You must get a Manitobaís Driverís License within 3 months of moving here. You may need to be re-tested. You can purchase a Driverís Manual to study with from any insurance office.
Before buying any vehicle you should get a copy of its safety inspection, or you may need to pay for one.
In case of an accident with significant damage, stay at the scene and get the other driverís name, license number and phone number for insurance purposes. The police may need to be called to make an accident report.
Vehicle insurance rates are set by the government. All insurance offices charge the same rates.
You receive merit points for a good driving record, and lose them if you have accidents. Each yearís merit point provides a 5% reduction in the cost of your license, up to a maximum of 25%.
To have your good driving record recognized, bring 2 translated documents with you to the insurance office:
- A letter from your insurance company providing your claim record.
- A Driverís Abstract from your home government, verifying your driving record.
Insurance rates vary by type of vehicle and the purpose of driving. You must insure a vehicle driven to work differently from a vehicle you only drive occasionally. If you do not, your insurance may not be valid.
Check the Manitoba Public Insurance website to find an insurance calculator and full information on vehicle and driver licensing and insurance.
Buying a Vehicle
All vehicles sold in Manitoba must have a valid safety inspection certificate that was completed within 2 years before the sale. However, if the certificate is near the end of its term, you may want to have it renewed before buying. You do not need to renew the safety certificate as long as you own the vehicle, only if you plan to sell it.
You can buy vehicles from dealerships or from individuals. It is acceptable to bargain over the price. Be sure to test drive the vehicle and to do cost comparisons.
Drinking and Driving
Police can stop you and check your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) through a breath or blood test if they think you are not driving safely. At a BAC of .05 to .08 mg per ml of alcohol, you will receive a 24-hour driverís license suspension and a $50.00 reinstatement fee.
If the BAC is .08 or over, or you refuse the test, you can get a three-month license suspension, have your vehicle impounded at your expense, have an extra premium of up to $999 added to your license renewal, and other steps before you get your license back. You will also be charged with a criminal offense and, if convicted, you may receive other punishments, and will have a criminal record.