Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Have a question about a driver’s licence? Here is a collection of some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) surrounding the requirements and process of obtaining your licence.

Can I get my driver’s licence photo retaken?

Do you dislike your licence photo? It is understandable if you want to retake this photo, as your licence will be in your possession for many months. Thankfully, you can easily get a licence photo retaken by going to your local driver's licence office.

You will also need to bring the current licence, a personal document that can verify your name, date of birth and your signature. Lastly, you are responsible for paying a fee to re-take the photo. Generally, you should receive your new licence in the mail within six weeks. 

Do I need to get a foreign driver’s licence?

If you are a non-citizen of Canada, you may need a foreign driver’s permit depending on the length of time you are residing in a particular area. Each province governs by its own rule, but general guidelines for a foreign permit driver’s licence are available.

In general, if you plan on residing within a province and driving on public roads for longer than several months, you will need to obtain a foreign permit prior to your arrival in the country. Keep in mind that an international permit does not replace your country of origin’s regular licence. You must use, and show, both of these items together in tandem if stopped for a road check. 

How can I tell if a licence is valid?

Whether you are receiving your first licence or getting a drivers licence renewal, it is always prudent to make sure the licence is valid. To help deter the spread of fake IDs, there are several features to look for on a Canada driving licence to help ensure it is valid.

This includes security features such as laser embossed information, black and white photos with additional laser imagery in the background and raised printing. If you have any doubts as to your licence validity, contact your local licencing office.

Are drivers licence office fees increasing?

Some provinces are implementing a marginally increased fee to help pay for road-related expenses such as repairing bridges, fixing potholes and ensuring roads stay in generally good condition. To find the current licence fees, it is best to contact your local licencing office.

Why does Quebec not have a Photo ID card?

Those who need an identification card but choose not to or cannot receive a licence from a driver’s licence office have one option available to them. While Quebec does not offer a non-driving photo identification card, residents may instead use their official health insurance cards as identification as they contain a photo.

What constitutes a “road-worthy vehicle” for the road test?

As part of your licence process, you are required to bring a road-worthy vehicle to your driving test. However, what that exactly means is not clear. For the purposes of a road test, a road-worthy vehicle must be in good general condition including working breaks, functioning seat belts and working signal lights to name a few.

Additionally, virtually every driving school recommends you ensure your vehicle is clean for the road exam. This means the car must be free from debris and clutter. Lastly, you should ensure your vehicle does not have an unpleasant odour of any kind.

Can I receive a refund on my driver’s licence?

In some cases and in certain provinces, you may be eligible for a licence fee refund. If you have moved out of a province or have stopped driving within one, you may be eligible to request a refund if you are over a certain time frame away from your driver's licence renewal.

It is important to note that some provinces do not issue refunds for a licence in any situation. It is best to check with a licence service centre in your province for more detailed information.

How do I receive a licence plate for my car?

When you perform your initial car registration at a service centre, you will receive a new licence plate along with a plate sticker. While you will keep the same licence plate year to year, you will receive a new licence plate sticker every time you renew your registration, which is typically yearly.

If I want to use my vehicle for a ride-sharing service do I need a special driver’s licence?

If you plan to use your car for commercial purposes such as Lyft or Uber, you may be required to receive a special type of licence or a commercial licence. As this is a fairly new way of creating income, legislation is still being rolled out through much of Canada regarding the safety and type of road test or other requirements that will be needed. Contact your local licencing centre for the most up to date information.