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Driving in Ontario

Getting an Ontario driver's licence

  • Driving rules in Ontario

    The rules for driving in Canada and Ontario may be very different from what you are familiar with. There are also serious consequences to breaking certain driving laws. In Canada, we have something called a Demerit Point System. Demerit points can raise your car insurance rates and can cause your licence to be revoked. This is in addition to the ticket you may get from a police officer at the time of getting the demerit points.

    If you intend to drive, it is recommend that you review the Driver's Handbooks, which can be purchased or found online for free. This handbook will explain the rules of the road all Ontario drivers are expected to know.

    You should also understand how the Demerit Point System works and what situations lead to demerit points.

  • Visiting for less than three months

    If you are visiting Ontario for less than three months, you may be able to use your valid driver's licence from your home province, state or country.

    Find out details on the Ministry of Transportation's section Drive in Ontario: Visitors.

  • Visiting for more than three months

    If you are visiting Ontario for more than three months from another country, than you will likely need an International Driver's Permit (IDP) from your own country. You need to apply for this permit from your own country. You cannot apply for it once you are here.  

    For details, visit the Ministry of Transportation's section Drive in Ontario: Visitors.

  • Exchanging your licence for an Ontario driver's licence

    Ontario has different Licence levels (G1, G2 and G). Your Ontario Driver's Licence level will depend on how long you have been driving and where you were licensed before.

    If you are from certain countries, you can exchange your driver's licence for an Ontario licence directly. Find out the list of countries that have exchange agreements in place with Ontario on the Ministry of Transportation's website under the Exchange an out-of-province driver's licence section.

    If you are from a country that does not have an exchange agreement with Ontario, you may still be able to get credit for your previous driving experience (that is, skip levels G1 and G2 and go straight to the full licence: Level G).

    To find out more about how to apply, visit the Exchange an out-of-province driver's licence section of the Ministry of Transportation website.

Bringing your own vehicle

  • Restrictions and requirements

    If you are bringing a vehicle (car, motorcycle, truck) into Canada from the U.S. or another country, you are importing the vehicle and there are restrictions and requirements you must meet. To find out about what you must do before you try and import your car, visit the Transport Canada website.

    If you are bringing a vehicle to Ontario from another province or outside of Canada, you need to register it. Service Ontario is the government agency responsible for vehicle registration.

Buying a car in Ontario