Driver's Licence

Driver’s licence is the most important identity document in Canada. Slovak driver’s licence can be used in Canada only if you have international driver’s licence (this can be made by the department of transport for a fee of 6,50€  and is given for 3 years).

Conditions in the most popular provinces:

The fact of how long you can use your Slovak driver’s licence in Canada depends on the particular province and on your status in Canada.

Ontário - If you have work permit or permanent residence in Ontario, you can use your international driver’s licence 60days since your arrival, then you need to get Ontario driver’s licence. If you are in Ontario only as a tourist, you can use your international driver’s licence at any time.

Alberta - As a tourist or as a person with work permit you can use your international driver’s licence for 1 year. Immigrants must make their Canadian driver’s licence until 90 days since their arrival.

British Columbia - As a tourist you can use your international driver’s licence maximum for 6 months. International students who have daily study of some schools, can drive longer than 6 months with their original driver’s licence. If you have work permit or permanent residence in British Columbia, you can use international driver’s licence 90 days since your arrival.

If you have valid driver’s licence from selected countries: the USA, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Korea, Switzerland, they will switch your driver’s licence for Canadian one without any tests. This means that if you are on a long-term basis in a chosen country, it is beneficial for you to switch your Slovak driver’s licence there for the local one. Driver’s licence in Canada can be switched only up to European class B. Driver’s licence for lorries, buses, haulers need to be new made in Canada.

How to get driver’s licence in Canada?

For the driving test you need to take with you:

  • Your original driver’s licence (if you have one)
  • Your address in Canada (it is quoted in the Canadian driver’s licence)
  • If you struggle with the language take a dictionary or a proven interpreter)

If you do not have 2 year practice with driving a car (at least 2 years of having your driver’s licence) you will get only a limited driver’s licence (class 7) which means that you can drive only with a person who has driver’s licence of class 5.

First step to get a driver’s licence is to be successful in the theoretical tests. Before the tests you don’t need to take part in preparatory course. At any time during the working hours you can come to the registry department and ask for the test. Similarly as in Slovakia, it is a group of questions with alternative answers (however there can be more than one correct answer to one question). Firstly, they thoroughly legitimize you (passport, document of permanent residence, work permit, residence permit, SIN). There is no time limit for the tests and there is an option to use a dictionary if you ask to do so (only paper one, not electronic one) or service of proven interpreter (interpreter costs 75-100 CAD). Test is done electronically. In Alberta you need to answer correctly 25 questions out of 30. (In British Columbia you need to know 40 out of 50). If you score 25 answers correctly the test is automatically finished with a positive result. On the other hand, if you score 6 wrong answers the test is automatically finished with a negative result. If the applicant passes the tests, he immediately gets the driver’s licence of class 7. Class 7 means that you can only drive a vehicle with a person who has driver’s licence of class 5. If the applicant wasn’t successful he can retake the tests after 2 days. The price of the test is 17 dollars.

Second step to get a driver’s licence is to successfully pass the practical test. (drive). Officer has in front of him a record of the ongoing drive. He makes notes of what is done well or bad by the driver. The officer navigates the driver where to go and controls the speed and the traffic signs. Everybody is tested on parallel parking by reverse and each candidate must show parking up the hill, as well as parking down the hill. If the drive was successfully done, the candidate immediately gets driver’s licence of class 5. Class 5 means that a driver successfully passed a practical drive with an officer and is a fully valued driver. If the candidate was unsuccessful in the practical drive, it is noted in the system, however he can repeat the practical drive the next day, at any registration place. For being tested by the officer there is a fee up to 25 CAD (in British Columbia and Ontario it is 50 CAD).

To issue or renew a driver’s licence the cost is from 21 CAD (for 1 year) to 84 CAD (for 5 years).

Demerit points system

In case of driver’s licence Canada uses so called demerit points system. Each driver gets from the police 15 points and he needs to manage them for 3 years. For each driving infraction, if the driver is stopped by the police, some of the points are subtracted and a fee is given to the driver. If there is a driving infraction the police puts the number of the driver’s licence into the system and it shows him all the infractions a particular driver made. In case of having 0 points, the driver’s licence is immediately taken from the driver. To get the driver’s licence back isn’t easy. The driver needs to attend driving training, so that the driver knows how to manage his 15 points in the future. In place of the driving infraction, police officer gives the driver a ticket, a note about the driving infraction with the price of the fee. The deadline to pay the fee is usually 2 months. If the driver doesn’t pay the fee in the given time, there is given a day and an hour when there is a judge waiting for the driver, who can explain why he didn’t pay for the given fee. If the accused driver can defend himself, the judge can lower the fee. In court there is present also the police officer who stopped the driver. If the driver doesn’t pay and doesn’t come to the court, the judge condemns him in his absence. During the closest coincidental control the police officer finds out the driving infraction, he then acts according to importance of what happened. If the unpaid fees exceed total amount of 500 dollars, the driver is immediately imprisoned. Right for a lawyer is valid after the driver is imprisoned.

Demerit points

violation

points
Not stopping in case of car accident 7
Exceeding the speed limitmore than 50 km/h6
more than 30 km/h4
more than 15 km/h3
less than 15 km/h2
Inadequate speed4
Dangerous drive6
Racing6
Not stopping for the sign from police5
Disobey the distances between the cars4
Not stopping next to a school bus4
Wrong informing about a car accident3
Driving on a wrong side of rode3
Driving in opposite direction in one-way road3
Unreasonably slow ride3
Not giving the right of way to vehicles or pedestrians3
Not stopping on red3
Disrespecting the driving signs2
Disrespecting the ride lanes2
Wrong U-turn or turning2
Wrong reverse2
 

Značka na diaľnici v Ontáriu - výstraha pred pokutou za rýchlosť

A speeding warning sign on Highway in Ontario

 

Some differences from Slovak driving rules

  • If the red traffic light is on, the rider can turn right, if there is no driving sign forbidding this
  • The traffic lights are on the opposite side of the crossing
  • If there is a pedestrian waiting on the cross walk, the driver must stop and let the pedestrian cross
  • On the motorway the maximum permitted speed is 100km/h

 

Some selected driving signs in Canada

Commanded direction of driveParking prohibitedStopping ProhibitedParking permitted during given timeBan of turning right when the red traffic light is on