Mandatory Entry-Level Training – Class 1 licence

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New mandatory training requirements are coming for drivers who want to obtain their Class 1 driver’s licence.

As of September 1, 2019, you must complete an approved Class 1 Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) course before you can book your road test to obtain a Class 1 licence to drive a semi-trailer truck (other existing requirements also apply).

The Province of Manitoba has introduced this mandatory minimum training requirement, which aligns with other Canadian jurisdictions that are in the process of implementing mandatory training programs. Previously, training was recommended but not required prior to obtaining a Class 1 licence.

The MELT course consists of 121.5 hours of standardized training that covers the essential knowledge and skills to safely operate a semi-trailer truck. This mandatory training will help ensure the safety of all road users.

Drivers only need to successfully complete mandatory training once – there is no need to take the training again.

Existing Class 1 drivers

Drivers with an existing valid Manitoba Class 1 licence issued before September 1, 2019, do not need to retest and are not required to take MELT.

NOTE: Class 1 road test bookings resume as of Wednesday, August 14, when appointments in September and October will be available for booking. Due to unprecedented high demand, all Class 1 road test appointments have been fully booked throughout August. You must successfully complete an approved MELT course before you can schedule a Class 1 road test for a date after September 1.

Agriculture industry

The MELT requirement is deferred for the agricultural industry for one year, to allow the Province of Manitoba to consult with stakeholders on the impact to this industry.

After September 1, 2019, agricultural workers can take the Class 1 road test to obtain a conditional Class 1 licence without completing MELT. You must request the agricultural deferral when you book your road test, and you must meet all other Class 1 requirements.

Drivers who request an agricultural deferral and who pass their road test will be issued a conditional Class 1 licence to drive farm-plated Class 1 vehicles in Manitoba until August 31, 2020. Future licencing requirements beyond that date will be determined by the Province of Manitoba in consultation with stakeholders.

Other approved training

The existing 244-hour Professional Truck Driver Training course offered by private vocational institutes in Manitoba fulfils the MELT requirement. Drivers who can show they have successfully completed the 244-hour course can book a road test after September 1, 2019, and attempt a Class 1 licence. If you have previously completed the 244-hour course and want your driving record to show you have achieved the MELT requirement, contact your driving school.

Any other truck-driver training courses are not recognized as fulfilling the MELT requirement. Taken alone, they do not meet the new requirements for Class 1 licence applicants after September 1, 2019.

Training providers

Mandatory training can only be provided by an approved driving school that meets established standards. Approved MELT providers are:

Course requirements

MELT consists of a minimum 121.5 hours of training. Instruction consists of 40.5 hours in class, 40 hours in yard and 41 hours in cab.

Cost

Training providers set their own price for students to take the MELT course.

Road tests

Drivers who have not successfully completed MELT training (or the 244-hour Professional Truck Driver Training course) cannot book or take a Class 1 road test after September 1, 2019. This includes anyone who has previously failed a road test for their Class 1 and wants to re-take the test, and anyone who tried but failed to schedule a test prior to September 1, 2019. The only exceptions are the agriculture deferral, outlined above, and testing for certain Class 1 drivers moving to Manitoba, outlined below.

Booking your Class 1 road test

For all students who take MELT in Manitoba, you can book your road test only after your school notifies MPI that you have successfully completed your MELT course. Allow up to three business days for the notification to be processed before attempting to book your test.

Updates to the Class 1 road test

Starting September 1, 2019:

  • Class 1 road tests must be performed on a manual transmission vehicle, to align training and testing.
  • The Class 1 test includes a pre-trip inspection that consists of the inspection, the air brake test, and coupling. Applicants must pass all three elements of the pre-trip inspection.
  • The Class 1 road test includes the air brake component – the tests cannot be taken separately. No separate air-brake endorsement will be issued until the full Class 1 test is successfully completed.
  • Applicants must bring the inspection report, confirming the vehicle was fully inspected in the past 24 hours.

New residents

A driver who obtained a Class 1 licence in a MELT jurisdiction (Ontario, Alberta or Saskatchewan) will be eligible to receive a Class 1 licence in Manitoba, subject to meeting residency and other existing requirements.

As of September 1, 2019, Class 1 drivers who move to Manitoba from a province without MELT, or from the U.S.:

  • Drivers with a minimum of 24 months of Class 1 experience can receive a Manitoba Class 1 licence and do not require MELT.
  • Drivers with 12 to 24 months (less one day) of Class 1 experience do not require MELT if they successfully complete the Class 1 road test within 12 months and two attempts.
  • Drivers with less than 12 months of Class 1 experience must take MELT and successfully complete the Manitoba Class 1 knowledge and road test.

There is no commercial licence reciprocity for drivers moving from anywhere outside of Canada and the U.S. See more information about moving to Manitoba.