Once You've Gotten It Back Home:
You'll need to get a "Recall Clearance Letter" first from BMW Canada. This is letter basically saying the car you have is free from all outstanding recalls in Canada. It MUST have the following: Manufacturer's Logo, official letterhead, the signature of the official with his name and position, and the VIN #. Every other car company does this for free, but, seeing as it's a bimmer, BMW now charges $500 for it. Nothing you can do about it either
Now you have to bring in into a Canadian Tire to get it officially inspected. There are two inspections you need to go through - An Out of Province inspection (OOP), and a Federal Out-Of-Country Inspection. You get the form for the OOPI at your local insurance brokers, or if in doubt, your provincial insurance agency should have it. Both deal with the general safety of your car; The OOCI checks to make sure the car is road-legal throughout Canada, and the OOPI checks your vehicle against provincial regulations. You can tow your car to the shop, but you can also get special 1 - 3 day temporary operating permits designed especially for this case. They average around $30 - $80 a day depending on the level of coverage and the value of your car. I wouldn't trust Canadian Tire to empty my ashtray, but unfortunately they've got the government contract. There's also a few local shops that should be licensed to do it, call the RIV to find one in your area. Some, not all, of the thing's they'll look for:
Metric Speedometer, DOT approved Windshield, Windows, Light bulbs (Take out those Angel Eyes!), child safety restraint harnesses, working seat belts, Catalytic converter present, high mounted stop light, neutral switch, hood struts, acceptable window tint (35% in BC), and daytime running lights. They'll make sure the car is in good working order and nothing could be danger on the road. If you have any motor swaps or large conversions like I did, they will need a receipt for the work done. Anything they categorize as a "Major Modification" needs to be accompanied by a receipt showing the shop who did the job and the parts that were installed. So if you're looking at buying an S52 swapped car, make sure you get the paperwork too!
**As far as the daytime running lights go, you can buy a relay kit at BMW for $307, but Canadian Tire sells one for $27 that does the same thing. In this case the extra money for OEM parts isn't justified. All the DRL do is turn on the headlights when you switch the ignition.**
If you pass the inspection, they'll stamp your Form 1 and in about a week a new "Canadian Certified" sticker will be mailed to you to stick on your car.
The Last Step:
You've jumped through all the hoops, now comes the final stretch. Bring all your papers to your provincial insurance broker to get your new registration, plates, and insurance. You'll also be paying your provincial sales tax now. Shove the important documents in your sagging glovebox, keep the rest in a file back home, and you're good to go.
Put your key in the ignition, your sunglasses on, and roar away. Congrats!
As far as cost goes, here's a breakdown:
Car - $6600 USD, so let's say $7000 CDN
Plane Ticket - $300
Binder of Insurance - $60
Gas for the trip back - $100
Cheap Hotel - $45
Border Fee - $195
Duty and GST - $1000
PST - $420
Cdn Tire Inspection - $80
BMW Recall Letter - $500