British Expats

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-   -   Looking to move to Canada, a few questions.... (https://britishexpats.com/forum/canada-56/looking-move-canada-few-questions-898158/)

Trinkers Jun 16th 2017 7:57 pm

Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
Hi all,

So here's my story, followed by my questions. I am a Canadian Citizen by birth, and have always wanted to move back to Canada and experience life over there. I have recently split with my wife, and if I don't do it now, I never will. So I'm taking the plunge, and hope to be over there by end of September.

I've done some research, but there's a fair bit that I remain unsure of, so any assistance would be gratefully received.

Jobwise, I work in quite a niche area of IT Sales. Skills are transferable to other IT Sales, but skilled expertise in this area is sought after and hard to come by, and the UK Market is more mature than North America. So I'm pretty confident of being able to secure something in the next few months before I leave, but there is always a risk.

Where? At the moment, Toronto seems the best bet. As I expect that my role will also require me to cover the US as well, I need to be in fairly close proximity to Pearson. I also want to be fairly close to British expat communities. My current thought process is somewhere between Etobicoke and Oakville.

Questions

1) Location wise, is that a good starting point for a middle aged single bloke to move to? I'd only need a one bed apartment to start with for the first year. And would I be able to get a decentish apartment for around the $2000 a month mark in that area?

2) Driving licence exchange - this is potentially an issue for me. I am about to face a charge of dangerous driving in the UK, which will probably result in a 12 month ban. What diligence do Service Canada do around a UK Driving Licence? If I was to bring a duplicate licence with me with current clean showing, can I swap that for a licence in Ontario? Or will they check its validity first? If they do check, am I able to take a test over there from scratch, or does my UK driving ban mean I cant drive for a year?

3) Credit - With no credit history in Canada, how easy is it to obtain credit? My UK Credit is fair, not great, have a historical CCJ which is settled but still on file. Would they check UK file, and is it worth me bringing my file over with Bank statements?

Thanks in advance

geoff52 Jun 16th 2017 8:19 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
If you have enough money in your bank account, the move should not be a problem.

Danny B Jun 16th 2017 9:06 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
I can't speak for Ontario, but here in BC they do a straight swap with your UK licence for a BC one, no questions asked.

http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing...r-country.aspx

I don't know how the court system works in the UK, but if they physically take your licence away, I would apply for a new UK licence now if I were you. Say it's lost or something. That way you have something to give to the people over here.

As for credit, start small and build your way up. Hydro, gas, cable, mobile phones etc they all help build your credit rating until your first loan etc.

Stinkypup Jun 16th 2017 9:26 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Danny B (Post 12274710)
I can't speak for Ontario, but here in BC they do a straight swap with your UK licence for a BC one, no questions asked.

http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing...r-country.aspx

I don't know how the court system works in the UK, but if they physically take your licence away, I would apply for a new UK licence now if I were you. Say it's lost or something. That way you have something to give to the people over here.

As for credit, start small and build your way up. Hydro, gas, cable, mobile phones etc they all help build your credit rating until your first loan etc.

Im not sure that is the best advice that we should be giving, not exactly legal and they do communicate electronically between UK and Canada

CanadianSpruce Jun 16th 2017 10:14 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Stinkypup (Post 12274718)
Im not sure that is the best advice that we should be giving, not exactly legal and they do communicate electronically between UK and Canada

They don't share endorsements due to data protection rules and as far as I know only BC actually electronically validates the licence. Here in Alberta they don't even tell the DVLA you've even exchanged your licence.

Stinkypup Jun 16th 2017 10:20 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by CanadianSpruce (Post 12274739)
They don't share endorsements due to data protection rules and as far as I know only BC actually electronic validates the licence. Here in Alberta they don't even tell the DVLA you've even exchanged your licence.

In BC you switch licences and your UK licence is deactivated until you go back to UK to live when it can be reactivated- that suggested a line of communication - you suggest that that isnt true in Ab, I dont know because I dont live there. So if someone is banned in the UK and had their licenced revoked for a time, you are suggesting that the DVLA wont pass that information on.... again, I will have to take your word on that.

CanadianSpruce Jun 16th 2017 10:25 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Stinkypup (Post 12274742)
In BC you switch licences and your UK licence is deactivated until you go back to UK to live when it can be reactivated- that suggested a line of communication - you suggest that that isnt true in Ab, I dont know because I dont live there. So if someone is banned in the UK and had their licenced revoked for a time, you are suggesting that the DVLA wont pass that information on.... again, I will have to take your word on that.

As I pointed out BC is the one exception. The only thing the other provinces generally do is just send licence back to the DVLA (and some like Alberta don't even do that, they just shred the licence after 6 months). Even then I'm not convinced the DVLA would inform BC that the holder had been banned due to data protection laws.

Most Provinces only have an electronic link with other provinces and a few various US states (and for some provinces it's only a couple of US states). The links they do have can be pretty crap, for example Alberta often has trouble accessing Nova Scotia records and vice versa.

My primary concern would be insurance as my insurance for example says 'Are you or have you ever been banned from driving in any jurisdiction?'

Danny B Jun 17th 2017 2:31 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by CanadianSpruce (Post 12274739)
They don't share endorsements due to data protection rules and as far as I know only BC actually electronically validates the licence. Here in Alberta they don't even tell the DVLA you've even exchanged your licence.

When I got my BC licence in 2007, I was honest and replied yes to the question of "do I have any other driving licences".

They took my UK licence (the small photo card, not the A4 paper thing) and the Lady behind the counter put a tiny sticky label on it and gave it back to me. No checking, no running it through any computers, no nothing.
As soon as I got home I peeled the label off and it's been stored ever since.

When I rent cars in the UK I use my CDN licence.

Oliviald Jun 17th 2017 2:38 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
Hi Trinkers!

I am currently living in Toronto with my fiance, we have been here since august and absolutly love it! Its a great city but just be warned it is expensive!

To answer some of your questions....


Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12274668)

1) Location wise, is that a good starting point for a middle aged single bloke to move to? I'd only need a one bed apartment to start with for the first year. And would I be able to get a decentish apartment for around the $2000 a month mark in that area?

2) Driving licence exchange - this is potentially an issue for me. I am about to face a charge of dangerous driving in the UK, which will probably result in a 12 month ban. What diligence do Service Canada do around a UK Driving Licence? If I was to bring a duplicate licence with me with current clean showing, can I swap that for a licence in Ontario? Or will they check its validity first? If they do check, am I able to take a test over there from scratch, or does my UK driving ban mean I cant drive for a year?

3) Credit - With no credit history in Canada, how easy is it to obtain credit? My UK Credit is fair, not great, have a historical CCJ which is settled but still on file. Would they check UK file, and is it worth me bringing my file over with Bank statements?

Thanks in advance

1) We are living in North York, which is know as 'mid town' Toronto. We live in a 1 bed apartment in a really nice area and pay $1785 per month, parking space, heating and water included. Hydro is extra but about $60 a month. You can get cheaper than this but we wanted to be in a nice area being new to the contry.

2) I actually changed my licence at the beginning of this week. All you have to do is go to a 'drive test' centre, que up, do an eye test and you have your licence! It cost $90 and 2 hours of waiting but really easy. They didnt do any checks from what I saw, just took my UK licence from me, signed a few papers and gave me a temp ontario one, just waiting for my card to come through the post.

3) When we got here were didnt have any credit and your UK credit doesnt count. We got a bank account and I was given a credit card with $1000 and my other half was given a $2000 when he got a job. We were also able to get phone contracts (sim only) but had to put a $100 deposit down. You can build your credit easily so I wouldnt worry about it. Dont bother bringing any UK documents as they dont want to see it.


Hope this helps a bit!

Good luck, Olivia

Stinkypup Jun 17th 2017 2:46 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Danny B (Post 12274827)
When I got my BC licence in 2007, I was honest and replied yes to the question of "do I have any other driving licences".

They took my UK licence (the small photo card, not the A4 paper thing) and the Lady behind the counter put a tiny sticky label on it and gave it back to me. No checking, no running it through any computers, no nothing.
As soon as I got home I peeled the label off and it's been stored ever since.

When I rent cars in the UK I use my CDN licence.

Although that was before one could just exchange licences in BC. I take it you had to do the test here like us- the rules changed about a month after we did ours so that you subsequently didn't have to sit the test :frown:

Aviator Jun 17th 2017 3:01 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
Before deciding on your course of action, you may want to read this excerpt from the Criminal Code of Canada. Criminal Code

You could also run into a few hurdles, obtaining a duplicate license by lying, using said duplicate license (obtained by lying), to acquire a license in a province of Canada.

In the UK, you won't be issued a duplicate license after being disqualified. Once disqualified, your license to drive is suspended. Any license reported lost or stolen and then found, has to be returned to DVLA.

Questions about previous convictions when obtaining insurance. Lying could invalidate any insurance.

If it were me, I would think very carefully of the consequences before deciding what to do.

If you have a conviction, report all violations when applying for a license and then you will know, be free and clear whatever the outcome. Moving countries is not a clean slate.

Trinkers Jun 17th 2017 7:38 am

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 
Thanks so much for all the helpful advice.

I totally understand the moral and ethics question about the driving ban - I haven't made any decision at all, just wanted to understand the art of the possible. If I was to resit a driving test over there and have a clean Canadian licence, that seems the most legal and conscious free approach.

Danny B Jun 17th 2017 3:11 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Stinkypup (Post 12274718)
Im not sure that is the best advice that we should be giving, not exactly legal and they do communicate electronically between UK and Canada

Yes you are right.

I did not realize the seriousness of a UK dangerous driving conviction. Criminal record and possible jail time if convicted :eek:
I would definitely report this to the insurance people when getting a CDN licence / insurance.

Vulcanoid Jun 19th 2017 1:21 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12274668)
2) Driving licence exchange - this is potentially an issue for me. I am about to face a charge of dangerous driving in the UK, which will probably result in a 12 month ban. What diligence do Service Canada do around a UK Driving Licence? If I was to bring a duplicate licence with me with current clean showing, can I swap that for a licence in Ontario? Or will they check its validity first? If they do check, am I able to take a test over there from scratch, or does my UK driving ban mean I cant drive for a year?

Service Canada have nothing to do with that. Service Ontario will deal with future renewals, DriveTest will handle any initial swap. In your case, they can't, because you are required to present, among other things, a "current" "valid licence". If yours is suspended for a driving ban, it will be neither of these (even if you fraudulently present them with a duplicate invalid photocard). So you wouldn't ever have a valid Ontario licence if you went about that plan.

With your alternative suggestion, bear in mind that Ontario (like most of Canada) has 'Graduated licensing', meaning that even if you are allowed to learn to drive there with a UK conviction, it will be some two years at least before you hold a full licence.

Aviator Jun 19th 2017 2:46 pm

Re: Looking to move to Canada, a few questions....
 

Originally Posted by Trinkers (Post 12274885)
If I was to resit a driving test over there and have a clean Canadian licence, that seems the most legal and conscious free approach.

One solution as I see it is to contact licensing, explain your circumstances and ask them what to do. If they have all the information and you can get a license, this should leave you in the clear. Obtaining a license by deception or omission of some, or all of the facts could cause further problems.

If one ends up with a criminal conviction, it may be prudent to look at other implication, such as travel restrictions (admissibility to the US for example) as well as work. Criminal code convictions permeate ones life much more than just a drivers license.

If it were me, I think I would be talking to a lawyer (in Canada) before doing anything else and getting myself in deeper.


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