The Province of Manitoba has introduced mandatory training requirements for drivers wanting to obtain a Class 1 driver’s licence. Effective September 1, 2019, drivers must prove they have completed an approved Class 1 Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) course before obtaining a Class 1 licence to drive a semi-trailer truck (other existing requirements also apply).
Manitoba’s new mandatory minimum training requirement aligns with other jurisdictions in Canada that are in the process of implementing mandatory training programs. Previously, training was recommended but not required prior to obtaining a Class 1 licence. The MELT course consists of 121.5 hours of standardized training that covers the essential knowledge and skills to safely operate a semi-trailer truck. This mandatory training will help ensure the safety of all road users.
Drivers with an existing valid Manitoba Class 1 licence issued before September 1, 2019 will not need to retest, and are not required to take MELT.
The Province of Manitoba has deferred the MELT requirement for one year for the agricultural industry, to allow government to consult with stakeholders on the impact to this industry.
The existing 244-hour Professional Truck Driver Training course offered by private vocational institutes in Manitoba is considered a MELT-equivalent course. Students who can show they have successfully completed the 244-hour course can take a road test after September 1, 2019 to obtain a Class 1 licence. Mandatory training can only be provided by approved driving schools that meet established standards. A list of Manitoba schools that can provide MELT training will be available on the Manitoba Public Insurance’s website.
Any other truck driver training courses are not recognized as equivalent to MELT as they do not meet the new requirements for Class 1 licence applicants after September 1, 2019.
Drivers who successfully complete a MELT program in Ontario, Alberta or Saskatchewan will be able to transfer their certification and be eligible to receive a Class 1 licence in Manitoba, subject to meeting residency and other existing requirements.
Effective September 1, 2019:
An out of province licence applicant with a minimum of 24 months of Class 1 experience receives a Manitoba Class 1 licence and will not require MELT.
An out-of-province applicant with 12-24 months of Class 1 experience who successfully completes the Manitoba Class 1 knowledge and road test within one year of exchange will be issued a Manitoba Class 1 licence and will not require MELT.
An out-of-province applicant with less than 12 months of Class 1 experience will require MELT and testing (knowledge and road test).
Drivers who have not successfully completed MELT training or the recognized equivalent cannot take a Class 1 road test after September 1, 2019. This includes anyone who has previously failed a road test for their Class 1 and wants to re-take the test, and anyone who tried but failed to schedule a test prior to September 1.
Effective September 1, 2019, Class 1 road tests must be performed on a manual transmission vehicle, to align training and testing.