Immigrating to Manitoba: How to Get Your Manitoba Driver's Licence

Published on Jul 09, 2012

Transferring your drivers licence to Manitoba is a relatively simple process. Provincial law allows for drivers from other nations to receive a Manitoba drivers license equal to the license they carried in their home jurisdiction, provided they can prove their driving experience. Depending on how many years you have held your licence, you may receive a full Manitoba licence or you may be placed in the graduated licensing program.

Graduated Licences in Manitoba

Getting a full license in the province of Manitoba is a three-stage process. The stages of the graduated licence system are:

  • Learner permit, which can be obtained by taking a written test and must be held for nine months before proceeding
  • Intermediate licence, which requires a road test and holds several restrictions
  • Full licence, under which you must maintain a blood alcohol level of 0 at all times for the first three years

Full details of the restrictions and rules of each stage are available here. When you move to Manitoba from another province or another country, the same rules apply for getting your license. You will be able to apply for a license at the level where you were at as a driver in your home jurisdiction.

Thus, if you had a learner's permit, you can obtain a Manitoba learners permit. If you were anywhere in the 15 month period of an intermediate licence, that time will count towards your required 15 months at that level. If you held a full licence you can obtain a full Manitoba licence, but will be subject to the three year restriction on blood alcohol level.

As you progress through the system you will have to take all appropriate driver licence tests required to move forward to the next stage.

Applying for a Manitoba Licence

In order to apply for your Manitoba licence with a foreign licence, you must provide all of the required information to allow the authorities to determine your level. They will require:

  • A copy of your current licence, translated if required into French or English, or an International Driving Licence
  • A letter from your previous jurisdiction stating how long you have been licensed
  • A letter of authentication for the licence if it is not listed in the International ID Checking Guide

In addition to this information, you must provide proof of identity and proof that you are a legal resident of Canada and have a home address in Manitoba. Proof of identity can come in many forms, and there is a full list of the accepted documents found here. You must provide proof that you are in Canada legally such as a Permanent Resident Card, as well as something showing where you live in Manitoba to show you are a resident of the province.

When you have satisfied the identity and residency requirements and a determination has been made as to where you fall on the graduated licensing system, you will then pay the appropriate fees to complete your application. A complete list of fees is found here. You will take any licence tests as required and pay additional fees as you move through the graduated system.

Note that there is a small fee to obtain the driver handbook from which you will study for your permit test of required. You can download the handbook for free from the Manitoba Public Insurance website here. It's a good idea to study this handbook carefully before taking the written test. It may also help you to prepare for the licence driving test should you need to take it, assisting you in understanding the rules of the road in the province of Manitoba.

Car Insurance in Manitoba

Manitoba has a public insurance system, which means that all of the legal requirements for your car insurance needs are met through one public company. Your rates will be determined based on your driving record. You may be required to show that you have a clean driving record in your country of origin.

Manitoba has both legally required minimum insurance and optional coverage that you can purchase for your car. You will pay a base driver premium as part of your licence fees. This amount will go down over time if you continue to have a safe driving record, but can increase if you are involved in an accident or get a ticket.

You can contact Manitoba Public Insurance with any questions regarding the process of transferring your licence or your insurance needs toll-free at 1-800-665-2410.

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