An Ontario auto insurance policy only provides coverage if the person operating the vehicle is authorized by law to drive. If they are not authorized by law the Ontario Auto Insurance Policy will not respond for their damages or injuries. The insurance company does not determine who is authorized by law. That job is left up to the Ministry of Transportation. https://www.ontario.ca/page/driving-and-roads?_ga=2.138053815.664725797.1499260047-1795201500.1497900027
If you are here visiting Ontario for less than 3 months you can use a valid driver’s license from your own province, state, or country. If you are visiting longer than 3 months you will need to have an International Driving Permit (IDP). An (IDP) is a translation of your current valid license and when accompanied by that license legally allows you to drive for up to one year in other countries. The IDP is normally renewable for a one year period. These permits are not valid in all countries so check with the country you will be traveling to before leaving. International Driving Permits must be obtained in your home country. You will not be able to get one once you have left your home country. If you have moved here you are able to use your current license for 60 days. After that you will need to exchange your license for an Ontario license or if that is not possible you should have already started the process to obtain your Ontario license.
The normal course of action for someone planning on residing in Canada would be for them to go through the process of obtaining their Ontario License. Be careful here. Once you have started the process and obtained your G1 your International Driving Permit is no longer valid. The G1 trumps the International Driving Permit and as a result you are subject to all the G1 rules. This can be quite frustrating for someone new to the country that already had their International Driving Permit since they could drive by themselves with the IDP but once they obtain their G1 they must now have a fully qualified driver in the passenger seat next to them. They must also abide by all the other G1 restrictions. For more information on the ins and outs of obtaining a license in Ontario go to https://drivetest.ca/
While an insurance company cannot add a driver to a policy with a license from another country they are able to add a driver with an IDP. They are able to do it but may not be excited about doing it especially on a long term basis. Many insurance companies may have rules filed with the Financial Services Corporation of Ontario (FSCO) that determine if and when they can decline to cover someone with an IDP and may decline to offer a renewal if the person has not obtained their Ontario driver’s license within a reasonable time. So, around we go since the minute they obtain their G1 their IDP is no longer valid. What I have heard that some families will do is keep one person on their IDP while the others apply for their Ontario License. That way they can drive the car while the others go through the process. Once another family member has obtained their G2 they will be able to drive the car on their own subject to the G2 restrictions. But once again, be very careful here. A person with an IDP or a G2 is not considered to be a fully licensed driver by Ontario standards so the G1 driver could not operate the vehicle with the person with the IDP or G2 in the passenger seat. The person in the passenger seat must have had a full G for at least 4 years.
Some countries have reciprocal arrangements with Canada that allow you to exchange your license for a Canadian one. At the time of writing this they are U.S. States, Australia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Great Britain, the Isle of Man, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Switzerland, and Taiwan. Individuals from Countries without an exchange agreement must go through the full licensing process. The process may be shortened based on their driving history and available documentation. More information can be found at https://drivetest.ca/licences/licence-exchanges/foreign-licence-experience-credits.html
Contact us if you have any questions!