If you already have your driver’s licence from your home state in the U.S.A., Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) will consider you an experienced driver. This means that you can acquire a Manitoba Driver’s Licence without any waiting periods. Manitoba extends reciprocity to your regular passenger vehicle driver licences issued by all American states which means that you will not have to undergo a written test or a road test if you want to acquire a Manitoba driver’s licence.
But wait! As an American student in Manitoba, if you hold a valid driver’s licence from the USA you can simply use your American licence while studying in Canada. This is because Manitoba recognizes American driver licences and licence plates as long as you are a student. Remember to always have your student ID card with you when you are driving as proof of your student status.
If you do not already have a driver’s licence from your home state then remember that any person can get a Manitoba Driver’s Licence if they are 16 years of age or older and are residing in Manitoba. The first step is to take a written test. Once you have passed the written test you will receive a Learner’s Licence. You are not permitted to drive alone with a Learner’s Licence but must have supervising driver that has had a Manitoba licence for at least three years. After receiving your Learner’s Licence you will have to wait nine months before you can take your road test. It is recommended that you take driving lessons and practice during this nine-month period. Once you pass this test you are free to apply for your Manitoba Driver’s Licence allowing you to drive alone anywhere in Canada.
Before leaving for Canada, check with your American insurance agent and your state's department of motor vehicles to make sure that you are covered while studying in Canada. In some cases, your insurance agent may need to issue you a document which proves the extent of your coverage.
For more information on driving in Manitoba, see www.mpi.mb.ca.
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Providence University College & Seminary