Foreign License

How to Exchange Your Foreign License in Alberta

You often don't realize how important having a driver's license is until you're unable to use yours any longer—especially in a country that's spread out and prone to extreme climate conditions, like Canada. The average Canadian spends 240 hours per year commuting. If you've recently moved to Alberta and you'd like to exchange your license, you'll need to go to a registry office in Calgary or another city to do so. This guide will take you through the process step by step. Read on for everything you need to know now.


What Kind of License Have You Got?

The process for exchanging your foreign license can look a little different depending on which country you're from. This is because there are certain nations that have what's called a Reciprocal Licensing Agreement with Canada, which makes the exchange a lot simpler. Here's a list of the countries that share such an agreement with Canada:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • France
  • Germany
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Republic of Korea
  • Switzerland
  • Republic of China
  • United Kingdom of Great Britain
  • United States
  • Isle of Man
  • Northern Ireland

If you hold a license from one of the above nations, your process will be relatively simple.


License Exchange for Countries With Reciprocal Agreements

If you hold a valid driver's license from one of the above countries, you'll be able to exchange your license for a Class 5 or 6 license in Alberta. There are a few things you'll need to show along with your license. You'll need to have a photo ID, proof of legal presence in Canada, and proof of residency in Alberta. If your license is in a language other than English, you'll need to provide a certified translation along with your documents. If you're under the age of 18, you'll need to have proof of consent from a parent or guardian with you. Once you've gathered all of the necessary documents, you can bring them to your local registration office and submit them. Be aware that you'll need to surrender your license before you can get your new one.


License Exchange for Non-Reciprocal Countries

If you have a license to drive from a country that doesn't have a reciprocal agreement with Alberta, the process is a little more lengthy. First, you'll need to visit a registry agent where you'll take a knowledge test. After you pass the exam, you'll need to hand in your license so the government can check to see if you are eligible for the GDL exemption program. Your application will be submitted to see whether you're eligible for a license exchange. If you've been driving for more than 2 years, you can take an advanced road test, and if you pass this, you can apply for a full Class 5 license. If you don't have 2 years of driving experience, you'll need to pass a basic road test to get a Class 5 GDL license.


Find Your Local Registry Office in Calgary

To get the ball rolling, get in touch with your local registry office in Calgary now. If you have any questions on this, we'd be more than happy to answer them. Call us to discuss your case today.