Insurance is confusing!
July 11, 2010 2:52 PM   Subscribe

What do I need to do to insure my car? (a tricky Canadian situation)

I was living in Saskatchewan to go to school for two years, and my driver's license is issued in SK. Now I'm living in BC for more school, but my important mail and such still goes to my parents' house in Ontario (I consider this my "home" address though I am away for school). However, this summer I am home in Ontario, and I want to get insurance on a used car that has been, and will be primarily garaged in Ontario - so that I can take it on a road trip across Canada and into the US. Can I get Ontario insurance on my Ontarian car with a SK driver's license when I've been living in BC, if I still maintain an Ontario address? I don't think I have time to get an Ontario driver's license before I am supposed to leave for the trip. If I have to get BC (or SK) insurance, do I have to drive all the way back there, or can I purchase it at a distance, say, over the phone, by email, or by fax?
posted by Bergamot to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total)
I know you can't get insurance on a car with one province's plates if your license is from out-of-province. I recently put my partner on my car insurance in Ontario, where we live, and he (finally) had to get an Ontario driver's license in order to be insured and had to trade in his B.C. one. He was technically not allowed to drive my car without an Ontario license, according to my insurance agent.
posted by pised at 3:09 PM on July 11, 2010

If you want to maintain Ontario as your "home", then you should get an Ontario license. If you go in and ask to exchange your SK license, I'm sure you get some sort of temporary permit on the spot and this should be fine for your trip (you need a passport to go into the US anyway, so you'll have other ID). There is no reason to keep your SK license as you don't live there. You should be fine with a ON license in BC as a full-time student, but do check the rules to make sure. This could be a little messy if your health coverage is BCMed rather than OHIP, but you are no worse off with an ON license in that case than a SK one.

You can't register and insure a car in BC without having the car physically present and I'm sure SK is the same.
posted by ssg at 3:17 PM on July 11, 2010

Don't try to register it in SK, will take too long. Directly from SGI's website: If you are registering a vehicle in Saskatchewan that was most recently licensed in another jurisdiction, the vehicle must be inspected under the First-Time Registered Vehicle Inspection program.

If you want to switch to your Ontario license (from an Ontario license issuer's website): If you are a licensed driver with two or more years of driving experience from one of the above jurisdictions you may get full class licence privileges without taking a knowledge or road test. However, you must pass a vision test and show acceptable proof of your previous licence status and driving experience.

I'd just go talk to the license issuers in Ontario and ask if you need an Ontario driver's license to register a vehicle. If so, doesn't seem like a big deal to get the car insured and change your license at the same time.
posted by lizbunny at 9:56 AM on July 12, 2010

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