Graduated Driver Licensing Program
In Prince Edward Island licenses for new drivers are administered through the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program, a system of licensing that gives beginners the opportunity to gradually move into higher risk driving situations after gaining experience in lower risk situations.
Beginner drivers 16 years of age or older may apply for an Instruction Driver's Permit. This permit allows for the supervised operation of a motor vehicle for the purpose of driving instruction. This license is valid for two years from date of issue.
All individuals who receive their Instruction Permit are required to wait 365, or 275 days if enrolled in a certified Driver Education Program, before they are eligible for a road test.
Individuals 17 years old, or 16 years plus 275 days if a certified Driver Education Course has been completed, are eligible for a standard class 5 Driver's License.
Stages 1, 2 and 3 of the GDL Program
Stage 1 is when you first receive your Instruction Permit (Class 7). This is often called the Beginners Permit. You have to hold this permit for 365 days before you can take a road test to get your Class 5 and enter Stage 2. You are also required to have an identifying decal on your windshield. The decal is a bright yellow sticker with a large black “L” in the center.
Stage 2 is the period when you receive a drivers license after passing a road test. It lasts for one year (365 Days). You are also required to have an identifying decal on your windshield. The decal is a bright yellow sticker with a large black “G” in the center.
Stage 3 is the period after completing Stage 2. It lasts for one year (365 Days). You are also required to have an identifying decal on your windshield. The decal is a bright yellow sticker with a large black “G” in the center.
The decals will be given directly to the Graduated Driver when they obtain their Stage 1 (Class 7) or Stage 2 ( Class 5) driver`s license.
The decals are made of a material that is designed to be removed and replaced onto your windshield over and over.
Please ensure that you take the decal with you in what ever vehicle you are driving.
The decal is to be placed directly above the Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker on the lower right hand side of the windshield.
If you misplace or tear your decal you may obtain a replacement at any Access PEI office or in the case that you are not able to make it directly to an Access PEI office or in the event that they are closed you may print off a paper version of the decal and fix it to the windshield in the same location or place it on the dash in full view for law enforcement.
- The minimum age to enroll drivers education is 16 years old.
- You can enter Stage 1 of the GDL Program at age 16.
- If you are enrolled in Driver Education you can take your first road test after waiting 275 days.
- If you are not enrolled in Driver Education the waiting period is 365 days.
- When you successfully pass the required road test you will enter Stage 2 of the GDL Program.
The GDL Program has three stages:
- For those who were enrolled in Drivers Education, the GDL Program last for a minimum of 2 years and 275 days.
- For those who were not enrolled in Driver Education, the GDL Program is a minimum of 3 years.
Those are the minimum times. Any Driver License suspensions that have occurred in the GDL Program will result in those suspension times being added to the time needed to exit the Program.
- Only the person giving instruction and that person`s immediate family will be permitted in the vehicle.
- The individual giving instruction must be in the front seat and have held a valid driver`s license for at least four years.
- There cannot be more people in the vehicle than the number of seatbelts in the vehicle.
- The individual giving instruction cannot have a Blood Alcohol Content of .05 or more.
Passenger Restrictions for Class 5 Driver's License (Stage 2)
- You can only have one non-family member as a passenger. The other passengers must be members of your immediate family, and there cannot be more passengers than the number of seatbelts in the vehicle.
- The Stage 2 driver will be suspended for any seatbelt or passenger restriction fines they receive, 1st offence 30 days and 2nd offence 90 days.
Immediate family in the Highway Traffic Act is described as:
(1) In this section, "immediate family member" means, in respect of a newly licensed driver,
- (a) the spouse or common-law partner of the newly licensed driver;
- (b) the father and mother of the newly licensed driver and the spouse or common-law partner of the father or mother of the newly licensed driver;
- (c) the children of the newly licensed driver and the children of the newly licensed driver’s spouse or common-law partner;
- (d) the grandchildren of the newly licensed driver;
- (e) the brothers and sisters of the newly licensed driver;
- (f) the grandfather and grandmother of the newly licensed driver;
- (g) the father and mother of the spouse or common-law partner of the newly licensed driver and the spouse or common-law partner of the father or mother; and
- (h) any relative of the newly licensed driver who resides permanently with the newly licensed driver or with whom the newly licensed driver permanently resides
Passenger Restrictions for Stage 3
- In Stage 3 you are allowed as many passengers as there are available seat belts in the vehicle.
- The Stage 3 driver will be suspended for any seatbelt or passenger restriction fines they receive, 1st offence 30 days and 2nd offence 90 days.
If you have the new PEI Driver`s License you can tell by looking at your license if you are in Stage 3. There is a line on the license that says First License/Prem Permis and a date. This date tells you when you first received your Class 5 license. If you have not had any suspensions and one year has passed since the date showing on the Driver`s License, you are now entering Stage 3. If you are unsure about your status, please contact any Highway Safety office for assistance.
Seat Belt Violations
Any conviction you receive for a seat belt fine while you are in the GDL Program will result in the suspension of your license. First offence results in a suspension of thirty days and a second offence results in a suspension of ninety days.
under Section 92.1(4) of the Highway Traffic Act any new driver will be fined if one of their passengers are not wearing a seatbelt.
92.1(4) Newly licensed driver holding a valid driver’s license for less than two years operating a motor vehicle on a highway while accompanied by a passenger who is not wearing a seat belt but is seated in a seating position that has an available seat belt can be fined between $200-$1000.
Cell phones and other handheld communication and/or entertainment devices.
- Use of these devices is not allowed by the driver.
- You can use a hands free cell phone.
Night Time Driving Curfew
- The curfew only applies to individuals below the age of 21 and are in Stage 1 or 2 of the GDL Program.
- The curfew is from 1 A.M. until 5 A.M.
- An individual in Stage 2 may apply for an Exemption to the night driving curfew for work purposes. Applications for this exemption can be found at all Access PEI office.
- The cost for the exemption is $10.
- An individual may also drive between the hours of 1am -5am if accompanied by an individual who has held a valid driver`s license for at least four years and does not have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level of .05 or more.
- There are no exemptions for those that hold an Instruction Permit (Class 7).
Legislation: Graduated Driver Licensing Regulations