Get Your International Driving License in Canada | Step-by-Step Guide

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How to Get an International Driving License in Canada: A Step-by-Step Guide

The busiest travel season of the summer has seen the highest number of foreign visitors visiting Canada since before the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Now that travel overseas is once again in full swing, a large number of visitors are definitely considering driving while in Canada. This entails having the appropriate authorization to drive abroad and adhering to the legal requirements for travel documentation, including getting an international driving license.

Travelers must obtain International driving permit if they intend to drive a vehicle in a foreign nation. You can be forced to use ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft, private automobile services, or public transit if you don't have an IDP. Whether you need a driving license in Ontario or driving license in Mississauga, all can be achieved through a single application.

Need to obtain International Driving Permit? Goldstar Driving School can help you understand the driving license process as well as Canadian driving regulations.


What is an International Driving License?

A small document known as an International Driving Permit (IDP) acts as an official translation of your valid driving license into several languages. It is essentially a pamphlet with a passport photo and ten translations of driving requirements. IDPs can only be issued by CAA; if someone has an IDP in Canada that is not approved by CDA, no other country will accept it. An unapproved CDA license is seen as fraudulent.

IDPs are meant to make it easier for the local authorities to comprehend your driving rights. In 2012, the state of Florida approved legislation requiring all citizens of Canada to have a current International Driving Permit.


International Driving License Requirements

A valid Canadian driver's license (IDP) requires the fulfillment of several prerequisites. The following criteria must be met for a driving license in Toronto or any other Canadian province:

  • For IDP, a minimum age of 18 years old is required.
  • A photocopy of a current Canadian driver's license is required. You cannot apply for an IDP if you do not possess a driver's license.
  • It is required that you reside in Canada and that your license is valid.
  • It's crucial to make sure you abide by the nation's local driving rules and regulations.

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How to Obtain International Driving Permit in Canada

You must adhere to certain guidelines in order to get an international driver's license. Getting an International Driving Permit (IDP) is simple, and it's incredibly useful for both foreign visitors and locals to have while driving to unfamiliar places. A breakdown of the prerequisites required for the driving license process is provided below:

After fulfilling the qualifying conditions for a driving license in North York and other provinces, you must provide two passport images and pay $30 using a debit, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or cash.

An application for a CAA IDP driving license must be completed, signed, and returned to your neighborhood BCAA branch.


When to File an IDP Application

To obtain the IDP, allow a few weeks to a day, but make advance arrangements for the driving license application. Within six months of your preferred effective date, you can get an IDP. Therefore, you can apply for the IDP in January of the previous year if you want to travel on July 1. Though you will have that flexibility if necessary, you most likely won't require that much time to receive the document.

It is your duty to confirm that the nation or nations you plan to visit will accept your international driver's license.

To make sure you abide strictly by Canada driving laws, you need also to do some study on them. This can entail purchasing a "vignette," which is a sticker that allows you to drive in specific nations. Usually, rental cars come with stickers already installed, or the company can advise you on where to get one.

Make sure you include your driver's license in everything you do. The IDP is not a "license," but rather a "permit." It cannot be used until your home driver's license is associated with it.


Processing Time, Cost, and Validity of IDP

Your IDP can be obtained for $25.00 CDN + VAT. Credit cards or cash are accepted forms of payment. Nevertheless, you will need to call your neighborhood store and ask for instructions if you wish to pay with a credit card. 

Application processing durations vary based on whether you apply in person or via mail. If you apply in-store, it normally takes an hour, or if you apply by mail, it can take up to two working days. Normal processing delays may be impacted by COVID-19 restrictions, so be sure to check with your local retailer.  

Upon issuance, the IDP is valid for a year, or until the provincial license expires, whichever comes first.


If You're Not in Canada, Can You Still Get An IDP?

Certainly, if you are outside of your nation, you can apply for an IDP. Your IDP can be sent to you via mail. In case you have lost your IDP and require a new one then you get another MTO approved driving license through the mail. In the unlikely event that you didn't realize you required an IDP until you arrived at your destination, you can also obtain your IDP by mail.



If you wish to drive in Canada, you'll need an international driver's license. But keep in mind that IDP does not replace your current, national license. It is merely a multilingual translation of your existing license. This facilitates your ability to interact with international authorities and negotiate roadways in Canada. Thus, file for an IDP now and travel to Canada lawfully and fearlessly.