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Travellers' questions that don't fit anywhere else This is an opportunity to ask any question, and post any notice you wish that doesn't fit into one of the other sections.
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Old 1 Oct 2012
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Unhappy What reciprical agreement !!!!!!

I have been holidaying in Canada for around 20 years. So when I moved home in UK I did not have a garage for my motor bike. I decided to sell the bike and then buy a bike in Canada to give me more freedom to travel. This was about 4 years ago.
I checked and discovered it was impossible (unless you know otherwise) to get insurance for a Canadian bought bike without holding a Canadian Bike licence.
So I sat the test/s, passed, (I was allowed to fast track because of riding in the UK) and got a full Canadian and motor bike licence.
Thats when the problem started. On being given my Canadian licence I was asked to hand over my UK licence as you cannot have both Canadian and UK car and bike licences. I handed over my UK car and bike licence.
I bought a Goldwing got insurance and was able to use the bike while on holiday.
When I returned to the UK I contacted my bike insurance company to inform them I would be driving on my Canadian licence. They said no problem but they would double the premium. I was not prepared to pay 100% increase in insurance and was therfore forced to hand in my Canadian licence and get my UK one returned. There was no charge in UK to get my UK licence back.
Now the reciprocal agreement between Canada and the UK says you can drive in Canada for up to a year using a UK licence and vice versa. You can rent a car or motor bike no problem using a UK licence.
So on return to Canada the following year I had to hand in my UK licence once again to get my Canadian licence. ( no insurance available unless you have a canadian bike licence) They also said that technically because I handed my Canadian licence in when I returned to the UK I would have to start again and resit the bike test. Somebody in authority saw sense and gave dispensation for the licence to be returned to me without resitting the test.
So I was able to use my Canadian bought bike once agin and then return to the UK where once again I had to hand the Canadian licence in to get my UK licence back. I am charged at the Canadian end for my new licence !!!!!
This has been happening for the last 4 years and I have been unable to get anyone to investigate this issue or resolve it. Everyone I have contacted says it ridiculous but nobody can do anything.
So does anyone know how I can get round this problem. I have insurance for my Goldwing in this country and Ideally I would like to get insurance somewhere from one company for both bikes.
Please please please can anybody help or suggest anything.
If you have come across the same problem please feel free to contact me as perhaps bigger numbers of people would move this issue forward.
Finally it would seem to me that I am being discriminated against as a bike rider as I was told I would not have the same problem with the car part of my Canadian licence.
This is extremly unfair, appears to be a money exercise and is discriminatory to bike riders. Anybody feel the same.
I am over 60 with full no claims and cannot afford to pay excessice insurance charges.
HELP and sorry this is so long.
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Old 1 Oct 2012
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Location: West Yorkshire UK
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If your UK license were to become "lost", you'd have to pay for the replacement and probably get it sent to a UK address. Lot's us then find the first one but never get round to sending it back to Swansea. They don't really care, you are on the database, the paper doesn't mean much to anyone except as an excuse for the plod to talk to you if they want to. You'd obviously need to hand in a UK ticket to get the Canadian one, but by "pure accident" you now have two so don't need to bother them the year after.

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Old 1 Oct 2012
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I always find that whenever I have had to renew or update a license, I have "lost" the old one.

I have a few "lost" licenses now, just in case I should need one.
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Old 1 Oct 2012
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An alternative is to get the 'other' licence by sitting the full test - without using the first licence...

It makes sense in that 'they' don't want you racking up fines on one licence and then using the other when you have been banned on the one they know of.

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Old 1 Oct 2012
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Driver licensing rules vary from province to province (or territory). Maybe a different province will give you less hassle? It may be worth investigating this if you haven't already done so.

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Old 1 Oct 2012
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I did an expatriate stint in Montreal a few years back and I had to sit the car test there. There was no reciprocal agreement re swapping licences, etc. So I was never asked to surrender my UK licence, although if it had expired while in Canada, the UK Government would not renew it, as I was no longer resident in the UK.

The only time I have had to surrender my UK licence was when I moved to Rep of Ireland and I paid for (but was not required to redo the driving test there) an Irish Driving Licence.

I did have to do a driving test for the bike in Germany and then surrendered the Irish Licence. If I was not adding an additional class to my driving licence (the bike over 125cc) then I would not have been required to redo the driving test in Germany. I also sat a driving test in Jamaica (rather abbreviated as the examiner knew I had the UK licence and had more concerns over the generally poor standard of driving on Jamaican roads). I just paid for the licence and again was not required to surrender the UK licence.

I was under the impression that surrendering the driving licence was only required within the European Union and in that case, you wouldn't be required to resit the test. Where you do resit the test, there would (in my experience) be no requirement to surrender the original licence.

I don't think the DVLA would have even been aware that I was out of the country, but maybe these computer networks are more joined up these days! Just seems strange having to surrender a UK Driving Licence before resitting the driving test in Canada.

Grey Beard
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Old 2 Oct 2012
Riq Riq is offline
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Location: Edmonton, Canada
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Which Province

I think the clue is which province you are registering and insuring the motorcylce in. In Alberta there is no Government insurance so the insurer doesn't care where your license is from. Once you obtain the insurance you get a simple renewal letter annualy and give them money. Done.

My son is currenlty living in Costa Rica and working in Peru and has a drivers license for Canada, Costa Rica and Peru. No fuss, muss or bother. The oldest of rules still apply, avoid government offices as much as possible and don't answer a question unless asked.
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Old 4 Oct 2012
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Yep, you are being far to honest!

I had the same problem when I moved from the UK to Canada in 2006, I had to hand in my UK license to get an Alberta license. Alberta has a reciprical agreement - but my UK license has every class - including tracked vehicles from driving tanks in the Military, but you only get class 5 (car) on your Alberta license, I had to re do my bike test in Canada after 17 years of riding - the test lasted 7 minutes and that was including all the questions the examiner asked!
As soon as I handed in my UK license I applied to the DVLA for a duplicate copy, said it was lost.
At the time I made a complaint to the Alberta registration head office in Edmonton and the lady who was fairly high up in the organisation there said that this is the way the agreement works and it will not change and she even told me to say it was lost and get a duplicate UK license!!!
I drive my Defender 90 in the UK every so often, I do not show my UK license in Canada and I do not show my Canadian License in UK (to Cops/registration/insurance)

'09 Suzuki DR650
'00 Discovery Series 2 V8
'95 Defender 90 300 Tdi Overlander
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Old 7 Oct 2012
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What are the rules on insuring in Canada on a US licence? The reason I ask is my whole family have both us and uk licences with no issue at all.
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Old 11 Oct 2012
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We both lost our UK licences and got duplicates before we changed over to French licences 20 years ago, just in case.
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