Newfoundland: Get your driver’s licence in weeks as an immigrant (New Update)

Obtaining a driver’s licence is an awesome experience but keeping yourself and others safe on the road is the ultimate goal. In Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, you can obtain your Class 5II driver’s licence in weeks as an immigrant, even if you’re not from countries privileged to exchange licences for a Newfoundland and Labrador driver’s licence.

This information is my personal experience and is one reason I’ll always cherish the province.

I arrived in St John’s, Newfoundland, in August 2023 from Nigeria and was privileged to get my driver’s licence this month, November, using my Nigerian driver’s licence.

So, what is a Class 5 licence and how can you get it?

Class of licence and privileges

A Class 5 licence permits the holder to operate:

  • all motor vehicles with no more than two axles.
  • a combination of vehicles (ex car/truck and trailer) where the towed vehicle does not exceed 4,500 kgs*
  • buses, taxis and ambulances while not carrying passengers
  • self-propelled motor homes with two or more axles;
  • farm tractors; fork lifts and emergency vehicles (excluding ambulances)
  • trucks designed for off highway use and vehicles commonly known as backhoes.

Levels in Class 5

Class 5 Level 1 is for learners who:

  • must be accompanied by a licenced driver with four years driving experience as a Class 5 licence holder or higher
  • must have 0% of alcohol or other impairing substance alongside the accompanying driver
  • must have no passengers (exemptions may apply when driving with a licenced instructor during the approved driver education program)
  • cannot upgrade to commercial class of licence
  • are not permitted to drive between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
  • are required to have Novice Driver sign is on rear of vehicle (5 cm (2 in) as lettering with black text on white background
  • must pass road test to exit the level

Class 5 Level II (novice drivers) must:

  • not drive between midnight and 5am unless for work (authenticated with a confirmation letter from employer) or accompanied by a 4-year licenced driver with zero alcohol or cannabis
  • have 0% alcohol (or other impairing substances) for one year or age 22 (whichever is later)
  • not drive a vehicle if passengers are more than the available seatbelts

For Level II, you don’t need a Novice Driver sign and you will get your full licence after 1 year if you’re not suspended.

Countries allowed to exchange licence

For Class 5 (passenger vehicle/light truck only), licence holders from the following countries are allowed to exchange for a Newfoundland licence without written, vision or road test:

  1. Germany
  2. Austria
  3. Switzerland
  4. United Kingdom
  5. Republic of Korea
  6. Ukraine

For Class 5 (Passenger Vehicle /Light Trucks) & Class 6 (Motorcycle), you can exchange your licence if you’re from the following countries:

  1. France
  2. Isle of Man
  3. Northern Ireland
  4. Ireland
  5. Japan
  6. Taiwan

However, they must fulfil few requirements, such as being 17 years of age with a ‘valid’ licence, having some required documents, or being 16 years of age and presenting some required documents.

Special privilege for other countries

If you’re from other countries as I am and you have your licence from your country, link up with a driving school after passing your road test. You will do the practice and the school will help you schedule a road test when sure you can do it, even if it’s after an hour of practice.

This, in its entirety, is a huge advantage.

Driving school advantage

I used a driving school and was taught the best ways to do parallel parking, reverse parking and generally drive on Newfoundland roads.

When you practise with an instructor, you will learn the simple things you often overlook and the complex stuff you’re scared of. The goal, in the end, is to know how to drive SAFELY, which is the best part of being a driver.

Please leave a comment