Drivers License in Newfoundland and Labrador

To safely drive in the NL province, you must have a license. This post explains how to apply for a drivers license in Newfoundland.

Owning a vehicle makes it easier for residents and non-residents of Newfoundland and Labrador to explore the gorgeous environment in the province. However, you need to know how to apply and get a driver’s license in Newfoundland and Labrador.

In this article we’ll cover:

  • Driving in Newfoundland and Labrador,
  • Newfoundland drivers license,
  • License classes,
  • License for experienced new-resident drivers,
  • How to apply for a driver’s license in Newfoundland and,
  • How to renew or replace a lost Newfoundland drivers license

Driving in Newfoundland and Labrador

Driving in NL province, Canada is a joy. However, new residents are advised to quickly learn some rules on how to drive safely in NL.

Aside from being a skilled driver, you must also learn how to navigate without breaking any provincial rules.

Here are three rules you’ll like to keep in mind if you’re a new driver in NL.

#1 NL Roads and road conditions

On most highways in NL, the max allowable speed you can go is 100 km/hr. The road system is a network of two major highways and smaller highways that bleed into country roads. Some secondary country roads are not paved, however.

It’s also a good idea to stay informed about road conditions before going on a drive. Generally, in winter some roads are usually blocked due to heavy snowfalls.

In summer, road construction may put some routes out of commission.

#2 When you encounter emergency vehicles on NL roads

If you hear sirens or see flashing lights characteristic of emergency vehicles (ambulance, fire trucks, police vehicles, etc.), do the following:

  • Slow down,
  • Pullover to the right, and
  • Wait till the emergency vehicle(s) have passed.

If you see an emergency vehicle parked with lights on, do the following:

  • Slow down to half the road’s speed limit,
  • Move to the left passing lane or safely pass the vehicle.

If a police vehicle turns on its lights and/or sirens behind you, do the following:

  • Slow down,
  • Pullover to the right and stop,
  • Wait till the police officer gets out of his vehicle and approaches you.

Don’t get out of your vehicle unless asked. And obey the officer’s instructions.

#3 Owning a vehicle in NL

Register all your vehicles at your local MRD office. Here are the requirements to meet before you register a vehicle:

  • You must be an NL resident,
  • The vehicle must be insured,
  • It must be registered on or before the owner’s birthday,
  • You must have a Bill of Sale (see explanation below),
  • Produce a proof of the vehicles inspection report (inspections are valid for 30 days)
  • You must also understand that there are no refunds on car purchases (except in extraordinary conditions)

A Bill of Sale is a document that states the vehicle’s price, make and model, serial number, and seller’s information.

Drivers license in Newfoundland and Labrador

All drivers in Newfoundland and Labrador must have a valid NL driver’s license. And as a driver, you’re advised to always carry your license on every drive.

All driver’s licenses in Newfoundland are set to expire on the owner’s birthday. You can also renew it five months prior to the expiry date.

Its validity depends on the owner’s experience. Novice drivers generally get lesser years while experienced drivers can get more.

Graduated Driver Licensing Program in NL

In this program, you’ll be made to go through a step-by-step learning process, graduating from one class to another as you gain more experience. You should also know that restrictions apply at every class of the program.

Here are some of the program’s requirements:

  • You must be at least 16,
  • As a new driver, you must complete the written, vision, and road tests,
  • Teens under 19 must get consent from their parents or guardian, and
  • You must meet or exceed the 85% passing mark for the written test.

The written test contains questions about the rules of the road, safe driving practices, and road signs recognition.

Here are more things to know about the GDL NL program:

  • The program is for drivers who want a class 5 or a class 6 driver’s license. Class 5 is for passenger vehicles and light trucks and class 6 is for motorcycles.
  • It’s designed to help drivers (especially new drivers) learn the skill and safely operate motor vehicles. Driving privileges gradually increase in the first two years.
  • The course is for all drivers regardless of age.
  • You’re considered a novice when you’re at Level I or Level II.

Written, vision, and road tests.

These are three tests you must pass before you can get your driver’s license in Newfoundland. The only material you need to study is the NL Road Users Guide.

Written Test

This exam tests your knowledge of road rules, road signs, and safe driving practices. You must get or exceed the 85% mark to pass.

To register, go to MyGovNL and create an account. You’ll need your Motor Registration-issued photo ID or your email and MCP.

Vision Test

Once you pass the test, your Learner’s permit (temporary license) will be sent to you by mail. You cannot drive without passing this test.

At the office you will:

  • Provide the results of your written test and have it validated,
  • Complete a vision test,
  • Have your photo taken,
  • Provide the necessary identification documents. (Proof of age, identity, and legal presence in Canada. All original documents or certified photocopies.)
  • Get parental/guardian consent if you’re under 19 years old.

Once you’ve used your novice driver’s license (class 5I) for 12 months without an incident, you can schedule a road test. If you graduated from an approved driver training school, you can schedule your road test in 8 months.

Road Test

Just before you conclude your novice learning period, make an appointment for a road test. You’re advised to pay 24 hours before your appointment to prevent delays. Delays can result in the cancellation of your appointment.

Top tips for your test day.

Try to be present at least 15 minutes earlier. And while coming, bring the following documents along:

  • Road test payment receipt,
  • Your class 5I drivers license (your current learner permit),
  • A Valid insurance policy, and
  • The vehicle’s registration document.

Your vehicles must be checked for mechanical fitness and you’ll also have to follow the safety instructions provided at the time of the test. You will then complete the on-road and parking tests as per the examiner’s instructions.

Drivers License classes in NL

To get a driver’s license in Newfoundland and Labrador, you must complete the Graduated Driver Licensing Program.

There are three main classes of drivers license in Newfoundland and Labrador:

  • Learners permit level I
  • Learners permit level II and
  • Class 5 or 6 driver’s license.

These three permits are what most drivers in NL will need.

#1. Learners permit Level I — Novice learner

While at this level, you are a learner. You must be accompanied by a class 5 driver who has at least four years of experience.

#2 Learners permit Level II — Novice Experienced

You’ll get to this stage after completing the road test. Next, you start your 12 months of driving.

Restrictions for Learner permits

You must:

  • Have a Novice driver sign on your back window,
  • Not drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
  • Be accompanied by a licensed class 5 driver between midnight and 5 a.m.
  • Have 0% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and
  • Not carry passengers, except the supervising driver.

#3 Class 5 drivers license

Once you complete 12 months of incident-free driving, you’ll automatically receive your Class 5 Drivers license.

Incident-free means that you did not violate any traffic regulation.

NL drivers license for experienced new-resident drivers

If you’re an experienced driver from another country or Canadian province, you must exchange your existing driver’s license for an NL driver’s license.

This exchange must be done within three months of coming to NL.

You may exchange your license for a Newfoundland and Labrador drivers license without taking a written, vision, or road test if you are:

  • From another Canadian province or territory or from the US, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, or UK,
  • 17 years or older,
  • With a valid license (not revoked, suspended, or canceled), and
  • Presenting a license that has expired no more than five years ago.

If you’re from a country not listed above, you must apply as a new driver. Your experience may be recognized if you:

  • Are 16 years or older,
  • Have passed a written, vision and road test, and
  • Already spent time as a licensed driver.

Drivers will have their experience tested against the NL system and placed in the appropriate class.

How to apply for a drivers license in Newfoundland

Applying for a driver’s license in Newfoundland and Labrador is easy. Only three steps are required.

#1. Download and study the NL road users guide.

#2. Register for your learner’s permit online at MyGovNL. Don’t forget to create an account if you don’t have one. You’ll need your Motor Registration-issued photo ID or your email and MCP.

Once you pass the learner’s permit stage, your Class 5 license will be automatically mailed to you.

#3. Contact the licensing office in advance if you need help reading or writing your test. Book an appointment by clicking the Book an appointment button on the bottom of the page.

Who is eligible to apply for an NL drivers license

To be eligible to apply you must be:

  • 16 years or older,
  • Present in NL at the time of application,
  • Provide proof of age document (official government birth certificate or passport),
  • Show another identification document showing your name and date of birth (SIN card or MCP).

Please remember that all documents must be original. Photocopies are accepted when properly certified.

How to renew or replace a lost drivers license in Newfoundland

You can easily renew your drivers license in Newfoundland online. This service is provided by Digital Government and Service NL. You do not need to visit the Motor Registration office.

Just log in to your MyGovNL account and renew your license. You can also request a replacement in your account as well.

It’s that easy!