Graduated Driver Licensing

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Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) is a three-stage program designed to help new drivers, regardless of age, acquire the knowledge and skill needed to safely operate a motor vehicle. Whether you are 16 or 60, GDL enables new drivers to gain more experience under a greater variety of driving conditions.

Who GDL applies to

GDL applies to all driver licence applicants (regardless of age), who have never held and are now applying for a Class 5 licence (passenger vehicles and light trucks) or a Class 6 licence (motorcycles).

GDL requirements may be waived if you’re new to Manitoba and you have a valid driver’s licence from another jurisdiction that is equivalent to a Manitoba Class 5 Full or Class 6 Full driver’s licence. (Instruction permits/learner licences from any jurisdiction cannot be exchanged for a Manitoba Class 5 or Class 6 driver’s licence.)

Experienced and learner drivers who are exempt from GDL but are required to complete Manitoba testing are eligible for Authorized Instruction stage licences

GDL exemptions apply separately to Class 5 and Class 6 drivers. If you have a Class 5 licence and want to obtain a Class 6 licence, you are required to comply with all GDL requirements for your Class 6 licence.

Class 5 GDL stages

The GDL stages for a Class 5 driver’s licence are:

L – Learner stage: minimum nine months (270 days)

I – Intermediate stage: minimum 15 months (450 days)

F – Full stage: first three years

Each stage has specific restrictions, which help reduce the risk of collision while allowing you to gain valuable driving experience.

Time spent in the Learner and Intermediate stages of GDL is only earned if you hold a valid driver’s licence (your licence is not suspended, prohibited or expired). Time spent in the Full stage of GDL is calculated as straight time and does not exclude licence breaks.

Learn more about the Class 5 stages.

On completion of the 15-month Intermediate stage, the driver can graduate to the Class 5 Full stage.

Restrictions

For the first three years when operating a vehicle, the driver must not have any alcohol in their system and must able to pass a drug screening test.

The three-year zero blood alcohol restriction does not apply to drivers who entered the GDL program prior to December 16, 2006 when the Full stage zero blood alcohol concentration restriction was expanded from one year to three years.

The driver can:

  • Operate a passenger car
  • Operate a truck with not more than two axles
  • Operate a bus not carrying passengers
  • Operate a Class 3 motor vehicle registered as a farm truck
  • Operate an off-road vehicle along or across a highway
  • Tow a vehicle (combined GVW no greater than 4,540 kg)
  • Operate a moped
  • Upgrade to a Full stage licence in Class 1-4 after passing the appropriate tests
  • Supervise drivers after three years in the Full stage

Class 6 GDL stages

The GDL stages for a Class 6 licence are:

M – Motorcycle Training Course Stage

L – Learner Stage – (minimum 9 months)

I – Intermediate Stage – (minimum 15 months)

F – Full Stage – (first 3 years)

Each stage has specific restrictions, which help reduce the risk of a collision while allowing you to gain valuable driving experience.

Time spent in the Learner and Intermediate stages is only earned if you hold a valid driver’s licence (your licence is not suspended, prohibited or expired).

A stage may be extended as a result of interventions from a Driver Improvement and Control full driving record review or show-cause hearing.

Learn more about the Class 6 stages.