Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Driving experience in canada.

I had to completely unlearn my indian driving habits and start afresh. Most important one was driving on the opposite side of the road and lot of driving rules which must be followed so that others wont honk at you.

Here are some of the driving behaviours that we learnt over a period of time from others who shared the roads with us in the past.
  • we use to pass through pedastrains even if they are crossing (it was also a confusion and scary for pedestrains). And this is nothing new & is very common.
  • Cover all valid lanes by pushing your vehicle where ever it fits (thats how all bikes fit in between all lanes of cars)
  • Not bothered about speed limits as you will never exceed them because

  • 1. Sufficient traffic on the road does not let you speed up but follow them.

    2. Roads have enough speed breakers & Traffic signals to see that you do not reach good speed.

    3. Curves and people crossing the roads

  • Right hand drive (Driving on left side of roads)



  • And over here the driving is 180 degree different.

  • Pedestrains get the highest preference to cross the roads.
  • Change the lanes with precaution and proper signaling.
  • Speed limit violations get you fines delivered right at your door steps :p Roads are good enough to go at 200Kms speed anywhere so you got to control it as the signs tell you.
  • Left hand driving of vehicles. Initially for a few days its scary to see vehicles crossing in opposite directions.

    Learning driving in canada
    Previous driving experience will definitely give you confidence. Do not think of driving from the first day itself. Here are few tips to get you started.

    1. If possible get local driving license. You need to go through proper formal training for this. In Canada it costs up to$40 a class of an hour.
    2. Take your time to see the traffic behaviour and signals.
    3. Read through Drivers handbook for complete listing of traffic rules & driving instructions. Some of the rules change from state to state (applicable to US also) so be watchful.
    4. Do not drive if you do not have valid license. International driving Permit will also do as long as it is valid and in English or French language.
    5. Do not drive without insurance. It is illegal to drive without insurance, fines are up to $2500.
    6. Do not think of driving on highways if you are not very comfortable to drive at high speeds of 100-120Kms.



    Finally
    Its a great feeling to drive on good roads with greenery all around. I enjoyed every bit of driving on Chrystler Sebring 2007 model. Respect all rules of traffic, have fun and enjoy a wonderful drive.
  • 85 comments:

    Amit said...

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2007 23:32:49 +0530
    From: amitmk1@gmail.com
    To: sanjaykattimani@hotmail.com
    Subject: India..

    Hi Sanjay,

    Just came across your blog while doing a google search.

    I am visiting Canada next month. Just wanted to know if the Indian driving license is valid there or will I need a separate international driving license??

    Do let me know.

    Thanks

    Amit

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi,


    Indian driving license will not work anywhere else other than india. You need international driving license to drive in other countries (including Canada). However international driving license is issued for only a year. if you want to continue driving you need to get the local driving license. In USA and few more countries you can use international driving license for first 3 months only.



    Word of caution: Since all singals, priority for passing on the road and almost every aspect of driving is different in western countries, its better to take a few driving classes to get a good knowledge about the roads. Or else you can risk (like me) by reading all about rules and watching the traffic carefully before jumping on to the road.



    Happy driving :)


    Take care :)
    Regards
    Sanjay Kattimani
    Stratford, Ontario

    ashit said...

    I know for sure that you could use Indian DL here in canada for the first two months. you could even rent a car if you want to.
    Thanks.

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Since validity of my International dirving licence is 1 year, i had no problem in using it so far (its been 6 months) -not just 3 months

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Sanjay, Could you tell me how much is the total cost of obtaining a driving license from a scratch(theory and practical course classes and tests) in Canada?

    Thanks
    Yadvin

    sanjaykattimani said...

    There are different levels of license. G1 is kind of learner's license, it does not allow you to go on highways (where speed is usually >100 KMS/HR). G2 is normal license(which is usually valid for few years) and G is experienced license issued after few years of driving in north america.

    If you have indian/other country driving experience, you can take G1 and then take G2 within a week. With one class($40 each class) and G1+G2 driving license cost about $120 in Ontario. It depends on each province, so check their province on net.

    Yadhu said...

    Ok fine thanks for info.

    How many classes can one supposedly be in need of taking there? Is it coming somewhere between 5-10?

    Actually thing is that I am in Norway now and here it costs around 30,000 Norwegian Kroners (approx 6000 CAD) to get a licence. I have plans to immigrate to Canada. So could you tell me, all in all, it wont cost that much to take a license there or it can lead to that much amount also?

    Thanks
    Yadvin

    sanjaykattimani said...

    First thing..Norwegian license may not be useful in Canada.

    It will surely not cost that much to get canadian DL.

    If you have previous driving experience, you can get the license in about $200 in north american continent.

    If you do not know driving you might end up spending about $1000 to get good amount of classes.

    tadaa!! said...

    hey, someone said the indian drivers license is valid for the first 3 months only.. thats not true..

    IDP international driving permit is valid for only 1 yr, but the Indian normal driving license is valid for as long as u are non immigrant and a tourist in that state and u dont own a car. Its been more than a yr for me, and i still rent a car on my normal indian license in NY state as well as California.. though i am not sure about Canada..

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Technically Indian driving license is not valid in any other country. The reason being we only know/read the rules of indian driving and got the license. Now in other countries rules of the road are entirely different which we definitely need to read carefully.

    Indian license only announces that you can use it in Indian roads, IDP only tells that you can drive for a year in any country (its like a temporary license) before you get a legal license from that country (USA, Canada or any other)

    I am quite sure that you have not checked with Californian police if you can still drive with your old indian license(We did that check). If they catch you, you might end up in trouble. I am sure you dont want to mess up with laws :)

    Bilesh said...

    Hi,

    I am planning to move to canada and i was told that my Indian driving license(since 2001) and my driving experience in USA( since May 2007) would also be and I can get a G driver license. Is it true?

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Yes its true, 2 years of indian license holding is enough to apply for G2, once you clear it you can go for G license. However you wont get G directly.

    Your US driving will give you good experience in driving. The license would be valid in whole of north america and some more countries.

    vir said...

    Dear Sanjay,

    Found ur blog very informative ..

    My query is very different.

    I came to UK about 7 months ago & driving on my IDP issued from India ..

    Now i'm relocating to Canada, Do you think that my International Driving Permit be valid for the balance 4-5 months or not .. ?

    If i can drive initially on my IDP .. it can give me good experience to obtain (BC) Canadian License..

    'll appreciate your feedback.

    Regards,

    veer

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Dear veer,
    Yes in my town(Stratford in Ontario) i specifically went to a police station and enquired if my IDP will be valid after 3 months and i was told that i will be valid as long as the validity is shown in that so "technically" you are allowed to drive till that one year validity is complete in any country. I lived in Ontario and the rules were different for each state. So i would suggest you to check their official website of BC.

    Yes once you try your driving in Canada it would be far more easier for you to take a test.

    As mentioned earlier,
    1. Road rules are totally different in Canada(even compared to UK that is almost same as India) read the roles carefully.
    2. Take a few rides in cabs or with friends to learn about all kids of signals and signs, express ways before driving.
    3. Check again with local police to make sure its valid in the region you are traveling to.

    Have a safe and fun filled driving :)

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Sanjay:

    Hope you are doing great. I have a valid Indian car driving license (Since August 2008) though I have been driving to different parts of the country for past 10 years. I am moving to Canada in January 2008. Please guide me on how can I get a “G” & “A” license for Canada, Please also let me know if I have to take any training classes to get these licenses. Would appreciate your prompt response.

    Regards,

    Raj

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Raj,
    Get an International Driving Permit (IDP) from your local RTO in India. This license will be valid in all countries from 3 months to 1 year. Although your Indian driving license is also considered by cops, but no guarantee that they will consider it. IDP is surely valid.
    Your 2 years driving experience in India would have helped in getting "G" license. You can ask your local people there or check in local directory for driving schools. If you are experienced, you can just attend one or two classes and take the test. You wont get G license immediately, you will have to take at least 2 tests.
    If you read about the rules carefully and watch the traffic and their rules for few days, just with IDP you can drive for a year in Canada (Just like us)

    rohan gupta said...

    Hi Sanjay..

    A very informative and helpful blog :)

    I am student traveling to Montreal, Quebec for 3 months. I own an Indian Driving License. Can I rent a bike and drive in Candada ?

    sanjaykattimani said...

    I havent seen any rental bikes, usually cars and trucks are very popular for rentals. However you can check on internet if they are available for rental in Montreal.

    Bikes are also unpopular here as they are not useful for most part of the year because of chilling weather. Its also very unsafe on the fast roads.
    So i would suggest you to learn and get a car license instead.

    You can get an International driving license which is respected throughout world for at least 3 months.

    My experience was specific to Ontario driving, hence i would suggest you to look in to Quebec driving websites for specific details if indian driving license is valid in Quebec.

    weekendriders said...

    Hi Sanjay,

    Below queries are for Ontario province.

    What happens when police catches someone for overspeeding who is driving with a IDP.

    I have 9 yrs of driving exp mentioned on my DL. I have obtained a IDP also. Do I need to take the knowledge Test or I can take the G2 Test directly.

    Should we get our own car for the Road Test or we can get a Rented car.

    Do let me know.

    Thanks in Advance
    Satya.

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hey Satya,

    Q:What happens when police catches someone for overspeeding who is driving with a IDP.
    A:First they will chase you. First some interrogation on the reason for over speeding. Then hand over a hefty ticket(if he finds you broke the rules).
    Do not argue with the cops that you were going slow they have record of your speed with photo/video.
    My friend was caught once(I was sitting next to him in the same car) for driving at 117Kms on a road with only 80KMS speed limit.
    We could convince the cop that we weren't speeding but we just went at higher speed while overtaking another car.

    Q:I have 9 yrs of driving exp mentioned on my DL. I have obtained a IDP also. Do I need to take the knowledge Test or I can take the G2 Test directly.
    A:9 years of Indian driving counts but it isnt a licence to drive in any country for more than 3 months(*conditions apply).
    You first need to take a written test, and a drive test after that (there will be about 3 months time after your written test) Then you can drive on any highways (beginners aren't allowed to drive on highways for 6 months) in North America.

    Q:Should we get our own car for the Road Test or we can get a Rented car.
    A:You can use a rented car or even your friend's car. Make sure you or the car has insurance coverage as they check that as a part of drive test checklist.

    Hope that clears your doubts :)

    infranik said...

    Hi Sanjay.. nice information you have shared here.. thanks for all of that !

    however i beg to difer a bit.
    I was in UK for 2 yrs on a work permit and used to rent cars on and off.. i drove to wales, scotland and all over UK (except ireland) only on my Indian driving license always !
    Now I am in Canada, and have nmot yet rented a car, but my colegues are in new york (USA) and they rent cars on their Indian driving licenses..
    I believe the bottom line here is that if the rental company sees your license and gives you the vehicle to drive then thats what you tell the police (if you ever get into trouble). these rental companies like Hertz, Avis, Enterprise, etc know the law and also certain clauses embedded in the laws better than the local police department would know.

    regards,
    Nikhil.

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Nikhil,

    Thanks for sharing your views.
    As mentioned earlier, 3 months time after arriving in any country, generally they allow you to drive with Indian license including USA(By the way i am now living in Louisiana-USA).
    While in Canada, visited police dept to confirm if my licenses were valid, and i was told that Indian license isnt valid for more than a 3 months, and on my IDP i could drive for a year.

    You may be knowing that most rental car company employees just know the procedure of what to do and they get your sign on a big checklist that says that every responsibility lies with us and not them.

    Getting a license doesnt cost much, it surely relieves you from all that mess you could create for yourself without having one. More over once you have a Canadian license, its valid in entire north America and many European countries.

    I would suggest everyone get a local license if they plan to stay in any country for more than a year.

    Bharat said...

    Hello Sanjay,

    sir I need ur help regarding truck driving license of Canada. I am a citizen of India and want to come to Canada and work there as a truck driver. I have Indian driving license. So ,can you please tell me what all I have to do, if I am eligible for taking Canadian truck driving license.

    Will be waiting for ur reply..

    Thanking You

    Bharat

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Bharat,
    You may eligible to take the truck driver license which depends on lot of factors. First checkout where are you taking the drive test/license in Canada. You will find Department of Motor Vehicles(kind of RTO in india)
    which provide you material for studying on truck driving license. You will also find free online guides to study.

    After coming to Canada you can get yourself trained at some training centers and get a license & job.

    Truck driving licenses are tougher compared to car driving licenses as their driving conditions, operations etc differ significantly.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Sanjay,
    The information you have shared here is really helpful. I hope that you can help me out with this. I have a valid Indian licence for the last 10 yrs. and I am now planning to come to Canada. I just wanted to know what is the fastest time to get a G class licence in Canada. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanx.
    Manish.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Sanjay.
    Thank you so much for the informative discussion.

    I am an international student in Ontario for more than 3 years and i have been using my international deriving permit (IDP) to rent cars once every month. The rental agents accepted my IDP without any problem.

    However, recently i filed a claim to TD VISA insurance after the car i rented got damaged (vandalism).
    They told me that they will deny my claim because i don't have Ontario's license and it is illegal to derive with IDP after 3 months.

    Can you help me in proving to them that it is in fact legal since i am not a permanent resident in Ontario?

    Thank you so much.
    Ottawaman

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Ottawaman,
    1. My IDP was valid for a year only. Not sure about how long your IDP was valid. If its still valid, then you may be able to claim that its a valid driving license.
    2. I visited my local police station and checked with them if i could drive with IDP after 3 months. They said i am good to drive with the as long as its valid. You may want to check with them. If they say its valid, you may want to get their recommendation letter.
    3. You may want to get a letter from rental agency that its a valid license (they accepted your license in the first place).

    Apart from all these, when you are staying in Ontario for such a long time, you must think of getting a local license as its also a very good form of identity. It only costs $20-$30 but avoids numerous such hassels.

    Anonymous said...

    Thank you so much for your reply.
    I will apply for Ontario Driver's license soooon.
    I have been delaying it for so long :(
    Maybe because i hate test :p

    Thank you again..
    Ottawaman

    sanjaykattimani said...

    If you have been driving or in Ontario for close to 3 years, the test should be a cake walk for you.
    Online sample tests are also available for free.
    All the best.

    Anonymous said...

    Here's the official website for Ontario, Canada :
    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/visiting.shtml

    It says a visitor can drive using a valid driving license of any other country for first 3 months, after which IDP is necessary.

    I am sure there must be similar official websites for other states in Canada.

    So now I am going to Ontario for a short visit and will rent a car with my Indian driving license :)

    sambhav said...

    Hi Sanjay.
    Thanks for such a nice blog.. just came acoss while googling..

    i am in Ontario now, as per you suggession i caied IDP for india, now i am planning to buy a car, i have just two question to ask you.

    1) can i buy a car without any difficulties, i do have insurance of mine.
    2) CAn i drive the car on the IDP without any hassle, Many ppl say that IDP is not valid and some says thats its valid only for 3 months.
    i know you have faced all these things and you are the best person to ask. please suggest me.

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Sambhav,
    Thanks. Answers for your querries
    1. Buying a car may not need any driving license However Insurance people may ask for your local driving license. Rental insurance works differently hence you may want to check with your insurer.
    2. You can certainly drive the rental cars in canada as long as your IDP is valid. I had checked the same in a local police station in canada and they had confirmed the same.

    But my advice to you is to get a local driving license as it
    1. Makes you learn every law, signals and right of the way related to driving. You will surely avoid that trial and error on the road and risking yourself and others life.
    2. DL serves as an excellent source of identity in North American continent.
    3. Accepted as valid driving license in most parts of the world. IDP usually expires within a year, DLs have much longer validity.
    4. It costs only about $20 to get a license if you are not going through driving schools.

    Efforts to read take the drive tests to get your DL will make you lot more confident and comfortable on the road than with just IDP. Its been my experience.

    sambhav said...

    Hi Sanjay,
    Thanks for the help..
    yes you are right, no insurance company is ready to give me an insurance..
    i have to apply the license..

    can you please tell me the pocess of applying the license here in waterloo , ON.

    and also the duration i will get a license if no rejection occur.

    i am finding it very difficult without a car.
    please help me again..
    Sambhav

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Sambhav,
    Process of getting a driving license is prettey much the same in north america. If you have about a year of driving history (in your indian driving license) following are the steps
    1. Study get familiar with the Ontario official drivers handbook.
    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/handbook/
    2. Book a time for written test
    3. Attend the written test, and then you may want to practice on the road. If you do not have driving history, they may give you a driving license with some limitations (like you cannot hit the highways)
    4. If you have atleast a year driving history, you may be eligible for a full driving license. schedule and the drive test.
    5. If you clear the drive test, you are all done to hit the road whenever you want.

    If you are confident about your driving, have some driving history and you may clear the written test in the morning, complete the drive test after that and walk away with a license immediately after that. So if everything worksout fine you can get everything done the same day.

    Good luck.

    sambhav said...

    Hi Sanjay..
    Thanks for quick reply..
    As per your suggession i got G1 now.
    Need to do some practice so that i wont fail in G2, They consider my indian driving experience as 1year experience.
    i must be bugging you with my question but i feel you are the best person to ask.

    if i pass the drive test without hassle what i have to do for getting the G license. do i have to give one more test.

    NOw can i buy a car and insurance too. i heard the insurance will cost me a bit more as they are not so confident on my driving is it correct ?

    Sambhav

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Sambhav,

    Yes after G2 is passed, you have to give one more test after a year to obtain G license. During G2 test you are only tested within the city, for G you will be tested within the city and in the highways.

    Yes u can buy a car and a insurance too. Yes the insurance would be costly not because they are not confident of your driving. But because you don't have a driving history in Canada.. and this you can only build up by owing a car in Canada..

    Thanks to Sujith Kumar for helping me with these answers.

    sambhav said...

    Hi Sanjay,
    Thanks for the favors.
    one more question. can i get insurance on G1 license???
    i booked a drive test but it is after a month. please let me know the name of such insurance companies who gives insurance even on G1.
    Sambhav

    sanjaykattimani said...

    I am not sure about insurance providers in canada. State farm, All state, TD are some of them. Please check with them.

    robin said...

    Hi Sir,
    Myself harmanpreet singh.I am currently studying in Canada Georgian college.I have got Valid indian license and International license permit(Last month).As I got both of these license around 1 month back.So I want to know Can I purchase and drive a car on this international license.As I told u I have very few experience would it make any difference.

    Thanks

    sambhav said...

    hi sanjay....
    Thanks for the help dear..
    i have my license now. searching a good car to buy.
    your help is much appritiated..

    Sambhav

    sanjaykattimani said...

    You are welcome. All the best with you car Search.

    mohit said...

    hi sanjay

    very informative blog. i appreciate ur efforts.

    i am coming to toronto in dec. i have a DL of year 2008. so i have a 2 year experience. i have obtained IDP. what else do i need to have to get a license in toronto. from where and how should i get the driving experience letter.i have been since 5 years almost whole of north india.

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Thanks Mohit,

    You do not need any other letter to drive in Canada. You just need to be aware of the traffic rules. Go through this site to read in detail
    http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/driver/handbook/index.shtml

    you are allowed to drive in canada as long as your IDP is valid. But if you read the book and clear written and drive test (which is not a difficult test at all in my opinion) you will get a licence which is valid in many countries like USA.
    Good luck.

    Anonymous said...

    Hello Sanjay,

    Your blog was indeed effective.

    I came to Toronto on 27 Aug on immigrant visa. I have a valid Indian DL . I also gave my G1 test and passed it. Can i drive here on basis of my Indian DL?

    Thank you,
    Regards,
    Arnav

    Loay said...

    Hi Sanjay

    May God Help you as you are helping people since long time ago!!

    My Q is, I was landed since year a go, but I left Canada after that to finish my work contract in Saudi Arabia, now I'm planning to go back to Canada permanently, I got new IDL from Saudi Arabia, Can use in Canada in February,
    please note that I'm landed immig. since more than one year


    Thank you very much

    Louay loayarz@yahoo.com

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Loay,

    Thank you. If my knowledge in any area helps other, i would love to share it. I am trying my best to spend time on these.

    Any IDP that is written is english and has the validity(should mentioned in the IDL),you will be allowed to drive in Canada for that duration.

    This applies to everyone irrespective immigration status. You can use the IDL to drive in Canda, however as mentioned in previous comments do take the license as soon as possible as it helps
    * Serving as a local identity
    * Reduces your insurance
    * Makes you a safer driver as you will know and proved that you know the rules of the road.

    Sandeep said...

    Hi Sanju,

    Hope am asking the same old Q which was in the blog. Just wanted to confirm as the Traffic rules & laws might be tuned.
    I hold a Indian DL, going to be there in Canada for 5 months officialy. Can I rent a bike? provided I get to know the current rules. Is an Indian DL which is 2 yrs old Suffice to drive Bikes there??

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Sandeep,
    Only difference in your question is that you are asking about bike. Not sure if you are aware of the fact that we cannot drive bikes for most of the time in Canada because of the cold weather. Bikes are more costlier to rent and have hardly available for renting(I have never rented any bikes so far as they were never available for renting in all locations i worked although i always wanted to).
    They also have a different category of license. You may have to check the details. You will be allowed to drive without needing a license if you are on business visit/visa. But its always best to know the rules before you enter the road so get a local license.

    All the best

    chetan said...

    Hi Sanjay ,

    I am coming to toronto for four weeks.. My workplace is just 3 km from room i have taken on rent and i have already arranged a bike from my friend.. Do i must have an IDP ? or i can drive bike with my indian license as its just 4 weeks ..Thank you

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Chetan,
    My driving experience was only on cars. I would advise you check on other sites if indian license is sufficient. It generally is. But as always for your safety read all rules of the road and do not start driving immediately. Also check the average temperatures during the course of your stay. Bikes can be used usually in summary only. Watch the traffic cautiously for a few days.

    I personally havent driven a bike yet in north american continent.
    Have fun.

    shetty said...

    hi....m going to canada as a student i have only six months of drivin experience in india .will i be eligible for a g2 license in canada following use of an idp for one year

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Sanjay,

    Just wanted to know do i need to carry any kind of verification report from india that my driving licence is valid and so many years old... Please share the information if you have any idea..

    Thanks

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Shetty:
    You will surely be eligible to get a car driving license. Not sure about G2. You can drive in canada with valid indian car driving license for 3 months and then IDP can help you. As always a canadian license will be the best to apply for.

    Anonymous:
    Your indian driving license has the issue date that shows the duration you have been driving in India. You do not need any other document to prove it. However you will need other means of identifying yourself like passport, visa etc.

    Rashmi said...

    Hey Sanjay,

    Found your blog while surfing the net. I saw that your last reply was a couple of weeks ago and I am glad that you still are responding to everyone's queries and I am hoping that you will respond to my query as well.

    I am traveling to Canada this month on a very short notice and I don't have my IDP. Can i drive in Canada with my Indian Driver's license for the first 4 weeks at least as I am not sure if i will get my IDP in the next 15 -20 days.

    Thanks in Advance.

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Rashmi,
    Yes you can use your Indian driving license for about 2-3 months. You can call your nearest police station in canada to confirm that you can drive (some states may have different rule)If you have an IDP then you can drive with it as long as it is valid. I got my IDP in 2 days(of course I paid bribe through the agent)
    You anyway need to learn rules of the road. Just spend a few hours and get Canadian license too. That will make you much more confident on the road.

    Rashmi said...

    Hi Sanjay,

    Thanks a lot. That is very helpful. I was told that I would require tickets to get my IDP. So I am waiting for my tickets which I should get in the next 2-3 days. I think I will go with my Indian License this time as I have not enough time get my IDP and try for IDP next time around.

    Another query though... My DL has Mangalore address where as my Passport has Bangalore Address. would there be a problem in applying and getting my license in Bangalore?

    (Regarding bribing - probably I would have done it a year ago but now with Anna Hazare movement, I am not to keen on bribing. Is India getting better with that? :)

    Rashmi said...

    Hi Sanjay,

    Thanks a lot. That is very helpful. I was told that I would require tickets to get my IDP. So I am waiting for my tickets which I should get in the next 2-3 days. I think I will go with my Indian License this time as I have not enough time get my IDP and try for IDP next time around.

    Another query though... My DL has Mangalore address where as my Passport has Bangalore Address. would there be a problem in applying and getting my license in Bangalore?

    (Regarding bribing - probably I would have done it a year ago but now with Anna Hazare movement, I am not to keen on bribing. Is India getting better with that? :)

    sanjaykattimani said...

    Hi Rashmi,
    Ya you require tickets for IDP.
    If you are residing in Bangalore temporarily or permanently(some proof is required) then you should be able to get the DL in bangalore.

    I am away from India from last 3 years, so dont know the current bribing conditions. Anna's movment sure will have impact but i guess it wont eradicate corruption so quickly.

    Nis said...

    Hey Sanjay,

    Very HELPFUL blog..:)

    I am visiting Canada in January with student visa,& i want to buy a car by end of February ,so a bit confused that whether i should carry Indian DL(which i am having from last 6 years)& than apply for G2 or to issue international DL from India.
    Which will be the better option?
    Will be counting...!! THANKS

    sanjaykattimani said...

    1. Carry your Indian DL irrespective of your other license. It will always be a backup license.
    2. I would suggest you to go for G2 if you are planning to stay here for long. It just costs $20 but has lot of advantages as explained in earlier responses.
    3. Get IDP only if you are on short term visit or if you arent sure about getting G2. IDP will serve as a valid license while you are in Canada.

    G2 is the most preferred license. It will ALWAYS be accepted everywhere in Canada & many other countries.

    Jose said...

    Dear Friend,
    I wish to study truck driving from Canada and get license. Can I get student visa for the same to attend a school in Canada.

    Secondly on a non immigrant visa can i get truck license from Canada. I am an Indian Citizen holding only Indian driving license.

    If the answer is positive could you suggest best schools providing training. Thank you in advance

    javed said...

    Hi Sanjay, Javed here i am in Indian , i have 17 years exp. in heavy passenger bus driver, having Indian heavy license and Uae (Dubai) bus driving license. Its possible to direct apply for Canadian bus driver job.or what is the procedure.
    please help.

    rohith said...

    hi i have an international driving permit from india. I have stayed in toronto for 8 months. Will be able to rent a car. Is it legal??

    Sanjay Kattimani said...

    Hi Rohit,

    As long as your international driving permit has validity, you can drive in canada. As i keep mentioning, for your safety and to know the rules of Canada driving i would suggest you to take local license also asap. You can drive without local license for now.

    Ruchin said...

    Hi Sanjay

    Thanks for giving valueable info .
    we r coming to toronto on work permit for one yr atlest in june. I just want to confirm Can i drive on india DL as i have been drining for 3-4 yr on indian road.i can not get get my IDP by june as my Indian DL is from anoter state. and Now i live in Bangalore. To get IDP i have to first apply for address change and then after i can go for IDP. Pls tell me
    1.can i rent a car in toronto for roam around.
    2.Does car rent hire company accept Indian DL. and how long i can use DL.
    3.What is the procedure to get normal DL in canada,fees and time taken.
    4. would i have to take any class there to get DL.

    your early reponse'ld be appreciated as help me tpo plan for IDP..
    Thanks
    Ruchin

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Sanjay,

    we r moving to toronto for a year atleast. I dont have much time to get IDP as first i have to do adress chage on Indian DL(as it is from diffrent state) then only i can get IDP.
    Pls let me know
    1.can i rent a car on Indian DL and how long it is valid in ontario.
    2. what is the fees,time taken to get canada DL.
    3.do i need to take class prior taking Canada DL.

    thanks
    Ruchin
    2.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Sanjay,

    we r moving to toronto for a year atleast. I dont have much time to get IDP as first i have to do adress chage on Indian DL then only i can get IDP.
    Pls let me know
    1.can i rent a car on Indian DL and how long it is valid in ontario.
    2. what is the fees,time taken to get canada DL.
    3.do i need to take class prior taking Canada DL.

    thanks
    Ruchin
    2.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Sanjay,

    we r moving to toronto for a year atleast. I dont have much time to get IDP as first i have to do adress chage on Indian DL then only i can get IDP.
    Pls let me know
    1.can i rent a car on Indian DL and how long it is valid in ontario.
    2. what is the fees,time taken to get canada DL.
    3.do i need to take class prior taking Canada DL.

    thanks
    Ruchin
    2.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Sanjay,

    we r moving to toronto for a year atleast. I dont have much time to get IDP as first i have to do adress chage on Indian DL then only i can get IDP.
    Pls let me know
    1.can i rent a car on Indian DL and how long it is valid in ontario.
    2. what is the fees,time taken to get canada DL.
    3.do i need to take class prior taking Canada DL.

    thanks
    Ruchin
    2.

    Sanjay Kattimani said...

    Hi Ruchin,

    1.can i rent a car in toronto for roam around.
    You can rent from day 1 itself if you have indian DL (for 2-3 months), but it could be dangerous as you may not be knowing the driving rules.


    2.Does car rent hire company accept Indian DL. and how long i can use DL.
    Yes for 2-3 months its valid. Usually car rental companies give you even beyond that but you need to convince police after that. 2-3 months is generally acceptable range. Beyond that you wont have good reasons for not getting a license. If you have IDP you can show its validity and keep driving.

    3.What is the procedure to get normal DL in canada,fees and time taken.
    You will get free online PDF files on driving test related book. Need to read through it thoroughly to understand the rules, when you come to Canada, take a written test with objective questions and then a driving test. you should get your license for about $20-$4o. If you fail you can reattempt.


    4. would i have to take any class there to get DL.
    You can get one or 2 classes if you are not comfortable driving. If you already know driving well you can read the instructions carefully and start driving on your own (just like how i did). Depends on your comfort level.

    Anonymous said...

    lots of useful information from your blog. you are doing a great public service :)

    bless you buddy

    Jerrishmathew said...

    Hi Sanjay. I am a having an Indian license. I am intending to migrate to canada by oct 20th, 2012. I would like to know whether if i get a letter from the RTO ( regional Transport Officer) that I have been driving for more that 2 years, would i be able to apply for the G license directly..(thats what i heard)
    It would be nice if u could enlighten me..with some info on that!!
    thank you well in advance

    Sanjay Kattimani said...

    Jerrishmathew,
    I am not sure if RTO issues any such letter. Even if they do, you may have to pay some bribe so instead of that letter an international driving letter would be a more useful document.

    Now to show the number of years of your driving, you do not need an additional document but our normal Indian driving license will be sufficient as it shows the date it was issued. So you may not need any new document after all.
    Good luck with your move to Canada.

    ragini mani said...

    Hi Sanjay,
    thanks a lot for the useful info's,
    i'll be moving to Alberta as PR (Permanent Resident), my husband mentioned that i have to submit my Indian Driver's license to obtain Local Driver's license, is it true?
    also he says that instead of getting an IDP, i could get a Driver's Abstract/Driving history record, which will speed up my Local License process ?
    let me know if getting an IDP is worth, and i'm not sure about the driver's history record being provided in Bangalore-India.

    Thanks,
    Raga

    Sanjay Kattimani said...

    Ragini,
    I am not sure about. IDP is surely going to be an acceptable form (you can drive as long as its valid) of driving license against our DL(which you can use only for a few months eventhough it may be still valid). IDP is a good backup (plan B) option in the absense of local driving license.

    I haven't heard anyone getting/providing driving history record. In my case Indian driving license issue date was used as the start date of driving history.


    Anonymous said...

    Sanjay,

    This is Ayyappan, Ragini's husband here. Alberta Government requires those submitting driving licenses from India to also submit the original of RTO letter in order to get a Class 5 license faster. Please see this link:

    http://www.servicealberta.gov.ab.ca/pdf/mv/MASTER_GDL_UG_2010AUG05.pdf

    Refer to the link "India" and it will be clearly mentioned. I guess every province has their own rules for out-of-country non reciprocal drivers' license.

    Sanjay Kattimani said...

    Ayyappan,

    Interesting. You seem to have done good research. Go ahead with what Alberta state suggests. My experiences were of Ontario state and a small town Stratford and USA.

    As always, apply and get your driving license asap as car insurance premium also depends on your local driving history.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi Sanjay,

    Your blog is very useful.

    I hold Indian Driving License (Smart Card in English)since last 3 years. I need to travel to Alberta - Calgary. If I travel to Calgary without IDP but having valid indian Driving license, can I get Canadian Driving License in Calagary? Is IDP must to apply for Canadian DL or having indian valid DL (Smart Card in English) is sufficient to apply for Canadian DL

    Please help to answer my query !

    Thanks alot in advance !

    Sanjay Kattimani said...

    Hi,
    If you have an Indian license in English, you could use that for a few months. If you are planning to get a Canadian, you are fine and dont need a IDP. While issuing you Canadian license, they would check your driving history in india(the duration) and issue a permanent one(provided you clear all written and drive tests).

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    Eapen K C said...

    Hi, I found this blog useful. Thank you.

    I live in Bangalore and plan to migrate to Canada in a week. I have applied for an IDP but confused whether I need an IDP or a License Extract? Also if I get both do I still need any authorisation letter from the RTO. My RTO is the KR Puram RTO in Bangalore. Please let me know.

    Sanjay Kattimani said...

    Idp or license s required. Either one of them will do. If your license is in local language and not in English, you will either need idp or a translation. It's not hard to get the license. As mentioned in the blog, get it asap. Good luck.

    Sanjeev said...

    Hi Sanjay,

    I am a person in my fifties planning to visit Montreal / Toronto for a few days. I have been driving in India for 30 years. I wish to drive in Canada but was apprehensive of that till I came across this very good blog of yours. Of course, I will be getting an IDP and repeatedly taking online tests to allow various rules to sink in. Still, I would like to have a few hours of actual driving lessons in Canada before I hit the road on my own. Can you suggest me any driving schools in Montreal which offer such services? A few hours (spread over a couple of days) of driving along with some instructor ought to give me the confidence. Your advice or any other suggestions will be really appreciated. Thank you very much.

    Sanjay Kattimani said...

    Hi Sanjeev,
    Glad you found this blog useful. Here is a list of good driving schools in Montreal.
    https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=driving_schools&find_loc=Montr%C3%A9al%2C+QC
    Good luck !