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Driving abroad using a driver’s licence issued in Canada

Valid Canadian driver’s licenses are recognized as valid to drive In Italy, Albania, and Malta, provided other requirements are also met, when applicable.

  • In Italy, holders of a valid Canadian driver’s licence may drive for up to one year, provided they also have an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an official sworn translation (“Traduzione giurata” – see more information on this below).  The same limitations and restrictions associated with the Canadian licence would apply.
  • In Albania, an IDP is mandatory
  • In Malta, valid Canadian driver’s licences may be used to drive without any further requirement

International Driving Permits are issued in Canada by the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) and must be procured before leaving Canada. Note that your Canadian licence must accompany the IDP at all times – the IDP alone is not sufficient. It is not possible to renew IDPs abroad.

In Italy, an IDP may be substituted by an official translation by a recognized translator (known in Italian as traduttore giurato). Many service providers, including some contracted by agencies, are available throughout Italy; you may use the business directory at to locate one nearby, by searching for traduttore giurato or traduzione giurata. The Embassy of Canada and its Consulates do not provide this service.

If you remain in Italy beyond one year, you must cease driving or apply for an Italian driver's licence. The conversion of a Canadian licence to an Italian one is not permitted. Note that written tests and driving exams are only conducted in Italian. In 2017, Canada and Italy signed an agreement for reciprocal recognition of drivers’ licences. Drivers’ licence exchanges will start taking place as Italy finalizes memorandums of understanding with individual provinces.  To find out the status of your province’s negotiations,  contact your provincial driver’s licence issuing authority.

Driver’s licences which have been withdrawn by the police for any reason, including use past the one-year mark, are returned to the Embassy, which in turn forwards them to the Provincial/Territorial issuing agency. They may not be returned to the holders.

Lost or stolen Canadian driver's licence

If you have to replace your Canadian driver's licence because of loss or theft, you must contact the agency responsible, in Canada, for issuing your licence. Please consult the list of Provincial/Territorial driver's licence agencies; the Embassy and Consulates of Canada may not assist.

We strongly advise that you file a loss or theft report at a local police station. The police will provide a "receipt" in lieu of a driver's licence, which you may be able to use to continue driving. Please check with the police what limitations may apply.

Renewal of a Canadian driver's licence

Some Provinces and Territories allow for a one-time temporary extension of validity of driver’s licences if the expiry occurs while the holder is abroad. Please consult the list of Provincial/Territorial driver's licence agencies to verify whether this service is available to you, and under what conditions. The Embassy and Consulates may not provide any document to extend the validity of a Provincial/Territorial driver’s licence.


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