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Vehicles and driving Licenses

Here you will find information on: 

– General information on driving in Canada (also for tourists)
– Italian licenses in Ontario and road safety
– Italian licenses in Manitoba and Road Safety
– Italian licenses in the Northwest Territories and Road Safety
– Validation (“Convalida”) of Italian licenses for Italian citizens in Ontario, Manitoba and the Northwest Territories

 


General Information on Driving in Canada

Before moving to Canada or embarking on a trip that includes driving vehicles in Canada, it is advisable to learn more about the requirements of each province for driving cars and motorbikes, and to make sure you are aware of the main rules in force under the Highway Code of each province, as well as at the federal level.

It is recommended that you carefully read the information on the Canadian Government’s portal: Driving in Canada – Canada.ca


VALIDITY OF ITALIAN DRIVER’S LICENCES IN ONTARIO (CANADA)

In Ontario you are allowed to drive with a valid Italian driver’s license for three months, following which a Canadian driver’s license is required.

To obtain a Canadian driver’s license you must pass a driving exam (it is not possible to convert directly from an Italian driver’s license to a Canadian one).

In addition, you are allowed to drive in Ontario for up to one year with an international driver’s license or permit (IDP), which may only be issued in Italy (please contact the offices of the “Motorizzazione Civile”).
An IDP (International Driving Permit), which is only issued in Italy for Italian licenses, may not be accepted for the entire 12-month period because, in some cases, if you stay longer than 3 months, you are considered a resident of the Province and are required to have a Canadian license.

It is recommended that you learn more about the Highway Code in the Province of Ontario, especially (but not exclusively) if you are visiting the Province for a short period and intend to rent a vehicle. For more information: Drive in Ontario: visitors | ontario.ca and  Safe and Responsible Driving | The Official Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Driver’s Handbook | ontario.ca

ISSUANCE OF A CANADIAN DRIVER’S LICENCE BASED ON A VALID ITALIAN ONE

The Canadian authority responsible for the issuance of driver’s licenses in Ontario is the Ministry of Transportation.

For information please contact: Driver and Vehicle Licensing: 416-235-2999 o 1-800-387-3445 or refer to the webpages www.mto.gov.on.ca and www.drivetest.ca.

When switching from an Italian driver’s licence to a foreign one, it is often the case that the local authorities will request related information or certifications.The Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti (the Italian ministry of infrastructure and transportation) has highlighted certain practical issues in relation to both types of requests.

If a foreign Government asks for a certification (confirmation of particulars or other information related to the DL) in relation to an Italian driver’s license, the above mentioned Ministry has indicated that Consular offices cannot issue any such certification, given that only the central Italian authorities or one of the Uffici della Motorizzazione Civile (satellite driver and vehicle licensing offices) are authorized to issue it.

Therefore, in order to obtain such a certification, it will be necessary for you to submit the applicable form to one of the aforementioned Offices, either in person or through a proxy (if you are unable to travel to Italy, you may use the services of an Agenzia pratiche auto (automobile documentation agency) or trusted person), together with documentation showing that related government fees owed have been paid (as required by law).

Given that the certification is not connected with your place of residency, nor with the Ufficio della Motorizzazione Civile (driver and vehicle licensing office) which issued your driver’s license, you may submit your request to any Ufficio della Motorizzazione Civile (driver and vehicle licensing office) in Italy.

In order to make the certification issued by the Italian Ufficio della Motorizzazione Civile (driver and vehicle licensing office) valid for use in Canada, it will be necessary to have the document legalized first by the Prefettura and then the Canadian Embassy in Italy. Once legalized, the certification must be translated into English by an ATIO translator (https://atio.on.ca/ ).

 

 


VALIDITY OF ITALIAN DRIVER’S LICENSES IN MANITOBA (CANADA)

New Residents to Manitoba may drive a passenger vehicle with their valid license for a maximum of three months.

You also have three months to change your registration document obtained outside the Province of Manitoba (license plates and insurance).

If you have never held a driver’s license, you must successfully complete Manitoba’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) program.

For more information on how to obtain a valid driver’s license in Manitoba: New or Returning to Manitoba (mpi.mb.ca)

IDP (International Driving Permit), which for Italian licences is only issued in Italy (Motorizzazione Civile), generally allows driving abroad, in countries that recognise it, for a maximum period of one year. However, it may not be accepted for the entire 12-month period because, in some cases, if you stay longer than 3 months, you are considered a resident of the province and are required to obtain a Canadian licence.

In the event that the foreign State asks the user to provide an attestation containing the data of the Italian driving licence of which he is the holder, the Italian Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructures has indicated that the diplomatic-consular Representations may not proceed to issue any attestation, since the Italian Central Authority or the Offices of the Civil Motorization (Motorizzazione Civile) are exclusively competent in this regard (see what is reported in this regard in the section on driving licenses in Ontario, for further information).

For information on road safety and driving rules in Manitoba (speed limits, penalties, etc.): Residents Portal | Driving in Manitoba (gov.mb.ca)

 


VALIDITY OF ITALIAN DRIVER’S LICENSES IN NORTHWEST TERRITORIES (CANADA)

For specific information about the possibility of driving, for a limited period, with a foreign licence in the Northwest Territories, as well as information about the first issue of a Northwest Territories licence or about transferring your driver’s licence to a Northwest Territories licence, please refer to the Territories’ Driver and Vehicle Services portal: Driver and Vehicle Services (gov.nt.ca)

For information on road safety and Highway code and by-lawes in the Northwest Territories (speed limits, penalties, peculiarities related to the morphology of the territory and climatic conditions, etc.): Driving Safety | Infrastructure (gov.nt.ca)

IDP (International Driving Permit), which for Italian licences is only issued in Italy (Motorizzazione Civile), generally allows driving abroad, in countries that recognise it, for a maximum period of one year. However, it may not be accepted for the entire 12-month period because, in some cases, if you stay longer than 3 months, you are considered a resident of the province and are required to obtain a Canadian licence.

In the event that the foreign State asks the user to provide an attestation containing the data of the Italian driving licence of which he is the holder, the Italian Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructures has indicated that the diplomatic-consular Representations may not proceed to issue any attestation, since the Italian Central Authority or the Offices of the Civil Motorization (Motorizzazione Civile) are exclusively competent in this regard (see what is reported in this regard in the section on driving licenses in Ontario, for further information).

 


“CONVALIDA” OF AN ITALIAN DRIVER’S LICENSE                                                           

An Italian driver’s license, whether valid or expired, cannot be renewed, it can only be replaced with a new one.
Driver’s licenses which are about to expire (4 months) or expired no more than 5 years, may be “confirmed” by this Consulate through a document known as “convalida” (validation); said document will prevent your driver’s license from becoming null and void until you are able to travel to Italy and apply for a new one.

ELIGIBILITY

You are eligible to apply for a “convalida” only if you are registered in AIRE or if you can prove that you have been residing abroad for at least the past 6 months.

HOW TO APPLY

You may send your request for a “convalida” of your driver’s licence by mail to:

Consulate General of Italy in Toronto

136 Beverley Street

Toronto, ON, M5T 1Y5

We recommend that you use an express mail service such as Canada XpressPost. Please make sure to include all the following documents in original:

  • application form (modulo), duly completed and signed
  • expired or expiring Italian driver’s licence (original)
  • a 35×45 mm photo
  • proof of current address (Canadian driver’s licence, utility bill or recent bank statement)
  • doctor’s certificate recently issued (no more than 3 months old) by one of the Consulate-approved physicians
  • if you are not registered in AIRE, copy of the entry stamp in your passport or airline ticket and proof of residency in this consular jurisdiction
  • money order payable to the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto, for the relevant amount (art. 66N plus “imposta di bollo”). The amount varies every trimester, make sure you are paying the correct amount.
  • a pre-addressed and pre-paid return envelope so that we can return your documents and the “convalida” to your residence.

If one of the aforesaid documents is missing, your request will not be processed. The same applies if we assess that based on your documents you are not eligible for the service.

If you are planning on moving back to Italy, kindly note that within 6 months of your return to Italy you must contact the “Ufficio della Motorizzazione Civile” of your Municipality to renew your driver’s licence, irrespective of the validity of the Consulate’s “convalida”.

Please note that when you are abroad, a new driver’s licence, even in cases of theft/loss/damage, may be requested only from the relevant Ufficio della Motorizzazione Civile (driver and vehicle licensing office), depending on your Comune (Municipality in Italy) of residency (registration or AIRE):

– in person (even during a brief visit in Italy);

– through a proxy;

– using the services of an Agenzia pratiche auto (automobile documentation agency).

DRIVER’S LICENCE CATEGORIES AND VALIDITY OF THE “CONVALIDA”

A validation or “convalida” is issued for the holder’s period of stay abroad, with the following limitations:

• category A and B driving licenses = 10 years for under 50s and 5 years for over 50s

• category C driving licenses = 5 years for under 70s and 3 years for over 70s

• category D driving licenses = 5 years and valid only up to 65 years

• category E driving licenses = v. category B, C and D driving licenses

• special category A, B and C driving licenses cannot be renewed abroad


Last update 19/03/2024