Once you are well settled in your new home in Canada you may want to discover a little bit more of the country and the American continent. With your Québec driving license, you can drive in almost every other country but some may also ask for an international driving permit.

You don’t have to take a class or pass an exam to get an international driving permit; it is just an equivalent to your license, proving your identity and attesting your driving skills. To be valid, you must always have your original driver license with your international permit. It is essentially an official translation of your driving permit.

It is not particularly hard to get, but you have to know how, as it cannot be assigned by the SAAQ. Another institution called the CAA (Canadian Automobile Association) is in charge of managing international driving permits. You can apply by mail or in person at one of the CAA centers (travel center or vehicle registration center). If you do it by mail, you will have to download a form on the CAA website, fill it in, and return it with the required documents. The cost is $27 for the permit and postage. If you apply in person you have to bring the required documents with you and the cost will be $25. For more information about the process, click here.

The international driving permit is a very useful document if you want to do some travelling where your Québec’s driver license is not recognized.