How To Get Your Driver’s Licence As A New Immigrant in Canada

driving in Canada as a new immigrant

To drive a car legally in Canada, you need to get a driver’s licence issued by the government.  You must have it with you whenever you are driving. This allows you to drive anywhere in Canada. As a new immigrant,  you may have a valid licence from your home country.  You will probably be able to use this to drive in Canada for a short time after you arrive. To confirm if you can do this, check with the government of your province or territory.

What To Do Before You Arrive in Canada

While preparing to arrive in Canada, you should take the time to familiarize yourself with road signs and rules of driving. You will find a lot of useful information online. You should also apply for an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) in your home country before leaving. The IDP will translate your driving licence to French or English.


If you have been driving for some years in your home country, you should also get a copy of your driving history in English or French. This will help to get your driving experience credits when exchanging your licence.

The Process To Get Your Driver’s Licence

The process to get a driver’s licence in Canada depends on the province or territory where you live and on your driving background. It may include:

  • a written exam on the rules of the road. Sometimes, you may be required to test eye test.
  • driving tests depending on your province

Since you are new in Canada, we advice that you get driving lessons even if it is for a few hours. This will get ready for the driving tests. You can find a list of driving instructors in your city online.

Once you have a licence, you will have to renew based on the expiry date printed on your licence.

To find out more about driver’s licences, exams and lessons in your province or territory, see below:

Driving laws and rules

Before you start driving in Canada, take time to learn the laws in your province or territory. Driving laws are strictly enforced in Canada. Penalties for breaking the law are generally severe. So, read about some of the most important laws to know.

For the full list of laws and rules about driving, get a copy of the driving guide issued by the department that regulates cars and driving in your province or territory. You can actually get these guides online before you arrive in Canada.

In subsequent posts, we will be sharing more details about specific provinces and territories. To get notified when we publish them you can bookmark this post.

Notable Replies

  1. do you have any information on each province or territory also? thanks

  2. Ok. Thanks for sharing :clap:t3::clap:t3:

  3. This is a good guide for anyone looking to get a driver’s license in Ontario.

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