Recently moved to Canada? What you need to know in order to drive

Published on Jun 18, 2012

If you are new to Canada, you may find that driving in Canada is extremely different from driving in the country of your origin. Depending on the country that you came from, it may be quite easy to transfer your license of origin to an international driver's license. International driver's licenses will allow you to legally drive in Canada. Some individuals that are a new driver in Canada may have to take either all or part of the driving test in order to legally drive in the country.

Getting a Canadian Driver's License

If you have moved to Ontario, and are a new driver in Canada, but have been driving for over two years in either Japan, Korea, Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain, France, Belgium, Austria, or the United States you can simply exchange your current license from your country for a Canadian drivers license without having to take the road test. However, you will be required to take the vision and knowledge test for the province. If you have had a license for less than two years you may exchange your homeland license for a full license in Canada.

If you have never held a driver's license and wish to become a new driver in Canada, the protocol and the requirements for obtaining a new license will vary from province to province.

A new driver in Canada may have to take driver's lessons in order to begin driving in Canada. Some provinces require this while others do not. All provinces will require a new driver in Canada to take both the knowledge and vision test. Knowledge tests will evaluate how much of the traffic and road regulations that you understand. The vision test ensures that you can see good enough to be considered safe while operating a vehicle.

Transferring Your License

If you have moved into Canada from another country and have been driving for a number of years, there are a few things that you should know when driving in Canada as well as how to transfer your license to a new Canadian license.

The first thing you need to know is that if you have a current driver's license from a different country, state, or province you are allowed to drive with that particular license for the maximum of 60 or 90 days depending on the territory or province. If you wish to continue driving past this time frame then you will be required to obtain a valid Canadian license in order to do so.

If your license originated from one of the countries that is listed above you will be able to obtain a full G license as long as you have at least 2 years of experience. If you have less than 2 years experience you can obtain a G2 license.

If you are a new driver in Canada that does not originate from one of the listed countries, you will be required to present a foreign driver's license that is valid, pass a knowledge and a vision test, pay fees, and provide a proof of identity that is acceptable in order to receive a Canadian license.

Individuals that have less than 12 months of driving experience will only be allowed to apply for a starter Canadian driver's license in most of the territories of the country.

Canadian Driver's License Requirements

Once you become a new driver in Canada and obtain the proper license, you will be required to obtain auto insurance if you drive or own a vehicle. Insurance rates may be higher for a new driver.


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