A huge thanks to Careh at Redflagdeals for compiling this comprehensive document.
Many of you have asked whether US sales tax it is payable when exporting a vehicle from the US into Canada. The
simple answer is "possibly". With 49 US states (I suppose you could buy a vehicle in Hawaii and have it shipped but that
wouldn't make much sense) as possible vehicle purchasing locations, the sales tax rules and regulations vary from
state to state. Some municipalities in some states are also permitted to charge a local sales tax. In almost all cases, this
local tax only applies to residents of a particular town or county. We're not going to include possible local/county taxes
but you should enquire about your possible and specific options directly with your vendor prior to purchase.
The information provided has been obtained from contacts in each state and is subject to change. The assumption is
you are a Canadian and are buying a vehicle in the US and you intend to immediately drive it back to Canada.
Alternately, you many choose to have it shipped back to Canada for subsequent registration.
State policies on Canadians paying state sales tax vary considerably. Some states allow you to drive the vehicle out of
the state within a short period of time while others require you to have the vehicle delivered to you outside the state –
meaning you have the vendor drive the vehicle just over the state line. At that location you exchange documents – and
Some states require you to fill out a form to avoid paying sales tax. There is a link provided below for those forms.
In all cases, you need to have Canadian car insurance (temporary or permanent) and vehicle registration on the vehicle
before you drive it. This is sometimes called a 'binder policy'. Contact your provincial registrar / vehicle insurer for
specific details on what is required in your jurisdiction.
Please contact me if you have a suggestion or revision for this list.
Click here for a comprehensive list of specific US state requirements:
The following states have no sales tax on vehicles – thus you can go there, buy a vehicle, and drive it out of the
state. This assumes you have temporary registration and the appropriate insurance policy from your Canadian
Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii (I won't question why you would buy in Hawaii), Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon
The following states require you to pay their sales tax on vehicles unless you have the vendor ship the vehicle to
you in Canada:
Specifically for Georgia, the following information was provided:
In order for a Canadian to purchase a vehicle exempt of sales tax in Georgia would required that a shipping
company pick up a vehicle at the dealership and deliver the vehicle directly to the buyer in Canada. Technically in
order to be exempt of Georgia sales tax, the legislation expects the vehicle to remain with the shipping company
until the vehicle arrives in Canada. Realistically, the purchaser can take possession of the vehicle outside the
state but that could result in some complexities not worthy of the effort. Shipping can be paid by either party. In
most instances, bills of lading, invoices and similar documents can support the transaction.
Regulations OCGA 48-8-2; 48-8-30; 48-8-77.