Need a Driver’s License in Canada? Here’s How to Get Yours

Getting your license in Canada isn’t as difficult as you might think. Rules vary from one province to another, so you need to find out the requirements for your province first. Generally speaking, the USA, Commonwealth countries and Ireland all have a reciprocal agreement with Canada. This means that residents of those countries just transfer their license without having to take additional tests. However, there are restrictions based on certain provinces, so make sure to double-check on this first.

British Columbia

When you move to BC from abroad, you have three months to get your license transferred over. Many countries have an existing agreement that makes the license immediately transferrable. In the event you have to start over, follow these steps.

  • Knowledge tests cost roughly $30. Until you pass the test, you have to surrender your driver’s license.
  • Book your road test online. Plan on waiting four to six weeks before getting an appointment. You can also go to a stand-by center where you get tested the same day. It does take a few hours to be seen, so plan on waiting. The test costs $50 whether you pass or not. The license c costs $30 when you pass. You need your own vehicle as well. Driving rules are different, so a driving lesson is recommended. Those run $40.


If your country doesn’t have a reciprocal agreement with Ontario, you only have 60 days to apply for your license. Previous experience driving lets you apply for a credit, but you still have to go through the full range of testing. Take a copy of your driving history and your current license to the testing center to take the G1. Once you pass the theory test, you can take the G test.


When you get an operator’s license in Alberta, you have to surrender your other license. You cannot have more than one license in your possession. Order a copy of your domestic license for trips home. If you don’t come from a country with a reciprocal agreement, you have a couple options:

  • For those with more than two years of experience, you have to undergo full testing, but you can apply for the Graduated Driver Licensing exemption.
  • If you have less than two years of experience, you can apply for a credit to add the required driving time, but you have to take the Class 7 learner’s test.


Anyone wishing to drive in Saskatchewan has to get their license upon their old license expiring or within 90 days of moving to the province.


Manitoba allows for licenses to be exchanged.