I am a Canadian citizen spending the majority of my time living in the US in F1 (student) status. I plan to purchase a car, and would like to be able to drive it back to Canada in order to visit my family a few times per year. The vehicle would be registered and insured in the US. My searching online has yielded no results on my specific scenario. I don't believe I qualify for a temporary import exemption, since I would be driving my vehicle while in the country, although I would likely be there less than 30 days, in some cases maybe less than a week. Will I need to import or export my vehicle every time I cross the border, and pay the associated duties and taxes?

  • Do you (or will you) have a US driver's license to go with the registration and insurance? And, if so, is there any reason why you wouldn't want to consider the address on that license your "home" address when dealing with Canada customs?
    – Dennis
    Sep 25, 2021 at 23:38
  • I currently have a Canadian drivers licence, and an international drivers permit. I rent an apartment in the US, my "home" address is my Canadian address, that's what all my legal documents list. As I mentioned, I'm a student, so my living arrangement here is temporary. From my understanding, in order to obtain a US drivers licence I would need to void my Canadian license, which I'm hesitant to do. Sep 26, 2021 at 0:20
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    "From my understanding, in order to obtain a US drivers licence..." A license from another sovereign nation is not a concern of the state of California, nor any state of the United States. Unless there is some sort of special treaty between Canada and California that I'm not aware of, having a U.S. drivers cannot in any way effect the holding of a drivers license of another nation. I'd look into this a bit more if I were you.
    – ouflak
    Sep 26, 2021 at 15:16
  • Thanks for the info. I just did a bit more research, and think the laws on this topic vary by state. According to the Pennsylvania DOT, a foreign drivers license is valid for one year after the most recent date of entry into the US, or until the license expires. An International Driving Permit is "strongly recommended, but not required." So I guess as long as I leave and re-enter the US at least once a year, I should be able to get by with my Canadian license. Sep 26, 2021 at 16:21
  • I believe there are a few states that will waive the tests in return for surrendering a Canadian license (New York is one), but since PA isn't one of those obtaining a license there has no effect on the Canadian license. It is also likely correct that you can continue to drive with the Canadian license as a student if you want. The thing is, though, that it is choosing to buy a US car while choosing not to get a US license that is the cause of your problem, so it is in a real sense a problem you are choosing to have.
    – Dennis
    Sep 26, 2021 at 21:00


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