Drive in Ontario: visitors

cars driving on highwayWelcome to Ontario!  Here’s what you need to know if you are, or will be, visiting Ontario – and want to drive while you’re here.

Visiting: less than 3 months

If you are visiting Ontario for less than 3 months and want to drive while you’re here, you can use a valid driver’s licence from your own province, state or country. 

You will also need to:

  • be at least 16 years old
  • have proper insurance coverage for the vehicle you will drive
  • carry an original (or exact) copy of the vehicle ownership permit
  • obey traffic laws, drive safely and avoid collisions when you drive

Visiting: more than 3 months

If you will be visiting from another country for more than 3 months, you will need an International Driver's Permit (IDP) from your own country. 

This is a special licence that allows motorists to drive internationally when accompanied by a valid driver’s licence from their country.

You need to have this permit with you when you arrive in Ontario.  You cannot apply for one once you are here.

Rules of the road

As a visitor, you are responsible for knowing Ontario traffic laws. Here are just some:

  • keep to the right of the road
  • obey posted speed limits (e.g., 50 km/hour)
  • do not use handheld devices while driving (e.g., cell phones, tablets or music players)
  • slow down and pull to the right, if an emergency vehicle is driving behind you with their lights and sirens on (e.g., an ambulance, fire truck or police car)

If you break a traffic law, you will face a penalty. Penalties range from fines to having your licence suspended or your car taken away (impounded).

More about the rules of the road

How do I get my vehicle back, if it is impounded?

Accessible parking permits for visitors

If you have a valid permit, number plates, marker or device from your home province, state or country — you can use it while visiting Ontario.

If you need a temporary accessible visitor’s permit, you can get one at a ServiceOntario centre.

You will need to provide:

  • proof that you hold a valid permit in your home province, state or country
  • government-issued identification that shows your date of birth
  • a document that confirms your disability:
    • an out-of-province hospital card
    • medical certificate
    • medical insurance document
  • other appropriate medical document

Find a ServiceOntario centre

Updated: July 31, 2013