Car Deal Canada

Car Deal Canada

Registering a Car in Canada

Registering a car in Canada

Registering a Car in Canada

Whether you’re a first-time car owner or new to Canada, this page provides a straightforward, step-by-step approach to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. From purchasing your vehicle to gathering the necessary documents, visiting the government registry office, and finally, embarking on your driving journey, we cover all the essential bases.

Our guide is tailored to help you understand provincial and territorial variations in the registration process, ensuring you’re well-informed no matter where you are in Canada. So, buckle up and get ready to steer through the administrative aspects of car ownership with ease and confidence!

How to Register a Car
in Canada

Follow these 4 easy steps to register your new car in Canada

1.

Buy a Vehicle

Start by purchasing a vehicle, either new or used, from a dealership or a private seller. Ensure you receive a bill of sale or a proof of purchase, which is crucial for the next steps in the registration process.

2.

Gather Required Documents

Collect all essential documents for vehicle registration. This typically includes your driver’s license, the vehicle’s bill of sale, proof of car insurance, and, for used vehicles, a Safety Standards Certificate.

3.

Visit Government Registry Office

Proceed to your local government registry office. Here, you will submit your documents, fill out the necessary registration forms, and pay any applicable registration fees specific to your province or territory.

4.

Drive!

Once your vehicle is successfully registered, and you have your license plates and registration certificate, you’re ready to hit the road. Ensure you adhere to all traffic laws and carry your registration and insurance documents while driving.

Woman registering her car

Vehicle Registration Details by Province

  • Where to Register: Service Alberta registry agent
  • Registration Fees: $84.45 for a one-year registration and $159.45 for two years
  • Documents: Proof of ownership, proof of valid insurance, government-issued identification, and any necessary permits or inspection certificates
  • Tax Rate: 5% GST

 

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  • Where to Register: Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC) or Autoplan brokers
  • Registration Fees: $18 registration fee; $46 to $142 licence fee
  • Documents: Proof of ownership, valid insurance, and identification
  • Tax Rate: 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST)

 

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  • Where to Register: Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) Autopac agent or an MPI Service Centre
  • Registration Fees: $129/year
  • Documents: Proof of ownership, valid auto insurance, identification, and a completed vehicle registration form
  • Tax Rate: 7% Provincial Sales Tax (PST) and 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST)

 

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  • Where to Register: Service New Brunswick (SNB) offices or authorized SNB agents
  • Registration Fees: Ranges from $61 to $189, depending on vehicle weight
  • Documents: Proof of ownership, valid auto insurance, identification, and a completed vehicle registration application form
  • Tax Rate: 15% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

 

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  • Where to Register: Service NL offices or designated Motor Registration Division offices
  • Registration Fees: $80 to $125/year
  • Required Documents: Proof of ownership, valid auto insurance, identification, and a completed vehicle registration application form
  • Tax Rate: 15% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

 

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  • Where to Register: Access Nova Scotia centres or Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) offices
  • Registration Fees: $13.20 recording fee & $143.30 to $333.90 licence fee every 6 months
  • Required Documents: Proof of ownership, valid auto insurance, identification, and a completed vehicle registration application form
  • Tax Rate: 15% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

 

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  • Where to Register: ServiceOntario office or authorized ServiceOntario location
  • Registration Fees: $32 fee for the vehicle permit and a $59 charge for the license plate
  • Required Documents: Proof of ownership, valid auto insurance, identification, and a completed vehicle registration application form
  • Tax Rate: 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

 

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  • Where to Register: Access PEI centers or authorized Access PEI locations
  • Registration Fees: $100/year
  • Required Documents: Proof of ownership, valid auto insurance, identification, and a completed vehicle registration application form
  • Tax Rate: 15% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST)

 

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  • Where to Register: Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) service centres
  • Registration Fees: $232.74/Year
  • Required Documents: Proof of ownership, valid auto insurance, identification, and a completed vehicle registration application form
  • Tax Rate: 15% Quebec Sales Tax (QST) on registration fees

 

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  • Where to Register: SGI (Saskatchewan Government Insurance) motor licence issuing offices or authorized motor licence issuers
  • Registration Fees: Varies based on vehicle type, weight, and class. Contact SGI or visit their official website for specific fees
  • Required Documents: Proof of ownership, valid auto insurance, identification, and a completed vehicle registration application form.
  • Tax Rate: 6% Provincial Sales Tax (PST) on registration fees

 

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Required Documents for Car Registration

View the important documetns you need

Proof of Ownership

his document, often referred to as a "Certificate of Title" or "Bill of Sale," verifies that the person registering the car is the legal owner

Valid Auto Insurance

Proof of auto insurance is necessary to register a car in Canada. This document demonstrates that the vehicle is covered by adequate insurance according to the province's regulations

Identification

A valid form of identification, such as a driver's license or passport, is required to register a car in Canada. It serves to verify the identity of the person registering the vehicle

Car registration folder

How To Renew Your Car Registration

Step 1: Keep an eye on your mailbox for a renewal notice from the provincial or territorial transportation department.

Step 2: Read through the renewal notice carefully to understand the specific requirements and instructions for renewal.

Step 3: Gather the necessary documents, including proof of auto insurance, the renewal notice, and identification.

Step 4: Visit a local motor vehicle agency or an authorized service center.

Step 5: Follow the instructions provided and complete the renewal process. This may involve filling out a form, providing the necessary documents, and paying any required fees.

Step 6: Upon completion, you will receive updated registration documents, license plates, or stickers.

Step 7: Make sure to keep the updated registration and proof of insurance in your vehicle at all times.

Canadian Car Registration FAQ

To register a used car purchased privately in Canada, you need the used vehicle information package, bill of sale, proof of insurance, safety standards certificate, applicable taxes paid receipt, your driver’s license, and previous registration if the seller has it. The bill of sale must list the vehicle identification number (VIN), sale date, price paid, and signatures of buyer and seller. Provide the ownership documents to prove you legally purchased the car.

You must register your newly purchased vehicle right away in most provinces. For example, in Ontario you have 6 days after buying a used car to register it in your name. Some provinces allow 10-30 days. Avoid delays and penalties by registering as soon as possible. The best practice is to plan ahead and register the vehicle on the day you take ownership.

Yes, you can register a car purchased in one province by moving it and registering in your home province. You’ll need to show proof of ownership and pass inspection in your new province before registering there. Some provinces have reciprocity agreements recognizing out-of-province inspections. Check with your motor vehicle department on requirements to transfer registration across provincial borders.

It is illegal to drive an unregistered vehicle in Canada, even while waiting for your registration paperwork to be processed. You must have valid registration plates and documentation in the vehicle to legally drive it. Wait until the registration is complete before driving your newly acquired car. If stopped in an unregistered vehicle, you may face fines or impound fees.

To transfer ownership when selling or buying a used car, the buyer and seller complete the vehicle registration transfer sections. Seller provides their vehicle ownership certificate. Buyer presents bill of sale, ID, and insurance to the licensing office to complete the transfer. Make sure proper transfer procedures are followed to avoid issues. Update your address on the registration after moving.

To register an imported car in Canada, you’ll need your passport, proof of vehicle ownership/title from the originating country, safety inspection certificates, an import form 1, proof of insurance, receipt for applicable taxes, and a car condition report. The import process also involves inspections, forms, and fees. Hire an importer/broker to assist you.

To register a vehicle in Canada with a foreign driver’s license, you need additional proof of residency like a utility bill and in some cases a record of landing document. Have your passport, foreign license details, safety certificate, insurance, and ownership documents ready. You can drive on a valid foreign license temporarily but must get a local license to register a car in your name.

If you lost the car ownership title, you can still register the vehicle in provinces like Ontario and BC with alternate ownership proof like a bill of sale, registration, and your ID. You may need to apply for a used vehicle information package. Provide as much proof as you can to simplify replacing a lost title or transferring ownership without it during registration.

Canada does not require any emissions or smog testing to initially register and license a vehicle. Only basic safety inspections are mandatory. However, during renewal registration, vehicles over 3 years old in British Columbia must pass an AirCare emissions test before registration stickers can be issued. Ontario also has an emissions test requirement in certain regions to renew registration on older vehicles.

No, the person registering a car in Canada must be the legal owner of the vehicle. The only exception is parents can register a vehicle in the name of a child under 16. Provide your own ID and documentation when registering – you cannot register a car under someone else’s name if they are not present or without legal proof you are registering as their representative. Ownership and identity must match.

No, the person registering a car in Canada must be the legal owner of the vehicle. The only exception is parents can register a vehicle in the name of a child under 16. Provide your own ID and documentation when registering – you cannot register a car under someone else’s name if they are not present or without legal proof you are registering as their representative. Ownership and identity must match.

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