Canadian Immigration News

How To Get a Driver’s License as a Newcomer to Canada

3 minute read
Unless you live in the heart of a walkable city, you'll probably want to get a driver's license when you relocate to Canada. In this blog, we'll cover everything you need to know about getting your driver's license as a newcomer to Canada.
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Apr 20, 2023
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Unless you live in the heart of a walkable city, you'll probably want to get a driver's license when you relocate to Canada.

In this blog, we'll cover everything you need to know about getting your driver's license as a newcomer to Canada.

The Basics

The provincial government issues driver's licenses in Canada, so your process may be different depending on which province or territory you live in.

No matter the province, there are two things you can expect from the process of getting a driver's license:

  • A knowledge test – You'll be tested on road rules.
  • A driving test – Some provinces have one, and some have two.

Your province-issued driver's license allows you to drive anywhere in Canada. It also acts as an essential piece of Canadian photo ID.

Your license will expire on the expiry date printed on the card. However, you can renew your license before expiration to continue driving legally.

Getting a License from Scratch

Immigrants from most countries must undergo the process for a brand new driver's license, just like any new Canadian driver.

This means you'll have to take all of the required tests.

Prepare for your knowledge test by reviewing study guides and taking online practice tests. It's crucial to know the rules of the road so you'll understand what to do in every situation you encounter while driving.

You can pay for private driving lessons to prepare for practical driving tests. A driving instructor can help you understand what will be on the test. They'll make sure you're practicing all the important parts of driving.

What If I Have a License from a Different Country?

The validity of international driver's licenses is only applicable to select countries. Therefore, before driving, you must check with your province to determine if you can legally drive in Canada.

If you can drive with your foreign license, you should obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your home country. The IDP will translate all the information on your license into English or French to prepare you for life in Canada.

On average, upon immigrating to Canada, you can use your international driver's license for anywhere from 60 to 90 days, depending on the province you settle in.

After this grace period has ended, you'll need to get a Canadian license if you want to continue to drive.

If you have driving experience, you may be able to expedite getting your license in Canada. You just need to bring your information to the nearest driving test center. Depending on where you're from and your driving experience, they'll let you know what next steps you need to take.

Road Safety


If you own a car or regularly drive someone else's car, you must ensure you have car insurance. Insurance protects against any injuries or damages that happen while driving. Car insurance is mandatory in Canada. Its cost is determined by your age, driving experience, location, and driving record.

What To Do if You're in an Accident

  • Call 911. Emergency services will arrive to assist you.
  • Stay at the scene until emergency services arrive.
  • Have your license, car registration, and insurance information available.
  • If your accident involves another person or vehicle, exchange your contact information with them. Take note of each other's license plate number, insurance company, and plan.
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