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Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Old Nov 17th 2022, 7:26 am
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Default Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Trying to exchange UK Motorcycle licence in Ontario and need help with navigating MTO/DriveTest bureaucracy.

I now understand that there is no official exchange for motorcycle in Ontario, but I know several people who have nevertheless got an exchange, and several older posts here indicate that it depends on the discretion of the individual DriveTest centre. I cannot afford to spend thousands on new M licencing, so I am determined to fight for it.

Here's my situation: I exchanged my (car+motorcycle) UK licence a few years ago for an Ontario (G). I didn't realise that M was a separate class at the time. I wasn't given the option to exchange for an M, nor was I told that I wasn't getting it, and assumed that I had got like for like. Now needing to drive in a rural area without public transit, I rang the MTO who told me that I should have specifically asked for the M during the exchange so it's my fault, and that I now need to obtain a UK driver's abstract and repay registration fees.

Fearing that I couldn't obtain a UK abstract (as my UK licence reports as exchanged online), I wrote to the MTO, asking for advice and complaining about the shambles. I was shocked to be informed that they don't recognise motorcycle licences from "Great Britain", but do from "Northern Ireland" where the "jurisdiction’s licensing processes are secure, similar to Ontario’s, and in alignment with Ontario’s road safety goals." They however cannot explain how several Brits have managed to get M licences in Ontario exchange in the past and instead insist that DriveTest is operated by Serco DES Inc (an private company)- so to go complain to them "If you have experienced discrepancies".

1.
Anyone recently exchanged their UK Motorcycle licence for a full M in Ontario (without re-taking tests)? Which DriveTest did you go to? As it seems to be hit and miss, depending on the location. You can message me privately if you don't want to share this info here.

2. How is GB different from NI in terms of licensing "processes" and "road safety"? I understand that NI operates to the same core licensing standard as the rest of the UK for both car and motorcycle. Nor is it about a lack of mutual agreement- as the UK recognises motorcycle licences from Ontario.

3. Is there some kind of backstory behind this? I'm thinking that perhaps something previously officially ended the UK-Ontario MC agreement, or it lapsed and wasn't renewed, but either formal or informal guidance was issue to senior DriveTest staff to use their discretion to issue licences? Why else would MTO would plead ignorance and look the other way when DriveTest does an apparently illegal licence exchange? Licences are legal documents. Clearly there is something amiss.

4. I understand that several other provinces apart from Quebec (which hates motorcycles) offer full UK M exchange, and Ontario would recognise such a provincially-issued licence for exchange. Again, how are Ontario licencing standards different from these other provinces? Clearly it is not about road safety.

5. Failing this, any advice on getting a discount on M2 course? I cannot afford or justify all the costs, for a scooter (I am capable of riding in winter, no problem).

Thanks for your patience. I'm determined to see this one through and not give up.

Last edited by johnjkjk; Nov 17th 2022 at 7:43 am.
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Old Nov 18th 2022, 1:06 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Why not just take the test? There is no need to take a course.
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Old Nov 18th 2022, 2:45 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian
Why not just take the test? There is no need to take a course.
The course is de facto mandatory. There is a stitch up between the province, private companies that run the course, and insurance companies.

None of the DriveTest centres I've spoken to will permit a test without the course. They need to specially organize a vehicle to follow for one person and they won't do it. If you manage to convince them, I've been informed that the attitude is to highly disapprove of such situations and give a fail for no apparent reason. The same test on the course is however a formality. And good luck getting insurance on m1 to buy or rent a vehicle to take the test and insurance companies won't currently even quote for an Ontario passed licence, without the course. They will consider previous history with an exchanged licence, however.

And the course fees are ridiculous. The cartel is basically high level corruption and I won't feed it.

Rather, I am determined to right this wrong for both myself and all future immigrants.

Last edited by johnjkjk; Nov 18th 2022 at 2:57 am.
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Old Nov 18th 2022, 12:27 pm
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

I don't think there is an exchange agreement. Same as with tractor trailers (lorries).

Think your just going to have to suck it up if you wanna ride.
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Old Nov 18th 2022, 12:47 pm
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by Piff Poff
I don't think there is an exchange agreement. Same as with tractor trailers (lorries).

Think your just going to have to suck it up if you wanna ride.
I don't think any province exchanges for lorries or commercial licences, that's a fairly silly comparison. Most provinces apart from Quebec (which hates two wheelers) do exchange motorcycle licences. I cannot afford the course route and I should not have to. I need not suck it up, I will be fighting for my rights. Any information anyone can provide will be helpful.

Last edited by johnjkjk; Nov 18th 2022 at 12:51 pm.
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Old Nov 21st 2022, 2:19 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by johnjkjk
The course is de facto mandatory. There is a stitch up between the province, private companies that run the course, and insurance companies.

None of the DriveTest centres I've spoken to will permit a test without the course. They need to specially organize a vehicle to follow for one person and they won't do it. If you manage to convince them, I've been informed that the attitude is to highly disapprove of such situations and give a fail for no apparent reason. The same test on the course is however a formality. And good luck getting insurance on m1 to buy or rent a vehicle to take the test and insurance companies won't currently even quote for an Ontario passed licence, without the course. They will consider previous history with an exchanged licence, however.

And the course fees are ridiculous. The cartel is basically high level corruption and I won't feed it.

Rather, I am determined to right this wrong for both myself and all future immigrants.
OK. That isn't the case in Alberta. Here, you can simply rock up and take the test.
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Old Nov 21st 2022, 2:38 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by Almost Canadian
OK. That isn't the case in Alberta. Here, you can simply rock up and take the test.
Ontario makes it very difficult. Insurance is also 5-10x higher than in Alberta.
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Old Nov 21st 2022, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by johnjkjk
I don't think any province exchanges for lorries or commercial licences, that's a fairly silly comparison. Most provinces apart from Quebec (which hates two wheelers) do exchange motorcycle licences. I cannot afford the course route and I should not have to. I need not suck it up, I will be fighting for my rights. Any information anyone can provide will be helpful.
I was under the impression that most Provinces required you to take the test - test certainly the case in Alberta.

Also the rules are the rules, why should you have special exemption?
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Old Nov 28th 2022, 8:04 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by Piff Poff
I was under the impression that most Provinces required you to take the test - test certainly the case in Alberta.

Also the rules are the rules, why should you have special exemption?
Currently all provinces exchange for car and most provinces exchange for motorcycle. In Ontario, they claim that motorcycles are not part of the exchange agreement, but this isn't true. There is a reciprocal exchange agreement between the UK (GB) and the "Canadian Provinces and Territories" and the DVLA claims that this is a like-for-like exchange of both car and motorcycle licences. I have submitted a FOI request in the UK and am liaising with the MTO in Ontario to get hold of the actual exchange agreement to verify this for myself.

In addition to this, it would appear to be the luck of the draw as to the willingness of the drivetest centre to exchange your licence (under debate).

A reciprocal exchange agreement is a mutual entitlement. I am working to get to the bottom of the matter. Not everyone has the time and money to re-do many years of basic training, with the insurance and course fees which it involves.

Any information that more experienced expats can offer would be very helpful.

Last edited by johnjkjk; Nov 28th 2022 at 8:08 am.
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Old Nov 28th 2022, 8:13 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

From the official website

When you can’t exchange

  • a motorcycle class driver’s licence from Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, Great Britain, Austria, Belgium, Isle of Man, or Republic of Ireland for a Class M Motorcycle licence, because the exchange agreements mentioned above do not include motorcycle class driver’s licences.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/exchange...rivers-licence
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Old Nov 28th 2022, 8:26 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by Former Lancastrian
From the official website

When you can’t exchange

  • a motorcycle class driver’s licence from Japan, South Korea, Germany, France, Great Britain, Austria, Belgium, Isle of Man, or Republic of Ireland for a Class M Motorcycle licence, because the exchange agreements mentioned above do not include motorcycle class driver’s licences.
https://www.ontario.ca/page/exchange...rivers-licence
As I stated in my previous post, although Ontario claims (on this website) that the exchange agreement with GB doesn't include motorcycles, DVLA insists that it does (formal FOI confirmation: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...ian_motorcycle)

The exchange agreement would appear to between the UK and ALL "Canadian provinces and territories". There does not appear to be individual agreements for each province. Ontario will have to explain which agreement they are referring to, which they say doesn't "include motorcycle class driver’s licences", or if they are deciding not to honour the agreement, then to update their guidance accordingly. To make clear, the UK will exchange an Ontario motorcycle licence on the basis of this mutual exchange agreement.

I am working to obtain a copy of the actual exchange agreement to get to the bottom of this.

Last edited by johnjkjk; Nov 28th 2022 at 8:30 am.
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Old Nov 28th 2022, 9:04 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by johnjkjk
As I stated in my previous post, although Ontario claims (on this website) that the exchange agreement with GB doesn't include motorcycles, DVLA insists that it does (formal FOI confirmation: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/reque...ian_motorcycle)

The exchange agreement would appear to between the UK and ALL "Canadian provinces and territories". There does not appear to be individual agreements for each province. Ontario will have to explain which agreement they are referring to, which they say doesn't "include motorcycle class driver’s licences", or if they are deciding not to honour the agreement, then to update their guidance accordingly. To make clear, the UK will exchange an Ontario motorcycle licence on the basis of this mutual exchange agreement.

I am working to obtain a copy of the actual exchange agreement to get to the bottom of this.
Given that driver licensing is the responsibility of each of the provinces/territories individually, I would be very surprised if DVLA had one agreement that covered all of them. Incidentally I just checked some other ones and BC will exchange it, but Alberta will only exchange a motorcycle license from Northern Ireland and not England/Scotland/Wales.
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Old Nov 28th 2022, 9:25 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by bc2015
Given that driver licensing is the responsibility of each of the provinces/territories individually, I would be very surprised if DVLA had one agreement that covered all of them. Incidentally I just checked some other ones and BC will exchange it, but Alberta will only exchange a motorcycle license from Northern Ireland and not England/Scotland/Wales.
1. On their website the DVLA refers to an agreement with "Canadian provinces and territories" and in the FOI answer refers to "Canada". They do not refer to individual provinces by name.
2. Perhaps provinces don't make their own international agreements with foreign states, so the Federal government may have entered into an international agreement on behalf of Canadian Provinces and Territories.
3. Regardless of this, the issue is that the DVLA says that motorcycles are included in exchanges with ALL Canadian provinces and Ontario says otherwise.
4. I have asked both the MTO (Ontario) and DVLA for a copy of the actual exchange agreement which they are abiding by, which will clearly resolve this issue. However I'm being stalled: DVLA replied by email "we cannot provide this information by email" and Ontario is no longer replying to my emails. I am thus making FOI (UK) and ATIP requests to get answers.
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Old Nov 28th 2022, 9:49 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by johnjkjk
1. On their website the DVLA refers to an agreement with "Canadian provinces and territories" and in the FOI answer refers to "Canada". They do not refer to individual provinces by name.
2. Perhaps provinces don't make their own international agreements with foreign states, so the Federal government may have entered into an international agreement on behalf of Canadian Provinces and Territories.
3. Regardless of this, the issue is that the DVLA says that motorcycles are included in exchanges with ALL Canadian provinces and Ontario says otherwise.
4. I have asked both the MTO (Ontario) and DVLA for a copy of the actual exchange agreement which they are abiding by, which will clearly resolve this issue. However I'm being stalled: DVLA replied by email "we cannot provide this information by email" and Ontario is no longer replying to my emails. I am thus making FOI (UK) and ATIP requests to get answers.
Re: 2, provinces do make agreements with other countries for license exchange, Ireland (for example) has separate agreements with most of the provinces (and none of territories) and they all came into effect at different times and have different entitlements. For example, they will exchange a BC motorcycle license but not an Ontario one.
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Old Nov 28th 2022, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Motorcycle licence UK to Ontario

Originally Posted by bc2015
Re: 2, provinces do make agreements with other countries for license exchange, Ireland (for example) has separate agreements with most of the provinces (and none of territories) and they all came into effect at different times and have different entitlements. For example, they will exchange a BC motorcycle license but not an Ontario one.
Appreciate the info, so Canadian Provinces can make agreements themselves. However in Ontario, the The Highway Traffic Act seems to limit the power of the Province to make reciprocal agreements to Canada and USA only
40 (1) The Minister may enter into a reciprocal agreement with the government of any province or territory of Canada or of any state of the United States of America providing for,

(a) the sanctioning by the licensing jurisdiction of drivers from that jurisdiction who commit offences in the other jurisdiction; and

(b) on a driver’s change of residence, the issuance of a driver’s licence by one jurisdiction in exchange for a driver’s licence issued by the other jurisdiction. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 40 (1); 2009, c. 5, s. 9.
If it is on a province-by-province basis, it still seems odd that the DVLA will recognise motorcycle licences from any Canadian Province, but not vice-versa. If it is a reciprocal agreement, then won't it apply both ways? Perhaps it used to be recognised and later changed.

I've found a copy of reciprocal agreement between Quebec and DVLA (GB) referring to car and moped/scooter only. I am trying to find the relevant agreement between Ontario an GB. If like Quebec, it includes moped/scooter, that would help as I could get a low powered scooter for now. If I do get my motorcycle licence on exchange, it's not for pleasure riding, I'd probably get a 125cc motorcycle or scooter for my 70km rural commute.

I cycle 12 months of the year and am weather immune.

I will report back here when I hear back from the DVLA/Ontario.

Last edited by johnjkjk; Nov 28th 2022 at 11:16 am.
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