As a Canadian purchasing in the USA, there is a pretty important procedure you need to follow in order to make life a lot easier for yourself. (SEG maybe you want to move this to a different forum?).
It starts immediately when purchasing your sled.
1) When talking to the buyer, make sure they give you their old registration and
a proper bill of sale
which indicates that they are transferring ownership over to you. If they don't have the registration, you'll definitely want to get ALL of their contact information starting with phone number and address. The US border patrol requires that you fax in both of these documents
to them so that they can "clear" your sled before you can bring it into Canada. They basically just want to make sure that when you do cross, you're not bringing across a stolen snowmobile. The US border actually demands 72 hours notice. So if you're staying in the US for 72 hours after purchasing your sled.... great. But if not, I suggest faxing the documentation ASAP (whether that's from your hotel or whatever). You might get lucky and have your paperwork processed early. If they don't have your paperwork processed yet, they can force you to store your sled in the USA until they have the paperwork processed. At which point you'd then have to come back down and pick up your sled afterward (a real pain).
I will say though that in my experience, the Canadian border just let us pass without the paperwork done (they didn't even ask honestly). But I would caution you to do your due diligence and get your paperwork sent in.
When you're crossing the Canadian border you will pay the taxes on your sled. If you can get the guy you're buying from in the USA to write a lesser amount on your bill of sale, do so. You'll pay less taxes at the border. But don't get too crazy otherwise they won't believe you and give you a hard time about it. Once you're done at the Canadian border they'll give you "Form 1
". Don't lose that...
2) Once you cross you need to go through the "RIV" (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) process. The first part of that is getting a Recall Clearance Form
. Each company has different ways of doing it. Polaris demands you phone their headquarters and they will fax you the form (for a $50 fee). Ski-doo demands you go to a dealer and they will print off the documentation (in MB they charge $250!). Arctic Cat I believe you phone their headquarters and they'll give you the form for free. In Ski-doo's case rumor has it that US dealers will give you the form for free... but I haven't heard this to be true yet. Either way, you need this form.
3) Once you've got the recall clearance form. Go to Registrar of Imported Vehicles
. What I did was I scanned the recall clearance form and then emailed it to email@example.com
. I made sure to include my information in the email as well. After emailing it, You need to pay another fee which covers the inspection which you'll do later. I paid it online from their website. It's really easy. Once you've paid, RIV takes up to 24 hours to process your information. You can track your case from the website. It actually only took them an hour to process mine (I just refreshed the tracking webpage). Once it's processed you can print out "Form 3
" directly from that webpage.
4) Take Form 3, Form 1, and your sled to a local Canadian Tire for inspection. You don't have to pay anything. Make sure your kill switch and lights work (and that it runs). They'll stamp your Form 1 if it passes inspection. It literally took 5 minutes.
5) Take your stamped Form 1 and Bill of Sale to a local insurance place and you should be able to get it registered and insured in Canada.