Foreign Licence Experience Credits

If you are relocating from a country that does not have a driver’s licence exchange agreement with Ontario, your previous driving experience may be acknowledged through a reduction in driver's licensing requirements. However, you must successfully complete several steps before you can obtain an Ontario licence. 

Ontario has a graduated licensing program with a focus on increasing a new driver’s privileges as experience is gained. As part of this graduated licensing program, there are mandatory test and wait-time requirements. Drivers with valid foreign licences may qualify for reductions in these mandatory test and wait-time prerequisites if they meet certain requirements. Credit for previous driving experience is granted only for Class G and Class M licences and only when all requirements are met.

General Requirements for Foreign Licence Applications – Car and Motorcycle Drivers

A foreign applicant for a Class G or Class M licence must:

  • Be at least 16 years old at the time of application.
  • Successfully complete a knowledge test about the rules of the road and traffic signs.
  • Meet the vision standards established by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).
  • Successfully complete one or two road tests (Class G2 and/or Class G, or Class M2 and/or Class M), depending on the method you choose to obtain your licence.
  • Present acceptable identification, a valid and original driver’s licence, and supporting documentation.

Requirements to Gain Credit for Previous Experience

There are four main requirements to fast-track through graduated licensing and gain credit for previous driving experience.

A. Acceptable Identification

  • All identification must be original and valid. 
  • If there is any variation in the names on the legal identification you present and the name that appears on your licence, you will need to provide acceptable ID to link the names.

B. Valid Driver’s Licence

  • You must present your original, valid driver’s licence. An expired driver’s licence is not acceptable. 
  • The licence must include an expiry date or include wording that confirms the licence does not expire. If your licence does not have an issue date or expiry date (not both), you may still be eligible to receive up to 12 months of driving experience upon application.
  • If your valid driver’s licence is not in English or French, it must be accompanied by an English or French translation from an MTO-recognized translator. If you provide your original licence with a supporting letter of authentication from the Embassy, Consulate or High Commissioner’s Office in either English or French, you do not need to include a licence translation.
  • You do not need to surrender your licence. 

C. Amount of Experience

You can claim 12 months of driving experience. Ideally, you should bring your foreign driver’s licence to the DriveTest Centre when you first apply. Depending on the length of previous experience declared, there are varying requirements. 

Less Than 12 Months

You must wait 12 months, less any credited driving experience, prior to taking the Class G2 road test. Then you must wait 12 more months before you can take your Class G road test to earn your full Class G licence.

Class G2 Road Required Class G Road Test Required Mandatory Wait Times Apply
Yes Yes Yes

12 to 23 Months

You can take the Class G2 road test immediately but you need to wait 12 months, less any credited driving experience, to take a Class G road test.

Class G2 Road Required Class G Road Test Required Mandatory Wait Times Apply
Yes Yes Yes

24 Months or More

You can take the Class G road test immediately. However, some people optionally choose to take the Class G2 road test as well to gain testing experience.

If you are unsuccessful with the Class G road test, you must take the Class G2 road test and then the Class G road test again.

Class G2 Road Required Class G Road Test Required Mandatory Wait Times Apply
No Yes No

D.   Letters of Authentication

If you claim that you have more than 12 months of previous driving experience on your application form at the DriveTest Centre, you must provide an original letter of authentication to gain credit for all that experience. If you do not provide a letter of authentication, you will get credit for only 12 months of driving experience. The letter of authentication:

  • May be acquired from the Embassy, Consulate or High Commissioner’s Office representing the originating jurisdiction, OR from the jurisdiction that originally issued the licence, validating the authenticity of the licence.
  • Must be on the originator’s official letterhead paper.
  • Must be dated no more than 6 months prior to application date.
  • Must clearly state that it is certifying the duration of the applicant’s driving experience and that the licence to which it refers is valid – the licence cannot be expired or suspended.
  • If not in English or French, you must have it translated by an MTO-recognized translator.

Note:

Experience can be added to your application at any time. If you cannot provide proof of driving experience at the time of the original licence application, you can visit a DriveTest Centre again at a later date with the appropriate documents to have more experience added on to your record. This may help to speed up the process of getting your full class Ontario licence.

Options and Methods for Obtaining Your Full Class G or Class M Licence

DriveTest Centre agents can help you to replace your foreign driver’s licence with an Ontario licence. There are a few methods to obtain your licence depending on the amount of previous experience you declare and the type of identification and documentation you have available.

Option 1

  • Declare 2 years of driving experience or longer on your application form.
  • Provide an original, valid driver’s licence and other pieces of acceptable ID.
  • Provide a letter of authentication in English or French and dated within the last 6 months.
  • Successfully complete the vision and written knowledge tests at the DriveTest Centre.
  • Successfully complete the Class G road test to earn your full Class G licence (no mandatory waiting period required and no Class G2 road test required).
  • Pay all the applicable fees.

Option 2

  • Declare less than 1 year of driving experience on your application form.
  • Provide an original, valid driver's licence and other pieces of acceptable ID.
  • Successfully complete the vision and written knowledge test at the DriveTest Centre.
  • Adhere to the applicable wait times before attempting the Class G2 road test.
  • Wait one year before attempting the Class G road test to earn your full Class G licence.
  • Pay all the applicable fees.

Option 3

  • Declare at least 1 year of driving experience on your application form.
  • Provide an original, valid driver’s licence and other pieces of acceptable ID.
  • Successfully complete the vision and written knowledge tests.
  • Book and take the Class G2 road test to earn your Class G2 licence immediately (no mandatory wait time required).
  • Acquire one year of Ontario driving experience and then book and successfully complete a Class G road test to earn your full Class G licence.
  • Pay all the applicable fees.