Car Registry In Canada: What You Need To Know About Registering Out-Of-Province Cars

It's illegal to operate an unregistered car in Canada because you cannot purchase the insurance needed without registering the car. If you get pulled over without any registration papers or insurance, you could be in a whole lot of trouble. In short, registering your car is not something you want to delay. If you are looking to register an out-of-province car, this article will give you an in-depth look at some of the more basic questions that you might have on the subject.

When Do You Need to Register an Out-of-Province Car?

If you're just visiting a family member or friend in another province for a short period of time or travelling across Canada, you might not need to register your car. Most provinces will allow you plenty of time to drive your car without registering it, as long as you hold a valid driver's license.

You're only required to register your car if you will be staying for a prolonged period of time. Each province has different laws and regulations regarding when you'll need to register your car, so you should check with an auto insurance company or a car registry company before your trip. If you're travelling to British Columbia (BC), for example, you won't need to register your car unless you'll be staying for more than six months. This is calculated based on when your crossed the border into BC.

What Types of Documents Will You Need?

Fortunately, registering a car is quite simple and easy. You won't have to jump through hoops at the car registry. Just make sure that you have two government-issued identification documents for proof of identity, such as a driver's license and a passport, and the vehicle information. You will be required to provide proof of ownership of the car, which may include a bill of sale, and also a "passed" vehicle inspection report from a designated inspection facility in some provinces.

What Types of Fees Should You Expect?

The amount of fees that you'll be paying will be dependent on the province where you are registering your car and whether you are registering a used car or a newly purchased car. The processing fee for registering your vehicle will vary by each province, and is generally quite minimal, so you don't really have to worry about it.

The only thing you should be concerned about is whether you are registering a car because you will be staying in the province for a prolonged period of time or whether you are registering a new car that you have purchased out-of-province. If you are simply travelling from one province to another while enjoying your stay at each new place, you won't have to worry about paying any taxes. On the other hand, if you purchased an out-of-province car, you will be required to pay the retail sales tax (RST) or the harmonized sales tax (HST) of the province. For example, you'll be paying 13% of the cost of the car in taxes if you are registering an out-of-province car in Ontario.

There are some exemptions in regards to whether you have to pay taxes. In some provinces, you may declare an exemption when registering your vehicle if you can prove that you are becoming a resident of that province.


Registering your car is quite easy. The paperwork should be a breeze. If you're not sure how to file the paperwork needed to register your car or if you're unsure whether you need to register your car, there are plenty of registry companies available (click here to investigate). Speak to a professional as soon as you can, so that you fully understand what your responsibilities are.