Is the International Driver's Permit (IDP) valid in Canada?

Yes, the International Driver's Permit (IDP) is valid in Canada.

The IDP is valid for 1 year in most countries and you can renew it. The IDP is a translation of your driver's licence from another country into many languages. You must have a valid driver's licence from another country to use an IDP in Canada.

This document is sometimes called an "International Driver's Licence" or "International Driving Document." Some of our users have reported that companies are trying to sell fraudulent (false) documents with similar names. Only certain organizations are authorized to sell the International Driver's Permit. For example, in Canada, only the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) can issue IDPs, and the application fee is only C$15. It is a good idea to check with the government department of transportation before you pay for an IDP to make sure you are getting the correct, official document.

You must apply for an IDP outside of Canada. IDPs issued in Canada are not valid in Canada.

The IDP is primarily used by visitors to Ontario. If you plan on living in Ontario - that is, you will be a permanent resident living in Ontario - you need to get an Ontario driver's licence within 60 days of moving to Ontario.

Visiting and Driving for Less than 90 Days

If you are a visitor (tourist) in Ontario and wish to drive, you can do so for up to 90 days with a valid driver's licence from your own country, state or province. 

You will also need:

  • To be at least 16 years old
  • Proper insurance coverage for the vehicle you will drive
  • The original (or exact) copy of the vehicle ownership permit to carry with you while driving

Visiting and Driving for More than 90 Days

If you wish to drive for more than 90 days while visiting, you will require an IDP from your own country.

If you are a temporary resident, such as a foreign student or foreign worker, you might be considered a resident and need to get an Ontario driver's licence. Please contact the Ministry of Transportation for more information about your situation.

Contact the Ministry of Transportation

The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) is the government department that controls driver's licences and vehicle registration in Ontario. Call the MTO if you have questions:

  • In Ontario: 1-800-387-3445
  • In Toronto: 416-235-2999
  • TTY: 1-866-471-8929

If, after you call the general phone line, you still need more information, you can also contact the Ministry of Transportation's Special Enquiry Unit:

According to the Ministry of Transportation, you should get a reply in 2-3 weeks.

For More Information

  • Visiting or Moving to Ontario? - Information for drivers from the Ministry of Transportation.
  • International Driver's Permit - The International Driver's Permit is a special licence that allows travellers with a valid Canadian driver's licence to drive in more than 160 countries.
  • Ontario Photo Card - This card is an identification document for non-drivers in Ontario. You can get one if you are 16 or over and do not have a driver's licence.
Last updated: March 29, 2018 4000177