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I currently don't have any driver's license. I'm moving to Ontario soon, and I'll probably want one. I'm wondering whether to get one in my current country, before moving to Canada, or to do it after moving.

In Ontario, to get a G2 license, which allows you to drive without needing someone experienced with you, requires a year of driving experience and has some additional restrictions, and a full driver's license requires two years of experience. On the other hand, in my current country you can get a driver's license just by completing a course and passing the required exams (without any experience requirement).

From what I learned, you can use a foreign driver's license for 60 days in Ontario, and then you need to get an Ontario driver's license. Does it also apply to international driving permit, or could I use the driver's license from my country alongside an international driving permit beyond this period, until I have enough experience to be allowed to take the test for Ontario driving license (i.e. one year for the G2 license, which is sufficient)?

  • Does this web site give you the info you're looking for? settlement.org/ontario/daily-life/transportation/… From what I can see, even if you do get a license from your current country before moving to Canada, you won't have the requisite level of experience to qualify for a full Ontario license anyway. – Greg Hewgill May 21 at 23:26
  • Yeah, but the question is whether I could use international driving permit for a year, so that I get a year of experience, which makes me eligible for G2 license - otherwise I'd have to start with a G1 license, which effectively doesn't let me drive at all (since I don't have any acquaintances in Canada with driving experience). – Noctiphobia May 21 at 23:56
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    According to settlement.org/ontario/daily-life/transportation/…, the answer is no. "If you plan on living in Ontario - that is, you will be a permanent resident living in Ontario - you need to get an Ontario driver's licence within 60 days of moving to Ontario." – Greg Hewgill May 21 at 23:58
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It depends :-) What IS your current country? I immigrated from Germany with a drivers license for cars, motorcycles and heavy trucks. Ontario would only convert my car license into a "G". I lost my motorcycle license and had to go through M1, M2 to M. I haven't renewed my heavy truck license at all. I was told if I had immigrated from Switzerland my motorcycle license would have been converted. On the other hand: If you move from the Canadian province of Quebec to the Canadian province of Ontario then you have to go through the same process for M1, M2 to M. Canada is not really a country in that sense (let's not talk about bringing beer across provincial borders).

Have you looked at the website of Ontario's provincial government? There you can find this:

Exchange a driver’s licence

You can exchange an out-of-province

licence for an Ontario licence, if you are re-locating from:

  • any Canadian province or territory
  • Canadian Armed Forces
  • U.S. States
  • Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, Taiwan

When you can’t exchange

You cannot exchange:

  • a driver’s licence from a country that does not have an exchange agreement in place with Ontario (it is not listed in the section above)
  • a learner’s permit or novice-class driver’s licence from another province, state or country
  • a motorcycle class driver’s licence from Japan, 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.

For more details go to https://www.ontario.ca/page/exchange-out-province-drivers-licence

  • Yeah, I forgot to mention that my country doesn't have an exchange agreement, which is basically my reason for asking this question :) – Noctiphobia May 23 at 13:13

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