How to Get Car Insurance in a New Province

When it's time to move, there's a lot to do! This is especially true when you're moving to a new province. Although you may be staying in the country, each province has their own set up for services like health care and transportation.

For those that drive, car insurance is essential no matter where you live in Canada. It's important that you change your car insurance when you move to another province. The good news is that it's not as difficult as you might think.

Here are some simple tips you can follow to make finding insurance in a new province easy.

Before you move

Contact your current insurance company and request a letter of experience. The letter of experience will provide information about your insurance history with your current insurer including the time insured, if the policy was cancelled, and a record of all claims filed against the policy. Additionally, it should show the same information for previous policies held in the same province.

It's also a good idea to get a copy of your drivers abstract too. Your new insurance company may request this information and it is a lot easier to get it before you move. The following links should help you find the information you need to get your driver's abstract in your province of residence.

Province Driver's Abstract Information
British Columbia ICBC
Alberta ServiceAlberta
Saskatchewan SGI
Manitoba Manitoba Public Insurance
Ontario ServiceOntario
Quebec SAAQ
Nova Scotia ServiceNovaScotia
New Brunswick GNB
Prince Edward Island GPE
Newfoundland & Labrador ServiceNL

There are differences between a Driver's Abstract and a Letter of Experience which is why it is helpful to get both before you move.

A Driver's Abstract may include details like your:

  • Driver's licence number, licence class, licence status and expiry date
  • Date of birth, gender and height
  • Present and previous addresses
  • Any conditions/restrictions and due date for medical exam (for commercial drivers)
  • Beginner driver education course completion date
  • Date of any convictions and current demerit point total
  • Earliest licensed date available as well as replacements, renewals, and class changes

A Letter of Experience meanwhile concerns your insurance history, rather than your driving record and may include:

  • Previous cancellations (by an insurer, not cancellations you've initiated)
  • Collisions
  • Claims history
  • Length of time you have been continuously insured

After you move

Each province will require that you exchange your licence within a certain time frame after moving; the same is true for your car's provincial registration and licence plates. The rules for each province are different and you should check what's required in your new province of residence. Check our list of provincial government websites (below) for more information on exchanging your driver's licence and vehicle licensing.

Shop around for insurance

Unless you are moving to British Columbia, Saskatchewan or Manitoba where insurance is provided by government agencies (also below), you have a long list of insurance companies to choose from for coverage.

The company who insured you where you lived previously may not provide insurance in the province where you are moving-and if they do, they might not have the cheapest rate for you. The best advice is to compare car insurance quotes once you've settled in.

Comparing quotes on with an out-of-province driver's licence

You may want to get an idea of what you'll be paying for insurance before you move. If this is the case, using your new postal code, specify how long you've had the licence you currently have in your possession. If a licence type is requested, all you have to do is select "Other Province".

Government insurance

If you are moving to British Columbia, Saskatchewan or Manitoba, your insurance choice is simple. You have to purchase insurance from the government insurance provider in that province. Currently, Kanetix does not provide insurance quotes for these government agencies.

For more information, visit:

  • British Columbia's ICBC
  • Saskatchewan's SGI
  • Manitoba's MPI

Provincial Licensing Information

The following links should help you find the information you need to exchange your driver's licence in your new province of residence and register your vehicle.

Province Driver licensing information Motor vehicle licensing information
British Columbia ICBC ICBC
Alberta ServiceAlberta ServiceAlberta
Saskatchewan SGI SGI
Manitoba MPI MPI
Ontario Ministry of Transportation Ministry of Transportation
Nova Scotia Service Nova Scotia Service Nova Scotia
New Brunswick Service New Brunswick Service New Brunswick
Prince Edward Island GPE GPE
Newfoundland & Labrador ServiceNL ServiceNL

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