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Driver's Licence-Canada

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  • The website of the Automobile Assocation in the UK states, "An International Driving Permit (IDP) allows you to drive a private motor vehicle overseas when accompanied by a valid UK driving licence. IDPs are valid for 12 months from the date of issue."

  • The AA website notwithstanding, most Canadian provinces allow only visitors and students to drive on IDPs accompanied by UK licences.

  • In most Canadian provinces, the following newly arrived residents may drive on their UK licences (without IDPs) for 60 - 180 days (depending on the province):
    • returning citizens
    • newly arrived permanent residents, and
    • newly arrived temporary work permit holders (please understand that, if you have a temporary work permit, you are not a visitor)

  • When the relevant province's deadline for a newly arrived resident arrives, that resident's UK driver's licence no longer is valid. Since an IDP is valid only as long as it accompanies a valid national driver's licence, an IDP becomes invalid at this point. If the holder of a UK driver's licence wants to continue driving in Canada, he/she must exchange his/her UK licence for a provincial driver's licence.

  • The following provinces exchange a UK driver's licence without a driving test:
    • Ontario
    • British Columbia
    • New Brunswick
    • Qu├ębec
  • Alberta and Manitoba also exchange a UK driver's licence without a driving test, but drivers' licences from Northern Ireland and the Channel Isles are excluded from this provision.
  • Ontario will exchange a Northern Ireland driver's licence.
  • Licences from Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, Channel Islands and British Overseas Territories may not be eligible for exchange without a test even if a Great Britain licence is acceptable. Check carefully with the Provincial drivers' licensing authority.

  • Except for the cases mentioned above, a British driver who wants to drive in Canada has to get a provincial driver's licence by passing a driving test before the relevant province's deadline for newly arrived residents.

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