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International Driver's License In Canada: Travel And Rent A Car

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IDP is essential when driving abroad

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International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.

documents needed for international driving permit

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world.

How to get your IDP


Fill in the forms

Have your driver’s license and delivery address handy


Verify your ID

Upload pictures of your driver's license


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Wait for confirmation and you’re ready to go!

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Prepare for Your Travel to Canada

From the cosmopolitan streets of Toronto to the majestic Rocky Mountains, Canada offers a variety of experiences for every traveler.

Whether you're drawn to the cultural richness of Montreal, the historic charm of Quebec City, or the wilderness of Banff National Park, navigating the vast expanses of Canada requires careful planning.

As you prepare for your Canadian adventure, understanding travel essentials, including the importance of obtaining an International Driving Permit, will ensure a fruitful exploration of this vast and welcoming country.

International Driving Permit FAQS

Do I need an International Driving Permit for Canada?

Tourists can legally operate a rented vehicle with proper insurance coverage if they meet the age requirements and possess a National Driver’s License and an International Driver’s Permit (IDP), as recommended by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).

The IDP is a universal driving credential allowing tourists to drive in many foreign countries, including Canada, without needing a local Provincial Driver’s License. This applies for short stays of less than three months on a tourist or visitor visa, per the Canadian government's regulations.

A local Canadian driver's license from the relevant province or territory may be necessary for stays extending beyond three months.

How do I get an International Driving Permit in Canada?

Securing an IDP for your Canada trip is a relatively easy process:

1. Navigate to the "Start My Application" section on the International Drivers Association website.

2. Complete the IDP application form.

3. Attach a copy of your valid driver’s license from your home country.

4. Provide credit card details for the IDP fee payment.

5. The physical copy of the IDP will be mailed within 30 days, while a digital version is typically available within 2 hours.

Driving Rules in Canada

The Canadian driving rules share many similarities with those in the United States, but there are some distinct differences, especially for foreign drivers who may need an international driver's license. In both countries, traffic moves on the right side of the road. However, a notable distinction is using metric units for speed limits.

The language used on road signs varies by province, often appearing in English, French, or both. In Quebec, for example, signs are predominantly in French, which is crucial to remember when traveling there.

Some specific aspects of Canadian driving regulations to note include:

  • Mandatory car seats for children weighing under 40 lbs
  • Prohibition of smoking in vehicles with minors
  • Requirement for hands-free use of cell phones while driving
  • In Montreal, making right-hand turns on red lights is not allowed.

Winter Driving in Canada

To ensure a safe driving experience in Canada, especially during winter, it's crucial to exercise extra caution. Winter roads in Canada can be challenging, even for seasoned drivers, due to harsh conditions like heavy snowfall, black ice, and limited visibility.

Therefore, it's essential to check weather forecasts regularly. However, if you're planning a trip and looking for the best time to visit, consider avoiding the peak winter months to navigate Canadian roads more comfortably and safely.

Always travel with a fully charged cell phone and have emergency numbers at hand. A winter travel kit should include essentials like blankets, flashlights, ice scrapers, and kitty litter for tire traction. In severe winter storms, delaying your travel might be the safest option.

Get an IDP to Explore Canada

Canada's vibrant cultural hubs, botanical gardens, and national parks await you. So, don't hesitate to rent a car, secure your International Driving Permit, and seek your adventure through the heart of Canada! You can see our International Driving License Packages to jumpstart your journey.

Ready to check if an IDP is accepted in your destination?

Use the form and find out in seconds whether you need an international permit. Documents vary, based on the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic.

Question 1 of 3

Where was your license issued?

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