How to get a Canadian Minivan drivers license
…with a German car license
For my job I need to drive a minivan. For that I need to a drivers license. Here’s what you need to do to go from a German car a drivers license to it Canadian minivan drivers license.
Know what type of license you need
There are many different classes of drivers licenses. Know which one you will need. In Canada drivers license is issued by each province. Each one of them has different requirements. If you stay more than three months you need to get a drivers license from the province you live in. In many provinces to get a minivan license you need to do a road test for which you also need to rent a minivan. In Quebec you only need a medical exam and a knowledge test. This is why I decided to get my license in Quebec. Some countries have bilateral agreements with Canada so you can exchange your license for one from that province. Germany is one of those countries with an agreement, Spain is not.
Get your license translated
You can either ask the consulate to translate your license or you can hire a certified translator. In my case I decided to go with a translator called Traduset. They were really courteous and easy to communicate with and had an amazingly quick turnaround time.
Make an appointment with the SAAQ
In order to exchange your German car license for Canadian one, in Quebec you need to call for an appointment with the SAAQ. These appointments are hard to get and usually far out in the future. Make sure to call as early as you can. Apparently there are only three people in Quebec allowed to do this. I was not able to get an appointment quick enough in Montreal, so I had to go all the way out to Sherbrooke, Quebec. For this appointment you need to bring a letter from your employer to say that you are working in Quebec or proof of address if you have it, your work permit, your passport, your own drivers license, and the translation.
Do the medical exam
On their website the SAAQ has documents for download. One of those is the form (M-28) that the doctor needs to fill out that does your physical that you need to get the minivan license. This means you need to find a walk-in clinic that will except you even if you may not have a Canadian health card. Bring cash because you will have to pay for this appointment, and they charge you a lot. Make sure you keep the signed papers safe to bring with you to your apartment at the SAAQ.
Exchange your license
On the day of your appointment, you will bring all of the above mentioned documents. They will take another picture, do a vision test, charge you a fee and give you a temporary drivers license. They will send a plastic card to the address that you give them later, usually within 5 to 10 business days.
Upgrade to minivan
Usually, you need to make another appointment for the knowledge test for the class 4b. That is the class that allows you to drive the minivan. In my case, I explained the situation and my lack of times and begged my way into an appointment that same day. In order to do the knowledge test you will need to show the a paper from the doctor that says you’re fit to drive and pay another fee. The knowledge test is 30 questions of which you need to get 22 correct. You can do it in either English or French. Documents to prepare for this test are available to download on the SAAQ website. If you pass the test you pay another fee and you get another piece of paper which is a temporary minivan driving lessons. The plastic card will be sent to your Quebec home address.
And that is it. Now I have a Canadian drivers license for a minivan. If I can do it, you can do it too. Let me know if you have any questions.