Like any other country, Canada requires its citizens, residents, or visitors to have a valid driver’s license in order to drive a motor vehicle.
Valid driver’s licenses issued in other countries may be used to drive in Canada for a short time after arrival – there may be exceptions depending on the province, though. Let’s see how licenses from other countries can be used in Canada and the process of getting a driver’s license in Quebec and Ontario.
How to Use a Foreign Driver’s License in Canada
If you hold a valid driver’s license issued in another country you can legally drive in most Canadian provinces for 60 to 90 days. To do that, you also have to have an International Driver’s Permit, IDP. Containing the French and English translations of your license, this document should be issued in your home country.
Note that you also have to be at least 16 years old, have proper insurance coverage for the vehicle you will drive, and carry with you the vehicle ownership permit while driving in Canada.
How to Obtain a Driver’s License in Canada
To obtain a full driver’s license in Canada, you must be at least 18 or 19 years old, depending on the province. The general process of obtaining a driver’s license in Canada depends on your province of residence and your driving background. Generally, it includes a written examination of the traffic rules and one or two driving tests. Below you’ll find brief information about obtaining a driver’s license in the provinces Quebec and Ontario.
To obtain a driver’s license, you are obliged to take the mandatory driving course at a recognized school. When you complete the course’s 4 modules of Phase 1, pass the test, submit the required documents, including your permanent resident card, pass the vision test, and pay the fee, you obtain your learner’s license. With this license, you can drive as long as you are accompanied by a driving instructor from a recognized driving school.
Then, you take the 30-minute knowledge test. If you pass this test and have had your learner’s license for at least 12 months, you take the road test. When you pass the road test and pay the fee, you get your probationary license, and after maintaining a good driving record for 2 years, you get your driver’s license.
If you are at least 16 years old, pass the vision test, and pass the knowledge test, you get the G1 license issued for beginner drivers. With this license, you can drive with a fully licensed driver with at least 4 years of experience, who is sitting in the front seat.
After holding the G1 driver’s license for 12 months, you can take your first road exam testing basic driving skills. Once you pass this exam, you get the G2 license that allows you to drive without an experienced driver. After holding your G2 license for 12 months, you are eligible to take the G2 exit exam testing more advanced driving skills. If you pass this exam, you get your full driver’s license.