Online Guide for Newcomers to Prince Edward Island - Canada
PEI Driver's Licence
If you live in PEI and want to drive a motor vehicle, you must have a valid PEI Driver's Licence. You should always carry your driver's licence with you when you drive.
PEI Driver's Licence stays valid for three years and is usually set to expire on your birthday. It should be renewed before it expires.
How to get a PEI Driver's Licence
How you get a PEI Driver's Licence depends on if you:
- hold a valid driver's licence from another province, territory, or country; or
- have never had a driver's licence before or have no valid driver's licence.
Valid Driver's Licence Holders
- You have to surrender you out-of-country/province driver's licence when you get your PEI Driver's Licence.
- You may drive on PEI for 120 days with a valid driver's licence from another province, territory, or country.
With most valid foreign drivers' licences, you have to pass written, vision, and driving tests before you can get your PEI Driver's Licence.
If your original driver's licence is from Canada, the United States, Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom (including Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man), Australia, France, South Korea, Japan, Switzerland or Taiwan, you may get a Prince Edward Island driver's licence at any Access PEI location without a written knowledge exam and driving test. This only applies to driver licences for passenger vehicles and motorcycles.
You must pass a vision test, pay the appropriate fees and provide the required documents in person.
You may drive in PEI with a valid driver's licence from your home jurisdiction and/or (if required) an International Driver's Permit for a period of four months from the time you become a resident. An International Driver's Permit must accompany a foreign licence if the foreign licence is not in English or French.
In order to get your PEI Driver's Licence, go to an Access PEI Centre nearest you to make an appointment. Make sure to bring all the necessary documents. [See Related Resources]
Those attending university or college full time are not required to exchange their out-of-province driver's licence and may drive with their foreign licence as long as it is valid and accompanied by an International Driver's Permit, if required.
Any person without a Permanent Resident status in Canada employed in PEI in the agricultural or fishing industry pursuant to a Guest Worker Program administered by the Government of Canada who holds a valid foreign driver's licence equal to a PEI Class 5 and an International Driver's Permit, may operate a vehicle in this province that requires a Class 5 driver's licence for a period of not more than eight months in any one year.
Persons with No Previous or Valid Driver's Licence
If you have never had a driver's licence before or if you do not have a valid driver's licence from another country, you need to apply for an Instruction Permit. This permit is often called a "Beginner's Permit". An Instruction Permit allows you to drive a vehicle under supervision.
If you are under 18 years of age, your parents or legal guardians have to read the pamphlet titled Co-pilot: A Guide for Parents of New Drivers and sign a consent form.
[See Related Resources]
To get your Instruction Permit you must:
- be 16 years of age or older;
- study the PEI Driver's Handbook online or buy it at any Access PEI location [See Related Resources];
- make an appointment for written and vision tests and pay the testing fee at any Access PEI location [See Related Resources];
- take the necessary documents to your testing appointment;
- pass the road signs, written, and vision tests; and
- pay the Instruction Permit fee.
Once you have your Instruction Permit, you can take the road test for your PEI Driver's Licence after:
- 275 days if you successfully completed a Drivers Education Program, or
- 365 days if you complete a Novice Driver Course.
Drivers Education Programs
Drivers Education Programs are courses offered by private driving schools. These programs offer both classroom training and on-the-road practice with an instructor.
Novice Driver Course
The Novice Driver Course is a mandatory educational program for all new drivers who have not completed a Driver Education Program. This course lasts about five hours and is usually taught in two sessions. You must register at an Access PEI office to take this course.
Graduated Driver's Licensing Program
For newly licenced drivers, PEI has a Graduated Driver's Licensing (GDL) Program. This is a three-stage system of giving new drivers experience driving in low risk situations before they move onto higher risk driving situations. [See Related Resources]
Documents needed to apply for a PEI Driver's Licence
If your address before coming to PEI was outside of Canada, in order to apply for your PEI Driver's Licence you must show your:
- Passport or travel document that includes your photograph;
- Valid document issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) [see below] proving that you are legally entitled to be in Canada;
- Two pieces of printed mail with your name and current address on it, like an electricity bill or letter from the government; and, if applicable,
- Valid driver's licence from your last country of residence, along with a certified translation of the licence. The PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada can assist you with this translation. There may be a fee for this service.
In the case of Work Permits, Study Permits, and the TRVs, your PEI Driver's Licence expiry date will be the same as the expiry date on your CIC document.
Valid CIC documents include:
- Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292)
- Permanent Resident Card
- Work Permit
- Study Permit
- Temporary Resident Visa (TRV)