The Case of Alberta and France

This Government of Alberta factsheet (see the third page) states that a “Reciprocal Licensing Agreement makes it easier for individuals who are lawfully entitled to be or to remain in Canada to obtain a driver’s licence.”  However, this statement takes only immigration into account, and makes no mention of the benefits provided to Albertans who wish to live abroad, which is why the agreements are “reciprocal.”

From the other pages that can be found under the “Reciprocal Licensing” menu, it is easy to see that the French government attempts to establish exchange agreements with many countries, in an effort to ensure maximum convenience for both new residents (by accepting licence exchanges) and existing holders of French licences who wish to move abroad (by demanding reciprocity for exchanges).  In this respect, the French government is excelling.

In contrast with the approach of the French government, Alberta arranges licence exchanges with a relatively small number of jurisdictions.  Unlike France’s agreements, which generally allow for the exchange of both motorcycle and private passenger vehicle licences at minimum, Alberta’s agreements are generally limited to private passenger vehicle licences.  Given that France’s agreements with other jurisdictions almost always include all non-commercial classes (as well as some that include commercial classes), I find odd the fact that this did not extend to Alberta, a well-developed jurisdiction with infrastructure and testing that produces drivers easily meeting the standards of these other jurisdictions with which France will exchange motorcycle licences.  In this respect, the Alberta government is failing to provide the ease of mobility experienced by residents of many other jurisdictions, such as France.

Browse the menu “The Case of Alberta and France” to find information specific to the circumstances surrounding the exchange agreement between these two particular jurisdictions, and to see immigration statistics that provide an idea of the great effect that expanding the exchange agreement could have.