If you are not living in any of the big cities in Canada, buying a car is more of a necessity than a luxury. Public transport is unreliable, even nonexistent in many small towns, and that makes it hard for people to get around; especially when going out of town.

So, if you’ve made up your mind to buy a car, you’ll need more than just cash to make it happen. There are specific requirements which every car buyer, local or foreign, should meet before owning a vehicle. This article covers everything.


Every white label dealer in Canada will need to see some form of identification before they start processing your car purchase. It’s the government’s way of linking every car to its owner; this is a standard security measure used all over the world. This requirement is so imperative that a dealer could actually turn down your cash if you showed up without ID.


If you intend to drive your car on public roads, getting a license plate is inevitable. And to get that, you’ll need proof of insurance. Every province in Canada upholds this regulation, so there’s no way out. The only time when you could drive a vehicle without insurance is when it never leaves your compound, such as those small trucks with front snowplows.

Driving License

Technically, no dealer has the right to ask for a driving license before they sell you a car. But, what’s the point of buying a vehicle which you can never legally drive?

The process of acquiring a driving license varies from one province to another, and it is as easy as playing a slot machine online. However, there’s a waiting period of anywhere between a couple of days to several weeks.

Non-residents can also get an international driving license, which makes it easy for travelers to hire cars. But they don’t last long; they must be swapped for a local driving permit within a few months. Alberta, for example, allows up to 90 days for new residents in the province, but this is not specified for people from other countries.

No Credit or Credit Card for Non-Residents

For new arrivals, getting an auto loan is quite tricky. Nobody wants to lease or sell a car to a foreigner with zero credit history and no cash at hand. It just does not work like that.

However, some dealers offer direct loans to creditworthy people, even those with bad credit. But they are usually costly compared to conventional financing methods.

Final Word

Though buying a car from a private seller might not require all these things, you are advised to stick to dealerships. They service their vehicles before selling, and also offer a guarantee for the first few weeks for used cars, and up to 100000 km for new ones.