Driver’s License

Every province in Canada has its own laws regarding driver’s licenses. The following websites can give immigrants information about the driver’s license laws in their province.

In Ontario’s case an immigrant’s international driver’s license is only valid for 2 months. Immigrants should remember that if they bring their driver’s license from their countries of origin and if two years of driving experience can be proven, they may get their local Ontario driver’s license quicker. Some countries, such as South Africa, do not have the date-of-issue indicated on the driver’s license. The result is that those driver’s licenses are of no real value to prove driving experience, i.e. the required two years. Immigrants from countries that issue driver’s licences without the date-of-issue should go to their local license issuing authority prior to immigrating and request a special (paper) license, including fingerprint and photo evidence to clearly prove the date the license was issued.

To purchase a vehicle and be insured in Ontario – a new rule from beginning of 2006

In order to purchase a vehicle and be insured in Ontario, you have to have an Ontario drivers licence (even though we are permitted to drive on International licences and have 2 months to get local licence).

However, in order to get the Ontario licence, you have to get a letter from the authorities in your home country confirming various details regarding your driving licence status….ONLY once an original letter is produced, can you proceed with arranging written & final driving exams. This rule applies to most countries, with the exception of only about 6 countries (even some of the US states do not automatically qualify for an Ontario licence).

You have to contact someone at RTMC in South Africa to get the letter, so unfortunately there is not even a local SA office in Ontario that can assist and reduce the time factors for postage etc.

For more info, please refer to
We thank Kim for this update.