Graduated Licensing

​​​​​To become fully licensed, new drivers in the province must pass all stages of Newfoundland and Labrador’s graduated licensing program. ​​​

As a New Driver, How Can I Buy Auto Insurance?

First you need to apply to complete Newfoundland and Labrador’s 2-step licensing process.  To start the process, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Obtain written consent from your parent or guardian if you are under 19 years of age 
  • Present original proof of age and identification when you apply for your learner’s permit
  • Pass a written test with a mark of at least 85%
  • Pass a vision test.

As a novice driver, it's important to understand the driving restrictions that apply to the program's 2 steps and 3 types of licences.

What Happens to My Insurance if My Licence Is Suspended?

Following a licence suspension, your insurer/broker will determine the impact on your premiums should you choose to renew your policy.  You must report your licence suspension to your insurer immediately. 

If you are convicted of a driving offence in the province or any other Canadian jurisdiction, demerit points will be added to your record. Novice drivers can only accumulate 6 points within a 1-year period before their licence is suspended. 

If your licence is suspended, you must pay a fee and attend a mandatory suspended driver's course during your suspension or prior to reinstatement. By successfully completing a point-reduction course, an eligible driver may have up to 4 demerit points deducted from his or her record.

How Long Does it Take to Become Fully Licensed?

It takes at least 2 years on the road to become a fully licensed driver. After 8 to 12 months in Level I and completion of an approved driver training or motorcycle program, you can apply to take your road test. 

To take your road test, make an appointment at a Driver Examination Centre. On the day of the road test, your auto will be checked for mechanical fitness. To take the road test, you must present:

  • A receipt for payment of your road test
  • A valid Class 5 or 6 Level I driver's licence
  • A valid insurance policy and vehicle registration permit for the vehicle you are using for the road test.

Why So Many Steps?

Novice drivers have caused many traffic-related deaths and injuries. In response to accident statistics and the successful licensing systems used in other countries, provincial and territorial governments introduced new driver licensing standards in the mid-2000s.  

Graduated licensing is based on research that clearly demonstrates the safety value of this approach. Most programs include a multi-stage system with mandatory learner and intermediate stages that take place over set time-periods before graduation to a full licence.

IBC and Best Practices for Graduated Licensing in Canada

IBC has a history of advocating for improved road safety across the country. In 2005, with IBC's support, the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), an independent charitable road safety institute, created a report about best practices for graduated licensing in Canada .  

IBC circulated a draft of this report  to all relevant contacts in driver licensing agencies, or their equivalent, in all jurisdictions across Canada.