How to Apply for a Driver’s License in Canada

With this article we will explain, in good detail, how to apply for a driver’s license in Canada. Canada has ten provinces and three territories, all of which have different rules and regulations for the road.

You need a valid driver’s license to drive a car in Canada. American driver’s licenses are valid in Canada, but international visitors need to get an international driver’s license. As well, Canadian driver’s licenses are valid in many other countries. If, however, you do not have a driver’s license, and you need to apply for one for the first time, we will go over the process in detail.

Driver’s licenses are issued by the province or territory that you live in.

Alberta

Class 7 Learner: This permit allows people who are 14 years of age minimum to apply. With this license they have to be accompanied by a fully licensed driver over the age of 18, and they have to sit in the passenger seat. To obtain this license, you have to pass a vision test plus score 83.3% or higher on a knowledge test. With this license you cannot drive between midnight and 5A.M. You must have 0% blood alcohol content.

Class 6 Motorcycle: This permit can be obtained at the age of 16. You must have a Class 7 license for at least one year before applying for Class 6.

Class 5-Graduated Driver’s License: After the driver has held a Class 7 license for one year, they can apply for a Class 5. The driver must be at least 16 years of age to apply for Class 5. This license allows the driver to drive without accompaniment/supervision. Drivers must have a 0% blood alcohol content. You obtain this license by completing a road test.

Class 5 Non-Probationary License: this can be held after having the Class 5 probationary license for two years without supervision. You must be 18 to obtain this license, and pass an advanced road test. This license renders you a “fully licensed driver” and empowers you to obtain all other licenses for different vehicles.


Class 4: This permit allows the driver to operate a taxi, ambulance or bus that seats up to 24 passengers. You must be 18 to apply, and have a Class 5 non-probationary license.

Class 3: This is basically a license to drive a transport truck, or a motor vehicle with 3 or more axles, or one that pulls a trailer. Must have a Class 5 non-probationary license.

Class 2: This allows the driver to operate any bus in addition to vehicles permitted by Class 3, 4 and 5 permits. Must be 18 years of age and have a Class 5 non-probationary license.

Class 1: This permit allows the driver to operate any motor vehicle except a motorcycle. You must be 18 years of age and possess a Class 5 non-probationary license.

British Columbia

Class 8L (motorcycle learner’s permit): This permit can be obtained at age 16. The rider is under many restrictions until they pass a Motorcycle Skills Test, which involves basic maneuvering skills that are tested in a parking lot. After this test, the rider can ride alone.

Class 7L (learner’s permit): This permit can be obtained at age 16. Anyone under the age of 19 must have written permission from a parent or legal guardian. It involves a obtaining 80% or higher on a knowledge test. With this license, the driver must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver 25 years or older. They must have 0% blood alcohol content and display a large L on the back of their vehicle, and are not allowed to drive between midnight and 5 A.M. This license is good for two years, however, after 12 months the driver can take a 45 minute driving test to advance to Class 7 Novice Permit.

Class 7 (novice permit): You must be 17 years old to apply, and can obtain this by completing the Class 7L driving test. This license is good for 5 years, with a minimum of two years to complete. Drivers must display an N on the back of their vehicle and have 0% blood alcohol level.

Class 6 (motorcycle): Drive a motorcycle with no restrictions.

Class 5 (full vehicle license): Full-passenger license with no additional restrictions.

Class 4 (commercial restricted): Driver can operate taxis, limousines, ambulances, and special buses to transport the disabled. Must be 19 years of age.

Class 4 (commercial unrestricted): On top of all vehicles allowed with Class 4 commercial restricted, the driver can operate a bus of up to 25 passengers.

Class 3 (commercial, heavy trucks): Driver can operate trucks with more than two axles, including dump trucks and tow trucks, as well as vehicles in Class 5. Must be 18 years old.

Class 2 (commercial, buses): Driver may operate bues include school buses, special activity buses and special vehicles, as well as vehicles listed in Classes 4 and 5. Must be 19 years old.

Class 1 (commercial, semi-trailer): Driver can operate semi-trailer trucks as well as all motor vehicles except motorcycles.

Manitoba

Class 6M (motorcycle training course license): Must be 16 and pass a knowledge test.

Class 6L (motorcycle learner’s): Receive after motorcycle training course. 0% blood alcohol. No passengers or nighttime driving.

Class 6I (motorcycle intermediate): Issued after completing a Class 6 road test.

Class 6F (motorcycle full): Issued after 15 months in 6I stage, and have 0% blood alcohol for first 36 months of this stage.

Class 5L (vehicle learner’s): Must be 16 years old and have supervising driver in front seat. Can take 5I after 9 months in this stage.

Class 5I (vehicle intermediate): Acquired after completion of road test. 0% blood alcohol. Cannot drive between midnight and 5 A.M.

Class 5F (vehicle full license): Obtained after 15 months with 5I license. Full passenger-vehicle license. Allows driver to obtain class 1-4 licenses.

Class 4: Can operate taxis, ambulances, emergency vehicles, busses that hold 10-24 passengers, and school buses that hold 10-36, plus regular passenger vehicles. Must be 18.

Class 3: Can operate trucks with more than two axles including dump and tow trucks. Must be 18.

Class 2: Driver have operate buses that seat over 24 and school buses that seat over 36, can also operate vehicles in classes 3, 4 and 5.

Class 1: Can operate semi-trailer trucks, and all motor vehicles except motorcycles. Must be 18.

New Brunswick

Class 9: Operate a motorcycle and farm tractor.

Class 8: Farm tractor license

Class 7, level 1: Learner’s license. Can drive with supervision. Level 2: cannot drive

Between midnight and 5A.M., 0% blood alcohol.

Class 6: can drive a motorcycle

Class 5: Drive any motor vehicle including tractor, motorcycle, any two-axle vehicle except ambulance, taxi or bus.

Class 4: any vehicle from class 5, ambulance, taxi, and bus with less than 25 passengers

Class 3: vehicles from class 5, two-axle motor towing a vehicle, vehicle with 3 or more axles

Class 2: vehicle from class 3, 4 or 5, and bus with more than 24 passengers

Class 1: vehicle from class 2, 3, 4 and 5, truck tractor

Class 1, 2, 3 and 4 applicants must pass a completed medical and Graduated License Program.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Class 8: Traction engine vehicles

Class 6: Can operate motorcycles

Class 5: passenger car or light truck, buses, taxis and ambulances without passengers, fork lifts, tractors. Must be 16 to apply and have this for one year before applying for commercial class license.

Class 4: Taxis, ambulances, all class 5 motors, buses up to 24 passengers

Class 3: Trucks with 3 or more axles

Class 2: Buses over 24 passengers

Class 1: Semi-trailer trucks

Nova Scotia

Must be 16 to apply for any license, and pass a road theory test and vision test. Class 7 or 8 licences require 12 months at the learner’s stage and no passengers. Once a road test is completed the driver is Newly Licensed for two years and can have only one front passenger and no driving between midnight and 5A.M. To graduate this program the driver must complete a 6-hour defensive driving course or Full Driver Training course.

Ontario
 

G1: Learner’s permit. Must be 16, pass eye vision test and road theory test. Driver is accompanied by full licensed G driver. Cannot drive on 400 series highways. Must have for one year before applying for G2.

G2: Probationary license acquired by passing a road test, can now drive without accompaniment and on all highways. Must have for one year before applying for G.

G: Full license obtained after passing road test. No restrictions or further tests until age 80. Drivers under 21 must have 0% blood alcohol, over 21 maximum 0.05% blood alcohol.

M1: Motorycle learners, can only ride during daylight hours ad no highways with speeds greater than 80 KM/H.

M2: Acquired after passing road test and must have 0% blood alcohol.

M: Full motorcycle license acquired after passing road test.

F: Ambulances and bus under 24 passengers.

E: School buses max. 24 passengers, also vehicles in Class F and G.

D: Truck or motor vehicle and Class G.

C: Regular bus seating over 24 passengers, and vehicles in Classes D, F and G.

B: School bus for more than 24 passengers, and vehicles from Class C, D, E, F, G.

A: Tractor-trailer or combination of motor vehicle and towed vehicles, and Class D and G.

Prince Edward Island

Must be 16 years of age, and can apply for an Instruction permit that allows you to drive under supervision. Valid for two years. Eye test is required. After appropriate training and testing you can apply for Classes 1-9 that allow you to drive motorcycles, buses, ambulances, tractor trailers or mopeds.

Quebec

Farm tractor: Age 16.

Moped: Age 14

Motorcycle: Age 16

For all classes you must first obtain a learner’s permit, pass a theory test, pass a road test, obtain a probationary license, and then graduate to full license.

Saskatchewan

This province is similar to all other provinces where the rider must be 16 years of age to obtain a novice license by passing a theory test. They will then graduate to probationary after a road test, and then to a full license.

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