Registering A Vehicle In Canada: Key Considerations

Posted on: 13 September 2015


Registering a vehicle in Canada usually involves going through a private companies known as registries. These entities are authorized by the Canadian government to handle certain functions of the country's provinces. One of the most important services they offer is vehicle registration. This article examines some key considerations related to the vehicle registration process in Canada.  


The procedures for registering an auto are not uniform throughout Canada. Each province has its own regulations and the registries must adhere to these rules. Although in many instances the regulations are similar from one province to another, important differences remain.  


You will typically need to present certain documents to the registry when you register the vehicle. One of the most important is the bill of sale. This should have your signature and the seller's signature. If you do not have a bill of sale, then other documents that prove your ownership, such as a lease agreement or a Transfer of Ownership document might be accepted. You may also need to show that you have insurance for the vehicle.  


In some cases, the auto you are attempting to register must a pass safety inspection to ensure that it's safe to drive. For example, an inspection is required for vehicles in Manitoba and British Columbia. Manitoba, however, will register vehicles that have passed safety inspections in certain other provinces such as Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, in addition to British Columbia.  

New Resident

The amount of time you have to register your vehicle in a province can vary. For example, in British Columbia, vehicles must be registered within 30 days of purchase. In Manitoba, new residents are required to register their autos within 3 months of the date they establish residency. This rule applies to passenger cars and small trucks that are not used for commercial purposes. By contrast, new residents of New Brunswick must register their vehicles immediately.  

Just Visiting 

If you are just visiting a particular province for an extended period, then you may not be required to register the vehicle. British Columbia will allow you to tour the province for up to 6 months without requiring a registration. If you are not touring, the time limit only 30 days. People visiting New Brunswick have up to 6 months before vehicle registration is required, as long as the visit does not involve business. 

For more information about vehicle registration in Canada, contact the appropriate provincial registry.