When you purchase a motor vehicle in the US with the intention of importing it immediately into Canada, you will want to have a trip permit for the vehicle.
What is a trip permit?
A trip permit, also known as temporary registration or in-transit permit, is a sticker or a piece of paper issued by a motor vehicles department (DMV or DOT) in the USA. This permit gives you permission to operate an unregistered vehicle until you arrive in Canada. If you are an average importer, you only want to pick up the car, truck, RV or motorcycle from the US and bring it to Canada without having to register it first in the US.
A list of trip permit information is provided on the UCanImport website for a number of US states.
With a trip permit purchased in one state, you may operate the vehicle through all states that fall between your origin and your destination. For example, if you purchase a trip permit in Texas, you can use that permit to operate your vehicle through all the states up to the Canadian border and to your residence. You are not required to purchase a trip permit for each state.
If purchasing your vehicle through a dealership, ask the dealer to obtain the trip permit for you.
Important: Once you have arrived home in Canada, the US-issued trip permit is no longer valid. You must obtain a Canadian-issue permit from you auto insurance agent in Canada.