Rules of the road

Information on highway and road conditions is available from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO). Call the 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-800-268-4686 with questions.

Operating all motorized vehicles, including cars, trucks, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), snowmobiles, and boats, while impaired is strictly illegal. Fines and charges may be laid under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Driver’s licence

A valid driver's licence is accepted in Canada for three months. If you're driving to Canada from the United States, bring your vehicle registration forms and a free Canadian Non-Resident Insurance Card from your insurance agent, or the policy itself.

If you're driving a rented car, bring a copy of the rental contract and proof of authorization in your home jurisdiction if you are operating a Recreational Vehicle and/or Motor Home.


Ontario law requires all adults and children weighing over 18 kg (40 lb) to be properly restrained by seatbelts. Children weighing less than 18 kg (40 lb) must be properly restrained with a child safety seat appropriate to the child's weight. Infants from birth to 9 kg (20 lb) must travel in a rear-facing infant seat. Toddlers weighing from 9 kg (20 lb) to 18 kg (40 lb) can travel in a forward-facing or rear-facing child safety seat.

Speed limits

Most freeways have a speed limit of 100–110 km/h (62–68 mph), while the Trans-Canada routes set the limit at 90 km/h (56 mph). Most other rural highways and country roads have a speed limit of 60–80 km/h. City roads are typically 30–50 km/h (18–31 mph). Follow marked signs in the areas that you’re driving in.

Road services

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) patrol the highways and other areas without municipal police services. If you are involved in a collision resulting in a personal injury or property damage, you should call the police (911) and remain at the scene of the accident until cleared by the investigating officers. 

You can also reach the OPP by calling 1-888-310-1122 (toll-free in Ontario) in non-emergency situations. 


Bicycles are considered vehicles and must obey the same traffic laws. Ensure you are following these bicycle safety requirements and laws if you decide to travel with or rent a bike on your trip.  

For cyclists under the age of 18, it's mandatory to wear a bicycle helmet. For all cyclists, your bike should have a bell or horn, lights and reflectors, and reflective tape to help protect you.


The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) provides emergency roadside services, auto touring and travel services, discounts, insurance services, along with a number of products. The CAA is connected with several international automobile clubs, including the American Automobile Association (AAA).

School buses

Traffic travelling in both directions must stop for a yellow school bus when its red lights are flashing, and the stop arm is extended. 

Streetcar stops in Toronto

Vehicles must stop at least 2 metres (6 ft.) behind the rearmost door of a stopping or stopped streetcar, for the safety of passengers getting on or off.


International bridges, tunnels and ferries charge a fee. The Hwy 407 Express Toll Route (ETR) runs across the north of Toronto from Hwy 35 (Durham Region) to Burlington and is the only toll highway in the province. Cameras at all on and off ramps photograph licence plates of all vehicles, owners will be sent a bill in the mail. If you are driving a rental car, the bill will be sent to the rental company who may in turn charge you for the toll.

Last updated: January 31, 2023

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