A Manitoban’s Guide To Getting Car Insurance In A New Province


In Manitoba, love it or hate it, we have one provider when it comes to automobile insurance – MPI.

This article won’t be a discussion of the benefits and perils of public auto insurance. But it does pay to know that not every province operates the same way – many provinces use private insurance companies. Automobile insurance is still mandatory in these provinces.


When your Autopac coverage ends

If you’re in a new province temporarily, you won’t need to get new insurance – that’s why you can drive in a new province, or even a different country, with your Manitoba driver’s licence and Autopac insurance.

So when does your Autopac coverage end if you leave the province? We don’t have to guess – MPI provides the exact rules on their Leaving Manitoba page.

According to that page, coverage ends when:

  • You are required by law to register your vehicle in the new province
  • You register your vehicle in the new province
  • Your Autopac coverage expires or you’re suspended for nonpayment

Pretty boilerplate stuff – if your vehicle is registered in a new province, or it’s required to be registered in the new province (even if you don’t actually register it), your Autopac coverage ends, and you need to get insurance in the new province.

It’s worth noting that, in most cases, insuring your vehicle in another province will lead to your MPI insurance coverage ending, as you’ll need to register your vehicle in that province to insure it. However, in circumstances where you insure your vehicle in another province without registering it in that province, your MPI coverage will not automatically end, and you’ll need to cancel it manually.

When you register your vehicle in another province, you should contact MPI to update them right away.


When you need to register your vehicle

The rules for when you need to register your vehicle vary from province to province, so it’s important to check local regulations. In B.C. and Saskatchewan, for example, you need to register your vehicle within 90 days of becoming a resident – or before your licence expires (whichever comes first).

In Quebec, conversely, you can drive for the first 6 months before you need to register your vehicle.

The grace periods of each province are as follows:

  • B.C.: 90 days
  • Alberta: 90 days
  • Saskatchewan: 90 days
  • Manitoba: 90 days
  • Ontario: 60 days
  • Quebec: 6 months
  • Newfoundland: 30 days registration/90 days driver’s licence
  • P.E.I.: It’s complicated – but 4 months if you’re not eligible for a time extension
  • Nova Scotia: 90 days
  • New Brunswick: Contact the motor vehicle branch directly
  • Yukon: 120 days (30 if you have an air-brake endorsement on your licence)
  • Northwest Territories: 30 days license/90 days vehicle registration
  • Nunavut: Contact the Motor Vehicles Division directly


Public vs. private insurance

Each province has different rules for who can insure your vehicle. Some are public, some are private – and Quebec uses a combination of the two.

  • B.C.: Public
  • Alberta: Private
  • Saskatchewan: Public
  • Manitoba: Public
  • Ontario: Private
  • Quebec: Private for property damage, public for bodily injury
  • The Maritimes: Private
  • The Territories: Private

If you’re not used to private auto insurance, the process is a lot like buying house insurance. You can go directly through insurance agents, or get a variety of quotes using an insurance broker.


Moving to Manitoba

Now that you know how and when to register and insure your car in every province and territory, you can move with confidence. But what about when you’re moving from another province to Manitoba?

We can help. Manitoba uses a public insurance system, which means the only insurer you can use is MPI. When you contact our brokerage, we’ll handle everything for you – licensing, registration, and insurance. So if you’re looking for car insurance in Winnipeg, and you’re new to the city, give us a call. We’ll handle all the paperwork for you, and explain the insurance process – all while ensuring you have enough coverage.