Expert Info

Posted by
on 15 Jun 2012
I will be working in vancouver for 2 yrs on a temporary work permit. I hold a full driving license from Singapore. Can I drive and buy a car in Vancouver with my Singapore license while on the temporary work permit, or do I need to sit for the driving test by ICBC to get a british columbia license? As far as I understand, a temporary work permit holder is like a tourist, hence I do not need to convert or sit for the BC driving license. Please kindly advice.
Catherine on 19 Jun 2012
Hi Johnsontch, the licence requirements for driving in Canada vary between different provinces and territories so it's best to check with the local authorities about your right to drive with your Singaporean licence.

You may be able to drive for a few months on your licence, but it's likely that you'll eventually have to get a Canadian licence and take a driving test.

For info on what you need to know about buying a car, check out our Buying a Car in Cananda page. 
GabyS on 20 Jun 2012
Hi Johnsontch

Since you are on a temporary work visa you'll be classed as a 'visitor' in BC, which means you can drive on your Singapore licence for 6 months. After that you will need to apply for a BC drivers licence. As you're from Singapore (and not from a small list of exempt countries, including Japan), this will mean taking a knowledge test, road test, and eye test.

Another option is to get an international drivers licence while you are still in Singapore - you can contact the driver's licence authority in British Columbia ( or the Canadian consulate in Singapore ( to find out more about the process.
Anonymous (not verified) on 22 Jun 2012
Hi! I think you’ll need to pass the ICBC driver’s knowledge, vision and road test. I read an article on the website that was useful for me that explains the formalities for foreigners moving to British Columbia who wish to drive there. You can search for some information there.
Anonymous (not verified) on 30 Sep 2012
Hell I'm a Canadian Citizenbut my drivers' licence is Portuguese that valid for all europe. If I go to Canada to live will I have to take a Drivers' test again or is it possible just to transfer my licence for B.C.?? My husban is portuguese and his licence allows him to drive trucks (professional). Is it possible for him to change his licence or does he have to submit to an exam?
Anonymous (not verified) on 20 Mar 2014
Hi I am coming canada on work permit,and I m already work in Singapore 5 year I have Singaporean driving licence,can I convert this to Canadian Licence...plz help