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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
May 23, 2015
Canadian Excellence

Driving Licence in Ontario

If you are a new resident of Ontario and have a valid driver's license from another country, you can use that license for 60 days in Ontario. If you want to continue to drive after 60 days, you must get an Ontario Driver’s Licence issued by the Ministry of Transportation. The Province of Ontario has a system of graduated licensing, whereby you will take a written test, a preliminary driving test, and after a practice period of at least several months, a final driving test. For more information, visit the website of the Ministry of Transportation.

The closest Driver Exam Centre to the Waterloo University campus, located at:

1405 Ottawa Street North Unit 11 Kitchener
Tel: 519-893-7110 or 800-265-6363
Fax: 519-893-5259
Office Hours: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The closest Driver Exam Centre to the Brantford University campus, located at:

320 North Park Street, Unit 1B Brantford
Tel: 519-720-0733
Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Licensing a Vehicle in Ontario

Most vehicles on Ontario roads must be registered, insured and maintained to meet certain basic standards. If you own a vehicle, you are responsible for making sure it meets specific requirements. People who buy and sell vehicles also have certain responsibilities.

Before you can attach license plates to a vehicle, renew your registration, or buy a temporary (trip) permit, you must insure your vehicle. All vehicles must be insured for third party liability for at least $200,000. This will cover you in the event if you injure, kill someone, or damage someone's property. Collision insurance to cover damage of your own vehicle is a good idea, but not required by law. When driving your own or someone else's vehicle, you must carry the pink liability insurance card for that particular vehicle. You must show this card when a police officer asks for it. If you do not, you may have to pay a fine of up to $400.

Getting the Proper Vehicle Insurance in Ontario

Numerous insurance companies listed in the Yellow Pages section of the phone book operate in the Waterloo region. The insurance industry is very competitive in Canada, and fees differ tremendously. Contact various agents and compare the prices to find the best deal. In addition, some Credit Card companies offer complimentary vehicle insurance if you decide to rent-a-car. Be aware of the canceling policy deadlines, as this can become a very stressful issue if not concluded on time. If you already know your date of departure, insist on signing a contract, which would exclusively cover the length of your stay.

Additional Requirements

In Ontario, all vehicles must pass the Emission Tests in order to be licensed. To find out if your vehicle needs to pass an emissions test before you can renew your plates, or for more information on the Drive Clean Program, visit the website of the Drive Clean Call Centre or call them at 1-888-758-2999. Out of province callers, may call 1-416-503-6679 (you pay for the call). All light duty vehicles (passenger and commercial vehicles with a registered gross weight of 4,500 kg or less) must pass an emission inspection every two years to renew validation if the following two conditions are met:
  • The plate holder's address is within the program area; and
  • The vehicle is more than three model years old and less than 20 model years old.
In addition, odd model year vehicles (i.e. 1993 model year) require an inspection in even years (2002, 2004), and even year vehicles (i.e. 1994 model year), require an inspection in odd model years (2001, 2003). For all additional information, please visit the following Ministry of Transportation website.