Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Paschal Donohoe today welcomed the beginning of an agreement which allows for the mutual exchange of driving licences between Ireland and the Canadian province of Ontario.
The agreement provides that the holder of a full Irish driving licence can automatically exchange this licence for an Ontario licence if they are resident in the province of Ontario.
The reverse will apply also where the holder of a valid Ontario licence, resident in this country, can exchange their licence for an Irish driving licence without the need to undergo a driving test.
This will be of enormous benefit to the many Irish citizens currently living and working in Ontario, as well as to people from Ontario now living and working in Ireland.
Minister Donohoe said: "I am extremely pleased to announce the commencement of this agreement, which I know has been eagerly awaited by many people.
"There are now a great many Irish people living in Ontario, and this will allow them to exchange their Irish driving licences for Ontario licences directly, rather than beginning as learner drivers in Ontario.
"The process of reaching this agreement involved a great deal of work, and I would like to acknowledge efforts of all those who have made the agreement possible including the Road Safety Authority and the Irish Embassy in Canada, as well as the authorities in Ontario, in arriving at this agreement.’
"When we decided to reach driver licence exchange arrangements with the Canadian provinces, the RSA was asked to prioritise Ontario due to the high number of Irish residents there.
"Now that we have reached this agreement, I am looking forward to proceeding quickly to secure agreements with the other Canadian provinces."