Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Ontario welcomes careful drivers

It's been a busy day today. Thanks again to everyone for the comments, especially Bellarosa and Erik - always nice to see new commenters. I know you're not exactly new Bellarosa because of HNT, but it's nice to see people not confining themselves to one comment a week! Also, I have no idea who random German commenter was, but "Danke" anyway.

So today we ventured into the town of Chatham to see if we could exchange our UK driving licences for Ontario ones. Martha went first and it all went well. She had to do a quick eye test, and was soon in receipt of her temporary licence, and the real one will be out in the post soon. Unfortunately mine wasn't so straightforward...for some reason my UK licence didn't have the right code on it for the class of vehicle I am entitled to drive. The reason for this we figured is because when I took my driving test in the UK, I took it in a manual (stick shift) car, which entitles me to drive just about anything as long as it's not an HGV or a motorcycle. Martha however took her test in an automatic, and therefore is only allowed to drive an automatic vehicle in the UK. Therefore my UK licence is actually BETTER than hers, but is slightly different and completely threw these people for a loop today.

Anyway, after some general flapping from the woman behind the counter and a phone call she discovered it was all OK, and proceeded to process my licence. Next problem was the eye test. My eyesight is VERY poor - even with my glasses and she had to enlarge the size of the numbers I was meant to read three times before I could correctly guess them. Fortunately I guess I was still within the pass mark for eligibility to drive on Canadian roads, and my licence will also be sent to me in the mail soon! Phew!

Next up, we tried our luck at the employment centre to get my Social Insurance Number (SIN). This was extremely easy. We'd already downloaded the application forms from t'internet and filled them in - I must point out that the Canadian Government get massive brownie points for their online information. It's mostly easy to navigate and all the documents are easy to find and complete. If this was the UK, I doubt very much I'd be saying that.

Anyway, the guy told me that we'd arrived at a bad time (lunch) and therefore I couldn't get my SIN right there and then, but he could send it away and I'd get it in a few weeks. No problem, I'm not that bothered. So he took some details, checked my Immigrant Visa details, and that was it. I doubt we were in the building for more than 15 minutes. We also took a moment to apply for a SIN for Audrey as well, which I know sounds daft since she's unlikely to be joining the workforce anytime soon, but we figured it was as good a time as any.

So a big pat on the back for me for doing all that, and spent the rest of the day at the in-laws bumming around inside (watching movies) and outside (in the sunny weather). It still hasn't sunk in that we're here for good - it just feels completely like a holiday. Soon I will need a reality check and have to start looking for work.

On a separate note, the Pet Shop Boys website has changed! Was having a quick skim through it today and thinking it was really nice.

whew. i'm tired after reading all that. seems that you got a lot accomplished today. congrats to you guys! :)
Whew! How busy you've been!

I'm glad you were able to finally get your licenses in order and I hope yours arrives soon.

Oh! Thanks for mentioning the Pet Shop Boys site changes! It finally works for me now!
It didn't like my browser before, but now it looks terrific and I can navigate it!
Sounds like you achieved a lot, nice one. I remember moving to Belgium, I hadn't finished my formalities by the time I moved back to Blighty 6 months later. Talk about the EU 'free movement of labour', sounds much easier moving across an ocean rather than the English channel!
I don't think it's silly to get an id number for Audrey. We have Social security numbers for both our kids and my son is only 2. You would be surprised how often you need it here (US). We need them to file taxes.
OGO is right, you will need Audrey's SIN for a whole bunch of tax things.

And I guess when I see a bloke driving on the wrong side of the road, I'll stop and say Hi to you ;)
When we first moved to Texas we felt the same way. Wish I was there! I love Ontario!
So you're in, eh? How's the weather, eh?

I hope I'm helping with your transition into the Canadian life, (eh?)!

Cheers! And good on you, mate!
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