Major Changes To NWT Class 1 Driver Licence

Entry-Level Training Becomes Mandatory for Individuals seeking a Class 1 Driver’s Licence

The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has introduced mandatory entry-level training for commercial truck drivers obtaining a Class 1 licence. 

Following the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy in 2018, there were renewed calls for mandatory entry-level training in Canada. Entry-level training will now be required for anyone seeking to obtain a Class 1 licence (which allows individuals to operate semi-trailers and tractor-trailers) for the first time.

Mandatory entry-level training will result in more highly skilled drivers in the trucking sector and enhance road safety for all users in the NWT. The move aligns the NWT with other jurisdictions in Canada that have also implemented entry-level training for Class 1 truck drivers. Engagement with the public and the trucking industry has demonstrated there is strong public support for this initiative in the NWT. 

The GNWT is working with driving schools interested in seeking approval to become entry-level training providers in the territory. Entry-level training is currently available and will be offered by Aurora College in Inuvik this month and in Fort Smith later in 2022. NWT training will be consistent with the national minimum standards set by the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.

“Trucking is an important service industry in the NWT, bringing essential supplies to NWT communities in every region of the territory. The GNWT wants to enhance the skills of the truck drivers delivering those supplies and make our roads safer for all who use them. Introducing mandatory entry-level training shows the GNWT’s commitment to achieving these important goals.”

– Diane ArchieMinister of Infrastructure

This does not affect Class 2 licences (bus drivers). Drivers who already have a Class 1 licence are not required to take mandatory entry-level training. Entry-level training is a combination of classroom and practical education, consisting of an in-class curriculum, in-cab training, and in-yard training.

Other driving schools that can meet the standards are encouraged to seek approval from the NWT Registrar of Motor Vehicles to become entry-level training providers in the territory.