Graduated Licensing

​To become a fully licensed driver, new drivers in the province must pass all stages of Prince Edward Island’s graduated licensing program. If your licence is suspended, you should contact your insurer.

How Do I Get Insured as a New Driver?

Before you buy auto insurance, you need to apply to complete P.E.I.'s 3 stage licensing process.

To get started, you must:

  • Be at least 16-years-old
  • Pass a written or oral knowledge test about traffic laws, safe driving and road signs
  • Pass a vision test that includes an assessment of your colour, distance judgment and field of vision

Are You a Parent of a New Driver?

Read the Co-Pilot Guide for Parents to help your novice driver learn the required skills to be a life-long safe driver.

New drivers must buy minimum coverage from a private insurer to begin practice driving with their Instruction Permit. As a novice driver, it's also important to understand the many unique restrictions that apply to the 3 stages of the graduated licensing program.

What Happens with Insurance if my Licence is Suspended?

You must report your licence suspension to your insurer immediately. If your licence is suspended, you will not be insured if you drive during the suspension period. Depending on the type of suspension there might be an increase in the cost of insurance once the suspension is lifted.

Dangerous driving or driving with a fake or suspended driver's licence can result in demerit points, vehicle impoundment, driving suspensions and incarceration. As a novice driver, it's important to understand the many highway penalties in the province.

If your licence is suspended during the graduated licensing program, the suspension time will be added to the time needed to complete the program.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Fully Licenced Driver?

If you complete driver education, it will take a minimum of 2 years and 275 days to complete the 3 stages of graduated licensing and become a fully licensed driver.

If you do not enrol in driver education, it will take at least 3 years to complete the program and you must take the mandatory Novice Driver Course.

If you are 17-years-old or 16-years-old plus 275 days and have completed a certified driver's education course, you are eligible to take an exam for a Standard Driver's Licence – Class 5.

Why Are There So Many Steps to Get Licenced?

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

Graduated licensing is based on research that clearly demonstrates the safety value of this approach over more conventional ones. 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

In 2005, Insurance Bureau of Canada supported research conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF), a national, independent charitable road safety institute. TIRF's mission is to reduce traffic-related deaths and injuries. IBC circulated a draft of this report to relevant contacts in driver licensing agencies, or their equivalent, in all jurisdictions across Canada.