DRIVING IN ONTARIO WITH A FOREIGN LICENSE
Updated: May 13
HOW TO GET AN ONTARIO DRIVER’S LICENSE
One of the first things many newcomers to Canada do upon their arrival is research how to get a driver’s license in Ontario. The driver’s license system in Canada differs by province and territory, so it’s always important to review the requirements for the province in which you will live.
Today, we explain how to get a driver’s license in Ontario for newcomers through one of two methods: completing Ontario’s driving tests or switching your foreign license for an Ontario driver’s license.
HOW TO EXCHANGE A FOREIGN DRIVER’S LICENSE IN CANADA
If you come from a country that has a reciprocal agreement with Canada, you can obtain an Ontario driver’s license without completing written and practical testing. You may be eligible to exchange your foreign driver’s license for an Ontario driver’s license depending on:
Your place of origin
The type of license
The documentation and/or identification you have
The number of years of experience you have driving
For those who are eligible, you can visit a Drive Test Centre to exchange your license.
According to the province of Ontario, you can switch to an Ontario driver’s license if you are relocating from:
any Canadian province or territory
Canadian Armed Forces
Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, Taiwan.
ONTARIO’S DRIVING CLASS SYSTEM
If your driver’s license is from a country with no agreement, you must present official confirmation of your driving experience. You can present a letter from the Embassy, Consulate, or ministry of transportation in your country. This letter should contain information about the type of license you hold and how much driving experience you have. Depending on your license and level of experience, you will be granted a different level of driver’s license.
G1 DRIVER’S LICENSE (CANADIAN LEARNER’S PERMIT)
If you have 1-2 years of driving experience in the last 3 years, you can take the G1 test. Upon completion of the G1, you must practice driving for approximately 1 year before you can take the G2 driving test.
G2 DRIVER’S LICENSE
If you have 2 or more years of driving experience in the last 3 years, you can take the G2 driving test. If you pass the road test, you will get a G-class license.
G CLASS DRIVER’S LICENSE
The G class driver’s license is a full driver’s license in Ontario. This means you can drive without restrictions pertaining to number of passengers and time of day.
WHEN TO APPLY FOR A DRIVER’S LICENSE
For our clients who move to an urban city in the Greater Toronto area, such as Ajax, Brampton, Mississauga, or Pickering, we often suggest that they take advantage of the public transportation system. You will have access to buses and trains in these areas, which will allow you to commute efficiently. So, you may not need to get your driver’s license right away, unless you require an additional piece of ID.
If you plan on settling in a city further away from downtown Toronto, such as Oshawa or Whitby, or further East in Bowmanville, Newcastle, or Cobourg, we suggest that you apply for a driver’s license sooner. These areas do have public transportation systems, but they are not as developed as Toronto’s public transit system. As such, a driver’s license (if you have access to a vehicle) will allow you to get around more efficiently.
Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.
We can provide assistance with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.