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Dos And Don'ts Of Registering A Used Car In Canada

by Marie Caldwell

So, you're looking to buy a used car. You already know you'll need to have it insured and registered, but you're not quite sure how the license registry works for used vehicles in Canada. Fortunately, the process is pretty simple, and there are just a few important things you'll need to know in order to save yourself some time and hassle.

DON'T Assume It'll Be Done for You

First of all, don't make the mistake of assuming that the dealership from which you purchased the used car will handle the registration for you. While it's true that some dealerships will provide this option, many don't--especially when it comes to used cars. Furthermore, if you're buying from a private seller, you'll need to register your own vehicle in person, as individual sellers don't have the authority to register on a buyer's behalf. Even if a dealership claims to complete your registration for you, be sure to check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles branch to be sure.

DO Register in Your Province

Furthermore, understand that your vehicle will need to be registered in the province where your primary residence is located. The reason for this is that registration laws, requirements, and regulations can vary from province to province. Fees can also vary, depending on the province in which you live. You can find out more about specific province registration requirements for both new and used cars by doing a little bit of research.

DO Bring Proper Identification

Once you've located the branch nearest to you, you'll want to make sure you bring some specific documentation in with you in order to get your vehicle registered. Specifically, you're going to need:

  • proof of car insurance
  • your driver's license
  • your certificate of title for the car
  • at least two forms of identification
  • your license plate number

Furthermore, understand that you may need to pass a written driver's safety exam in order to register your vehicle if you're a new resident of your province. If this is the case, your testing will be done on-site and you should receive your results as soon as you're done.

Registering a used car in Canada does take a bit of time and research on your part, but by simply keeping these tips in mind as you go through the process, you can have it all completed in no time. From there, you'll just need to remember to renew your registry in Calgary annually.