Most people who move to the province get their New Brunswick driver’s licence when they arrive. To learn more about the province’s driving laws and rules, the New Brunswick Driver’s Handbook has excellent information. Certain centres also offer various forms of public transportation, including buses, trains, and planes.

Public transportation is available in MonctonSaint John, and Fredericton. Bus schedules are often available at city hall. You may call your local transit commission to ask about where you may find schedules in your neighbourhood. Buses work on regular schedules. They stop only at specific marked locations.

New Brunswick Driver’s Licence

If you’re coming from another country, you may use your foreign driver’s licence for three months. After this period, you must take a written test and a driving test, which can be done directly at a Service New Brunswick location. You can find out more about the process here and find you nearest Service New Brunswick location here. If you already have your driver’s licence from another Canadian province, you can exchange it for a New Brunswick driver’s licence without having to take a road test or provide medical documentation.

When you come to Canada, it’s important to get a New Brunswick driver’s licence. Many jobs require you to have one. Your driver’s licence is also a form of photo identification. A photo ID is required for many things, including opening a bank account, travelling by plane (within Canada), and voting, if you become a citizen. If you’re not interested in driving, you may get a government-issued photo ID card instead of a driver’s licence. It resembles a driver’s licence, but it doesn’t give you the right to drive. Contact Service New Brunswick for more information:

Toll-free: 1-506 453-2410


In New Brunswick, there are nine different types or classes of licences. They allow people to drive different types of vehicles such as motorcycles or large trucks. Most people have a Class 5 licence. This covers cars, vans that seat up to nine passengers, and small trucks.

If your licence isn’t recognized in New Brunswick or if you don’t have an up-to-date licence, you may be tested by a driver examiner at a Service New Brunswick location. Appointments with the examiner may be made by telephone at local offices. Testing is available in both official languages.

The Points System

You receive demerit points when you break certain driving rules. If you accumulate 10 of them, your licence is suspended for three months:

  • Committing a criminal offence with a motor vehicle: ten points.
  • Not reporting a collision: five points.
  • Not driving with due care: five points.
  • Speeding 25 kilometres per hour or more over the speed limit: five points.
  • Speeding under 25 kilometres per hour over the speed limit: three points.
  • Illegal parking: two to three points.
  • Not wearing a seatbelt: two points.

Demerit points stay on your record for two years.

Driving Schools

Driving schools help you learn how to drive safely. If you’re part of the graduated licence program, going to a driving school will allow you to move from a Class 7(I) to a Class 7(II) eight months faster than otherwise. Many insurance companies will charge you less if you complete a course with a recognized driving school. For information on driving schools, contact your insurance company.

Driver’s Handbook

You may download a driver’s handbook at the link below. It provides a description of the rules and regulations required for driving in New Brunswick. It also explains how to prepare for the tests required to obtain a licence.

Buying a Vehicle

Before buying a vehicle, do some research on what kind of vehicle suits you and your family’s lifestyle and how much you can afford to pay for the vehicle up front as well as maintenance, gas, and insurance costs. There are many ways to find the right vehicle, including dealerships, in magazines and newspapers, and online.

Before you buy, ask yourself:

  • What will you need the vehicle for?
  • How much will it cost? Can you afford to pay for it all at once, or will you need a loan?
  • How much gas will it use?
  • How much will your insurance be?
  • What warranties, if any, come with the vehicle?
  • How reliable is this vehicle?
  • How safe is this vehicle?

Once you know what you’re looking for, you may see what is available.

There are many ways to find the right vehicle:

  • Dealerships advertise on television, the internet, and in magazines and newspapers. Some specialize in new vehicles. Others specialize in used vehicles. Some sell both.
  • Dealerships are usually near each other, so it is easy to compare cars.
  • Magazines such as Auto Trader list many vehicles available in your area.

If you want to buy a used car directly from the owner, most people advertise in local newspapers and online:

  • Auto Trader
  • Kijiji
  • Classified advertisements can be found in major newspapers across New Brunswick.

Once you find the car you want, you may negotiate the price. Canadians rarely pay the asking price for a vehicle, so don’t be afraid to offer less. If you’re not sure what a fair price is, you may look in what is known as the Canadian Red Book, which is available to purchase online.

When a vehicle is bought or given as a gift, it must be registered with the province. You must pay tax based on its fair market value. This tax may be either the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) or Provincial Vehicle Tax (PVT), depending on the kind of sale. For more information, contact Service New Brunswick:

Toll free: 1-888-762-8600

Before Buying

When you buy a car, it’s important to make sure it has an up-to-date inspection sticker. The sticker is on the windshield. It means the vehicle has been inspected and is safe to drive. It’s wise to take the car for a test drive to get a feel for how well it works. If you are buying a used car, especially from a private individual, be extremely careful.

Car Loans

Vehicles are very expensive, and most people cannot afford to pay for them all at once. If you are buying from a dealership, it may offer an attractive monthly payment with a low interest rate. If not, you may go to a bank for a loan. Make sure you visit several banks to get the best deal.


Some people decide to lease rather than buy. In this case, you usually have lower payments, but you have to return the car to the dealership once the lease has ended. Many leases have limits on the number of kilometres you can drive without paying a penalty.


All vehicles in New Brunswick must be insured. You may buy insurance from any licensed insurance provider. There are different levels of insurance, but the minimum required by law is third-party liability insurance. This means that if any serious damage or injury results from an accident for which you are responsible, the insurance company will pay for the damages up to a certain amount.


After you buy a vehicle, you must register it with the province. You’ll need proof of insurance and proof of purchase to register a vehicle in your name. When you register, you’ll be given a certificate of registration and licence plates. Drivers may register their vehicles by going to a Service New Brunswick centre or by going online:

After the first year, you’ll receive a small sticker to put on the licence plates to show that its registration is up to date. If you have a disability and need to use special parking spaces, that will be shown on your licence plate. You need to keep your registration certificate in your car.

Safety Inspections

Every car registered in New Brunswick must be inspected for safety every two years. It may be done by any certified mechanic in the province. If a car does not pass safety inspection, you must have the problem fixed within 14 days.

Driving Laws

Basic driving laws include:

  • Vehicles drive on the right side of the road.
  • Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt.
  • If an emergency vehicle approaches from either direction with its sirens on and lights flashing, you must safely pull over to the side of the road until it passes.
  • You cannot drive if you are not physically able to do so. This includes being tired, sick, or affected by alcohol or drugs.
  • You must keep your registration, safety inspection, insurance, and licence information up to date.
  • Registration and insurance information should remain in the vehicle.
  • Children under the age of nine must sit in a booster seat unless they are either 145 centimetres tall (4’9”) or weigh 36 kilograms (79 pounds).
  • You must not pass a school bus in either direction with its yellow or red lights flashing.
  • If your licence plate is damaged, it must be replaced.
  • Children travelling in vehicles must be safely secured in a child safety seat that is appropriate for their age, weight, and height.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol

Police are allowed to stop you if they think you, as a motorist, are under the influence of alcohol or drugs or are otherwise impaired. Police have the authority to give you a roadside breathalyzer test. It’s against the law to refuse to take one.

It’s a serious offence in New Brunswick to drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher or while under the influence of drugs. The amount of alcohol you must drink to reach a blood alcohol content of 0.08% varies from person to person, based on such variables as your weight.

If there is evidence that your blood alcohol level exceeds 0.08% or that you are under the influence of drugs, you will be charged with impaired driving. If you’re found guilty, you will be fined, have your licence revoked or be sent to jail.

If You Are Involved in an Accident

If you’re in a serious accident on the road, you have certain responsibilities. Don’t admit fault at the scene. The police will assess fault once the accident is fully investigated. If you think the damage from the accident is more than $1,000 or if someone has been injured or killed, you must:

  • Contact the police and stay where the accident happened until they arrive. Leaving the scene of an accident is a crime.
  • You must give your name, address, and insurance information to the other people involved in the accident.
  • Even if you don’t seem to be hurt, see a doctor right away. Some insurance companies require you to do so.

Driving in Winter

Given that New Brunswick can get a lot of snow and ice in winter, it can be a bit more difficult to drive.

Here are some suggestions to help:

  • Buy winter tires (special tires that are made from material that can grip the road in cold weather). Don’t use winter tires during the summer because this can weaken them. Also check the tires regularly to make sure they have enough air in them.
  • Slow down. Don’t drive at the speed limit if the weather is bad. If roads are slippery, occasionally press on the brakes to get a feel for how long you’ll need to stop and how much control you have.
  • Make sure you can see. Keep your headlights, wiper blades, and window defroster in good shape. Make sure you always have enough windshield washer fluid.
  • Have an emergency kit in your car. The Government of Canada has a list of things you should put in it: Preparing an Emergency Kit for Your Car
  • Keep your distance from the car ahead of you. It may take up to 12 times as long to stop on ice as on dry roads.
  • Don’t make sudden movements. Suddenly speeding up, jerking the steering wheel, or braking suddenly can cause you to lose control.
  • Check for ice. Always remember that bridges and overpasses (especially areas in the shade) will freeze faster than normal, so be careful driving in these places.
  • Black ice is dangerous. It’s ice that’s difficult to see because it’s transparent and takes on the colour of the road.
  • Watch for animals. Most highways in New Brunswick pass through forests where large animals such as deer and moose live. They may cause serious accidents when they try to cross roads.
  • Be extra careful at night.

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