Driver Licensing


There are certain considerations in place for Armed Forces personnel who are looking to obtain or upgrade their Manitoba driver’s licence.

New to Manitoba

Members of NATO forces visiting Manitoba, and their spouses, are exempt from the requirement to obtain a Class 5 Manitoba driver’s licence within three months of arrival, provided that they maintain a valid driver’s licence from their home jurisdiction. When applying for a Manitoba driver’s licence, reciprocity will be granted to members of NATO Forces personnel and their family members (subject to proof of military and/or dependent status). Reciprocity allows for exchange of a valid out-of-country licence for the equivalent Manitoba Class 5 or Class 6 licence without knowledge testing or road testing. Note that reciprocity is not available for driver’s licences from Denmark.

For members of the Canadian Armed Forces, if your Manitoba or out-of-province licence has lapsed, or if the licence was suspended for non-payment while you were actively serving, the military service record will be accepted to close the gap in the driver record. This will also be extended to your family members.

Canadian Forces permanent driver’s licences and identification cards are accepted to help establish the identity of military personnel who relocate to this province and apply for a Manitoba driver’s licence or identification card. If you are unable to produce required identification or proof of Manitoba residency, a Guarantor Form can be used and Military Police will be recognized to act as guarantors. There is also an escalation process in place that may allow for consideration of alternative documentation.

Licence class upgrades

Military personnel who have military driving permits certified by the Department of National Defence (DND) may be eligible to upgrade their active Manitoba driver’s licence to permit operation of equivelant commercial class vehicles, without having to complete knowledge or road testing. Medical reporting requirements, however, would still apply.

Manitoba Public Insurance will recognize the following Department of National Defence (DND) 404 licences for upgrade to the equivalent Manitoba driver’s licence class:

  • class 1 (all combinations of tractor trailers)
  • class 2 (all types of buses)
  • class 3 (most cargo vehicles except tractor trailers, pending approval)
  • class 4 (emergency recovery vehicles)
  • air brakes

Documentation required to qualify for the upgrade includes:

  • a DND Driver/Operator Proficiency Record indicating:
  • member’s name and date of birth
  • DND-404 permit number
  • licence class(es) and, if applicable, air brake endorsement
  • restrictions
  • licence effective and expiry dates
  • licence status
  • if applicable, other provincial driver’s licence number, class and expiry date
  • confirmation that the member holds a current DND-404 class 1, 2, 3 or 4 driver’s licence that is not expired, revoked or suspended if the applicant is an active military member
  • a Driver Qualification Letter which:
  • has been issued by DND authenticating the Driver/Operator Proficiency Record
  • verifies the highest licence class upgrade (and air brake endorsement if applicable) the member qualifies for
  • is currently dated within three months of applying for upgrade
  • is duly authorized and signed by approved DND personnel
  • includes the date of retirement from active military service if the applicant is a veteran and confirms that the veteran held a DND-404 class 1, 2, 3 or 4 driver’s licence that was not expired, revoked or suspended at the time of surrender to the DND
  • a full physical medical report signed and dated within six months by a board certified physician.
  • a valid Manitoba driver’s licence (minimum Class 5 Full Stage)

If the applicant holds a civilian driver’s licence from another jurisdiction, they must be a Manitoba resident and comply with Manitoba’s proof of identity and residency requirements and obtain a minimum Class 5 Full Stage Manitoba driver’s licence. The Class 5 Full Stage licence can be obtained either through a reciprocal arrangement where applicable or by successfully completing the Class 5 written knowledge and road tests.

If the applicant has never held a civilian driver’s licence, they will be required to obtain a Class 5 Full Stage licence by successfully completing the required knowledge and road testing, but they will be exempt from the Graduated Driver Licence requirements. Credit will be given for the driving experience accumulated with the DND-404.

Support our Troops

Support our Troops specialty licence plates are available for sale through Autopac agents. A set of the new plates will cost $70, with $30 of each purchase going towards educational scholarships for qualifying military members, their spouses, partners or children planning to study in Manitoba. More information is available here.