How to buy a car in Manitoba as a new immigrant

If you’re a newcomer wanting to build your credit score, a car is a great way to do so. We know there are some things you’ll need to gather in order to purchase a vehicle so let’s go over them.



The top three pieces of paperwork you need to buy or lease a car in Manitoba are:

  • A valid Manitoba driver’s license
  • A valid car insurance policy
  • Vehicle registration


Valid Driver’s License

Depending on where you immigrated from, you may be able to transfer over your license — either fully or partially. Manitoba Public Insurance requires three pieces of acceptable identification to determine the class and stage of the license that will transfer over. The first piece needed is your foreign driver’s license and it must include the following information:


  • Your full name and birth date
  • The country and licensing authority that issued your license
  • Your class or type of license and a description of the type of vehicles you’re allowed to drive
  • When your license expires
  • How long you’ve had your license (including the date it was first issued, if you’ve had your license for less than three years)

The other two pieces of identification you’ll need are your Canadian Citizenship (or permanent residency) card and an official driver record document or letter. To obtain your driver record you can contact your Consulate or Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, depending on where you are originally from.

If your foreign license or supporting pieces of identification are in a language other than French or English, you will have to provide the original license with a certified translation. You can find more information about this on Manitoba Public Insurance’s website.

Note: Your driving record is not necessary to get a license in Manitoba, but if you would like to fully or partially transfer over your foreign license, skipping graduated licensing, it’s mandatory.


Car Insurance Policy

Before you can get car insurance, first ensure you have a valid Manitoba driver’s license. To obtain insurance, there are only two things you need to supply:

  • The driver’s license numbers for everyone who will be using the car (must live in the same household)
  • The make, model, mileage and registration number of your vehicle.

Vehicle Registration

To complete your legal ownership of your car, you need to register it with the provincial government of Manitoba.

In order to register your car, you need the following:


  • Your Manitoba driver’s license and the 15-digit registrant identification number (RIN)
  • Proof of your current insurance policy
  • Certificate of sale and ownership title also known as the “pink slip”
  • Your license plate number

If you’re buying a used car you will also have to include:

  • A valid Certificate of Inspection (COI)
  • Transfer of Ownership Document (TOD)
  • The bill of sale

Once you have all the necessary documents, you can register your car with an Autopac agent at your nearest Manitoba Public Insurance.


Car loans for new immigrants to Canada

At Birchwood Credit, we want to help new Canadians find reliable transportation and increase their credit score. We recognize there may be obstacles that make it challenging for you to get approved for auto financing at other banks and lenders. However, at Birchwood Credit, we specialize in helping car buyers with less than perfect credit (and even no credit history) get an auto loan with terms they can actually afford. We’re here to help you drive away in an affordable vehicle! Get started today.

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