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Graduated Driver Licensing Program

Newfoundland and Labrador implemented a Graduated Driver Licensing Program on January 1, 1999. Graduated Licensing is a gradual, step by step Licensing process that's designed to help novice (new) drivers acquire the knowledge and skill needed to safely operate a motor vehicle. This is accomplished by gradually increasing driving privileges during the new driver's first two years on the road. There are two levels during the novice driver period. They are:

LevelStatusDescription
INoviceLearner
IINovice, Licenced DriverFirst 12 months of driving after successful completion of road test.

The program applies to all new drivers regardless of age. Drivers are considered novice during their time spent as Level I or Level II drivers.

How it Works

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 must present (at the time you are applying for your learner's permit) proof of age and identification. All documents must be originals. Photocopies are not accepted unless certified. For further information on acceptable documentation please see Identification Documentation requirements.

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 licence will be issued to you. There is a consent block provided on the driver application form.

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 and Labrador recognizes.

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

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Driving Restrictions - Learner (Level 1)

Level 1 - Class 5 (Passenger Vehicle, Light Truck)

The Class 5, Level I licence is valid for a period of two (2) years. A novice driver must spend a minimum 12¹ months as a Level 1 driver before you may take a road test.

¹ This time may be reduced to 8 months at Level I, with successful completion of an approved Driver Education Program. An approved driver education program is one that has been approved by the Minister of Service NL in Class 5 or Class 6 driving. An approved program will be presented by a driving school. These programs provide both in-class and in-car training. A Driver Education Program may be completed at any time during the Class 5, Level 1 phase.

Accompanied by licenced driver with 4 years driving experience as a Class 5 driver.

Novice Driver must have 0% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

Accompanying driver must have 0% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

No passenger, except the accompanying driver who occupies a seat in the front of the motor vehicle, adjacent to the novice driver. There is an exception for parents or guardians, who may be present in the vehicle, if the novice driver is enrolled in a driver education program accompanied by a licenced instructor.

No upgrade to commercial class driver licence until the driver has held a valid licence of at least " Class 05 " for a minimum of one (1) year.

Not permitted to drive between midnight and 5 a.m.

"NOVICE DRIVER" sign must be displayed in a conspicuous position upon the rear of the motor vehicle he or she is driving. The lettering must be a minimum of 5 centimeters in height, in black lettering on a white background.

To exit this level you must pass a road test for Class 5.

A novice driver may take the road test at the end of his or her minimum time period for Class 5, Level I.

Level I - Class 6 (Motorcycle)

The Class 6, Level I licence is valid for a period of two (2) years. A novice driver must spend a minimum 12¹ months as a Level 1 driver before he or she may take a road test.

¹ This time may be reduced to 8 months with successful completion of an approved motorcycle driver education program. An approved driver education program is one that has been approved by the Minister of Service NL in Class 5 or Class 6 driving. An approved program will be presented by a driving school. These programs provide both in-class and in-car training.

Accompanied by licenced driver with 4 years driving experience as a Class 6 driver on another motorcycle, or in a motor vehicle.

Passenger on motorcycle not permitted.

No upgrade to commercial class driver licence until the driver has held a valid licence of at least " Class 05 " for a minimum of one (1) year.

Not permitted to drive after darkness. Darkness is defined as ½ hour before sunset to ½ hour after sunrise.

Not permitted on highways where posted speed limit exceeds 80 km/h.

Novice Driver must have 0% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

Accompanying driver must have 0% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

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Driving Restrictions - Novice Driver (Level II)

Level II - Class 5 (Passenger Vehicle, Light Truck)

The Novice Driver must spend 12 months at Level II.

Must be accompanied by licenced driver with 4 years driving experience if driving a motor vehicle between midnight and 5 a.m. There is an exemption for work purposes. The Novice Driver must produce proof of working hours upon request of a peace officer.

Novice Driver must have 0% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

Accompanying driver must have 0% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

Number of passengers in vehicle are restricted to number of seat belts in vehicle.

No upgrade to commercial class of licence until the driver has held a valid licence of at least " Class 05 " for a minimum of one (1) year.

Level II - Class 6 (Motorcycle)

The Novice Driver must spend 12 months at Level II.

No driving between midnight and 5 a.m.

Novice Driver must have 0% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).

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Penalties

Novice Driver roadside suspensions issued by Police for exceeding 0 mg% BAC, begin immediately upon issuance of the notice by the officer. The Novice Driver's licence suspension periods are:

SuspensionPenality
1st2 Months
2nd4 Months
3rd6 Months

The driver's licence and copy of the suspension notice will be forwarded to the Driver Records Section of Motor Registration Division for processing. The Novice Driver will be informed, by certified mail, of the suspension length and reinstatement requirements.

Two (2) suspensions will require the Novice Driver to complete an Alcohol Education Program.

Three (3) or more suspensions will require the Novice Driver to undergo an alcohol dependency evaluation/treatment program.

Demerit points suspensions are issued at six (6) demerit points accumulated over two years.

SuspensionPenality
1st2 Months
2nd4 Months
3rd6 Months

The Novice Driver must complete a demerit points, "Responsible Drivers Workshop" reinstatement course.

If the Novice Driver has not reached suspension level, a points reduction course will permit the removal of up to four (4) points every five (5) years.

A suspension requires the Novice Driver to re-start at the level attained, however, credit is permitted for tests or education courses previously taken.

An applicant who is the holder of any class of driver's licence, except a Novice Driver (Class 5 or 6) and a Class 8 driver's licence shall comply with the following when obtaining a Class 6 endorsement:

  • Remain in level 1 for a period of 3 months which is reduced to 1 month if an approved motorcycle driver education course has been taken.
  • Accompanied by licenced driver with 4 years driving experience as a Class 6 driver on another motorcycle, or in a motor vehicle.
  • Driver must have 0% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) while operating motorcycle as a Novice Driver.
  • No driving between midnight and 5 a.m.
  • Novice Driver roadside suspensions issued by Police for exceeding 0% BAC begin immediately upon issuance of the notice by the officer.

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