I made all the appropriate calls I *thought* I needed to make before leaving. Called the DMV here in Colorado - they faxed me stuff. Their paperwork referred to a "certified VIN
inspection" (must be done by the state patrol here), so I called the state patrol. They faxed me more stuff.
Dumb ol' me read through all of it, and in some places it referred to "originals" of paperwork.. but the line that required "proof of Canadian registration" *didn't* say "original" so I just had a copy from the seller. That was the only boo-boo. :bh When you go to the clerk's office, she acts like you sprouted another head because "everybody knows you need originals!!!" (then why the hell doesn't it SAY "original" on the list?)
Then, there was one line on the list of needed items that didn't pertain to trailers coming in from Canada - but it didn't say that! After I called three different clerks at the state's offices of the DMV, I finally got a clerk that had "made a note about that" in her copy of the rule book that OK'd what I was trying to do! Ugh! Before that, I even had one clerk say "if you had bought it here, you wouldn't be having these problems!" (I got words for idiots like that! - and they ain't pretty!) Morons.
Unlike Janifer, the border didn't even look at my trailer. When coming back into the US, the officer asked "did you buy anything while in Canada?" I said "yes - gas, groceries and this trailer" :)
She asked if I *wanted* to do paperwork on it (WHAT? do I *want* to?!?!?) I asked her if it was mandatory, and she said no... so why on earth would I want to then?!?!? LOL I passed on her kind offer of dealing with red tape and just trotted my new treasure across the border. Now that said, I didn't want to mess with their border paperwork because I already knew that Colorado didn't need that. Your state may differ. Just don't be cocky because I was. :lol
The stickler in getting a trailer in Canada is that Canadians don't get reamed for taxes every year like most of us do in the states. They get a one-time registration
for their trailers. At least in Colorado, that is the paper you need to smoothly get your trailer registered and re-titled here. The Canadian (at least in Alberta) doesn't need that piece of paper to re-use their registration
on a new trailer - they just need the plate or their operator's license
. To update their registration
for a new trailer is cheap, to get a new registration costs more - so they may be hesitant to part with their paperwork. My seller thought he needed that original paper, so I only got a copy - which Colorado refused to accept. Long story short here, Colorado has a process called "in leiu of bond" for trailers weighing
under 2,000 pounds. Had the trailer been heavier, it would have cost $300-$500 to go through a PITA bonding process in order to get registered here without that original Canadian registration paper.
The most important thing I can stress is getting in touch with your local DMV to see what you need before you go. Then (after having a hot little piece of paper that lists everything in your hand) CALL a supervisor at your state's DMV to make sure that nothing is overlooked. Get that person's name. IF they blow it, make them register your trailer when you get back :loltu
Best I can tell, much depends on how picky your state is on
1. international purchases
3. age of trailer
Because my trailer was light
AND old (bless it's little roly-poly heart!), it really was no big deal getting the paperwork done.
The Canadian exchange rate can make the trip worth it - a good currency converter can be found at http://www.xe.com/ucc/
if you want to compare bucks to bucks.
Lastly, when I was at the state patrol here, they said that they do inspections often because there are people that are scoring great deals on used cars and such up there and re-selling them here. So the process is really no big deal if you just go through it once.