Newcomer Stories: Passing Your Driver's....Again - Part 1

Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Borrowed Photo

I'm probably not the first one to say this....nor the only one....but I find it odd that Canada does not recognize driver's licence from certain foreign countries. In short, they do not allow direct conversion and insist that experienced drivers (such as myself) pass the local learner's and driver's test again.
I have been quite nervous about this step prior to coming to Canada. I've even printed the manual off the internet to learn the rules of the road again. I needed to learn the rules to pass the learner's and then apply the rules that I've learnt whilst I am taking the driving test.
I suppose there is merit as to why Canada asks us (me in particular) to retake the driver's test. I have only been accustomed to driving on the left side of the road, on the right side of the car. Here, the setup is that you drive on the right side of the road, on the left side of the car. It is an easy enough concept to follow but to change the way the mind thinks is another thing. I sometimes find myself driving too close on one side.
I decided to rent a car and practice my driving on it. It seemed a good idea at the time. I know some people who also advise to take some driving lessons before undertaking the test. Of course, "experienced drivers" would mean that there could be some lurking, creeping bad driving habits. And if you have any, you have to get rid of them.
My foreign driver's licence allowed me to drive around Ontario for 3 months after which the licence is no longer valid. So I had a deadline to get my Ontario licence pronto.

Hang on for this 4-part series on getting your driver's licence in Ontario. Part 2 is up next.
For more information about Ontario driving and licencing, please visit the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) and the DriveTest website.

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