Driver Licensing

Requirements

Authorized Instruction

Learner drivers who are not in GDL will be issued an Authorized Instruction licence (Stage A). This includes:

  • Class 5 drivers who held a Learner licence (Class 7 with Authorized Instruction in Classes 1 to 5) before April 1, 2002
  • Class 6 drivers who held a Motorcycle Instruction Permit before April 1, 2002
  • experienced drivers whose licence is de-classed to a Learner licence due to a test failure
  • experienced drivers from out-of-province who are required to take full driver examinations upon transferring to a Manitoba driver’s licence
  • learner drivers in Classes 1–4

Class 5 Stage A drivers must:

  • maintain a zero blood alcohol concentration
  • be accompanied by a supervising driver as the only front seat passenger (see below for supervising driver requirements)
  • not operate a Class 3 vehicle registered as a farm truck
  • not operate off-road vehicles along or across a highway (unless driver holds a minimum Class 6 Intermediate Stage licence)

Class 6 Stage A drivers must:

  • maintain zero blood alcohol concentration
  • not carry a passenger
  • not operate off-road vehicles along or across highways (unless driver holds a minimum Class 5 Intermediate licence)

Class 1– 4 Stage A drivers must be accompanied by a qualified supervising driver.


Supervising driver

Supervising drivers must accompany Class 5L drivers and drivers with Authorized Instruction in Classes 1 to 5. The supervising drivers provide on-road training and monitoring while new drivers are practicing their driving and should be prepared to assume control of the vehicle if necessary.

The supervising driver must:

  • hold a valid and continuous driver’s licence in the class of vehicle being operated by the learner
  • have held a minimum Class 5F licence for at least three years
  • have held a licence in the class being operated for at least two years if a Class 1 to 4 vehicle is being operated
  • be the only front seat passenger if supervising in a Class 5 vehicle
  • occupy the seat nearest the driver if supervising in Class 1 to 4 vehicles
  • have less than .05 blood alcohol concentration

Keep your licence valid

Your driver’s licence expiry date is printed on the front of your licence. It is your responsibility to know when your licence expires and when to renew it.

Each year, your licence will be reassessed. You will be required to pay for your driver’s licence every year on your anniversary date, which is four months less a day after your birthday. For example, if your birthday is Sept. 21, your anniversary date is Jan. 20.If you do not pay the assessed charges for your licence by the anniversary date, your licence can be suspended. You will also not earn credit in the Learner or Intermediate Stage for the period of time you are not licensed.


Zero blood alcohol concentration

New drivers must have zero blood alcohol concentration while operating a vehicle. Driving is a complex task that requires full attention. Alcohol impairs skill and judgment. For new drivers, who may have difficulty with relatively simple driving tasks, 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.

The zero blood alcohol concentration restriction applies to all drivers with a:

  • Class 5 Licence in the Learner or Intermediate Stage
  • Class 5 Licence in the Authorized Instruction Stage
  • Class 6 Licence in the Learner or Intermediate Stage (while operating a motorcycle)
  • Class 6 Licence in the Authorized Instruction Stage (while operating a motorcycle)
  • Class 5 and/or Class 6 licence for the first three years in the Full Stage

Consequences of violating the zero blood alcohol concentration or GDL restrictions

Anyone in the GDL Program who violates the no-alcohol requirement or other GDL restrictions will face interventions and possible sanctions depending on the circumstances.

Zero blood alcohol concentration restriction

Novice drivers (those with a Learner’s or Intermediate licence or who have not held a Full Stage licence for three years) who violate the zero blood alcohol concentration restriction may:

  • 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

Tiered Administrative Licence Suspensions

Drivers operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration between .05 and .08 or who fail a physical coordination test or drug recognition evaluation are subject to 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. Drivers will receive a:

  • 72-hour driver’s licence suspension for a first occurrence
  • 15-day driver’s licence suspension for a second occurrence
  • 30-day driver’s licence suspension for a third occurrence
  • 60-day driver’s licence suspension for a fourth and subsequent occurrences
  • 7-day driver’s licence suspension for a first occurrence with a person under the age of 16 in the vehicle

A driver who receives a Tiered Administrative Licence Suspension will move down the Driver Safety Rating (DSR) scale five levels and may also be subject to a Driver Improvement and Control intervention. This could result in a show cause hearing, at which time a further driver’s licence suspension would be considered. They would also be required to pay a driver’s licence reinstatement charge.

Drivers receiving two or more tiered suspensions within a 10-year period are also required to complete an Impaired Driver Assessment at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) at their own expense.

Three–month Administrative Licence Suspension

Drivers found with a blood alcohol concentration over .08, who refuse to provide a breath or blood sample, or who refuse to perform a physical coordination test or drug recognition evaluation, or who refuse to follow a police officer’s instructions regarding either test will receive an immediate three-month Administrative Licence Suspension. Receiving this suspension lowers the driver’s rating on the DSR scale by five levels and requires payment of a driver’s licence reinstatement charge. Additional consequences may include:

  • being charged under the Criminal Code
  • vehicle impoundment (except special mobile machines)
  • a mandatory Impaired Driver Assessment at the driver’s expense

Criminal Code offences

Criminal Code offences include the following:

  • driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
  • driving with a blood alcohol concentration over .08
  • impaired driving causing bodily harm or death
  • refusing to provide a breath or blood sample to police upon request
  • refusing to perform a physical coordination test or drug recognition evaluation or refusing to follow a police officer’s instructions regarding either test

In addition to an immediate roadside suspension, the penalties for a driver convicted of an impaired driving-related Criminal Code offence include:

  • moving an additional five to 10 levels down the DSR scale
  • a minimum fine of $1,000
  • possible imprisonment
  • a minimum one year of court imposed driving prohibition
  • mandatory driver’s licence suspension under The Highway Traffic Act from one year to life
  • mandatory participation in Manitoba’s Ignition Interlock program
  • possible vehicle forfeiture

Note: A discharge under the Criminal Code for certain driving-related offences may be treated as a conviction under The Highway Traffic Act.

GDL restriction violation

New drivers who violate any GDL restriction will be required to attend a novice driver hearing with Manitoba Public Insurance’s Driver Improvement and Control Program. New drivers may also be required to attend a show cause hearing as a result of convictions, collision involvement or alcohol- or drug-related administrative suspensions.

At the hearing, a reviewing officer will review the nature and circumstances of the incidents with the driver. The result of a hearing may include one or more of the following:

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

Drivers may appeal the licence suspension to the Licence Suspension Appeal Board on the grounds of hardship.

Insurance coverage

Violating the zero blood alcohol requirement or other GDL restrictions may result in being denied insurance coverage.


New residents to Manitoba

When exchanging your out-of-province driver’s licence for a Manitoba licence, you will receive credit toward the appropriate stage for the time you served in your home jurisdiction.

Testing requirements may be waived if you exchange a valid and equivalent class driver’s licence from a reciprocal jurisdiction. For further information on drivers new to Manitoba, please call 204-985-7000 or toll-free 1-800-665-2410 or visit New to Manitoba.

Learner Stage

If you held a Learner Stage licence in your previous home jurisdiction, you must take knowledge and vision tests before a Manitoba Learner Stage licence will be issued.

You will then receive credit toward the nine-month learning period for the time you held a Learner Stage licence in your previous home jurisdiction.

For example, if you held a Learner Stage licence for five months in the other jurisdiction, you’ll receive five months credit towards the Manitoba nine-month learning period. If you held a Learner Stage licence for more than nine months, you may take the road test immediately.

Unless you are enrolled in a high school driver education course, you must be at least 16 years of age.

Intermediate Stage

If you held an Intermediate Stage licence for less than 15 months in your previous home jurisdiction, when transferring to a Manitoba licence, you will be issued an Intermediate Stage licence. Credit will then be given toward the 15-month Intermediate Stage for the period you held the Intermediate Stage licence in your previous home jurisdiction.

For example, if you held an Intermediate Stage licence for 10 months in your previous home jurisdiction, 10 months would be credited to the Manitoba 15-month Intermediate Stage.

If you held an Intermediate Stage licence for more than 15 months in your previous licence jurisdiction, on transfer to the Manitoba licence, you will be issued a Manitoba Full Stage licence.

Full Stage

If you held a Full Stage licence in your previous home jurisdiction, you will be issued a Manitoba Full Stage licence. If you held a Full Stage licence for less than three years, you will be subject to the zero blood alcohol concentration restriction. You may supervise a novice driver only if you have held a Full licence for more than three years.


Driver’s licence

On your driver’s licence, you’ll see what class of licence you have and what stage of GDL you’re in.

A number from one to six shows the class of licence you have and one or more of the following letters shows the stage of GDL you’re in:

  • L - Learner
  • I - Intermediate
  • F - Full
  • A - Authorized Instruction
  • M - Motorcycle Training Course only