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I got into this driving thing kinda late, which means I have a probationary driver's license from Victoria, Australia that looks kinda like this:

[1]: https://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/licences/your-ps/displaying-p-plates

I have built a family over the past years and we depend heavily on this drivers license now.

Due to some lucky circumstances, I have gotten the opportunity to move to Canada Ontario. However, it seems that you can NOT get car insurance there without a valid Ontario license, hence why I am looking to exchange my license there.

The main worry of mine is, that they don't have a proper exchange table for license types. They are going by drivers experience (at least 3 years) to get a full Canadian license or direct exchange for certain countries.

I am on my P2 and this basically means I've been driving for less than 3 years and am thus not allowed to drink a single drop of alcohol before driving or rack up more than 5 demerit points/year (vs 10 for full license holders).

The Canadian DriveTest-center asks for a drivers abstract to check for drivers experience. However, the drivers abstract I've gotten, only shows the latest license type (P2) issuing date. which means that I will not have sufficient drivers experience according to the paper (No other license type held before will be shown).

But then again, Australia has a direct exchange agreement with Ontario. Which is where the confusion gets even worse. Will they just exchange my license right away?


The Canadian licensing system:

G1 (learners, hold 1 year) take test -> G2 (hold one year) take test -> G (Full license)

The Australian licensing system:

L (learners, hold 1 year) take test -> P1 (hold 1 year) take test -> P2( hold 3 years, no alcohol, otherwise unrestricted) -> Automatically get full license without test after those 3 years


Calling there was absolutely useless and they don't pick up 90% of the time anyways, and when they do, they ask you to come into a physical location in Canada.

This move would be a huge financial and mental investment for my whole family and just chancing getting a license there is not something I am willing to risk.

Their whole website is very unclear or specific factors.

Due to this, I have written an email to them explaining my situation, but It seems like there was a misunderstanding. The P2 license is a Class C license, from my understanding. P2 is just the step in graduation. The class/license type is still CAR.

Here is the email I have received:

Hello,

Thank you for your email. Serco Canada Inc. (Serco), operating as DriveTest delivers driver examination services on behalf of the Government of Ontario. The Ministry of Transportation and Serco work in partnership for improvements, ensuring we continue to provide the best possible service to all our customers.

The licence exchange agreement between Ontario and Australia extends only to Australia class C or R licences. There is no exchange agreement in place for P1 or P2 licences; however, experienced earned at a P1 or P2 level can be used towards reducing the wait periods within Ontario’s graduated licensing system. For information on the graduated process, please refer to : Drivers’ Licences – Cars – DriveTest Home Once you have successfully completed the knowledge test and have obtained the class G1, staff will be able to credit you with your experience to reduce the wait period for the class G2 road test. Please ensure that you bring your licence and supporting documentation with you.

Once again, thank you for writing.

Did anyone have a similar experience? How did it go for you?

3 Answers 3

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The official site of the province states :

When you can’t exchange
You cannot exchange:

  • a learner’s permit or novice-class driver’s licence from another province, state or country

What was sent in the email is correct

A P2 license is a novice-class license, and not a full license, since it has specific restrictions and is linked to driver experience

You will have to either wait or pass an Ontario license exam with the graduate program (or not)

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  • Eh, the info on the website is not so precise. For example, Ontario does not refuse to exchange class 5 GDL licences (no alcohol, passenger restrictions, road test needed for a full licence) from Alberta; the class is functionally equivalent to "novice" class 7 licence in BC, which is aslo exchanged in practice to G2 without problem. They will not give the full G licence, but G2 may still be possible.
    – xngtng
    Jan 24 at 17:32
1

I guess you'll have to go through the process again. Get your G1, G2 and G over time. I had the same problem with my motorcycle license when I came from Germany. Even within Canada you have to renew some of your licenses when moving between Provinces.

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It is not impossible to obtain a G2, but you may still have difficulties with service agents. Unless your employment requires a full licence or you have significant issues with taking another road test eventually, a G2 licence should suffice for most purposes.

Due to this, I have written an email to them explaining my situation, but It seems like there was a misunderstanding. The P2 license is a Class C license, from my understanding. P2 is just the step in graduation. The class/license type is still CAR.

Indeed, following the letters of the agreement,

Drivers from Australia can exchange their Class C driver's licence for an Ontario Class G licence if they have 24 months or more of licensed driving experience in the last three years, or an Ontario Class G2 licence if they have fewer than 24 months of driving experience.

your exchange should not be denied. It is consistent with the reciprocal Australian recognition of Ontario G2 licences.

This is also the treatment of Australian licences in several European countries where P2 is treated to be included in the exchange agreement as class C licence. It is also consistent with Ontario allowing the exchange of Alberta GDL licences and BC novice licences that have similar restrictions to Australian P2 licences.

However, since the agents do not see Australian licences often and the driver's licence have a big red "probationary" warning on it, you may encounter difficulty with the service agents. You have no direct appeal possibility other than find another service agent and try to convince them.

A good thing is that the class mention on the licence has no additional commentary and do appear to be a class C licence. And your driving abstract should also be clear that the class is C and P2 is listed as type or condition.


However, the drivers abstract I've gotten, only shows the latest license type (P2) issuing date. which means that I will not have sufficient drivers experience according to the paper (No other license type held before will be shown).

You may also want to inquire if any specific report can be produced.

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