Anyone considering getting a Commercial Driver’s Licence in PEI (Prince Edward Island) should carefully understand the requirements beforehand. Canadian law currently requires different driver’s licenses for different classes of vehicles, and while generally speaking any vehicle used for business purposes could be a “commercial” vehicle, a commercial driver’s license refers to permission to drive certain larger vehicles.
All tractor-trailers with a “fifth wheel” and air brakes, in essence all commercial long-haul trucks, require a Class 1 license to be operated. Since almost all Class 1 vehicles are owned and operated by businesses, the Class 1 license is commonly referred to as a commercial driver’s license. Anyone holding a valid Class 1 license can also drive a Class 3, Class 5, Class 8, and Class 9 vehicle. A person must be at least 19 years old and pass a medical exam to obtain a Class 1 license.
Any bus with a capacity of transporting 24 or more passengers, including all school buses, require a Class 2 license to be operated. Anyone holding a valid Class 2 license can also drive a Class 3, Class 4, Class 5, Class 8, and Class 9 vehicle. A person must be at least 19 years old to obtain a Class 2 license, and 21 years old to drive a school bus. A medical exam is required for a Class 2 license. A person must also demonstrate that they’ve had a valid driver’s license for a minimum of two years for any vehicle but a bus, in which case you must have five years of experience.
All large trucks or big vehicles with trailers weighing over 14,000 kilograms total require a Class 3 license to be legally operated. A holder of a Class 3 license can also drive any vehicle in Class 5, Class 8, and Class 9. A person must be 19 years old to obtain a Class 3 license and pass a medical exam. To obtain a Class 3 license, the person must complete an air brake exam, have a vehicle properly registered and in good working order, and demonstrate that the drive axle is in good working condition.
Class 4 licenses are reserved for larger vehicles such as taxis, ambulances or buses that can transport 25 or fewer passengers. A great deal of commercial driver’s licenses are Class 4, and give the owner permission to also drive vehicles in Class 5, Class 8, and Class 9. A person must be 19 years old to obtain a Class 4 license and a medical exam is required. It is important to understand that all Class 4 driving tests will be conducted only in a full-size cargo/passenger van, supplied by the applicant, and not any other type of class 4 vehicle. The vehicle must be legally registered and in good working order.
Non-Commercial Driver’s Licensing
This is generally referred to as a “tractor driver’s” license because it is used exclusively for operating heavy farm equipment, including tractors. No medical exam or textbook exam are required to obtain a Class 9 license, and the minimum age is 14. If the tractor or other heavy farm equipment is being used for a business, it could technically be considered a commercial driver’s license.
Rarely used for businesses, a class 8 license permits the holder to operate a moped or motor-assisted medal bicycle. Anyone wishing to obtain a Class 8 license must be at least 17 years old, or be 16 ears old and have demonstrated a minimum of 275 days of required Driver Education.
Very rarely used for commercial purposes, a Class 7 license requires the driver to be at least 16, and gives the holder permission to drive a vehicle when accompanied by an adult with a minimum of four years of driving experience. No medical qualifications are necessary to obtain this license.
Occasionally used for some business purposes, a Class 6 license gives the holder permission to both operate a motorcycle as well as any vehicle in Class 8 and Class 9. To obtain a Class 6 license, a person must be at least 17 years old, or 16 years old with documentation of at least 275 days of Driver Education. No medical examination is required to obtain this license.
Probably the most common driver’s license in Canada, a Class 5 allows the holder to drive any automobile, van, or truck that weighs 4,500 kilograms or less. The holder of a valid Class 5 license can also drive vehicles in Class 8 and Class 9. To obtain a Class 5 license, you must be at least 17 years old, or be 16 years old and have demonstrated 275 days of Driver Education. No medical examination is necessary.