To drive a car or operate a motorized vehicle in Durham Region as a permanent resident, you will need to get an Ontario Driver's Licence. 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. 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.

Getting your driver's licence

There are different kinds of driver's licences for the operation of different types of vehicles (such as motorcycles, large trucks or operator licences for businesses).

The most common driver's licence to drive a standard car or truck is the Ontario Driver's Licence. The Ministry of Transportation regulates how to get a driver's licence through a series of standardized written and driving tests.

The written knowledge test for a G1 can be written in 20 different languages. You can use Google Translate for the Driver's Handbook. In print, it is only available in English or French

If you have never driven before or are new to driving in North America, it's a good idea to get the Driver's Handbook and enroll in one of the government-approved Ontario driving schools.

Buying or leasing a car

You can either buy a new or used car, or lease a new car from a car dealership.

There are hundreds of car dealerships around Durham. Before buying, be sure to check prices at a few places to ensure you are paying a fair price. Always make sure the dealer agrees to all terms in writing.

Registering your vehicle

Once you buy or lease a car, you will need to register your vehicle and get Ontario licence plates. Along with your licence plates, you will need to get and renew your plate sticker annually.

If you buy a used or older car, getting your car registered may also include getting a Safety Standards Certificate and passing an emissions test (also called a "Drive Clean test").

Car insurance

You need car insurance to drive in Ontario. Before you get insurance, you will need to get your driver's licence and register your vehicle, as noted above.

Road safety

Learn about road and traffic safety and how to keep yourself and others safe.

Ontario also has strict laws for seatbelts (which must be worn at all times) and the safety of children in car seats.

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