Driver Licensing

Questions and Answers

Q
What age groups are affected by GDL?

Manitoba’s GDL Program applies to all new drivers regardless of age, gender or geographic location. New drivers have the highest risk for collisions and the GDL Program increases the opportunity to learn safe driving skills.

Q
How do I obtain a Class 5 Learner Licence?

First, buy a Driver’s Handbook from your Autopac agent or a Manitoba Public Insurance Service Centre. Or download one here (PDF). Once you have read the book and fully understand it, you are ready to take the knowledge (written) test. The test charge is $10 (subject to change).

If you are enrolled in a high school driver education course, you can obtain your Class 5 Learner Stage licence at age 15 1/2. If you are under 18 years of age, you require a parent or legal guardian’s written approval.

Should you fail the knowledge test, you will be required to wait seven days before you rewrite the test.

After passing the knowledge test, in order to drive, you will be required to purchase a Learner Stage licence for $20 (subject to change) plus applicable driver premiums.

Q
Why have a zero blood alcohol concentration restriction for new drivers?

Driving is a complex task that requires full attention. Alcohol impairs skill and judgment. For new drivers, consuming even a small amount of alcohol could be extremely dangerous. The best way for drivers to ensure that they are alert is to avoid driving after drinking any alcohol.

Q
Why is there a nine-month learning period before taking a road test?

Manitobans experience every kind of driving condition. The nine-month learning period exposes new, inexperienced drivers to a wider variety of driving situations and weather conditions. Experts report that a longer learning period is essential to provide driving practice in a variety of conditions. It also allows the driver to gain experience in various driving environments. On completion of the nine-month learning period, the applicant may apply for a road test.

Q
Who is allowed to supervise me while I drive a Class 5 vehicle?

Any experienced driver who has held a full Class 5 licence for at least three years and currently holds a valid licence can supervise a learner driver in Class 5. The supervising driver must be the only front seat passenger. To supervise in Classes 1–4, the supervising driver must have also held a class of licence in the vehicle being driven for at least two years.

Q
If I hold a Class 5 Learner licence, can I also obtain Authorized Instruction in Classes 1 to 4?

No. All new applicants who are subject to the nine-month learning period must pass a Class 5 road test (and must be at least 18 years of age) before they can obtain Authorized Instruction in Classes 1 to 4.

Once you pass the Class 5 road test and hold a Class 5 Intermediate Stage licence, you may apply for Authorized Instruction for Classes 1 to 4. Drivers who hold a Class 5 licence with Authorized Instruction (they held a minimum Class 5L licence before April 1, 2002) may also apply for Authorized Instruction in Classes 1 to 4.

Q
Can teenagers drive a Class 3 truck registered as a farm truck to help with farm operations?

Any driver, regardless of age, with a minimum Class 5 Intermediate Stage licence may operate a Class 3 vehicle registered as a farm truck. Therefore, teenage drivers with a Class 5 Full or Intermediate Stage licence may operate a Class 3 vehicle registered as a farm truck. The GDL restrictions (such as zero blood alcohol content) will still apply while operating the farm truck.

Q
Can a new driver operate an off-road vehicle (snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, etc.) on a highway?

To operate an off-road vehicle along or across a highway, a driver must hold at least a Class 5 or 6 Intermediate Stage licence and adhere to the licence restrictions in that stage when crossing a roadway. This also applies to off-road vehicles with more than two wheels and being used for agricultural purposes, when operated on the shoulder.

Q
What are the licence eligibility requirements for obtaining a Class 6 motorcycle Learner licence?

In addition to passing the knowledge and vision test, all new applicants are required to successfully complete the motorcycle training course before a Class 6 Learner Stage licence will be issued. To apply for the Class 6 Learner Stage licence, the applicant must be at least 16 years of age and hold a valid driver’s licence of any other class.

Q
I wish to obtain a motorcycle licence (Class 6) and I already hold a Full Class 5 licence, do I have to take the motorcycle training course?

Yes. If you are applying for your first Class 6 Learner Stage licence you will be required to complete the motorcycle knowledge test and the motorcycle training course prior to being issued a Class 6 Learner Stage licence. Upon issuance of the Class 6 Learner Stage licence, you will be subject to the GDL restrictions while operating a motorcycle. As you already have a Full Class5 driver’s licence, you will not be required to complete the Intermediate Stage of the motorcycle licence. Once you successfully pass the motorcycle road test, you will automatically progress to the Full Stage of the motorcycle licence with a three-year zero blood alcohol concentration restriction while operating the motorcycle.

Q
What happens if I violate the GDL restrictions?

If you violate the zero blood alcohol content restriction, you will:

  • receive an immediate 24-hour roadside suspension
  • be required to attend a show cause hearing with our Driver Improvement and Control Program to determine further sanctions
  • be required to pay a driver’s licence reinstatement charge

If you are found to be driving with a blood alcohol concentration between .05 and .08 or fail a physical coordination test or drug recognition evaluation, you will receive an immediate Tiered Administrative Licence Suspension.

Tiered Administrative Licence Suspensions are progressively longer suspensions ranging from 72 hours to 60 days, depending on how many previous suspensions have been issued to the driver within a 10-year period.

Receiving a Tiered Administrative Licence Suspension lowers your Driver Safety Rating (DSR) by five levels. You may also be subject to a Driver Improvement and Control intervention. This could range from a warning letter to a show cause hearing, at which time a further driver’s licence suspension would be considered. You would also be required to pay a driver’s licence reinstatement charge.

If you receive two or more suspensions within a 10-year period, you are also required to complete an Impaired Driver Assessment at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) at you own expense.

If you are found to be driving with a blood alcohol concentration over .08, refuse to provide a breath or blood sample to police, refuse to perform a physical coordination test or drug recognition evaluation, or refuse to follow a police officer’s instructions regarding either test, Manitoba’s tough impaired driving countermeasures will apply. These may include:

  • an immediate three-month Administrative Licence Suspension, which lowers your DSR by five levels
  • being charged under the Criminal Code of Canada
  • vehicle impoundment (except special mobile machines)
  • a mandatory Impaired Driver Assessment at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) at your expense
  • a driver’s licence reinstatement charge
  • participation in Manitoba’s Ignition Interlock Program if convicted of the offence

If you are found in violation of other GDL restrictions, you will be requested to attend a novice driver hearing. As a result of the hearing, you may receive:

  • a driver’s licence suspension
  • a special driving course (at your own expense)
  • additional driver’s licence restrictions