Most (all?) legislations require that people moving in from other legislations need to exchange their driving license if they wish to continue driving. Ontario is no exception.

Suppose somebody is told they need more practice, because they moved to a big city where traffic is more difficult to navigate than where they got their license and where they're used to driving. Suppose this person decides to drive with a license that would be perfectly valid elsewhere, just not exchanged. If the police pull over, how likely are they to find out? And if they do find out, is it "driving without a license" (apparently a 325$ fine and a "3 year conviction"), or is the consequence different?

This is all, of course, entirely hypothetical...?

  • 1
    Every country has its own legislation so there isn't a general answer, but thery are more like to give you a fine for "driving with an expired licence". For Italy it's a fine of 155 to 624 euro
    – Matteo
    Jul 25, 2014 at 15:57
  • Interesting thread: forums.officer.com/t128037
    – Karlson
    Jul 26, 2014 at 3:38
  • It's probably worth also noting that if you can reasonably claim to be a 'visitor' - i.e. you are not establishing permanent residence in Ontario - then you can continue to drive on a foreign license with an IDP for up to one year. Jul 28, 2014 at 15:03

1 Answer 1


Answering for Ontario: I can't see any reason why "driving without a license" doesn't apply. However you should be aware of the cascading effect of some offences. Your insurance assumes that you are a licensed driver, so it's possible that you could be accused of driving without insurance as well. Also note the clause about "could significantly affect your insurance premiums".

  • Driving with an expired license might not necessarily have the same sanction as driving with no license at all; and when police are checking licenses, they'd need to verify residency before finding out the license would not be valid.
    – gerrit
    Jul 28, 2014 at 14:34
  • 1
    Agreed. They might not check up that strictly, and they might be inclined to be more lenient, but I believe technically the offence is the same. Jul 28, 2014 at 14:58

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