Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

Deal reached recognising Irish drivers licences in Ontario

Applicants will be able to swap their Irish licence for a Canadian one without doing a test under new rules

Up to now, Irish drivers had a grace period of around 60 to 90 days after arriving in Canada before they had to register as a learner driver and sit a test to obtain a Canadian licence. Photograph: leovaradkar.ie

Thu, Jul 10, 2014, 14:26

   

Drivers holding a full Irish licence and living in Ontario, Canada will be able to apply for a Canadian licence without having to register as a learner and do another test.

Canada already has agreements in place with countries including the US, UK and Australia, but up to now, there has been none with Ireland.

Talks have been ongoing between the Department of Transport and Road Safety Authority in Ireland and the authorities in each province in Canada for many months, but Minister Leo Varadkar announced yesterday that a deal had been struck with Ontario first.

He said Ontario had been prioritised due to the high number of Irish people living there, but that he hopes similar agreements will be reached soon with other provinces. The new regulations are expected to be in effect within a fortnight, he said.

The Department of Transport confirmed this afternoon that applicants will not need to submit their Irish licence, but will need to request a “Driver’s Statement” letter from the National Driver Licence Service to submit to ServiceOntario. The letter, which costs €15, confirms that the driver’s licence is valid, and how long it has been held by the person.