Car Insurance For Foreigners In Canada

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By <span>Aren Mirzaian</span>
By Aren Mirzaian

Updated July 13, 2023

Visit author page
By <span>Aren Mirzaian</span>
By Aren Mirzaian

Updated July 13, 2023

Visit author page
Article Contents

Car Insurance For Non Residents

The Great White North is a big beautiful country that attracts visitors from around the world every year. If you plan on exploring Canada, you’re going to need a car to get around comfortably. But it’s illegal for foreigners to drive in Canada without a driver’s license or car insurance.

Fortunately, getting car insurance for foreigners in Canada isn’t difficult. It’s even possible that your car insurance policy back home still covers you in Canada.

Several car insurance companies offer policies that cover their clients for up to 30 days while driving in a foreign country. To verify your car insurance policy from back home covers you while driving in Canada, check with your insurer.

If your car insurance doesn’t cover you to drive in Canada, or your 30 days have expired, you must get valid car insurance for international drivers before doing any more driving in Canada.

Getting car insurance for non-Canadians is easier if you try getting it from an insurer that specializes in this type of insurance. An insurer that doesn’t might reject your application or charge you high rates for the service. You can apply for the car insurance with a Canadian driver’s license or an international driver’s permit.

Most visitors get short-term Canadian car insurance, which is valid for up to six months. But if you intend on staying and driving in Canada for longer than six months, a one-year policy makes a better option.

Depending on the Canadian province you’ll be staying in, and if you intend on driving to other provinces, you may be required to get a non-resident, inter-provincial liability insurance card. With this, you’ll have all the coverage you need to drive anywhere in Canada.

Can Non-residents Drive in Canada?

Non-residents can drive in Canada as long as they have the minimum requirements, which are a valid driver’s license and car insurance.

Depending on the Canadian province, and as long as you have a valid foreign driver’s license, you can drive in Canada for up to three or six months without an international driver’s permit or a Canadian driver’s license.

After the three or six month grace period expires, if you wish to keep driving, your option is the International Driving Permit issued by your home country. It must be available in English and French.Alternatively, you can get a Canadian license by passing the knowledge and road tests. The type of test required to get a Canadian license depends on the province you are in.

But driving without Canadian car insurance is strictly illegal. Your car insurer back home covers you for the initial 30 days, but after that, you’ll need to get valid Canadian car insurance for foreigners.

How do Foreigners Get Insurance In Canada?

As a foreigner in Canada, you can apply for car insurance for non-residents, or you can have the owner of the car you are driving add you to their car insurance plan.

To get your car insurance, you need an international driving permit or a Canadian driver’s license. Depending on your unique needs or circumstances, you can get a short-term insurance plan that lasts for six months, or one that lasts for a year.

You can choose a Canadian auto insurance plan that offers any of the following levels of coverage:

  • Covers you and damage to your car
  • Covers the cost of damage and injury to others affected by an accident caused by your car

How much it’ll cost to get Canadian car insurance depends on the insurance company, the plan you choose, and other factors like your:

  • Age
  • Driving record and experience
  • The location in which you’ll be driving

To get the best deal on car insurance for foreigners, be sure to shop around to compare prices and plans from different auto insurance companies.

Is My Foreign Drivers License Valid When Driving in Canada?

Depending on the province you are in, your foreign license will suffice for your first three or six months of driving in Canada. If you want to keep legally driving after this expires, you’ll need to get either an international driver’s permit issued by your home government or a driver’s license issued by the government of the Canadian province you are in.

The driver’s permit or license must be carried on you at all times when driving in Canada.

It’s advised you get an international driver’s permit before leaving your home country if you are going to be in Canada for more than three months while driving. Getting an international driver’s permit after you’ve left your home country is almost impossible.

How Do I Get An International License?

Getting an international driver’s permit is quite straightforward. With it, you can apply for Canadian car insurance and legally drive in Canada for up to a year.

To get an international driver’s permit, contact the body responsible for issuing such documents in your country. The name of the issuing body and the steps required to get an international license will vary from country to country.

For the most accurate information regarding the application process, contact your local service center. Do this long before your trip to Canada to avoid any unforeseen delays. And remember, you can only get an international license while in your home country.

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Canada is a fun place to visit and explore. Whether you’re visiting for vacation, work, or studies, you have more options if you have a valid driver’s license that lets you drive to any Canadian destination you heart desires.

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