Driving in Canada with US License

Are you planning to go to Canada? Maybe it is for a trip, professional or going to settle there permanently.

Driving in Canada with US license is possible because US and Canada share a very professional relationship and the longest border in the World and they also have a good trading relationship over $3.4 billion worth of goods are transported daily between them. 

You can drive in Canada with US license, only if you have 

  • Valid US driver’s license, it should not be suspended or revoked. Make sure it’s not expired as well.
  • Insurance of the vehicle, but make sure that the insurance you have is acceptable or not in that part of Canada because the minimum liability of the insurance can vary. 
  • IDP, known as International Driving Permit, it’s not mandatory but to be in a safe zone you should carry this along with you. 

So how long can you use a US license in Canada?

It depends on how long one will be there, you can use a US license for 60 to 90 days in Canada. If it’s longer than that then you have to obtain the Canadian drivers License.   

For obtaining the Canadian drivers license you have to be a resident of Canada and need to provide the proof of residency in Canada. 

And if you have the residency of the Country then you have to follow the legal formalities to get the canadian drivers license. 

  • You have to pass the written and practical test for the state where you want the U.S. CDL.
  • You have to provide the medical certificate stating that you are medically fit to drive the commercial vehicle. 
  • The team may do a background check as a part of the application process. 

Driving in Canada with US license Vs Driving in US 

Canada and the US both are in close geographical locations, they almost share the same climatic conditions.There may be slight differences in the rules but in some parts while driving in Canada you may feel it is very similar to the United States.

You have to be more careful while driving in Canada during winter because it’s an uphill battle.   

You have to land with all the precautions and necessity for yourself and your vehicle, get water, a blanket, winter tires, sand or kitty litter and a shovel. And be ready to face all the challenges like black ice, white out condition, blizzards and heavy snowfall. 

Driving in Canada with US License

Driving rules in Canada 

One has to follow the driving rules of the country to make themselves safe from damages, accidents or any legal action.

Go through the rules which you have to follow while driving in Canada with US license.

  1. Age Restriction – The minimum age to legally drive in Canada is 16. But to drive large trucks and buses you have to be at least 21. 
  2. Speed Limit – Canada uses the metric system for speed measurement. It indicates that the speed signs are shown in kilometers per hour instead of Miles per hour. For example most highways have a speed limit of 100km/h, and within cities and residential areas, it’s usually around 50km/hr.
  3. Signs – It’s important to pay attention to the road signs. Drivers need to be careful while driving and should note when there is a stop sign, speed limit signs, intersection and traffic light so that they don’t unintentionally harm themselves and others on the road. 
  4. Carpool or High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes – Different lanes are there in the highway to keep the traffic at bay. You can find the signs on the lanes that are clearly for small and heavy vehicles. The only exception to this rule is for the vehicle who has a “Green License Plate” they can use the HOV lanes. 
  5. Toll Roads and Bridges – Canada doesn’t have as many toll roads as the US has, but they have bridges which require tolls, which you will encounter while coming from the US.
  6. Personal Safety – The driver is not only responsible for his life but also for the co passengers and the people on the roads. They have to follow the basic driving rules like 
  • Seatbelts – It’s compulsory to wear seatbelts, regardless of your age, and this implies to all the passengers in the vehicle. 
  • Alcohol, Drugs and Smoking – It’s not only about violating the rule, it’s a crime to drive in Canada when you are high on something. If you are caught with a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08%, or with illicit drugs in your system, you will be subjected to legal formalities. 
Vaishnavi M
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I am an HR by profession and a fervent writer at heart. My passion for writing and reading has been an intrinsic part of who I am. I take immense pleasure in sharing my thoughts and the detailed information of the logistics industry through my blogs. Previously in my college days I have published articles on ISBNs. Additionally, my writing ventures have extended to covering topics on Human Resource Management and Trucking and transportation Management reaching international and Indian audiences.

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