Can international students drive in Canada? It is a common question among new international students planning to move to Canada soon. Having the authorization to drive in Canada will make a lot of things easier for international students. Therefore, one should know about the criteria to obtain a driver’s license in Canada.
Based on your home country, you may be able to simply exchange your foreign driving license for a Canadian driving license without much problem. However, if you are not eligible for that, you may have to sit for a theory and practical road test to get a license in Canada. In any case, it is always best to familiarize yourself with the driving rules and regulations in your province.
Driving is regulated by the provincial governments in Canada, meaning that every province and territory will have its own rules and guidelines for driving. International students are often required to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) before arriving in Canada if they are planning to start driving after arriving in Canada. Certain provinces allow international students to drive using their foreign license for the duration of their study programs. However, certain provinces require students to apply for a new license at the provincial level.
The process to get a drivers license in Canada will generally include:
- Written examination based on the rules of the road
- Practical examination involving one or more driving tests
What Is the International Driving Permit (IDP)?
The IDP is a document that allows foreign drivers to drive in other countries. This document authorizes the holder to operate a motor vehicle in Canada for a limited period based on the province. You can also apply for an IDP in Canada. You can check the provincial and territorial driving regulations of the province or territory you are residing in to ensure that the IDP covers you.
What Are the Rules and Regulations for Driving in Canada?
You must familiarize yourself with the rules and regulations for driving in Canada. These rules and regulations will differ based on the province or territory you will be residing in Canada.
You can consult the guidelines of your province to prepare yourself. Generally, all vehicles must be properly registered and have insurance to be eligible to be on Canadian roads, Failing to provide licenses, registrations or even insurance can result in penalties or heavy fines.
Also, you must remember that Canada has very strict rules regarding driving under the influence of alcohol or marijuana. If you are charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI), then it will influence your immigration application. Your permanent residence application may even get refused based on Criminal Inadmissibility.
How Important Is Car Insurance in Canada?
It is illegal to drive a car in Canada without auto insurance. If you own a car, you must get auto insurance. If you drive a friend or relative’s car often, then you must be listed on their insurance plan. You can get coverage for either or both of the following:
- Personal injury and damage to the vehicle or
- Insurance to cover the costs of damages or injury to others if the accident was your fault
The cost of your car insurance will depend on your age, driving record, the province or territory you reside in, driving experience, and the plan you choose. It is very important to compare different insurance coverage plans to make an informed decision.