So you’re switching provinces with your car? While it is super exciting to be switching provinces, each province has different legislation. Therefore, different procedures are in place to bring a car into each province. Make sure you are following these procedures! If done incorrectly, you may be liable for thousands of dollars worth of damages if you were to end up in an accident. Here’s what you should do.

First off, check the government websites for your old province and the new province. Every province has different procedures regarding what to do when you leave or arrive. Therefore, following the rules from your new province may not follow proper procedures from the old. Make sure you are following proper protocol from both provinces to avoid any complications.

Deadlines To Switch Over Insurance

Switch over your insurance and your driving license within three months. This date is standard across Canada. You will have 30 days at a minimum to insure your vehicle in a new province and 90 days at a maximum. After this time you will no longer be covered in case of an accident, even if you are still paying your old insurer!

Once you have switched over to the new insurance, you will be eligible for a refund on any insurance that you prepaid for in the old province. Don’t forget to call and cancel this insurance, or you won’t get your money back.

Switching Provinces With Your Car

Students Switching Provinces

If you are moving provinces for school, you may be able to keep your insurance and license from your home province. This can be very advantageous depending what province you are moving from. Car insurance rates differ severely between provinces. Do the math and figure out whether you are best to switch over to the new province rates or stick with your home province rates. Keep in mind that there are special rules you will have to follow to keep your home province insurance rates. This can include but is not limited to; always having your student ID on you when you are driving the car, not allowing others to drive your car, and limiting the amount you drive around with it. Contact your insurance provider for more information in this field.

Some provinces will require an inspection when switching provinces with your car. This means that you will have to pay for the inspection. Additionally, any work needed on the car will need to be done before you will be allowed to insure it in the province. If you have an older car, the cost can really stack up, as any problems will need to be fixed immediately. Keep this in mind if you are on a fixed budget.

Vehicle Inspection Exemptions

If you are importing your vehicle in between BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan there are some rules that apply when switching provinces with your car that may save you money. Eligible vehicles are able to be imported between these provinces without an inspection if they meet the following standards:

  1. owner of the vehicle moves to Saskatchewan, Alberta, or BC from another NWP jurisdiction (Saskatchewan, BC or Alberta);
  2. vehicle was last registered in a NWP jurisdiction to the customer applying for the inspection exemption;
  3. vehicle is a passenger car, multi-purpose passenger vehicle, motorcycle, light truck or van with a gross vehicle weight rating less than or equal to 4,536 kg;
  4. Automobile has a normal status reported through the Inter-Provincial Records Exchange (IRE) system; and
  5. vehicle is either:
    • less than 4 years old from the date of manufacture; or
    • has been inspected as part of a NWP government inspection program within the last 90 days.


If all these describe your vehicle you will be able to apply for an exemption when switching provinces with your car. This will allow you to import the car into the province without an inspection, thus saving you the inspection fee.

*This article outlines the regular procedure that should be followed to move vehicles between provinces.  However, please ensure you look at the official government site before making any decisions. If you have any unanswered questions, please call your insurer to make sure you are getting the correct information. By not following all procedures you can become uninsured, leading to large costs if you were to get into an accident.