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Application Process

Learner's Licence

You must be at least 16 years of age to apply for a novice driver Class 5, Level I (passenger car or light truck), or Class 6, Level I (motorcycle). You will become a part of the Graduated Driver Licensing Program.

You must present (at the time you are applying for your learner's permit) proof of age, identity and if applicable proof of legal presence in Canada. Please refer to Required Identification Documentation page. All documents must be originals. Photocopies are not accepted unless certified

You are required to pass a written and vision test. The written test consists of questions about the rules of the road, safe driving practices and road sign recognition. A mark of 85% is a passing grade for the written test.

If you are applying for a Class 6, Level I (motorcycle) licence you are required to do a balance test in addition to the written and vision tests.

You must contact the nearest Motor Registration Division office in your area for an appointment.

If you are under 19 years of age, you will be required to get parental or guardian consent before a learner's permit will be issued to you. There is a consent block provided on the driver application form.

You will be required to hold your learner's permit for a period of 12 months, or 8 months with the completion of an approved driver training or motorcycle program.

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Road Users Manual

Manuals can be obtained from any Motor Registration Division Office or downloaded for free opens new window (3.6 MB).

Please refer to the Required Identification Documentation page for updated information on documentation accepted for identification and proof of age purposes.

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The Road Test

After 12 months in Level 1 or 8 months in Level I, with the completion of an approved driver training or motorcycle program, you may take your road test. We recommend that you contact the Motor Registration Division toll free at 1-877-636-6867 prior to your graduation date to schedule a road test date and time.

On the day of your road test your vehicle will be checked for mechanical fitness and you must present the following:

  • receipt for payment of your road test;
  • Delays in processing your road test receipt may result in the cancellation of your appointment
  • valid Class 5 or 6 Level 1 driver's licence; and
  • valid insurance policy and vehicle registration permit for the vehicle in which you are to be road tested.

Remember: Do not leave payment of your road test until appointment day and time.

Tip: The defensive driver is one who

  • Makes allowances for the lack of skill and improper attitude of other drivers and pedestrians;
  • Makes allowances for weather and road conditions;
  • Keeps constantly alert;
  • Recognizes accident producing situations far enough in advance to take necessary preventative action;
  • Relinquishes the right of way if it will prevent an accident;
  • Shows courtesy to other users of the road; and
  • Develops safe driving habits.

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Valid Driver's Licence in Another Jurisdiction

See New Residents requirements.

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Commercial Drivers Licences (Classes 1, 2, 3, and 4)

The efficient and safe operation of commercial vehicles in our province depends primarily upon the judgement, knowledge and skill of commercial drivers. A good driver will be alert to the importance of his or her duties and will make a point of not only knowing and understanding the rules of the road but also practicing them.

Service NL has implemented a comprehensive commercial test for drivers wishing to obtain a Class 1, 2, or 3 driver's licence.

The road test for a Class 4 is similar in content as that for a Class 5, except you must stop at a railway crossing.

Please note before you can obtain a commercial class of driver's licence:

  1. You must have one (1) year as a class 5 driver before you can apply for a commercial class of driver's licence.
  2. Before applying for a commercial driver's licence, you must submit a medical form completed by your family doctor. Forms may be obtained from any Motor Registration Office or Driver Examination Centre.
  3. When you submit the completed medical form, you must take a written commercial and sign test along with a vision test. You will also require an air brake endorsement for those vehicles equipped with air brakes. You will then be issued a permit authorizing you to receive instruction from a licenced commercial driver for the class of licence desired. When you are ready, you must make an appointment at a Driver Examination Centre for a road test.

Commercial Driver Licence Code “W” Restriction

All applicants holding or receiving a Class 1, 2, 3, or 4 driver’s license are required to provide a satisfactory medical report upon initial application and on a regular cycle.

Canada and the United States have agreed to recognize each other’s medical qualifications for commercial drivers. However, the United States rules restrict a person from operating a commercial vehicle if s/he has one of the following medical conditions:

  1. Insulin-dependent diabetes;
  2. Hearing-impaired drivers who do not meet U.S. hearing standards;
  3. Drivers with a history of epilepsy or seizures; and
  4. Drivers with monocular vision.

Canadian commercial drivers are no longer required to carry a medical card for inspection by United States officials as proof of medical fitness; however, by February 2014 drivers must have an indicator (Code “W”) printed on their Canadian driver’s license advising that they are licenced to operate as a commercial driver only in Canada if they have one or more of the above noted medical conditions.

U.S. drivers who have the same medical conditions but who may have been grandfathered or hold medical waivers to operate commercial vehicles within the United States will have a Code “V” on their driver’s licence prohibiting them from operating commercial vehicles in Canada.

The person’s driver’s licence will display a “W” under the Rest/Cond on the front of the licence and on the back “COMMERCIAL CLASSES 1,2,3,4 VALID IN CANADA ONLY” is displayed.

It is important to note that this restriction on person’s driver’s licence does not affect his/her ability to operate as a commercial driver in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador or in any province or territory in Canada.

It also does not prevent him/her from driving passenger vehicles (cars, light trucks or vans for personal use) or motorcycles in the United States.

Personal driver licence or medical information has not been released to any other officials either within Canada or the United States.

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Class 1, 2, 3 & 4 Road Test

The road test for Classes 1 and 3 consists of

  1. Pre-trip inspection;
  2. Reverse 90 degree angle parking;
  3. Uncoupling and coupling (Class 1); and
  4. A 60 minute road test in traffic. Please remember that a commercial vehicle is required to stop at a railway crossing.

The road test for Class 2 consists of

  1. Walk around of bus for compliance with mechanical fitness of vehicle. For school bus operators, the Driver Examiner will check for knowledge of operation on the Stop Arm and overhead flashing lights.
  2. Reverse 90 degree angle parking; and
  3. A 60 minute road test in traffic. Please remember that a commercial vehicle is required to stop at a railway crossing.

The road test for Class 4 consists of

  1. Walk around vehicle for compliance with mechanical fitness of vehicle.
  2. 30 minute road test in traffic. Please remember that a commercial vehicle is required to stop at a railway crossing.
  3. The Driver Examiner will check for knowledge of operation on the Stop Arm and overhead flashing lights if vehicle is furnished with this equipment.
  4. If the Class 4 is for "Taxi Only", a road test is not required. However, the driver will have a restriction placed on the driver's licence indicating taxi only.

Please refer to the Road Users Manual opens new window (3.6 MB) for further details.

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Air Brake Endorsement

TypeDescription
9Air brake endorsement without brake adjustment certification.
9aAir brake endorsement with brake adjustment certification.

Air Brake manuals are available from any Motor Registration Office. You must successfully complete a written test in order to get an air brake endorsement. If you are required to adjust your brakes you must obtain Air Brake - Brake Adjustment Certification. The adjustment certification component requires a practical test in addition to the written test.

This certification requirement is mandatory for all drivers involved in interjurisdictional operations.

Drivers currently holding an air brake endorsement will require proof of air brake adjustment certification before qualifying for the 9a endorsement.

If you have completed an air brake training course in Class 1 or 3 or a Heavy Duty Mechanic or Truck and Transport Certificate, in the past 5 years at an approved training school, you will be required to present a certificate of course completion which contains the following information:

Training Facility Attended; Address; Date of Course Completion; Duration of Course (weeks); Certificate # or provide copy of certificate.

You can get your 9A (air brake with adjustment certification) without undergoing any additional testing.

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Information for Applicants Wishing to Complete Air Brake Adjustment Test

You are required to supply the following

  • Wheel Chocks or Blocks;
  • 9/16 Combination Wrench;
  • Hammer;
  • Rule;
  • Rags;
  • Lubricant;
  • Chalk;
  • an Air Brake Equipped Motor Vehicle

You must be able to locate the following

  • Compressor
  • Main Reservoir
  • Drain Cock
  • Brake Chamber
  • Push Rod and Slack Adjuster
  • Glad Hands
  • Service and Supply Lines

Applicants must demonstrate ability to adjust brakes in accordance with the following procedure for S cam brakes: Please Note: THIS PROCEDURE REQUIRES TWO PEOPLE FOR BRAKE ADJUSTMENT.

  1. Leave in Neutral Gear
  2. Shut Off the Engine
  3. Block the Wheels
  4. Release the Spring Brake
  5. Check Size of Brake Chamber
  6. With Brake Released Mark Push Rod
  7. Apply All Brakes
  8. Measure Push Rod Travel
  9. If travel exceeds specifications based on size of brake chamber, use proper wrench to disengage the external locking device from adjuster bolt of the slack adjuster. (If so equipped)
  10. Turn the adjustment bolt until the lining contacts the drum and back off adjustment nut 1/4 turn, ensure locking sleeve is in the locked position.
  11. When turning the adjustment bolt on the slack adjuster, the spline of the S cam shaft should turn in the same direction as if the brake application were being made.
  12. Recheck Brake Adjustment

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Medical Standards

(Implemented January 5, 1996)

AgeClass
75First medical required for Class 5, 6 or 8 drivers licence.
80Second medical required for Class 5, 6 or 8 drivers licence.
80+Every two years thereafter.

Commercial Driver Classes 1, 2, 3, 4

  • Upon initial application
  • Every five years up to age 45
  • Every three years from age 45 to 65
  • After age 65 - medical required every year.

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Expired Driver's Licence

If your driver's licence is expired less than 5 years, you may renew your licence without taking any written, vision or road tests. You will be required to complete a driver's licence questionnaire and pay applicable fees for the class of licence you hold. Please contact the nearest Motor Registration Office in your area for further information.

If you hold a commercial class of licence you may be required to have a medical form completed by your family doctor. Please contact the nearest Motor Registration Office in your area for further information on the medical requirements.

If your driver's licence is expired more than 5 years you will be required to take a written vision and road test. However, you will be given credit for the time previously spent as a licenced driver and you may be exempted from the Graduated Driver Licensing Program. Please contact the Motor Registration Office in your area for further information.

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New Residents

You must exchange your existing driver's licence to a Newfoundland driver's licence within 3 months of taking up residence.

Translation Requirements

If your driver’s licence is in a language other than English you must provide an English translation of the licence.

Canada

People taking up residence from another province or territory in Canada can exchange their existing licence for a Newfoundland driver's licence without taking a written, vision or road test, provided:

  • You are 17 years of age
  • Your existing licence is valid (not suspended, cancelled or revoked).
  • Your licence, if expired, is not expired not more than 5 years.
  • If you are a 16 year old driver presenting a valid driver's licence from another jurisdiction which has a Graduated Driver Licensing Program, you will be placed in Class 5, Level I. If you have taken an approved driver education course, you will be given a 4 month credit and upon reaching 16 years, 8 months will receive a Class 5, Level II driver's licence. If you have not taken a driver education course you will remain at Level I until your 17th birthday, at which time you will graduate to a Class 5, Level II licence. A road test is not required since you would have already passed a road test in another jurisdiction, which Newfoundland recognizes.

Other licenced drivers taking up residence in the province will have their experience rated against the Newfoundland system and will be placed in the appropriate phase. Age, driving experience and class of licence currently held will determine placement.

If you are exchanging a commercial driver's licence (Class 1 - 4 ) you will also be required to complete a medical report. Blank medical forms can be obtained from the nearest Motor Registration Office in your area.

Identification Requirements

Any person who is taking up residency in Newfoundland & Labrador, who originates from outside of Canada, and who is applying for a learner’s permit or a driver’s licence must provide proof of their legal presence in Canada, with one primary proof of legal presence and one secondary document or two primary documents (one of which must be an acceptable document for proof of legal presence) as listed within each category of acceptable documents. Please refer to
Required Identification Documentation page.

United States

People taking up residence from the United States can exchange their existing licence for a Newfoundland driver's licence without taking a written, vision or road test, provided:

  • You are 17 years of age
  • You present the required identification documents Required Identification Documentation
  • Your existing licence is valid (not suspended, cancelled or revoked).
  • Your licence, if expired, is not expired not more than 5 years.
  • If you are a 16 year old driver presenting a valid driver's licence from another jurisdiction which has a Graduated Driver Licensing Program, you will be placed in Class 5, Level I. If you have taken an approved driver education course, you will be given a 4 month credit and upon reaching 16 years, 8 months will receive a Class 5, Level II driver's licence. If you have not taken a driver education course you will remain at Level I until your 17th birthday, at which time you will graduate to a Class 5, Level II licence. A road test is not required since you would have already passed a road test in another jurisdiction, which Newfoundland recognizes.

If you are exchanging a commercial driver's licence (Class 1 - 4), you will also be required to complete a medical report. Blank medical forms can be obtained from the nearest Motor Registration office in your area.

Other Countries

Newfoundland & Labrador have signed Reciprocity Agreements with the following countries for the exchange of the class of licence as indicated below:

Class 5 (Passenger Vehicle /Light Trucks) Only Class 5 (Passenger Vehicle /Light Trucks) & Class 6 (Motorcycle)
Germany
Austria
Switzerland
United Kingdom
Republic of Korea
France
Isle of Mann
Northern Ireland
Ireland
Japan

People taking up residence can exchange their existing licence for a Newfoundland driver's licence without taking a written, vision or road test provided:

  • You are 17 years of age.
  • You present the required identification documents Required Identification Documentation
  • Your existing licence is valid (not suspended, cancelled or revoked).
  • Your licence, if expired, is not expired not more than 5 years.
  • If you are a16 year old driver presenting a valid driver's licence from another jurisdiction which has a Graduated Driver Licensing Program, you will be placed in Class 5, Level I. If you have taken an approved driver education course, you will be given a 4 month credit and upon reaching 16 years, 8 months will receive a Class 5, Level II driver's licence. If you have not taken a driver education course you will remain at Level I until your 17th birthday, at which time you will graduate to a Class 5, Level II licence. A road test is not required since you would have already passed a road test in another jurisdiction, which Newfoundland recognizes.

All Other Locations

  • You must be at least 16 years of age.
  • You must present the required identification documents Required Identification Documentation
  • You must complete a written, vision and road test.
  • You will be given credit for the time spent as a licenced driver and may be exempted from the Graduated Driver Licensing Program.

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Visitors


Welcome to our beautiful province! If you are a visitor in Newfoundland and Labrador you can drive in this province for up to 3 months without getting a Newfoundland driver's licence if:

  • you are at least 16 years of age, and
  • you hold a valid driver's licence in another jurisdiction.

Enjoy your stay with us and drive safely.

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