How to Get Your Driver's Licence in Canada Being A Foreigner

Alberta, Quebe & Ontario

If you have moved to Alberta, you would need a valid, updated, and legal driving license to drive freely on the streets. Being a newcomer, you need an attested home country driver's permit with yourself, all the time which allows you to drive legally on the roads without a Canadian driver permit for 60 days. If you have a foreign driving permit that is partnered for exchange policies, you can ask for a driver's license exchange.

Here are details that you must know about being a newcomer.

 ✓ If you are 14 years old, you are qualified to get a personal learner’s permit which falls under the Class 7 License. An agreement would be signed between the driver’s parent or guardian and the driving center officials, as a guaranteed consent. The applicant needs to pass the written or knowledge and eyesight/vision test. 

 ✓ At 16 years of age, you are capable of getting your probationary license belonging to the Class 5-GDL. But, first, you must complete your 1years with the Class 7 license, under the parent or guardian’s consent. You need a good score on a basic road test. It comes with certain restrictions such as no alcohol, no midnight driving, no 400 highways, and no alone driving.

 ✓ Once you have completed your 2 years under training and learning, without facing any suspensions, you are qualified to obtain your Class 5 Full-license. You need to pass the on-road drive exam with advanced requirements.

 ✓ Being a newcomer, you need a verified home country driver's permit with yourself, all the time which allows you to drive legally on the roads without a Canadian driver permit for 60 days.

Where no state has made the driving course obligatory, Quebec has. Besides, the policy of Quebec says 15 hrs. driving experience under a skilled driving instructor along with 24 hrs. study of the theory is mandatory, as well.

British Columbia (BC)

As every province has its personal organization that issues legal licenses, in BC it is the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). If you want your full Class 5 license, you need to work through the early Learner and Novice levels, the same as in Alberta. The knowledge test will only give you an L license for a year. Now, for the N license means a Novice permit, you need to clear the Class 7 driving exam. The G1 license will have the same restrictions as the Alberta license applies except:

 ✓ BC officials demand the driver to put L on their car to show that they are on learner’s permit.

 ✓ You don’t need a driver for supervision and can drive alone

 ✓ You are allowed to drive with only one passenger.

Keep practicing and enhance your driving skills in your 2 years period and get ready for the final advanced and tougher road drive exam. If you have a foreign driving permit that is partnered for exchange policies and also has more than 2 years of driving experience, you can ask for a driver's license exchange.


For Manitoba, you will be overwhelmed with a long list of 6 classes of driving licenses. For a typical passenger vehicle such as a car and small van, you need only a Class 5 Canadian driving license. We must warn you before that Manitoba has some very strict rules applied to license and driving.

 ✓ A person who is younger than 16 years can’t drive, it is illegal and once you have crossed 18, you need a guardian’s consent to drive.

 ✓ For full drivers license, you need to pass the medical test as well as vision, drive and written tests

 ✓ The duration required for probation is shorter in comparison. It needs only 9 months to complete.

 ✓ Although, it has an excessive mandatory 15-month Intermediate period that needs to be fulfilled. In driving policies, BC has a zero-tolerance alcohol consumption policy.

 ✓ Once you have completed the Intermediate Stage without any serious suspensions, you are qualified for a Full Stage license.

 ✓ You can exchange your foreign license, even if you are an international student.

 ✓ On your previous foreign but valid license, you are permitted to drive for 90 days maximum.

Newfoundland & Labrador

It comes with different driving license terms. For instance:

 ✓ In case you have your foreign valid driving license with you, you will be allowed to drive legally on Canadian roads for up to 3 months, only as a newcomer or a visitor.

 ✓ Being an international student, the person should have a lawful home country's driving permit and can drive for 3 months without a Canadian licence.

Levels of the driving license are the same as well as their restrictions that are applied in Alberta.

New Brunswick

Being an outsider, you need to have a legal license of your native country which allows you to drive on streets without a Canadian license. But, you must have an approved and verified translation of your driver's license with yourself, all the time. You need to be 16 years of age to apply for the first level test. If you are studying as a full-time student, you can drive for the complete duration of your stay.

It has similar G1 driving limitations as Alberts. Once you have gained your level 2 licence, you would be needing an accompanying instructor only from 12:00 AM to 5:00 AM drive.

Nova Scotia

Whenever you are visiting Nova Scotia, you would be asked to pass 3 phases of driving licence tests under the name of the GDL program, unlike other states, that are:

 ✓ Learner’s License

 ✓ Newly Licensed

 ✓ Restricted Individual

It also allows you to drive without a Canadian license for a maximum of 90 days. The same rules are applied to a new student. All you need is to carry your verified home country driver's permit with you all the time. Unfortunately, it offers the driving license exchange in the least number of countries including Austria, Germany, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. The major differences are:

 ✓ The state says that the driver should complete a defensive driving course to get a Restricted Individual License

 ✓ Even after getting the highest or end-stage license called Restricted Individual, you must not drive when having alcohol consumption for at least 2 years

Prince Edward Island

It has one of the longest times to offer to foreigners for driving freely without the need of Canadian drivers license. As long as you have a valid driving license from the country of your origin along with an International Driver's Permit (IDP) you can drive for maximum120 days. PEI also functions on a 3-year GDL program.

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