Licence Exchanges — Commercial Vehicles
To drive legally, new Ontario residents must switch to an Ontario driver’s licence within 60 days of arrival. Reading Ontario’s official driver's handbook(s) before getting behind the wheel is highly recommended.
The 60-day rule applies to the commercial (tractor-trailers, large trucks, buses, etc.) drivers’ licences described here as well as drivers’ licences for cars, vans, small trucks, motorcycles, etc. Rules for foreign commercial applicants and Canadian commercial applicants vary, however.
Foreign Commercial Drivers’ Licences
Ontario does not have in place any international licence exchange agreements for commercial licences. You cannot exchange a foreign commercial licence for an Ontario commercial licence. If you are new to Ontario but hold a foreign commercial licence, you must follow all the licensing steps from the beginning. You can obtain details on the commercial driver’s licensing process on the commercial licences page.
Commercial drivers from countries with licence exchange agreements with Ontario can switch their licences for an Ontario Class G or Class M licence. Following is a list of the countries with agreements and the types of exchanges possible. Visit a DriveTest Centre to exchange your commercial licence for a Class G or Class M licence.
|Country||Class G||Class M|
|Isle of Man||Yes||
|Republic of Ireland||Yes||
Canadian Commercial Exchanges
If you hold a commercial licence from another Canadian province, territory, or Canadian Forces Europe, you can probably exchange your licence for a similar or equivalent Ontario licence.
Canadian Commercial Exchange Exceptions
School bus licences (Classes B and E) are exceptions. If you have a Class B licence (or similar) from another province, you will receive an Ontario Class C licence. If you have a Class E licence (or similar) from another province, you will receive an Ontario Class F licence. To earn your Class B or E school bus licence in Ontario, you must complete all the steps for new applicants.
Another exception is an air brake endorsement (Ontario Z condition) earned in Quebec. Unfortunately, we cannot process this type of exchange. To earn the Z endorsement, air brake applicants from Quebec must apply and start from the beginning.
Driving Experience Considerations for Canadian Commercial Licence Exchanges
For a straightforward Canadian commercial licence exchange, you must have at least two years of driving experience. You can gain the two years of experience in any full vehicle class, or a combination of vehicle classes. However, time served at the novice/learner level cannot be included when calculating experience for an exchange.
If you have less than two years of driving experience, you can exchange your licence for a Class G2 licence. Once the Class G2 wait time passes, you can book and take your Class G road test to earn your full Class G licence. If you earn your Class G licence within one year of the date of exchange and provide an acceptable medical examination report, you can obtain a commercial licence equivalent to the one you had in the other province/territory. If you take more than a year to earn your Class G licence, we cannot do the commercial exchange; you will have to complete all the commercial licensing steps in this case.
Effective July 1, 2017, applicants who wish to exchange their Class 1 licence from another Canadian jurisdiction for an Ontario Class A licence, must provide proof that they have held the Class 1 licence for at least 24 months in the last three years. Applicants with less Class 1 experience will be subject to further testing and/or mandatory entry-level training requirements for Class A licences in Ontario.
DND 404 Testing Requirements Waived
Certain DND 404 permit holders (both active and retired members) may have certain driver’s licence testing requirements waived. Drivers who have held a DND 404 permit and a valid licence (within 2 of the last 3 years) issued by another Canadian licensing jurisdiction may be eligible, with appropriate ID and documentation, for Ontario licence classes A, C, D, F, G, and Z endorsement without testing. Please visit the Waived Testing Requirements for DND 404 Holders page for more information.
Process for Exchanging Your Canadian Commercial Licence
You can exchange a Canadian commercial licence for an Ontario commercial licence in most circumstances. The exchange process follows.
- Optionally visit a DriveTest Centre to pick up the items required for your exchange, including a medical examination report form and any driver’s handbooks you may require.
Visiting a DriveTest Centre may not be necessary if you can obtain the materials elsewhere (e.g., from your physician’s office or by accessing the handbooks through a retailer). We highly recommend the Official Truck Driver’s Handbook, The Official Bus Handbook, and/or The Official Air Brake Handbook.
You do not need to do a written knowledge test at the time of the exchange; however, you must know all the rules of the road and write the test for your one-year renewal.
- Visit a physician or nurse practitioner to complete the medical examination report form.
You may consult a physician or nurse practitioner from any province, but you must use the Ontario form. A medical report is valid for 180 days from the date of completion. Failure to submit a medical report at the time of exchange will result in a Class G licence only. A medical may be produced within one year of exchanging your licence to obtain your commercial class.
- Gather the required documentation and identification for your exchange.
You must bring three pieces of acceptable ID, including your valid driver’s licence. An expired licence (less than one year) is acceptable but cannot be used as a proof of signature.
- Apply for a commercial driver’s licence exchange at any DriveTest Centre.
At the DriveTest Centre, you must present your acceptable ID and complete several forms.
- Take and successfully complete a vision test at the DriveTest Centre.
Make sure to bring any corrective lenses with you.
- Pay the applicable fees.
Fees are set by the Ministry of Transportation and are subject to change. Fees can be paid by cash, credit card (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express), debit card, certified business cheque, certified personal cheque, bank draft or money order (each made payable to the DriveTest Centre), or travellers cheque (Canadian or American).
- Obtain your temporary driver’s licence from an agent at the DriveTest Centre.
Once you have met the requirements, you will receive a temporary driver’s licence and surrender your out-of-province licence. Your new, permanent, plastic Ontario licence photo card will come in the mail.