Can I drive a car with temporary documentation into Canada?
June 9, 2014 7:32 PM Subscribe
Last week, I bought a new car. Can I drive in and out of Canada with a temporary license plate, registration, and insurance card?
posted by ddbeck to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
I am a US citizen and I live in Delaware. Last week, I bought a new car in Delaware. I am planning a four-day trip to Montreal before I'll receive permanent registration, license plate, or (probably) up-to-date insurance card for my car. Will anyone (i.e., Canadian Border Services, Canadian/Quebec law enforcement, or US Customs and Border Protection) care if I come and go with temporary documentation?
The car dealership provided me with temporary registration (which is a printed form completed by hand) and a temporary license plate (which has a hologram and printed numbers, but expiration and VIN handwritten in permanent marker). I have updated my insurance policy to cover the new car and to remove my old (traded-in) car, but I have not yet received a new insurance card which explicitly covers the new car (I can print off a "confirmation" that looks just like the insurance card, but it explicitly says that it's not a valid insurance card and should be replaced by the card the company is mailing me).
I've never driven into Canada or the United States, so I don't really know what to expect with regards to scrutiny about cars at the border crossings. Am I overthinking this or am I right to be concerned that it might be a problem at one or both border crossings? Would I be better off renting a car?