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Old 01-05-2013, 08:19 PM   #1
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Driving an imported RV back to Canada

A question for anyone who has some insight. I have purchased a used motorhome in Florida and am wondering if i need some sort of Florida temporary licence permit or tag in order to drive this motorhome back to Ontario? Has anybody done this before. I have read that some people have tried to get a tag but the DOT in Florida wanted them to pay sales tax on the purchase price. I dont want to take any chances. Thanks

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Old 01-05-2013, 08:23 PM   #2
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It's my understanding Florida collects sales tax on every purchase. Most major RV dealers offer an option to take delivery out-of-state to legally avoid paying FL sales tax. There is a detailed explanation of this subject over on the escapees.com RV forums. These dealerships also provide all documentation for Canadians importing RV's.

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Old 01-05-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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Don't know about Florida but many states offer temporary 30 day transit tags for out of state destined vehicles. I did this in Vermont. Suggest you contact Florida DMV.

I presume you have checked all Canadian import regs and requirements. The purchased RV must be on the import list.

Plus US designated US border post must have your registration certificate several days in advance to validate ownership and that it is free of any encumberence.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
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We bought ours a couple years back from a private seller in FL and he loaned us his tag to get back to TN. Mailed his tag back. Paid sales tax in TN when registering and tagging it.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:31 PM   #5
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We bought ours in california and had it delivered to Reno. Where we drove it home from. We bought a permit that was good for 6 months. Before we went to get we had to get permits for the provinces we were going to be driving in which was Alberta and Saskatchewan were we live. If you don't have it set up before you get to the border you will have no insurance as the united states permit is only good in the US. Also you will need to have your papers in order to get across border and have a safety done when you get home
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:25 PM   #6
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Hi there, you don't need anything from the US just get a 7 day temporary license from Canada. That's it. I brought several MH's over.
Hope that helps.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #7
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I called service ontario M of T and was told you need a temporary permit from the state where the RV was purchased. Called Florida DMV and they told me that i could get a temporary permit but they would charge me 6% sales tax. The lady i was talking to didn't sound to sure of herself. Do they hassle you at the border if you use the previous owners Florida plates to drive it home?
Thanks, Staaly
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
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In the USA, most states will credit the sales tax that you paid to the state where the purchase was made. Example: Bought in Fla, and paid their 6% tax there, then paid only the additional 2% in New York (they charge 8%) when I registered it there. Possibly Canada does the same?

Only works to your benefit if the final location is the same or higher than the purchase state.

Another thought: There maybe an "agent" in Canada that can process the paperwork for you. They will register it in Canada and pay whatever taxes and fees are owed, then overnight the tags to you in Florida.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:31 PM   #9
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You might want to visit this site prior to your purchase to be sure it can be imported.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by bluepill View Post

Another thought: There maybe an "agent" in Canada that can process the paperwork for you. They will register it in Canada and pay whatever taxes and fees are owed, then overnight the tags to you in Florida.
This is in my opinion the best advice, and if you, O.P., are still IN Canada you might be able to set this up yourself before you pick up the moho.


I hope you checked it out through Transport Canada prior to purchase to make sure that it's importable to begin with. Evidently, there are rules about that...
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:33 PM   #11
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You could purchase Canada tags or:

Temporary Tag

You would need to pay tax in an amount equal to whatever tax would be imposed in Canada.

Assuming the former owner provided you with a Florida Title at the time of sale, the vehicle no longer belongs to that party (the seller). The Florida tags stay with the former owner and are no longer valid on the vehicle that has been sold .... and insurance?
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:29 PM   #12
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Here in Manitoba, one just purchases a 5 day temporary permit(about $40)and
$8/day for additional days required up to 30 days.(which included optional $5million
liability/$200 deductible,etc) It was good for all states & here. They required a copy of the Bill of Sale and Title of the RV. This sticker was put on passenger lower right windshield when unit was picked up , that was all. Here may be different as our government insurance/registration is under the same "roof". From what I've read, having the unit delivered outside of Florida may be the only way to avoid their state sales tax.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:30 AM   #13
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Would suggest you get a customs broker to handle the import for you, this in most cases will cost approx 200.00 plus any mandatory fees that you would have to pay any way, you will need a hydro check and approval, a safety check and possibly an emission check, good luck
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:46 PM   #14
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It's really no big deal to import. Take delivery out of Florida or any other state that charges tax for vehicles leaving the state. Make sure the vehicle is on the Transport Canada list of importable vehicles. You definitely do not need a customs broker just a chequebook to pay the GST component at the border. You cannot get tags in ON or pre- register the vehicle until it is inspected so forget about that option. The major border crossings do several RVs each week so you will be through as quickly as you can pay the tax. Read and re-read the RIV process and consider how you will get recall clearance documents for the chassis and coach on a used vehicle - that will likely be your only challenge. You will need DRLs also for the inspection.
Just be thankful that you didn't buy from the dealer who provided the false information. The Transport Canada requirement is that the RV be built to a "standard" and the US built RVs are built to the RIVA standard that is comparable to the Canadian standard. No one involved in the Canadian Standards "industry" will ever acknowledge that - they strive to create differences so they will still have a job. Motor vehicle standards were largely harmonized several years ago and the result is lower priced vehicles in Canada. Hopefully it will happen to RV standards in the years ahead.

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