Foreign driver’s licences and minimum age
As a tourist, you can usually rent a vehicle and drive with a valid driver’s licence from your home country. An international licence may be helpful in convincing the car rental agent that you really have a valid licence when they cannot recognize or understand your document—this is particularly true for less commonly seen driver’s licences or documents that are not in English or in French. You might have to show a valid passport as a secondary form of identification at check out.
Generally, you can use your international licence for up to 90 days. If you’re a temporary resident—for instance, a Working Holiday permit holder—you will have to exchange your international licence for a driver’s licence issued by your province or territory of residence. Contact the applicable Ministry of transportation for more details on the process:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
If your home country doesn’t have an agreement with Canada, you will have to take a road test in order to be issued a Canadian driver’s licence.
To rent a car, you usually have to be at least 20 or 21 years old. Hertz sets the minimum age at 18 but only in Quebec. A “young driver fee” (around CAD30/day) usually applies to renters between 21 and 25 years old—insurance companies state that drivers under 25 get into more accidents than other age groups.