Everything you need to know about updating your Canadian driver’s licence & vehicle registration before you move

Updating your address on government documents is the going to the dentist of moving. You really, really don’t want to do it. You know you could technically get away with not doing it and you’d still be able to complete your move. But you also know that if you don’t do it, you’ll end up with the bureaucratic equivalent of a mouth full of cavities, gum disease and a $2,000 dental bill.

Failing to update your address on your driver’s licence and vehicle registration, in particular, comes with some pretty aggravating consequences. For starters, it’s against the law, which is definitely an aggravating consequence. So it’s wise to prioritize this task as you organize your move.

Let’s start with Ontari-ari-ari-o

This dog made sure he updated his Ontario driver’s licence before he moved. Good boy!

While every province / territory has its own rules, here’s what happens in the ON if you’re pulled over with outdated info:

  • Two $85 tickets for failing to notify the province about your address change (1 for the licence, 1 for your vehicle registration).
  • Black marks of doom on your driver’s record and insurance abstract that could end up costing you loads of money down the line.

Each province also has its own designated date by which you must notify the government. Since this section is about Ontario, their policy indicates you have to complete the paperwork within 6 days of your move*. That’s right. While you’re elbow-deep in boxes, you also have to find the time to make this a priority.

*It’s important to note that you need to complete this task WITHIN that specific time frame. Some provinces will send you home if you try to update your address too early.

What about the rest of the country?

So glad you asked! Since every province and territory has its own regional standard, we’ve compiled this handy list for your reference:

  • British Columbia: Change your licence within 10 days of your move.
  • Alberta: Change your licence within 14 days of your move.
  • Saskatchewan: Change your licence within 15 days of your move.
  • Manitoba: Change your licence within 15 days of your move.
  • Ontario: We’re intense here, so you have 6 days.
  • Quebec: La vie est belle, so do it within 30 days.
  • Nova Scotia: Clearly likes Quebec’s philosophy on life, so you also have 30 days.
  • New Brunswick: Just get it done within the month, ok?
  • Prince Edward Island: Don’t you want to live east of Ontario now? 30 days.
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Maybe it’s the proximity to Iceland, but we’re back down to 10 days.
  • Yukon, NWT and Nunavut: Change your licence within 15 days of your move.

Yukon do it online! (Except, ironically, in the Yukon)

If these Yukon licence-holders can get there in person to update their docs, you have no excuse.

The good news is that, at least for your driver’s licence, most provinces and territories are set up with online services (an exception is the territories where you have to go in person). You can apply for a new licence with updated information and have it mailed to you directly.

Less convenient is updating your vehicle registration. If you require a printed ownership card, you’re going to have to grit your teeth, pack a day’s worth of snacks, make sure your phone is charged for at least six hours of Candy Crush and head to your nearest Service outpost.

Or you could just ask MoveSnap for help

If you’re looking for a way to get everything done in a timely, organized, and easy manner, you could also ask your real estate professional to set you up with MoveSnap, our free, invitation-based moving concierge platform that helps you manage every aspect of your move.

MoveSnap’s Address Updater tool will tell you everything you need to know about when to update your government docs and IDs, how to do it, what you’ll need to get it done, and keep everything together in one easy-to-use location.

If your real estate professional doesn’t offer MoveSnap, refer them to us today.