Moving to USA, Ontario DL suspended, Can get US Licence?

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Moving to USA, Ontario DL suspended, Can get US Licence?

by: Seiba on
Fri Feb 13, 2015 10:53 pm

This is more of a hypothetical than anything. If I were to move to USA (say, Texas) with a work visa, eventually become a permanent resident, would it matter what licence I had in Ontario if I were to start fresh in the US? Or let's say I have dual citizenship and decide Canada isn't working for me and move to USA.

If I had $20,000 in fines owing on my licence because I'm an idiot and just racked up fines, then move to the states, abandon my Ontario licence, would this have any implications on getting a Texas licence? If it doesn't, what incentive is there for an Ontario driver to pay the fine if they will eventually leave?

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by: ynotp on
Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:01 am

I would think that you should be able to get a US licence if you apply for one at a learners level. I don't think you would be able to do a licence swap with your Ontario licence considering that you wont have a valid licence to exchange. Even if you have a licence from another jurisdiction you will never be allowed to drive here if you leave your Ontario licence as suspended.

A friend of mine left the country with less than a couple thousand in outstanding fines and came back 10 years later to visit he was curious as to what became of the fines and the status of his licence (should he ever want to move back). When he inquired at the courthouse the fines were still there waiting for him and his licence was suspended (but not renewable if he paid the fines). He didn't pay them and went back to the country he moved to and lives his life. So you can really never come back and expect to find a clean slate.

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by: Stanton on
Sat Feb 14, 2015 10:21 am

I agree with ynotp. I don’t think you’d have an issue getting a learner’s permit (or the equivalent) in Texas. You can just never drive in Ontario as your local suspended licence would trump a valid Texas one.

There are reciprocal agreements in place amongst several states (including Texas) where Ontario can request your out of province licence be suspended for non-payment of fines, but to the best of my understanding that only happens when you’re charged while driving with an out of province licence (i.e. Texas resident charged with speeding while visiting Ontario). If you obtain your out of province licence after the fact, Ontario would not be aware and the other jurisdiction never notified.

And just be aware if you’re planning on taking a vehicle with you to Texas, don’t make the mistake of driving there while suspended. Border guards and any U.S. police service that queries your Ontario licence will see your suspension.

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by: bend on
Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:04 pm

Agreed with the others.

No state or province will allow you to hold 2 separate drivers license.

There's a reciprocal agreement that will allow you to exchange your license for another state or province. In most cases, it will allow you to exchange your license without going through classes or mandatory wait times. They will NOT do exchanges with a license that is not valid due to suspensions. Once you exchange, you'll give up your previous license.

I don't know if there's anything that would stop you from applying for a state license from scratch. You can't do it state from state, but province to state, I don't believe there's anything stopping you.

As already pointed out, if you return to Ontario, your new license is useless. You'll be considered driving under suspension and they'll confiscate your current license.

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