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Jun 3, 2007, 2:23 PM

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Canadian Car Registration

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Will be moving to the Lakeside soon and would like to know more on to how keep my Canadian car registered. Do I need to get US licenses plate and registration before crossing the border? If so how to I go about it? My Canadian registration will expire Jan 08.
Thanks for the help


Jun 3, 2007, 3:33 PM

Post #2 of 4 (7988 views)


Re: [keanbarrette] Canadian Car Registration

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Getting US registration without actually living in the USA is very difficult to pull off. Generally you will need a State driver's license and insurance in order to register the car. You will need an address to get the license and the insurance as well as a place for the state to send your registration. Since most states are now requiring some sort of inspection at renewal time, you may have to deal with returning for that each year.

In the past some people were able to get an easy registration in South Dakota. There is some question if this in still possible. Read this thread:

The real question is why do you want to keep your registration current. Mexico doesn't care if your plates are expired.

Rolly Pirate


Jun 3, 2007, 3:45 PM

Post #3 of 4 (7986 views)


Re: [Rolly] Canadian Car Registration

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There is no problem with bringing a Canadian plated vehicle to Mexico - in case that is your worry.


Jun 3, 2007, 6:20 PM

Post #4 of 4 (7969 views)


Re: [Rolly] Canadian Car Registration

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Well Rolly, there is always the exception to the rule isn’t there? Registering a car in the State of Alaska is one of them. There are only two cities up there where Smog inspections are required, Anchorage and Fairbanks. Out of state waivers are available for the asking, if the car is to be kept out of state.

A driver’s license is not required to register a car there. A business owner may own several vehicles, and not be a driver. While insurance coverage is mandatory, you do not need to show proof of insurance when registering, or renewing the registration on a car if you have not been involved in an accident as an uninsured driver in the previous few years. I don’t remember how many years that is now, maybe 3 or 5. After we moved to México, I notified our insurance agent up there to cancel both of our policies. We nerver renewed the US insurance on either of our cars, there were never any problems with renewing the registrations every two years.

We have two-year registrations up there, so you only need to renew your cars’ registration every two years. If you have an out of state waiver, no bi-annual smog check is necessary if your address is in Anchorage or Fairbanks.

Senior citizens may register a car for only one Dollar per year. It used to cost me a whopping US$2 every two years to keep my then US plated car’s registration current. Doris (the kid) is way too young to qualify for the senior discount. We had to keep paying $68 Bucks to register her van, until it was nationalized.

You must have an Alaska address, and someone up there to do the legwork for you. Registering a car in Alaska is not a viable option for everyone. I used to download all the forms I needed including a limited power of attorney so our daughter in Fairbanks could get the out of state smog inspection waiver, and do the registrations for us. Not that it was important down here, but she used to send us the new registration cards, and the license plate stickers every year when she would send me all the stuff I need to file my income taxes.

We bought Doris’ old van in Tacoma when we were driving down to México. I downloaded all the necessary forms and sent them to Susan in Fairbanks. She was able to change the vans’ registration from the state of Washington to Alaska, and send us all the new documents and the new Alaska license plates.

The old van is history now, Doris new van’ was purchased here in México, and our second car was nationalized several years ago. The Tenencia for the new van was $9,000 pesos this year. I do miss those one Dollar a year registrations now.


"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved" - Victor Hugo

(This post was edited by RexC on Jun 3, 2007, 8:47 PM)
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