Driving in Canada

If you’re thinking about to stay in Canada for a short period of time, the driver’s license acquired in your country of residence will allow you to drive for 90 days from the date you entered the country. To avoid problems and inconveniences when driving in Canada, you should apply for the International Driving license in the traffic agency of your city of residence.

If you intend to stay a long season in this beautiful country, you must obtain a Canadian driver’s license to drive. In general, the following system is known as a “Graduated Licensing System” in which 3 theoretical and practical tests must be passed within a 2-year period. However, licensing procedures vary depending on the province.

For example, in British Columbia, you must pass the “knowledge test” by answering 40/50 questions correctly. This test is available in other languages as Spanish, ask for information in the traffic ministry if you would rather do the test in your native language. The second step to obtain the license would be a practical test. The maximum deadline to pass all tests is 2 years, however, in Ontario, the time limit for passing tests is 5 years.

Remember that each province has its own procedures for obtaining the license so, to obtain detailed information on the driving tests you must go to the website of the Ministry of Transport of the province in which you are going to reside.

* If you’re coming to Vancouver you can find the information needed to obtain the Driver’s License here. 

If you come from the U.S.A and you’re an adult with more than 2 years of driving experience, you may be eligible to convert your North American license into a Canadian driver’s license.

Canada is a very extensive country so depending on the time of your stay and the location of your residence you may need a car. Although in the downtown of the city you can find almost everything, residential areas and commercial areas tend to be scattered in the city’s outskirts.

In addition to public transport, to commute you can use the famous Car2Go or Evo Car share. For example, the company Car2Go makes available to its users a fleet of Smarts and Mercedes that allow moving easily by the city. You will find special car parks for Car2go which can be very convenient, as you won’t have to spend time looking for parking in the city.

The charge for Car2Go is per minute, and it works through an App in which you also can see the cars that are near by, as well as the battery % of the cars (since they are electric) and the parking spaces available in the location of your destination. In order to be a user, you have to verify your driving license.

Whether you decide to buy a car or rent it, our recommendation is that you take out an all-risk insurance as it can save you from a great financial outlay in the case of improvisation or accident.

If you decide to buy a car you must register it under your name; the documents you need to register a vehicle are:

  • Driver’s license
  • Emission testing
  • Safety Certificate
  • Used Vehicle Information Package (2nd Hand vehicles)
  • Vehicle insurance
  • Sale Tax
  • License plates
  • Validation Sticker

If you decide to drive in Canada take a look at the current law of the country as there will probably be variations in reference to the driving rules of your city. For example, drunk driving is a VERY serious fault and you can end up in jail. You can look at the alcohol levels allowed in each province on The Canadian Automobile Association website. Anyway, anywhere in the world, if you drink, do not drive!

Drive safely and enjoy Canada! Welcome drivers!

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Check list: Before traveling to Canada I have to …

  • Obtain the international driver’s license in my home city. So I can drive without problem during the first 90 days.
  • Search the information on the website of the Ministry of Transport (in the province where you will reside) to know the variations in requirements

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