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Permanent Resident driving with International Driving Permit

Discussion in 'Settlement Issues' started by Gibran01, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. I will be doing my landing with wife and kids in Toronto soon as a PR. I will only stay for 1 week in Mississauga with a friend, apply for PR and then come back as don't want to leave current job. I want to do many things such as apply for Social Insurance Number and Health cards, apply for driving license, open bank account, do some shopping and get oriented with the city.

    I want to rent a car for a few days as taxis are expensive. Is it possible that I can use my International Driving Permit and Driving License issued from a country which is does not have a reciprocal license exchange agreement with Ontario (such as US, UK, Japan etc) and still be legally able to drive temporarily in Ontario? I heard that you can drive for upto 3 months with International Driving Permit. Please advise and correct me if I'm wrong here.

  2. If you are moving to Ontario, you have 2 months to change your license but you are not moving, you are coming as a visitor. As a visitor, you may drive on your home country license for up to 3 months and even longer if you have an IDP, see http://www.ontario.ca/driving-and-roads/drive-ontario-visitors

    If you are not staying, you will not be able to apply for a health card for yourself and applying for your family will depend on having proof of residence, that they live somewhere like a lease, utility bills etc. The waiting time in Ontario for health care is 3 months so your family will have time to arrange the evidence and apply during that time. You would not be eligible for health care yourself because in order to be eligible in ON, you would have to be residing in the province, at least 5 months in the first 6 after you arrive and after that at least 6 months a year.

    If you have a non exchangeable drivers license, I also do not know if a week will be enough time. You would have to take the written test and hand in your foreign licence for evaluation along with a letter verifying your driving experience and they would then approve you to take the road test right away instead of waiting for a year. However, I do not know if a week is enough to get that done plus when you have to give up your home country license, you may have a problem when you go back to your home country to drive there. I think you will be better off to keep your home country license for now.
  3. Leon, many thank for your detailed response, much appreciated.

    I will be landing as a PR (FSW) and a not coming as a visitor, but due to current job will have to go back to my country. I will become a PR as soon as I get my get my COPR signed at the time of landing therefore wondering if I can use my IDP as only visitors can use IDPs. I found a post by Qorax saying that one benefit of an IDP is that you can drive in Ontario for 2 months. Still confused that if landing as PR can I use legally use my IDP to drive a car in Ontario?

    Qorax's post:

    I did not know that we have to give up our home country driving license (DL) once we apply for a DL in Canada. In such a scenario I will not apply for the Ontario driving license this time.

    Thanks for the Health Card info as I will not apply for it this time.
  4. There is a difference between being a PR and being resident (residing) in Canada. You will become a PR but you will not be resident in Canada because you will only stay for a short time and then go back to your home country. To that effect, you are visiting.

    The link I gave you also talks of visitors from another province so you see, you can be a PR or even a citizen and still be seen as a visitor in Ontario if you are staying temporarily. If you ever decide to move to Canada for good, you will have 2 months to exchange your license after your move.
  5. thanks for explaining difference b/w PR and resident, makes sense now. I guess i'll just use my IDP for one week then.
  6. Hello this is an old post, but I am exactly in the same situation.. We landed and became PRs in July 2015. We stayed in Toronto for two weeks and came back to our country for packing. We will be moving to Canada in November 2015. I understand that we will be residents of Ontario in November so we will be able to use our existing driving licences for two months then. But for example when a police pulls me over, and checks my driving licence how will I prove him that I became a resident in November but not in July? Plane tickets, lease etc?
  7. That's a very old post but a very good question... any feedback anyone?
  8. Any of those proofs should be fine

    Best strategy is to not get pulled over by police :)

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