Overview – Licences for Out-of-Province and Out-of-Country Drivers
In Ontario, you must be at least 16 years of age to drive legally. No matter what your age or driving experience, we highly recommend reading the relevant driver’s handbook prior to driving on Ontario’s roads. Each driver’s handbook contains information on the rules of the road and safe driving practices for that vehicle type.
You may exchange or apply for an Ontario licence at any DriveTest Centre. Because of the tests required, ServiceOntario does not issue licences to new Ontario residents.
The driver's licence application process for newcomers to Ontario varies depending on:
- Your place of origin.
- The type of licence.
- The documentation and/or identification you have.
- The number of years of experience you have driving.
If you have previous driving experience outside of Ontario, that experience may be acknowledged through licence exchange privileges or through foreign licence experience credits.
Note to Visitors:
If you are visiting Ontario for less than 3 months, you can use a valid driver’s licence from your own province, state, or country. You do not need to visit a DriveTest Centre while you are here, but you must have a vehicle permit and insurance and must follow Ontario’s rules of the road. The Official MTO Driver’s Handbook explains Ontario's traffic laws and driving customs.
If you are visiting from another country for more than 3 months, you should get an International Driver's Permit (IDP) from your own country to accompany your driver’s licence before you arrive in Canada. DriveTest does not issue International Driver’s Permits.
Ontario has licence exchange agreements with certain provinces, states, and countries. If you are from one of these jurisdictions, you may be eligible to do a direct licence exchange for an Ontario licence without all the required testing. However, if you have a probationary licence (e.g., learner's permit), you may be entitled only to have driving experience credited.
Canadian military DND 404 permit holders (both active and retired members) may have driver’s licence testing requirements waived. Drivers with a DND 404 permit and a valid licence (within 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 and without surrendering their permit. See the Waived Testing Requirements for DND 404 Holders page for details.
Foreign Licence Applications
If you have a licence from a country that does not have a licence exchange agreement with Ontario, you may be eligible to receive credit for your foreign driving experience. However, you are still required to pass all applicable tests to earn your Ontario driver’s licence.
DriveTest now has the option for customers to schedule appointments for select over-the-counter transactions.
These transactions include:
- Out of Province Driver
- Out of Country Driver
To book an appointment for your DriveTest transaction, email your appointment request indicating the transaction type, your country or province or US state of origin and preferred appointment date (indicating a.m. or p.m.) to LicenceExAppt@drivetest.ca. In response, you will receive an email confirming your appointment information and advising you of the documents required to complete your scheduled transaction. We will make every effort to accommodate your preferred appointment date. If this cannot be accommodated, the next nearest date will be offered.
NOTE: This scheduling process is currently only available at the Downsview DriveTest centre while we assess our customers’ interest in this new initiative.
Identification, Drivers’ Abstracts, and Letters of Authentication
When you visit a DriveTest Centre to apply for a licence, you must bring your current driver’s licence, acceptable ID, and possibly a letter of authentication or a driver’s abstract issued within the last six months to confirm the status of your licence and length of driving experience.
To be eligible for an exchange or credit towards an Ontario licence, an out-of-province or out-of-country driver’s licence needs to be in English or French, original, and valid. Ideally, your licence will also display an issue date or visible expiry date; however, an applicant who does not have an issue date or an expiry date (not both) is still able to receive up to 12 months of driving experience credit upon application. If your driver’s licence is not in English or French, it must be accompanied by a written translation from a qualified translator.
Your application must show proof of your legal name, date of birth (must state the day, month, and year of birth), and signature. 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 or documentation (e.g., marriage certificate; change of name or divorce certificate; or court order) to link your records.
The application process varies for those pursuing a car, motorcycle, or commercial licence: