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Information on legal requirements and rules for driving Canada. We have different driving laws in different provinces and territories; follow the list of rules to keep out of trouble.

Driving Canada Road Rules
Watch out for wildlife

License Requirements For Driving Canada

To legally drive a car in Canada, you will need a driver’s license. As long as you hold a valid driving license from your home country and it is issued in English or French,  you can drive in Canada. How long you can drive with a foreign driver’s license after you arrive depends on the province. In British Columbia, it is up to six months from the last time you crossed the border, in Ontario it is only three months.

If your driver’s license is not in English or French, I recommend that you obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP). To be on the safe side, you can always get a recognized translation of your license.

The lifestyle in Canada may be more leisurely than what you are used to. This might be especially the case out here in the West. And so is our driving style. Driving here is more relaxed, which helps to cover the long distances we have to drive to get anywhere. Still, driving laws are strictly enforced in Canada. Penalties for breaking the law are generally heavy.

Essential Rules You Need To Be Aware Of

  • We drive on the right in Canada
  • The legal age for driving in Canada depends on the province/territory. Generally, you have to be 17 years old to drive independently after obtaining a valid driver’s license (16 in Ontario)
  • Drivers must have valid driver’s licenses. It always has to be carried with you when driving.
  • The use of mobile phones when driving is prohibited in most provinces and territories.
  • At a red stop sign, it is compulsory to come to a complete stop at the white stop line.
  • Right turn on a red light: Unless a sign tells you not to, you can make a right turn facing a red light. You have to come to a complete stop and wait until the way is clear.
  • At a junction, where two or more traffic directions are controlled by stop signs, the driver who arrives and stops first continues first. Where there are more than two drivers who stop simultaneously at a junction controlled by different stop signs (a 4-way stop), generally the driver on the left must yield the right-of-way to the driver on the right.
  • It’s compulsory to wear a seat belt including in the back seats if belts are fitted. It is the responsibility of the driver, that the passengers wear their belts.
  • Don’t drive if your blood alcohol level is above 0.05 %
  • Motorcyclists must wear helmets

Knowing the above Canadian driving rules will get you around Canada safely!

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