How to Apply for a Drivers License in Canada

Having a Driving license in Canada issued by the Government allows you to drive legally in any province or territory. It is compulsory to have it whenever you are driving in Canada.

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If you are issued an official license from your Nationality, without a doubt, you will be able to use this Driving license in Canada for a short period of time after you arrive in Canada. You can also opt to check with the government of your country for more details.

If you want to use another country’s driver’s license in Canada, you must get an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your home country. An International Driving Permit offers you a translation of your license from French into English. The process involved in getting a driver’s license in Canada depends on the territory where you are living and your driving background which includes:

  • A written examination of the rules and regulations of the road.
  • Two or more driving tests.

You can decide to pay for your driving lessons if you have money. Once you have a driving license, you have to pay a renewal fee frequently when it expires.

If you are new in Canada, you might want to see this:

Procedures For Getting a Canada Driver’s License For The First Time

In most territories, you need to go through a Graduated Licensing Program, and here are the basic steps:

  • A written examination has to be taken, if you succeed in the written exam, a learner permit will be issued to you. The learner permit doesn’t guarantee you to drive a car alone because someone else has to accompany you.
  • After an intense practice for a year, you will be given a road test to receive an immediate permit. You can drive a car alone, but you are not permitted to use any electronic devices, drugs, alcohol, and others.
  • After one to two years of driving a car in Canada, you will be permitted to take a full license road test.

NB: Every territory or province has its own specifications.

The following is a list of provinces we are going to look at on the issue of Driving License in Canada:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Newfoundland and Labrador
  • Nova Scotia
  1. Alberta

For Visitors, SAWP foreign workers, and Student  

If you are visiting, a temporary foreign worker, or going to study in Alberta, and also outside the shore of Canada, you should have an official home country driving license and also an international Driver’s Permit that will allow you to drive in Alberta.

It is advisable to have a qualified translation of your driver’s license if is not English. You can also drive up to a year, but if you leave the country and returned, the one-year timeline is going to start again.

For Temporary Foreign Workers and Permanent Residents

Temporary Foreign Worker with a work permit which “Does not Confer Temporary Resident Status”, you can change your country driving license to a Class 5L or Class 5L Learner license. If your driver’s permit comes from these shortlisted countries such as “Austria, Australia, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Republic of Korea, United States, Taiwan, Isle of Man, Japan” if you have over 2 years of driving experience or if it is less, you can be given a Class 5L license.

  1. British Columbia

For Visitors

If you are going to visit British Columbia from outside Canada, you must have a valid home country driver’s license and a qualified translation for your driver’s license if it is not in English by an approved translator of ICBC. You might drive up to 6 months.

For Students

If you will be studying in British Columbia and from outside the shores of Canada, you should have an official home country driver’s license and a qualified translation of your driver’s license if it is not in English. You can drive for the time duration of your education, as long as you are still a full-time student.

For the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP)

If you happen to be a foreign worker under the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program (SAWP) in the Province of British Columbia, you should hold an official home country’s permit and a qualified translation of your driver’s license if is not in English, it must be approved by an ICBC translator. You could drive up to a year during your stay in Canada.

For Residents

If you are a fresh resident of British Columbia, you might be able to modify your country driving permit to a Class 5 license.

  1. Manitoba

For Visitors

If you are going to Manitoba from outside Canada, you should have a valid home country’s license and a qualified translation of a driver’s license. If it is not in French or English, it must be approved by an official translator. You can drive up to 3 months as a visitor in Canada.

For Students & Residents

Students or new residents in Manitoba can modify their home country driver’s permit to a Class 5 license. However, you can drive up to 90 days, after having a residency.

  1. New Brunswick

For Visitors

If you are going to New Brunswick from outside the shores of Canada, you should have an official country driving license and also a qualified translation of your driver’s license if is not in English or an International Driver’s Permit. You can drive up to 3 months as a visitor.

For Students

If you are studying here and from the shores of Canada, you should have an official home driving license and a qualified translation of your driver’s license if is not in English. You can drive up to the end of your studies due to the reason if you happen to be a full-time student.

For Residents

New residents in New Brunswick can change their home driver’s permit to a Class 5 license as fast as they can.

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador

For Visitors

If you are new in Newfoundland and Labrador from outside Canada, you should have an official driving license from your country.

For Students

If you are a student in Newfoundland and Labrador from outside Canada you should have an official home country’s permit. You can drive for three months as a student.

Residents

If you a resident of Newfoundland and Labrador, you should change your home country driver’s permit to a Class 5 license within three months of your residency.

  1. Nova Scotia

If you are new in Nova Scotia, you have to obtain a new license, wherever you are from. You don’t have to worry about applying and getting a driver’s license.

For Visitors

If you are in Nova Scotia from the shores of Canada, there should be a home valid driving license with you. You can drive up to 90 days as a visitor.

For Students

If you are a student in Nova Scotia from outside Canada, you must have an official home driver’s license. You can drive up to 90 days as a student.

For Residents

As a new resident of Nova Scotia, you can change your country working permit to a Class 5 license. The driving license has to be changed within 90 days as a resident.

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