Ciara Kenny

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

Irish drivers in Ontario allowed to swap licences

Residents with a full Irish licence won’t have to do another test under new rules

Up to now, Irish licences were not recognised in Ontario, so drivers had to register as learners and do another test.

Thu, Oct 30, 2014, 12:31


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.

The deal, which was struck between Ireland and Canada in July, comes into effect this week. Irish licence holders will be able to “ automatically exchange this licence for an Ontario licence if they are resident in the province of Ontario”, Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe said yesterday.

The reverse will apply also where the holder of a valid Ontario licence, resident in this country, can exchange their licence for an Irish driving licence without the need to undergo a driving test.

“There are now a great many Irish people living in Ontario, and this will allow them to exchange their Irish driving licences for Ontario licences directly, rather than beginning as learner drivers in Ontario.”

He said Ontario had been prioritised because of the high number of Irish people resident there, but he hoped similar deals would soon be reached with other Canadian provinces.

The Department of Transport said in July 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.