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Minister Fantino and Minister Oliver Announce Agreement in Principle for Reciprocal Recognition of Drivers’ Licences Between Canada and Italy

News Release

For immediate release

July 22, 2015 - Toronto, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

On behalf of the Honourable Rob Nicholson, P.C., Q.C., M.P. for Niagara Falls, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, and Finance Minister Joe Oliver, today announced an agreement in principle for the reciprocal recognition of drivers’ licences between Italy and Canada.

Once Canada formally ratifies the agreement, the provinces and territories, or their designated authority, will be able to proceed with their specific understandings with Italy. When all the steps are formalized, the agreement allowing for reciprocal recognition of drivers’ licences will facilitate the mobility of Italians and Canadians travelling between the two countries.

The agreement will pave the way to greatly simplifying the process for a holder of a valid driver’s licence in one country to obtain a valid licence in the other during an extended stay. 

Quick Facts

  • Canadians must currently follow extensive, costly and time-consuming local procedures to obtain a valid Italian driver’s licence. Among other requirements, the procedures include a driving theory test, six hours of practice driving and a road test. Italian citizens in Canada must undergo similar procedures, based on the official requirements of the province or territory in which they are staying.
  • Provinces and territories have jurisdiction to set procedures for their respective residents to exchange their driver’s licences when residing in the territory of the other party. (Italian legislation requires that Italy first enter into a framework agreement with Canada’s federal government.)
  • The Canada-Italy relationship is underpinned by strong commercial, cultural and people-to-people ties. Canada’s relations with Italy are also rooted in shared values and long-standing close cooperation. As a founding member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the EU, the fourth-largest EU economy and a G-7 and G-20 member, Italy is a key partner for Canada in addressing global issues.
  • Italy is one of Canada’s leading trade and investment partners, and the two countries enjoy a dynamic and growing economic relationship.


“This is great news for both Canada and Italy. Such recognition of each other’s driving licences will eventually encourage the mobility of our citizens between our two countries and facilitate commercial activities and two-way investment. Tourism and cultural exchanges will be further boosted, helped by the presence in Canada of a 1.5 million-strong Italian-Canadian community.”

- The Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs

“For generations, millions of Italian-Canadians have lived and prospered here in Canada. They represent the best of Canadian values: faith, family, entrepreneurship and hard work. They are the reason why Canada and Italy are more than the closest of friends. We are famiglia. The announcement of reciprocal recognition of driver’s licences is yet another cooperative agreement in our close relationship.”

- Finance Minister Joe Oliver

“For the 1.5 million Italian-Canadians, many who frequently travel to visit family and friends in Italy, this agreement will be a major benefit as it will pave the way for the removal of a significant and costly burden on their visits. It is my hope that the provinces and territories will now work swiftly to implement this arrangement.”

- The Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence

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Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs

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