Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Planning, Trip > Trip Paperwork
Trip Paperwork Covers all documentation, carnets, customs and country requirements, how to deal with insurance etc.
Photo by Igor Djokovic, camping above San Juan river, Arizona USA

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


Photo by Igor Djokovic,
camping above San Juan river,
Arizona USA



Like Tree4Likes
  • 1 Post By Grant Johnson
  • 1 Post By Alanymarce
  • 1 Post By Grant Johnson
  • 1 Post By Grant Johnson

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 15 Nov 2022
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 7,238
Buying a motorcycle or car in Canada as a foreigner

British Columbia:


Had a discussion with the rep from ICBC - the "Insurance Corporation of BC" that does ALL vehicle insurance in the province for required Third party Liability.

  1. You CAN arrive, and buy and insure a bike.
  2. When you buy it, if private, get the registration TRANSFER document from them, and a receipt.
  3. Go to an "Autoplan" office, of which there are many, to transfer the vehicle and get insurance. You CANNOT ride without insurance for even one foot. YOU WILL NEED TWO PIECES OF ID. Your home drivers licence and passport is fine.
  4. You need to pay sales tax, transfer fee, and buy insurance.
  5. If you buy from a dealer, they can generally get an Autoplan agent to come to the dealer and do everything there!
  6. You DO NOT need a local address.
  7. They WILL ask you for one. Just tell them you're not staying anywhere specific, unless of course you have a friend's address. Since the exact premium is based on location, some have higher accident rates etc., they will charge you the MAXIMUM rate in BC without a fixed address.
  8. If they say "call ICBC" because essentially they're clueless and don't know what to do and don't want to deal with you, tell them to call their "Support Desk" and they will tell them it's ok. You should be able to get it all done on the spot.
  9. You can insure for whatever period you want, from one month to one year. You can cancel anytime, but there is a fee to cancel early.
  10. Your insurance is good anywhere in Canada and the USA.
  11. If you want additional insurance such as fire theft and collision, you can buy it at the same time for the same period. You CAN also buy it separately for less from an insurance agent that specializes in that, BUT that's always for one year and no cancellation allowed, so generally not worth it for travellers.
  12. If you want to ride south, past the USA, your BC insurance is no longer valid.
  13. In order to cancel your insurance, you must MAIL BACK THE PLATE. Therefore, plan when your insurance naturally expires carefully.
  14. Your REGISTRATION is still valid and legal anywhere, you just need local insurance which is the norm for everyone everywhere.
  15. IMPORTANT: In Canada for sure, and I believe in most of the USA as well, you MUST ALWAYS carry your drivers licence, registration and insurance documents at all times. Here in BC, there is a significant fine, and your bike will be towed on the spot without them.


If people were to add similar information to the above for the other provinces and territories in Canada where they live, that would be much appreciated!
__________________
Grant Johnson
Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------
Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 16 Nov 2022
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Colombia,(when not travelling)
Posts: 314
This also applies for Canadians non-resident in Canada.

We bought a vehicle in BC this Spring and it was easy, following the steps noted. One learning, noted in Grant's post, is to be aware of the expiry/renewal conditions. We are planning to pick up the vehicle next Spring and go on "stage 2"of our Canadian travels. Renewal of the insurance looks as if it's going to be a challenge. We cannot renew online since our vehicle is co-owned (by the two of us). It seems that we cannot renew by phone either (looking into this). Renewing in person would involve flying from Colombia to BC for the day...!

As an aside, we recently looked into lending our vehicle (parked in BC until next Spring) to my daughter in Ontario for the 6 months we are at home - it's a nightmare and we finally reached the conclusion that it's not feasible (technically possible but a bureaucratic mess and a huge cost).
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 17 Nov 2022
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 7,238
The insurance DOES NOT have to be renewed if it's not being driven.

If I understand correctly, it's currently parked, and the insurance will expire before you return.
No problem - when you return, go to the closest Autoplan agent with your registration papers, pay and you're done. Easy.
IF you renew before the insurance expires you should be able to do it online. This is a NEW option in 2022, as BC has finally done away with expiry stickers on the plate, as all police can now automatically scan plates for insurance and registration validity.


As I understand it all, for your daughter to drive it, she'd have to register it in Ontario after I believe 30 days but it might be 90. And of course pay taxes, transfer fees etc. And then you'd have to do the reverse. And someone has to drive - or rail freight it - back and forth. Definitely not worth it.
__________________
Grant Johnson
Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------
Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 18 Nov 2022
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Colombia,(when not travelling)
Posts: 314
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grant Johnson View Post
The insurance DOES NOT have to be renewed if it's not being driven.

If I understand correctly, it's currently parked, and the insurance will expire before you return.
No problem - when you return, go to the closest Autoplan agent with your registration papers, pay and you're done. Easy.
IF you renew before the insurance expires you should be able to do it online. This is a NEW option in 2022, as BC has finally done away with expiry stickers on the plate, as all police can now automatically scan plates for insurance and registration validity.


As I understand it all, for your daughter to drive it, she'd have to register it in Ontario after I believe 30 days but it might be 90. And of course pay taxes, transfer fees etc. And then you'd have to do the reverse. And someone has to drive - or rail freight it - back and forth. Definitely not worth it.
Your understanding is correct.

We'd prefer to keep the insurance up, it's only a "gap" of 6 weeks or so, and this would also allow my other daughter to use the vehicle if she needed to (no plan but an option - as long as it's "occasional use" this is permitted).

Update - I spoke to the Insurance Agent - I can renew on the phone and with email. The online option is not permitted in our case - the vehicle is co-owned (I know - bizzare). ICBC tell me that the new online option, as you say introduced this year, will progressively be extended to co-owned vehicles and business-owned vehicles. I'm not holding my breath.

You are absolutely right about the process for my daughter to use the car - all sorts of limitations, restrictions, and taxes. We gave up on the idea.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 29 Jan 2024
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Ireland
Posts: 42
Is it the same process all over Canada in other provinces.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 29 Jan 2024
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 7,238
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnymac View Post
Is it the same process all over Canada in other provinces.

No, if anything BC is an outlier - the insurance here is government run, not private insurance companies. Most of Canada to my knowledge have rules that are similar TO EACH OTHER, but BC is DIFFERENT!
__________________
Grant Johnson
Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------
Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 29 Jan 2024
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Wessex, UK
Posts: 2,136
Thanks for posting Grant, out of interest is the BC insurance the same rate for all insurers or is it more expensive for foreign owners and has anyone done a comparison with the cost of buying/insuring in the US?
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 30 Jan 2024
Grant Johnson's Avatar
HU Founder
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Dec 1997
Location: BC Canada
Posts: 7,238
There is only ONE insurer in BC - ICBC, or "Insurance Corporation of BC". So yes, all same - does depend on where you live for rates - Big city vs small town for instance.
Sorry there's never been a comparison. But, BC has never been considered cheap. At a guess, probably cheaper in the US for both.
__________________
Grant Johnson
Seek, and ye shall find.

------------------------
Inspiring, Informing and Connecting travellers since 1997!
www.HorizonsUnlimited.com
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
buying a bike, canada, insurance, registration


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 3 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 3 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
Foreigner buying a motorcycle in Europe kiwiwannafly Trip Paperwork 11 16 Oct 2019 07:41
Help: Need info on buying car in Chile/Selling car in Colombia Thumber SOUTH AMERICA 3 18 Mar 2015 08:03
Buying a car in Kenya to drive to Namibia Alps2Africa sub-Saharan Africa 18 4 Dec 2013 22:53
temporary residency and buying motorcycle in China ? jordan325ic West and South Asia 9 14 Nov 2013 16:32
A Gringo in Colombia Ride4Adventure Ride Tales 13 20 Apr 2012 02:15

 
 

Announcements

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.

2024:

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 21:40.