Driver's licences and Motor Vehicle registration when on TN visa (oh yes income taxes too). -

Hello David:

I am a Canadian citizen working in USA through TN visa since June 2004. My wife, 3 kids (2 American one Canadian) are staying with me in USA. My wife is a landed immigrant and not a  Canadian citizen yet. We have no property in Canada but do have active credit cards, bank account, diving license, medical card. I have applied for H1B and like to say have no intention going back but I guess have no choice due to the restriction on the TN visa forcing me to leave the country within 2 weeks in case of a job loss. I have not filed my taxes to Canada since came to USA but continuously filing the taxes for my wife as zero income in order to make her immigrant status active. [email protected]

Before asking question, let me confess that have very little knowledge of taxing and forgive me if even the question was wrong.

1). Under above circumstances, do u think I have a choice to cutoff my links to Canada by canceling the credit cards, license and file taxes for my wife separately.

2). If I made a mistake by not filling taxes in Canada,
     -    would that be big loss to me.
     -    how can I correct that mistake
     -    what would be your fee to help me out.
3). If I make a $900000 yearly as married and pay taxes in both countries, how do you think roughly tax breakup would be like 30 /  5 percent. Is there a formula to calculate this roughly.

Thank you for your help and time David.


david ingram replies:

Your wife's PR status remains valid as long as she is living with a Canadian citizen (you) while out of Canada.  Your American born children are also Canadian.  You should register their out of country birth as soon as possible at

1.   Under Article IV of the US Canada Income Tax Convention, you are truly tax exempt in Canada.  However, your Canadian health card is invalid and it would be fraud to use it.  For it to be valid, any holder has to physically sleep in their home province more than 183 days a year although Ontario is only 153 nights.  Most (not all) states take away your provincial drivers licence when you get the new state licence.  California, for instance, requires you to get a California licence within 10 days if you are living and working there. Some states are 30 days. Therefore, you or your wife are likely driving illegally with no car insurance.

California requires you to get a CA licence in 10 days and surrender your out of state licence.

Washington, DC for instance requires you to have a DC licence in 30 days and to surrender your out of state licence as follows:

Converting an Out-of-State License

A licensed driver who moves to the District from another jurisdiction is required to convert their valid out-of-state driver's license to a DC driver's license if residing in DC for more than 30 days. A DC driver's license is valid for up to five years for US citizens and may vary for non-US citizens depending on visa classification. The written test is not required if your prior license is valid or has not been expired for more than 90 days. The road test is not required if your prior license is valid or has not been expired for more than 180 days.

The former license must be relinquished to obtain a DC License. If you do not have your out-of-state license in your possession, we will accept a certified driving record (issued within the last 30 days) reflecting the license is in good standing and not expired for more than 90 days.

Non-US Citizens (foreign nationals) may be eligible for a DC driver’s license if they meet eligibility requirements.

The Patriot Act, Public Law 108-458, National Intelligence Reform Act of 2004 does NOT allow for social security numbers to be displayed on driver licenses or identification cards.

  • You are a resident of DC
  • You have no outstanding debts to the District of Columbia or unpaid fines for moving traffic violations in other jurisdictions
  • You must provide documents from all of the following categories:

  •     - Proof of Identity
        - Proof of Social Security Number
        - Proof of Current Residency
        - Proof of Ability to Drive

    Realize that if you are in an accident driving with a Canadian licence and have been living in a state for four years, you are driving without a licence and your insurance is invalid.  This cost one our clients in Texas over $300,000 two years ago when he was there for four years driving with his BC driver's licence.

    You can access the rules for every state's drivers licences and vehicle registration rules at:

    The District of Columbia also requires a car there for more than 30 days to get a permit and provide proof of your bone fide residence somewhere else as follows:

    Registration of Out-of-State Automobiles (ROSA) in DC

    What is ROSA?

    ROSA stands for registration of out of state automobiles. Automobiles housed in the District of Columbia for 30 consecutive days are required to be registered and display a valid DC inspection sticker and tags when parked or operated on public space. The Metropolitan Police Department monitors residential areas for the presence of automobiles not in compliance with DC registration requirements. If an automobile has been observed a second time within a thirty-day period, a warning notice may be issued indicating the automobile is eligible for the issuance of a citation and/or impoundments unless one of the following actions has been taken.

    • Recurring visitor (frequent short term visits) report to a DMV service location and prove non-residency by presenting an original lease, deed or mortgage statement or a utility bill no more than 60-days old. The documents must be in the name of the registered owner of the vehicle. Copy of out-of-state license and vehicle registration are also required. ROSA parking exemption is good for a 180-day period.
    • Temporary residents (more than 30 days) must register their vehicles or apply for the reciprocity permit.
    Note: Bring the warning notice posted to your automobile with you.

    What if I don’t have a lease, deed or mortgage in my name?

    You must provide all of the following:

    • A statement from the homeowner attesting to the fact that you reside at their home.
    • A copy of a current utility bill (60 days or less) in the home owner's name.
    • A copy of the home owner's drivers license or non-drivers identification.

    What happens once I receive the ROSA exemption?

    Once you receive an exemption from ROSA, your vehicle license tag number will be entered into the District’s ticket management system. The exemption applies to ROSA enforcement only. All other parking regulations apply. You will receive a receipt for your records indicating the exemption expiration date (180 days).

    What happens if I get a ticket for failure to secure DC tags?

    You may contest the ticket by mail or in person. You should present the same documents presented to receive the ROSA exemption.

    What happens after the 180-day exemption period?

    If you receive another warning notice, you may repeat the exemption process above.

    Note: ROSA is not a parking permit, and it does NOT exempt a vehicle from DC parking regulations.

    I am putting this here to show what must be done is one particular jurisdiction. 

    California is 10 days for a driver's licence and 20 days to change the vehicle licence after taking a job in California. 

    And yet, at least once a week, I have someone phone me who has been in California for a year and has not bothered changing their plates or getting a California Driver's licence (license) because they haven't had time, or someone said they did not have to or their car would not pass California Emission rules, or, or, or.  Realize that they have no insurance in this situation.

    Every province has different rules as well.   As one example, your  BC registration (and insurance of course) is  invalid after  60 days when you move to another jurisdiction to take a job whether it is California or any other state or province.

    Students, on the other hand can keep their Canadian provincial medical plan and provincial driver's licence and provincial car registration for up to five years anywhere else provided they do not take a job in that jurisdiction unless the job is part of the University course/instruction.

    Back to your question # 2

    2). If I made a mistake by not filling taxes in Canada,
         -    would that be big loss to me.
         -    how can I correct that mistake
         -    what would be your fee to help me out.
    3). If I make a $900000 yearly as married and pay taxes in both countries, how do you think roughly tax breakup would be like 30 /  5 percent. Is there a formula to calculate this roughly.
    david ingram replies:

    2.    You should have notified your bank that you are a non-resident and have them deduct 10% tax on any interest they are paying you.  If you have not done so, you should send the CRA 10% of any interest you have received under Article XI of the US/Canada Treaty.  You must also report any interest or dividends on schedule B of your US return and you MUST file schedule B if you have any foreign accounts.  If you have an RRSP, you have to file US form 8891 (question 8 on Schedule B)  If your Canadian accounts total over $10,000 or if your Canadian accounts were $6,000 and you or your wife have another $5,000 in your original or your wife's original home country, you must also fill out forms TDF 90-22.1 for each foreign account (question 7 on Schedule B).  Minimum penalty for not filling out form TDF 90 if you need to is $10,000.    I have had a 105 year old lady get a $10,000 penalty for not filing. (The maximum penalty is $500,000 plus up to 5 years in jail).

    3.   You have no responsibility to file in Canada on your US earnings.  I have spent too much time on this question already.  (over an hour when I charge $450.00 an hour.

    If you want more, you should book an hour appointment and expect to pay me $450 by credit card, etc.  In general, I am now quoting $900 to $3,000 for current US Canada Tax returns, less for  catch ups.  A more specific  price suggestion can be found further on.

    The question was rejected by the system along with 150 others and I just happened to look at it as I was watching the Clinton - Obama results in Wisconsin.  I answered it because of the chance to make my point about the drivers licences (licenses), something you did not even consider.

    On February 11, 2008, David Ingram wrote:

    It is very unlikely that blind or unexpected email to me will be answered.  I receive anywhere from 100 to 700  unsolicited emails a day and usually answer anywhere from 2 to 20 if they are not from existing clients.  Existing clients are advised to put their 'name and PAYING CUSTOMER' in the subject line and get answered first.  I also refuse to be a slave to email and do not look at it every day and have never ever looked at it when I am out of town. 
    e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help
    However, I regularly search for the words"PAYING CUSTOMER" and always answer them first if they did not get spammed out. For the last two weeks, I have just found out that my own email notes to myself have been spammed out and as an example, as I wrote this on Dec 25, 2007 since June 16th, my 'spammed out' box has 47,941 unread messages, my deleted box has 16645 I have actually looked at and deleted and I have actually answered 1234 email questions for clients and strangers without sending a bill.  I have also put aside 847 messages that I am maybe going to try and answer because they look interesting. -e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax service and  help
    Therefore, if an email is not answered in 24 to 48 hours, it is likely lost in space.  You can try and resend it but if important AND YOU TRULY WANT OR NEED AN ANSWER from 'me', you will have to phone to make an appointment.  Gillian Bryan generally accepts appointment requests for me between 10:30 AM and 4:00 PM Monday to Friday VANCOUVER (Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles) time at (604) 980-0321.  david ingram expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
    david ingram's US / Canada Services
    US / Canada / Mexico tax, Immigration and working Visa Specialists
    US / Canada Real Estate Specialists
    My Home office is at:
    4466 Prospect Road
    North Vancouver,  BC, CANADA, V7N 3L7
    Cell (604) 657-8451 -
    (604) 980-0321 Fax (604) 980-0325

    Calls welcomed from 10 AM to 9 PM 7 days a week  Vancouver (LA) time -  (please do not fax or phone outside of those hours as this is a home office) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service help.
    Disclaimer:  This question has been answered without detailed information or consultation and is to be regarded only as general comment.   Nothing in this message is or should be construed as advice in any particular circumstances. No contract exists between the reader and the author and any and all non-contractual duties are expressly denied. All readers should obtain formal advice from a competent and appropriately qualified legal practitioner or tax specialist for expert help, assistance, preparation, or consultation  in connection with personal or business affairs such as at If you forward this message, this disclaimer must be included." e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
    David Ingram gives expert income tax service & immigration help to non-resident Americans & Canadians from New York to California to Mexico  family, estate, income trust trusts Cross border, dual citizen - out of country investments are all handled with competence & authority.
    Phone consultations are $450 for 15 minutes to 50 minutes (professional hour). Please note that GST is added if product remains in Canada or is to be returned to Canada or a phone consultation is in Canada. ($472.50 with GST if in Canada) expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
    This is not intended to be definitive but in general I am quoting $900 to $3,000 for a dual country tax return.
    $900 would be one T4 slip one W2 slip one or two interest slips and you lived in one country only (but were filing both countries) - no self employment or rentals or capital gains - you did not move into or out of the country in this year.
    $1,200 would be the same with one rental
    $1,300 would be the same with one business no rental
    $1,300 would be the minimum with a move in or out of the country. These are complicated because of the back and forth foreign tax credits. - The IRS says a foreign tax credit takes 1 hour and 53 minutes.
    $1,600 would be the minimum with a rental or two in the country you do not live in or a rental and a business and foreign tax credits  no move in or out

    $1,700 would be for two people with income from two countries

    $3,000 would be all of the above and you moved in and out of the country.
    This is just a guideline for US / Canadian returns
    We will still prepare Canadian only (lives in Canada, no US connection period) with two or three slips and no capital gains, etc. for $200.00 up.
    With a Rental for $400, two or three rentals for $550 to $700 (i.e. $150 per rental) First year Rental - plus $250.
    A Business for $400 - Rental and business likely $550 to $700
    And an American only (lives in the US with no Canadian income or filing period) with about the same things in the same range with a little bit more if there is a state return.
    Moving in or out of the country or part year earnings in the US will ALWAYS be $900 and up.
    TDF 90-22.1 forms are $50 for the first and $25.00 each after that when part of a tax return.
    8891 forms are generally $50.00 to $100.00 each.
    18 RRSPs would be $900.00 - (maybe amalgamate a couple)
    Capital gains *sales)  are likely $50.00 for the first and $20.00 each after that.

    Catch - up returns for the US where we use the Canadian return as a guide for seven years at a time will be from $150 to $600.00 per year depending upon numbers of bank accounts, RRSP's, existence of rental houses, self employment, etc. Note that these returns tend to be informational rather than taxable.  In fact, if there are children involved, we usually get refunds of $1,000 per child per year for 3 years.  We have done several catch-ups where the client has received as much as $6,000 back for an $1,800 bill and one recently with 6 children is resulting in over $12,000 refund. 

    This is a guideline not etched in stone.  If you do your own TDF-90 forms, it is to your advantage. However, if we put them in the first year, the computer carries them forward beautifully.
    This from "ask an income trusts tax service and immigration expert" from or or David Ingram deals on a daily basis with expatriate tax returns with multi jurisdictional cross and trans border expatriate problems  for the United States, Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Indonesia, Japan, China, New Zealand, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Russia, Georgia, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Scotland, Ireland, Hawaii, Florida, Montana, Morocco, Israel, Iraq, Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mali, Bangkok, Greenland, Iceland, Cuba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Barbados, St Vincent, Grenada,, Virgin Islands, US, UK, GB, and any of the 43 states with state tax returns, etc. Rockwall, Dallas, San Antonio Houston, Denmark, Finland, Sweden Norway Bulgaria Croatia Income Tax and Immigration Tips, Income Tax  Immigration Wizard Antarctica Rwanda Guru  Consultant Specialist Section 216(4) 216(1) NR6 NR-6 NR 6 Non-Resident Real Estate tax specialist expert preparer expatriate anti money laundering money seasoning FINTRAC E677 E667 105 106 TDF-90 Reporting $10,000 cross border transactions Grand Cayman Aruba Zimbabwe South Africa Namibia help USA US Income Tax Convention. Advice on bankruptcy  e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax service and help .

    David Ingram expert income tax service and immigration help and preparation of US Canada Mexico non-resident and cross border returns with rental dividend wages self-employed and royalty foreign tax credits family estate trust trusts
    income tax convention treaty advice on bankruptcy

    New York, Boston, Sacramento, Minneapolis, Salem, Wheeling, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Pensacola, Miami, St Petersburg, Naples, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Orlando, Atlanta, Arlington, Washington, Hudson, Green Bay, Minot, Portland, Seattle, St John, St John's, Fredericton, Quebec, Moncton, Truro, Atlanta, Charleston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento, Taos, Grand Canyon, Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Sun City, Tulsa, Monteray, Carmel, Morgantown, Bemidji, Sandpointe, Pocatello, Bellingham, Custer, Grand Forks, Lead, Rapid City, Mitchell, Kansas City, Lawrence, Houston, Albany, Framingham, Cambridge, London, Paris, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Whitehorse, Anchorage, Fairbanks, Frankfurt, The Hague, Lisbon, Madrid, Atlanta, Myrtle Beach, Key West, Cape Coral, Fort Meyers,   Berlin, Hamburg,  Warsaw, Auckland, Wellington, Honolulu, Maui, Kuwait, Molokai, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Manilla, Kent, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Red Deer, Olds, Medicine Hat, Lethbridge, Moose Jaw, Brandon, Portage La Prairie, Davidson, Craik, Edmonton, Calgary, Victoria, Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Edinburgh, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Copenhagen, Oslo, Munich, Sydney, Nanaimo, Brisbane, Melbourne, Darwin, Perth, Athens, Rome, Berne, Zurich, Kyoto, Nanking, Rio De Janeiro, Brasilia, Colombo, Buenos Aries, Squamish, Churchill, Lima, Santiago, Abbotsford, Cologne, Yorkshire, Hope, Penticton, Kelowna, Vernon, Fort MacLeod, Deer Lodge, Springfield, St Louis, Centralia, Bradford, Stratford on Avon, Niagara Falls, Atlin, Fort Nelson, Fort St James, Red Deer, Drumheller, Fortune, Red Bank, Marystown, Cape Spears, Truro, Charlottetown, Summerside, Niagara Falls, income trust, Income Tax Treaty Convention. - e bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax  service and help.
    david ingram International non-resident cross border expert income tax service & immigration help estate family trust assistance expert preparation & immigration consultant, income trusts experts on rentals mutual funds RRSP RESP IRA 401(K) & divorce preparer preparers consultants Income Tax Convention Treaty.  advice on bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax help.
    Be ALERT,  the world needs more "lerts".   bankruptcy expert  US Canada Canadian American  Mexican Income Tax service help.  - expert us Canada Canadian Mexico income tax service and help  help


    Trackback URL for this entry:

    Here's what others have to say about 'Driver's licences and Motor Vehicle registration when on TN visa (oh yes income taxes too). - ':

    Lose Weight In A Week Diet And Exercise Plan from Lose Weight In A Week Diet And Exercise Plan
    ... diet - Fucus vesiculosus, bladderwrack or brown and white multi print dress. Sorts of food can be quite painful for some physical problems like diabetes, high blood pressure. Theres ev... Driver's licences and Motor Vehicle registration whe... [read more]
    Tracked on Sunday, July 17 2016 @ 02:37 PM PDT