Moving to Ottawa

Here are a few tips/tricks to make the transition to Ottawa smoother, not all categories below apply to everyone.


See our Housing and Neighbourhoods pages for more info!

Claiming Moving Expenses on Taxes

  • If you are moving >40 km closer to work, then keep all receipts related to your move. The full listings of what is eligbible and ineligible to be claimed are available throught the Canada Revenue Agency’s website.
  • If signing with a moving company, ensure you read the contract carefully for clear terms regarding broken items, missing items, and delayed delivery.
  • Consider additional insurance if insurance is not included in your moving contract.

Update Driver’s Licence

  • Exchange your licence in person at any DriveTest location within 60 days of moving to Ontario. Eligible valid drivers’ licences for exchange include any Canadian province, the USA, the armed forces, or certain other countries (click here for further information).
  • Further details about what is required for the application is available here including what to bring to the DriveTest office.

Apply for Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) Card

  • Application must be done in person at a Service Ontario Office.
  • You must complete the registration form for OHIP coverage and bring 3 different forms of ID; (i) birth certificate/permanent resident card, (ii) driver’s licence/income tax assessment, (iii) credit card/passport
  • Note that Quebec residents may be charged extra fees for bloodwork or physician visits due to nonreciprocal agreements between Ontario and Quebec.
  • For full details on the OHIP application click here.


Vehicle Registration

  • If you are purchasing a new vehical or are from out of province, then you can register your vehicle online or in person at your local Service Ontario Office.
  • Many vehicles in Ontario need both Safety Inspections and Vehicle Emissions Testing. The MTO (Ministry of Transportation Ontario) annually publishes which vehicles require repeat emissions testing (usually vehicals older than 7 years).
  • License plates in Ontario consist of a plate fee (flat rate at time of registration) and a “sticker” fee that can be purchased for 1 or 2 year time frames. The sticker is placed directly on the license plate.