Graduated Licensing on PEI

Graduated Driver Licensing Program on P.E.I.

In fact, because of the high death toll involved with teen driving, Prince Edward Island has already enacted Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws.

What is the Graduated Driver Licensing Program?

The Graduated Driver Licensing Program (GDL) is a system of licensing that gives new drivers the opportunity to gradually move into higher risk driving situations after gaining experience in lower risk situations. As of April 1, 2007 the minimum age to enter the GDL Program is 16 years of age. The GDL Program has three stages. (Stage 1, 2, and 3). No driver may apply for a Class 1, 2, 3 or 4 Driver`s Licence until they have successfully completed the GDL Program.

Stage 1

Stage 1 is when you receive your Instruction Permit (Class 7). This is often called the Beginner’s or Learner’s Permit and is a period of supervised driving. When operating a motor vehicle the Stage 1 driver must be accompanied by a licensed driver who has held a Driver`s Licence for at least four years. The accompanying driver who is giving instruction must be in the front seat and cannot have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .05 or more. The only other passengers allowed in the vehicle is the immediate family of the accompanying driver who is giving instruction.

 All individuals who received their Instruction Permit after March 31, 2007 are required to wait 365 days or if enrolled in a driver education program, 275 days before they have their first road test. Individuals who received their Instruction Permit before April 1, 2007 have a minimum waiting period before their first road test of 180 days under the old Novice Driver Program rules. All drivers in the GDL Program (Stage 1) must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of zero when operating a motor vehicle.

The following rules apply to individuals who received their Instruction Permit (Stage 1) after April 20, 2007. (If you received your Instruction Permit prior to April 20, 2007, the following rules do not apply to you.) Stage 1 drivers are prohibited from operating motor vehicles between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.. There are no exemptions for the driving curfew in Stage 1; however, this does not apply to individuals who are 21 years of age or older. No person who is a Stage 1 driver shall use a hand-held cellular telephone, headphones, mp3 player or any other hand-held electronic device while operating or having care and control of a motor vehicle. Any violations that carry demerit points will suspend the Instruction Permit of the Stage 1 driver for a minimum of 30 days. Any suspension times will be added to the waiting period to exit Stage 1, for example, a 30-day suspension will keep the driver in Stage 1 for an additional 30 days. Stage 1 drivers are require to have a Learner`s Decal displayed on any motor vehicle they operate. The Stage 1 driver will receive this decal at the time their photo is taken for their Instruction Permit. The decal is to be placed on the inside of the windshield just above the motor vehicle inspection sticker. There is no cost for the decal and it is made of a material which allows it to be removed and replaced over and over. If a decal becomes lost or destroyed during any of the GDL Stages, a replacement decal may be acquired at any Access PEI location. There is no charge for the replacement decal. If this occurs at times when it is not possible to get a replacement decal such as evenings, weekends or the decal was left on another vehicle, an individual may produce a temporary paper decal to be placed on the windshield or print one from the following web address http://www.gov.pe.ca/tpwpei/ (Follow the Graduated Driver Licensing Program links.) For those who operate motorcycles, there is a small yellow Learner`s Decal which is to be placed on the back of the motorcycle operator`s helmet.

Stage 2

 When an individual has met all the requirements of Stage 1, including a successful road test, they will graduate into Stage 2 and receive their Class 5 Driver`s Licence. The Stage 2 driver may now operate a vehicle while unsupervised but there are a number of restrictions. The Stage 2 section of the GDL Program lasts for one year. Stage 2 drivers may have only one non-family member as a passenger. The other passengers must be members of the Stage 2 driver`s immediate family. A Stage 2 driver may be issued a fine if they have a passenger who is not wearing a seatbelt. PEI`s Highway Traffic Act defines immediate family as the following: 92.1 (1) In this section, "immediate family member" means, in respect of a newly licensed driver, (a) the spouse or common-law partner of the newly licensed driver; (b) the father and mother of the newly licensed driver and the spouse or common-law partner of the father or mother of the newly licensed driver; (c) the children of the newly licensed driver and the children of the newly licensed driver’s spouse or common-law partner; (d) the grandchildren of the newly licensed driver; (e) the brothers and sisters of the newly licensed driver; (f) the grandfather and grandmother of the newly licensed driver; (g) the father and mother of the spouse or common-law partner of the newly licensed driver and the spouse or common-law partner of the father or mother; and (h) any relative of the newly licensed driver who resides permanently with the newly licensed driver or with whom the newly licensed driver permanently resides. All drivers in the GDL Program (Stage 2) must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of zero when operating a motor vehicle. An accumulation of six or more demerit points will result in the suspension of the Stage 2 Driver`s Licence, followed by a one-year probation period. If the driver receives any fines that carry demerit points during the probation period, their Stage 2 driver`s licence will be suspended.

The following rules apply to individuals who received their Instruction Permit (Stage 1) after April 20, 2007 and after the appropriate waiting time, they may enter Stage 2. (If you received your Class 5 Driver’s Licence from a certified Driver Education School prior to January 20, 2008 OR from the Highway Safety Division prior to April 20, 2008, the following rules do not apply to you.) Stage 2 drivers are prohibited from operating motor vehicles between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.. The Stage 2 driver may apply for an exemption from the driving curfew for work purposes and may also operate a motor vehicle between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. if they are accompanied by a licensed driver who has held a Driver’s Licence for at least four years and the accompanying driver does not have a BAC level of .05 or more. This does not apply to individuals who are 21 years of age or older. Exemption forms are available at all Access PEI locations and the internet at http://www.gov.pe.ca/tpwpei/ (Follow the Graduated Driver Licensing Program links.) No person who is a Stage 2 driver shall use a hand-held cellular telephone, headphones, mp3 player or any other hand-held electronic device while operating or having care and control of a motor vehicle. The Stage 2 driver will be suspended for any seatbelt fines they receive, 1 offence 30 days and  2 offence 90 days. Any suspension times will be added to the waiting period to exit Stage 2, for example, a 30-day suspension will keep the driver in Stage 2 an additional 30 days. Stage 2 drivers are require to have a Graduated Decal displayed on any motor vehicle they operate. The Stage 2 driver will receive this decal at the time their photo is taken for their Class 5 driver`s licence. There is no cost for the decal. For those who operate motorcycles, there is a small yellow Graduated Decal which is to be placed on the back of the motorcycle operator`s helmet. When the GDL driver has spent the appropriate time in Stage 2, they automatically graduate into Stage 3.

Stage 3

Stage 3 is the last year of the Graduated Driver Licensing Program (GDL) and lasts for one year with a number of restrictions.  No more passengers in the vehicle than the number of available seatbelts. All drivers in the GDL Program (Stage 3) must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of zero when operating a motor vehicle. An accumulation of nine or more demerit points will result in the suspension of the Stage 3 Driver`s Licence, followed by a one-year probation period. If the driver receives any fines that carry demerit points during the probation period, their Stage 3 driver`s licence will be suspended.

The following rules apply to individuals who received their Instruction Permit (Stage 1) after April 20, 2007, then completed Stage 2 and have entered Stage 3. (If you received your Class 5 Driver’s Licence from a certified Driver Education School prior to January 20, 2008 OR from the Highway Safety Division prior to April 20, 2008, the following rules do not apply to you.) No person who is a Stage 3 driver shall use a hand-held cellular telephone, headphones, mp3 player or any other hand-held electronic device while operating or having care and control of a motor vehicle. The Stage 3 driver will be suspended for any seatbelt fines they receive. 1 offence - 30 days and 2 offence - 90 days. Any suspension times will be added to the waiting period to exit Stage 3. For example a 30-day suspension will keep the driver in Stage 3 an additional 30 days. Stage 3 drivers are require to have a Graduated Decal displayed on any motor vehicle they operate. This the same decal the driver received for Stage 2. There is no cost for the decal. For those who operate motorcycles, there is a small yellow Graduated Decal which is to be placed on the back of the motorcycle operator`s helmet. For more information or questions on the GDL Program please visit the following website:

 http://www.gov.pe.ca/tpwpei/ (Follow the Graduated Driver Licensing Program links or contact Province at 902-368-5214 or 902-432-2714.)



 Prince Edward Island Statutory Laws and Auto Insurance

Insurance statistics show that since the youthful driver is significantly more likely to have an accident than a typical adult driver, so there will be a higher premium charged when the youthful driver is added to the parents policy.

There is a temptation then to “forget” to add the new driver to the auto policy or not list the new driver on your renewal questionnaire in order to save money even though the child is driving Mom or Dad’s car. We caution you against this practice. The Province  of Prince Edward Island has certain Statutory laws in this area that will allow an insurance company to deny a claim in the event the driver is an undisclosed household operator. Peake & McInnis Ltd. would not like anyone to be in this unenviable position.
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