Can I register a car in NY and drive it into Canada right away? How?
July 30, 2014 4:03 PM   Subscribe

I'm leaving NYC on Friday and driving to Canada for 12 days. I have a rental booked, but also just bought a car out of state and had it delivered to a mechanic. They did a safety inspection and some minor work that will not be completed until Friday, the same day I need to leave. The car does not have temporary out of state tags or license plates but I have an appointment with the DMV on Thursday. If possible, I'd like to drive this vehicle to Canada but am very skeptical of the timeline.

The DMV website says I will receive the plates, registration sticker, registration document and inspection extension sticker 1 to 2 weeks after my DMV appointment. I know you can drive a car with temporary tags over the border, but my question is will I walk away from the DMV on Thursday with everything I need to cross the border, or do is that 1-2 week lag going to screw me? I keep seeing online that I will walk away from the DMV with temporary tags and a 10 day inspection sticker but it seems like that sticker would expire while I'm in Canada, and I'm not sure they'd recognize it anyway. This is what I have ready for my DMV appointment tomorrow:

- Completed form MV-82
- Signed out of state title of the vehicle with no liens. Title has never been transferred before and is transferred over to me.
- Signed bill of sale.
- Signed odometer and damage disclosure form.
- Proof of insurance.
- Completed form DTF-82 (sales tax form).

I'm kind of prepared for the fact that I will most likely need to just take the rental car, but I'm kind of hoping against hope that there's some way to get this all sorted out in 2 days.
posted by nathancaswell to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
Best answer: I just registered a car in NYC and they gave me the plates at the DMV, together with a temporary sticker. Just go and get the emissions inspection on Thursday and I think that's all you need.
posted by agent99 at 4:43 PM on July 30, 2014

Every time I registered a car in NYS, I was given the plates at the time of registration. No wait other than the line at DMV in White Plains.
posted by 724A at 5:58 PM on July 30, 2014

We went to Niagra with our brand new car, with the temporary tags on it from New Jersey.

As long as you have your ID, they shouldn't bat an eye.
posted by rich at 5:47 AM on July 31, 2014

Best answer: Yes, they should give you the plates at the DMV. Ask your mechanic to do the inspection and install the plates, and you should be all set. You will also get a temporary registration sticker, which you scotch tape to the windshield until the permanent sticker arrives. I think the temporary registration sticker is good for 30 days, which makes sense if they're saying the permanent sticker could take up to two weeks.

That said, be aware that there is a high potential for someone to be a dick to you coming back in from Canada. Make sure you have your passport. Even with my passport, the border guards have harassed me for several minutes, wanting to know many, many details that were completely irrelevant to whether I should be allowed back into my home country carrying a passport from my home country. Do not talk back to them. It was so bad that I considered contacting my Senator afterwards, but I let it go.

Your car will probably be searched, so
posted by Leatherstocking at 7:48 AM on July 31, 2014

... do not under any circumstances decide that it would be cool to bring back some Cuban cigars (or other contraband).
posted by Leatherstocking at 7:49 AM on July 31, 2014

Response by poster: Update: walked out with plates and a registration sticker. It can be done!
posted by nathancaswell at 10:47 AM on July 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

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