware of any policy than can be bought in the USA for a foreign plated vehicle that covers Collision & Comprehensive

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4 hours ago, RVGRINGO said:

Your Mexican insurance will not cover you in the USA !!!  What you have is an additional policy by a USA insurance company, attached to your Mexican policy.  It may very well cover you in Canada, as it is a USA policy.  Read it........Ask your agent, etc.  If it does, you can probably drive your Mexican plated car in Canada for a month, as you posted above.   Be sure to carry your Mexican license, residency visa, etc.

Right but it amounts to the same thing.

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