So you’ll need to start working on getting an Ontario driver’s licence and car insurance.
“I already have a valid driver’s licence from back home.”
In Ontario, you can legally drive with a foreign licence for 60 days after moving here, but you should have an English or French version of your licence, called an International Driving Permit (IDP). You can request an IDP from the licensing authority in your home country.
Exchanging your foreign driver’s licence for an Ontario licence
Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation makes it easy to swap out your old licence for a new Ontario licence if you’re from another Canadian province or territory, the US, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ire-land, Switzerland and Taiwan.
Bring your licence to a DriveTest centre and they’ll get it done quickly (you’ll need to take an eye test). If you have less than two years of driving experience, you’ll have to take a road test after you complete your two years of cumulative driving. So, if you’ve been driving for 14 months, you’ll have to wait another eight months. In that time, you can get to know Ontario’s rules of the road.
And if you can’t exchange your foreign driver’s licence?
You’ll need to:
- Take an eye test
- Show originals of your accepted identity documents
- Provide your valid out-of-province/foreign driver’s licence and any original supporting documents (in English or French) that show proof of your driving experience
- Fill out an application form and pay the applicable fees
If you have 2+ years’ driving experience, you’ll need to take an eye test, a writ-ten test and one road test, which you can take right away. If you have less than two years of driving experience, you need to go through Ontario’s driving test process. It can be tedious, especially if you have experience driving back home. But as you’ll see below, you can be driving basically right away once you have the right car insurance.