Had a quick question for you all. My wife is currently on a visitors visa here in Canada while our Spousal Sponsor application is being processed. She is heading back to Califonia via Amtrek next week to see her Dad and I am planing on flying down the following week. I am planning on driving her car into the States to catch my flight and then drive it back into Canada when I return. What issues can I expect with driving her car across the borders? Do I need a notarized letter from her stating permission to drive the car? The car is fully insured for both the US and Canada, so there should be no issues there, right? I've read a few threads on this but responses seem to very quite a bit. Thoughts, comments and recommendations are appreciated...
Your wife imported the vehicle under her tourist resident status and can use it as her car under her status. However, as a Canadian resident, you shouldn't be driving it in Canada unless it's an emergency. Therefore, I'd expect trouble when you try to reenter Canada, if not before.
Regulations below. You can call CBSA to double check (I know there's a lot of conflicting info out there).
Consider instead renting a car. I believe you can now rent a US plated car and drive it into Canada as a Canadian resident as long as you've been out of Canada 48 hours and have permission from the commercial rental company.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news D19-12-1
"RIV Program Exemptions
49. Vehicles are exempt from complying with the CMVSS
at the point of entry into Canada if they are imported under
one of the following conditions:
(a) the vehicles are 15 years old or older, or are buses
manufactured before January 1, 1971; the importer
must be able to demonstrate the age of the vehicle;
(b) the vehicles are entering temporarily with:
(1) visitors, for a period not exceeding 12 months;
temporary residents such as students studying at an
institution of learning, for the duration of their
studies in Canada; or individuals with valid work
permits/authorizations for employment for a period
not exceeding 36 months;"D2-4-1's
Residents of Canada
1. Residents of Canada may operate conveyances on
which duties have not been paid in Canada only in
accordance with the terms and conditions of tariff item
No. 9802.00.00 and the regulations made pursuant thereto.
Purpose of Importation
2. Conveyances imported temporarily under these
Regulations are admissible for personal transportation only
from the point of arrival to a specified destination in Canada
and return within 30 days, when the purpose of importation
is to transport personally owned goods into or out of
3. Similarly, customs inspectors may permit importation
in instances where a resident is required, due to unforeseen
circumstances or emergency reasons, to utilize a
conveyance on which duties have not been paid for personal
transportation to reach a specified destination in Canada and
4. Under no circumstances are conveyances admissible
under these Regulations for touring purposes or for other
leisure activities in Canada, nor is any local use permitted
(e.g., point to point movement in Canada).
5. Customs inspectors will grant free importation of a
conveyance under these Regulations only when satisfied
that the applicable conditions have been met."