Driving is one of the most exhilarating experiences, to drive in Canada with the well paved roads and excellent connectivity can truly be a joy. If you have entered Canada on Canada PR as express entry migrant or via the provincial nominee program or are on a Student visa or just visiting Canada on a tourist visa you may be eligible to drive.
It is important to know that Canadians drive on the right side of the road, with passing done on the left, trucks are barred from the far left lane – a particularly important fact if you’re planning to get around Canada in a recreational vehicle (RV).
To drive in Canada you need a driving license issued by the government of the province where you stay. If you are in Canada for a short duration you would need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) issued in your home country.
Applying for a driving license in Canada
The procedure for getting a drivers license in Canada would vary by province or territory of residence and would include:
- a written exam on the rules of the road (typically applicants can get a study guide to help with this) and
- one or two driving tests.
If you are successful in obtaining a driving license you would also be responsible to have it renewed. The expiry dates are printed on the license.
Another important thing to be aware of is to obtain insurance, it is illegal to drive without insurance in Canada. If you are renting a car then most rental companies will factor that in with the rental charges.
The car insurance cost will depend on the inclusions opted for and in addition the driver’s age, driving record, living location and driving experience in Canada.
Drivers need to be aware that the driving rules are very strictly enforced and there are stiff penalties for breaking the traffic rules.
General trips for driving around Canada
It is useful to familiarise yourself with some basic French phrases, which comes in handy if you are driving in Quebec.
It`s tempting to drive long distances, but if you are doing so then its worth to make sure that you have enough rest stops and food and water with you.
Practice road safety procedures including wearing seat belts, not using mobile phones while driving.
Know the metric
Canadian speed limits are measured in kilometres per hour. The speed limit on motorways is often 100km/h (62mph) but can be as high as 120km/h in BC and as low as 90km/h in PEI. In built up areas it is usually 50kmh (31mph) but will be lower around schools, as in the UK.
Be safe and exercise caution when on the road, basic road safety rules will never go wrong.
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