Step 4: The Legal Legwork


Posted on : 12:01 PM | By : Anonymous | In : , ,

Today we got all the legal paperwork done. It takes a bit of doing to import a bus into Canada. The first thing you have to do is make sure they will allow the make and model of the bus to be imported. There are a few kinds that are allowed, but the only two that are allowed from any year are Blue Bird and Thomas. Otherwise you have to get quite a new bus which is also much more expensive.

You have to make sure you have all your ID for crossing the border. This means a valid passport and I would recommend any other ID for good measure like driver's license and birth certificate. Since John is flying one-way into Reno, he also needed to have a bill of sale from the seller to prove his story to the US border. You have to prove that you will leave the US and if you have a one-way ticket that's a bit more difficult.

To drive a bus with air brakes in BC you also have to have air brake certification. John took his required 20 hour class this weekend and today he is taking the test (right now as I write this). It's not very difficult and the test is only 25 questions so it's not something to worry about.

In order to take the bus out of the US you have to export it first. This means that the border crossing has to be notified 72 hours ahead of time that you will be taking a vehicle out of the country permanently. They need a copy of the title and bill of sale, and they have a little form to fill out. Surprisingly this was a very easy thing to do - we simply emailed the Blaine border crossing export office, they emailed the kit right away and then you can just email it back with the files if you can scan them. Out of all the government red tape to go through this was the easiest ever! We'll see when he gets to the border though, because he does have to stop and talk to them in person.

Coming across into Canada takes a little bit more work and it all has to be done at the border. You also have to have the original title, the bill of sale, etc. Plus there's an import fee and taxes. We estimate this to be about $200 CA.

The last thing is dealing with insurance and registration. Because John is not a resident of Nevada, and the seller gets to keep his plates, we have to get a Movement Permit to cross the state so we can eventually bring it to BC and register it here. He also has to cross California, Oregon and Washington. Oregon and Washington say that once you have a permit in one state they don't care if you drive through their state, but California is a little unclear on this point. It would be nice to only have to stand in line at the DMV once. We'll have to see when he gets there. As for insurance, he just had to go to ICBC and get a kind of temporary insurance to bring it here.

Now on Friday John just has to take the Greyhound bus back to Victoria and pick up his passport. We had to go there in person instead of our local Nanaimo office because it shaved 4 weeks off the waiting time down to 2 weeks. But you have to pick it up in person too. Then on Saturday after work he will be getting on a ferry to Vancouver and take a bus to the airport for his flight to Reno.

Whew! I can't believe we did all that in 2 weeks!

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