Graduated Driver Licensing Program

Beginner drivers in PEI must follow a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system before a standard Class 5 driver’s license will be issued. It will take a minimum of three years to fully complete the three-stage GDL program, which gradually moves licensed drivers into higher risk driving situations after gaining experience in lower risk situations.

Note: If you enroll in a certified driver education program you can complete the GDL program sooner, in a minimum of two years plus 275 days.

When can I start the Graduated Driver License Program?

If you are 16 years of age or older, you may apply for an Instruction Driver's Permit, also called a Beginner’s Permit or Class 7 license, which allows you supervised operation of a motor vehicle for the purpose of driving instruction during Stage 1.  This permit is valid for two years from date of issue. Find how to apply for an Instruction permit in Getting an Instruction Driver’s Permit in PEI

What are the three stages of the GDL Program?

Stage 1: (L)

Once you receive your Instruction Driver’s Permit and entered Stage 1, you are required to wait 365 days before you are eligible for a road test for your class 5 Driver's License and to enter Stage 2. This period is reduced to 275 days if enrolled in a certified driver education program. With your Instruction Driver’s Permit you will be issued an identifying decal which you are required to display directly above the Motor Vehicle Inspection sticker on the lower right hand side of the windshield any time you are driving. The decal is a bright yellow sticker with a large black “L” in the center. It is designed to be removed and replaced on a windshield so you can transfer it to any vehicle you are driving during this first stage.

The following restrictions are applied to driving during Stage 1 (L):

  • The driving supervisor must have held a valid driver`s license for at least four years.
  • The driving supervisor must be in the front seat anytime the learning driver is operating the vehicle.
  • Only the driving supervisor and that person`s immediate family are permitted in the vehicle.
  • The driving supervisor cannot have a blood alcohol content of .05 or more.
  • You must have a blood alcohol count (BAC) of zero when operating a motor vehicle.
  • There cannot be more people in the vehicle than the number of seatbelts in the vehicle. You can be fined for any passenger not wearing a seatbelt in a vehicle you are driving.
  • You cannot use a cell phone or other hand-held device while driving. A hands-free cell phone is permitted.
  • If you are under age 21, you are restricted from driving at night between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Stage 2: (G)

After you pass the road test, you will be issued your Class 5 driver’s license and a new identifying decal you are required to display on your windshield any time you are driving. The decal is a bright yellow sticker with a large black “G” in the center. This stage lasts for one full year (365 days) and has driving restrictions as follows:

  • Only one non-family member is permitted as a passenger. All other passengers must be members of the driver’s immediate family.
  • There cannot be more passengers in the vehicle than the number of seatbelts in the vehicle. You can be fined for any passenger not wearing a seatbelt in a vehicle you are driving.
  • You must have a blood alcohol count (BAC) of zero when operating a motor vehicle.
  • You cannot use a cell phone or other hand-held device while driving. A hands-free cell phone is permitted.
  • If you are under age 21, you are restricted from driving at night between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless you are accompanied by someone who has held a valid driver’s licence for at least four years and does not have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .05 or more. You can request an exemption for work purposes only. Complete the application for exemption from night-time driving restriction. 

If you fail to comply with the above restrictions during Stage 2 you will be suspended 30 days for first offence, and 90 days for second offence, which will extend the period of your GDL program.

Stage 3: (G)

Once you successfully complete the second stage, you will enter Stage 3, which lasts another full year (365 days). You are still required to display your identifying “G” decal on the windshield of the vehicle you are driving.

The following restrictions are applied to driving during Stage (G):

  • You are allowed as many passengers as there are available seat belts in the vehicle. You can be fined for any passenger not wearing a seatbelt in a vehicle you are driving.
  • You cannot use a cell phone or other hand-held device while driving. A hands-free cell phone is permitted.
  • You must have a blood alcohol count (BAC) of zero when operating a motor vehicle.

Any restriction fines you receive will result in a suspension which will extend the period of your GDL program: 30 days for first offence, and 90 days for second offence.

What if I lose or damage my decal?

If you misplace or tear your decal, you may obtain a replacement at any Access PEI office. In the case that you are not able to get to an Access PEI office, you may print off a temporary paper version of the decal and fix it to the windshield or place it on the dash in full view for law enforcement. An image of each decal is available in Resources.

How do I know my driving stage?

 If you are unsure about your status, please contact any Highway Safety office for assistance.

Who is considered immediate family?

If you are a newly licensed driver, the Highway Traffic Act 92.1(1) describes your "immediate family member" as follows:

  • Your spouse or common-law partner;
  • Your father and mother and, if applicable, their spouse or common-law partner;
  • Your children and the children  of your spouse or common-law partner;
  • Your grandchildren;
  • Your siblings;
  • Your grandparent;
  • Your spouse or common-law partner’s parents and, if applicable, their spouse common-law partner; and
  • Any relative who resides with you permanently or with whom you reside.
Published date: 
April 20, 2018
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Phone: (902) 368-5100
Fax: (902) 368-5395

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