Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Regional Forums > North America
North America Topics specific to Canada and USA/Alaska only.
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!

Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia

Like Tree3Likes
  • 1 Post By Tony LEE
  • 1 Post By PanEuropean
  • 1 Post By PanEuropean

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 7 Jul 2016
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 108
Non-Canadian can registrate a car in Ontario

Hello guys,

i´m a german guy heading to canada ontario next week and my plan is to buy a car there for travelling around.

Does anybody know if i can registrate the car in my name in ontario (toronto).

Thanks for your answers
Reply With Quote
Old 7 Jul 2016
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NSW Australia - but never there
Posts: 1,235
Don't know about that province but it seems as if every Canadian vehicle owned by foreigners in S America is registered in British Columbia. Problem comes at the other end because transferring BC registration is said to be very difficult unless both parties are in BC
Click here for Travel Photos & Travel Map
Reply With Quote
Old 7 Jul 2016
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 108
i will be in Ontario, so it has nothing to do with south america. But i also regocgnized the fact with travellers and BC...

The transfer shouldn´t be a problem only the registration im worried about.

I thought may here are some canadian people from ontario with experience
Reply With Quote
Old 7 Jul 2016
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,132
You can register a motor vehicle in Ontario no matter where you live as long as you provide a legitimate address for service of documents. This could be, for example, the address of a friend. So far as registration of ownership of a vehicle is concerned, Ontario doesn't care who the person is - you don't need to be a citizen.

But, that alone is of little comfort to you. The big problem you will face is putting a licence plate on the vehicle, insuring the vehicle, and driving the vehicle.

Automobile insurance is mandatory in Ontario, and the penalties for operating a vehicle without insurance are very severe: the first offence has a fine of $10,000 and possible jail term. Ontario has a very sophisticated system of making sure that vehicles are insured before issuing a licence plate (which is not the same as issuing a certificate of registration of ownership) for a vehicle. You have to provide proof of insurance in order to get a licence plate, and the government licence plate issuing computer is tied into an insurance company database, which means that the insurance certificate you provide must be 100% legitimate and valid in order to get the licence plate.

Additionally, many police cars in Ontario are equipped with licence plate scanners which read the licence plate and immediately check it against the same insurance company database to make sure that the car is currently insured. This means that you cannot, for example, cancel or fail to renew an insurance policy after you have obtained the licence plate. If you try that, you will get caught very quickly.

In order to obtain insurance, you will need to provide an abstract of your driving record (presumably, in your case, from Germany) to the insurance company. Without being able to prove that you are a competent and properly licensed (in your home country) driver, you will not be able to obtain insurance.

Be aware that insurance is expensive in Ontario. For example, I am retired, 45 years driving experience, no tickets or accidents in the last 25 years, and I pay about $2,000 a year to insure a VW Golf.

Once you do obtain insurance (on the strength of your European driver licence and providing a record of your European driving history, including a letter from your European insurance company attesting to your driving and claims record), you now face one final hurdle: You will have to exchange your European driver licence for an Ontario driver licence.

This is because you will have claimed an Ontario address to register and plate the vehicle, and you will have claimed an Ontario address to obtain insurance. Ontario law states that anyone who moves to Ontario (which is what you will have effectively said you have done by these two actions) must obtain an Ontario driver licence within 60 days of moving to the province.

If you have more than 2 years of driving experience, it will be quite simple to obtain an Ontario driver licence - you just swap your German one for the Ontario one. But, be aware that you can only do this 'swap based on experience' for an automobile driver licence - there is no provision in the treaty between Germany and Ontario for swapping motorcycle driver licences. If you want an Ontario motorcycle licence, you have to go through the whole process as if you had never operated a motorcycle before, and this is a long, expensive, and restrictive process.


I wish I could have provided you with a 'happier' answer, but the rules here are the rules, and they are very diligently enforced.

A possible alternative for you - I'm not absolutely certain of this, but it is all I can think of - would be to have a friend of yours who is an Ontario resident with an Ontario driver licence buy the car for you and insure it for you. You could then drive it using your German driver licence as long as you are a bona-fide tourist (meaning, you have not established a residence in Canada). It would be wise for you to have an international driving permit (IDP) that provides a translation of your German-language driver licence, unless by chance your German licence is bilingual German-English or German-French.

Insurance in Canada covers the vehicle, not the operator. This means that anyone who operates an insured vehicle is covered by the policy on the vehicle, provided that they are operating it with the permission of the owner (in other words, they have not stolen it).

Reply With Quote
Old 7 Jul 2016
Gold Member
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 2,132
Here are links to two websites that will give you further information about the processes involved:

For registering a vehicle in Ontario: How to register a vehicle in Ontario (this is the official provincial government website)

To obtain a driver licence if you already have one from a foreign country: I have a driver's licence from another country. How do I get an Ontario driver's licence? (This is not a government website, but it is the organization the government funds to assist immigrants to Canada)

Hope this helps you.

Reply With Quote
Old 8 Jul 2016
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
Join Date: Dec 2015
Posts: 108
Hello Michael,

thanks for the imformations, i didn´t expect such good infos thx thx thx

i will do it like you advice me in the last sentences. a friend of main from canada shall buy the car insure and registrate it for me, thats the most easiest way!

a international driverlicense i have already.

Again thanks for the information!
Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Shipping car Jordan to Port Sudan destinationafrica 4 wheel Overland Travel 3 19 Apr 2015 17:21
Getting rid of car in Iran Masterchiefflo West and South Asia 2 22 Oct 2014 08:03
Storage in east Asia ? pibock 4 wheel Overland Travel 2 14 Oct 2014 04:48
Canadian buying/registering car in Germany? Possible? 2aroundtheworld Trip Paperwork 5 1 Jun 2012 06:43



Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.



  • Queensland is back! Date TBC - May?

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!

Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.

Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80G/S.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events all over the world with the help of volunteers; we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, or ask questions on the HUBB. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 09:26.